2012's most important stories on faith

Dec 29, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Tyler Morning Telegraph

In 2012, a diversity of faiths were represented in the news on the national level ...

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“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#1
Dec 29, 2012
 

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from Tyler Morning Telegraph:

"The majority of bishops at the Episcopal General Convention voted to approve a churchwide ceremony Tuesday to bless same-sex couples, but church leaders in Texas don't agree with the decision.

"'I'm deeply disappointed,' the Rev. David Luckenbach of Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler said.'I believe it will do harm and create confusion about the teaching of the church.'"
True Christian witness

Owasso, OK

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Dec 29, 2012
 

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Another sign that Christendom, all professing Christian churches are not approved by Almighty God Jehovah, the one true God of the Bible. Exodus 20:1,2

God does not change, God does not allow man to dictate the mandate of righteousness. Every person on this Earth is being judged by your obedience to the direction of God's word the Bible, those who refuse to be educated by Almighty God Jehovah's direction to survive the end of this world, will be executed at Armageddon. Revelation 19:15 2Thessalonians 1:8

Almighty God Jehovah loves his earthly creation of mankind, but he does not force anyone to know, love or serve Him. He pursuades us to be obedient for our benefit. Isaiah 48:17,18

Since: Aug 09

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Dec 29, 2012
 

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Joe DeCaro wrote:
from Tyler Morning Telegraph:
"The majority of bishops at the Episcopal General Convention voted to approve a churchwide ceremony Tuesday to bless same-sex couples, but church leaders in Texas don't agree with the decision.
"'I'm deeply disappointed,' the Rev. David Luckenbach of Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler said.'I believe it will do harm and create confusion about the teaching of the church.'"
The quote should read that "some" Church leaders in Texas don't agree ...

“Post-religious”

Since: Apr 08

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#4
Dec 29, 2012
 

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Also from the article:

"On Oct. 7, thousands of pastors around the country, and a few in East Texas, participated in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," an initiative to challenge the constitutionality of the Johnson Amendment, which bans pastors from endorsing a political candidate from the pulpit. Pastors gave purposefully politicized sermons, the recordings of which they then sent to the IRS."

Each of those churches applied for the 501(c)(3) tax exemption, and knew and understood the rules under which they took that exemption.

Each of those churches should lose their tax-exempt status.

Since: Aug 09

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#7
Dec 29, 2012
 

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Jerald wrote:
Also from the article:
"On Oct. 7, thousands of pastors around the country, and a few in East Texas, participated in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," an initiative to challenge the constitutionality of the Johnson Amendment, which bans pastors from endorsing a political candidate from the pulpit. Pastors gave purposefully politicized sermons, the recordings of which they then sent to the IRS."
Each of those churches applied for the 501(c)(3) tax exemption, and knew and understood the rules under which they took that exemption.
Each of those churches should lose their tax-exempt status.
Pastors, priests and ministers should NOT succumb to the lure of endorsement of political candidates, per se.

What they should do, openly, is to teach the Teachings of Christ Jesus. There are plenty of lessons from these Teachings that can be given that will fully endorse a preferred political view, whatever that may be.

The plain fact is that any political view can be emphasized by selecting scriptural quotes to bolster the preferred viewpoint.

Nevertheless, the Teachings of Christ Jesus, if properly conveyed, will call for the preservation of personal liberty, the five Freedoms given first in the Bill of Rights, personal honesty and integrity, courage and perseverance in the face of adversity and a compassionate and generous attitude toward fellow mankind.

Surely, that is just a small sampling of the potential of His Teachings.

Try fiscal responsibility and personal sacrifice. These are present in many of His parables.

The plain truth is that endorsement of political views is not necessary.

Rev. Ken

“Post-religious”

Since: Apr 08

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#8
Dec 29, 2012
 
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>...The plain truth is that endorsement of political views is not necessary.Rev. Ken
I appreciate that.

It's also illegal for a church to do.

The little local 501(c)(3) of which I am a member isn't allowed to take our tax exemption and then go out and support political candidates. That's the rules we all follow. Churches shouldn't be able to do so, either.

When a church supports political candidates, parties, or partisan activities, all other tax payers are paying for it.

Unless the church pays taxes like everyone else. Then they can knock themselves out endorsing candidates until the cows come home.

Or until they go broke.

Since: Aug 09

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#9
Dec 30, 2012
 
Jerald wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate that.
It's also illegal for a church to do.
The little local 501(c)(3) of which I am a member isn't allowed to take our tax exemption and then go out and support political candidates. That's the rules we all follow. Churches shouldn't be able to do so, either.
When a church supports political candidates, parties, or partisan activities, all other tax payers are paying for it.
Unless the church pays taxes like everyone else. Then they can knock themselves out endorsing candidates until the cows come home.
Or until they go broke.
In the past year, we have watched as the government has trespassed into areas of spiritual beliefs. There is no excuse for government attempting to force the general taxpayer and the specific religion-based healthcare facility and institution to pay the costs of birth control and elective abortion.

It is a clear trespass by a government that has no conscience to restrain its own hegemony. Furthermore, the trespass is taken by administrators who know full well that the leaders in religion are prevented by law from rebuttal given and incited from the pulpit.

Better to see this for what it is and to be active in preventing such hegemony. But, this can be done, effectively, from the pulpit, without naming names.

Rev. Ken

“Post-religious”

Since: Apr 08

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#10
Dec 30, 2012
 
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
In the past year, we have watched as the government has trespassed into areas of spiritual beliefs. There is no excuse for government attempting to force the general taxpayer and the specific religion-based healthcare facility and institution to pay the costs of birth control and elective abortion.
You parrot the right-wing line, but the fact remains that no church will have to pay for a single abortion or pay for contraception under the Affordable Care Act.

"Religion-based health care"? If a hospital doesn't wish to provide full health-case services to all of it's patients, it shouldn't be in the business of providing health care.

Contraception -- particularly birth control pills which are only available through a doctor's prescription -- is and always has been a safe and cost-effective part of any comprehensive health plan. Religious-affiliated health care providers shouldn't be able to dictate to their employees the availability of basic services, especially when they aren't paying for it, the insurance companies are. Churches want to keep their employees in line by denying them services that the church doesn't approve. The employee and her doctor should be able to make health care decisions, not the employer.

From the White House:

"The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge."
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/20...
RevKen wrote:
It is a clear trespass by a government that has no conscience to restrain its own hegemony. Furthermore, the trespass is taken by administrators who know full well that the leaders in religion are prevented by law from rebuttal given and incited from the pulpit.
Hogwash.

No law requires religious leaders to remain silent. Pastors, priests, rabbis, and imams all have the ability to speak about issues having to do with contraception and abortion, and frequently do. By accepting a tax exemption, religious leaders agree to restrain themselves from advocating from the pulpit about candidates in political races, but they are free to speak for themselves as private citizens, and support or oppose public policies.
RevKen wrote:
Better to see this for what it is and to be active in preventing such hegemony. But, this can be done, effectively, from the pulpit, without naming names.
Rev. Ken
The real danger is not government's "intrusion" into religion, but religion's intrusion into government, which is why the framers of our Constitutional system specifically banned religious tests for public office and created a clear separation of church and state in the First Amendment.
QUITTNER

Toronto, Canada

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#11
Dec 30, 2012
 
4:11 pm Sunday, December 30, 2012:
RE: 2012's most important stories on faith
True Christian witness wrote:
Another sign that Christendom, all professing Christian churches are not approved by Almighty God Jehovah, the one true God of the Bible. Exodus 20:1,2 ... Almighty God Jehovah loves his earthly creation of mankind, but he does not force anyone to know, love or serve Him. He pursuades us to be obedient for our benefit. Isaiah 48:17,18
..... I have not seen a list by any JW of which deeds by God he or she has witnessed recently. Have you?
KMA

Benton, AR

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#12
Dec 30, 2012
 
I agree with the commenter that said there is no need for pastors to be endorsing politicians. However, it always amazes me how, near election time, it is okay for democrat candidates - Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Obama to campaign from pulpits. Why is it that no one is attempting to revoke the tax exempt status of these churches? Seems a little hypocritical to me.
KMA

Benton, AR

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#13
Dec 30, 2012
 
As far as Obamacare - Many congressmen have admitted that they didn't read it and don't know what's in it. Parroting a White House press release still doesn't tell us what's in it because I doubt those guys read it either. We'll really only find out what's in it when some goverment bureaucrats decide to enforce it.
KMA

Benton, AR

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#14
Dec 30, 2012
 
Btw, I don't think the phrase "separation of church and state" is found anywhere in the First Amendment or anywhere else in the Constitution.
KMA

Benton, AR

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#15
Dec 30, 2012
 
"Religious-affiliated health care providers shouldn't be able to dictate to their employees the availability of basic services, especially when they aren't paying for it, the insurance companies are. Churches want to keep their employees in line by denying them services that the church doesn't approve. The employee and her doctor should be able to make health care decisions, not the employer."

There are multiple problems with this paragraph. First, no one is dictating what health services a person can or cannot get. A person can get whatever health care they want. If its not covered by their particular insurance plan they can pay for it themselves.(However, once we have true government run healthcare, this will no longer be true). Second, saying that the insurance company is paying for it represents the same logic by many in this country that think if its coming from the goverment its free. Who pays the insurance premium? Do you think the insurance companies are just benevolent organizations with an endless pot of money? No, they charge premiums to cover all those costs plus to make a profit. The comment about churches wanting to keep their employees "in line" is just ignorant on its face. And, finally, your last line - again, no one is interfering with the patient and doctors ability to make health care decisions. The patient is free to get whatever services she and her doctor decide on. It just may be that some of those services aren't covered by the patients insurance policy. There are many things that aren't covered by some insurance policies, some much more necessary than birth control. I suppose you think we should just require that insurance pay for anything and everything a person may want.

Furthermore, if the employee is not happy with the salary, benefits, or other conditions of his or her employment, he or she is free to seek other employment.
KMA

Benton, AR

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#16
Dec 30, 2012
 
I personally don't have any problem with birth control. However, I respect the right of those who do to not be forced to pay for it. But, it occurs to me that the arguments being spewed by those who support forced payment of birth control could also be applied to abortion. I do have strong objections to abortion. Think about it: Birth control isn't that expensive. So, why the big push to require employers to pay for it? The answer is those behind it have a bigger agenda. After they get this fully implemented they will begin to push for a requirement that all insurance cover abortions.

“Post-religious”

Since: Apr 08

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#17
Dec 30, 2012
 
KMA wrote:
I agree with the commenter that said there is no need for pastors to be endorsing politicians. However, it always amazes me how, near election time, it is okay for democrat candidates - Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Obama to campaign from pulpits. Why is it that no one is attempting to revoke the tax exempt status of these churches? Seems a little hypocritical to me.
It's probably because you see the world through Republican lenses.

A political candidate may appear at a church service or meeting, but any other candidate for the same office that requests to appear must be given the same opportunity; and no solicitation for funds may be made by any representative of the church.

In addition, a church may allow political candidates to use the facilities of the church for events or meetings on the same basis that civic groups and other organizations are allowed. If civic groups and other organizations are required to pay rent for using the church property, the political candidate should be charged the
same amount.
http://www.ucc.org/ourfaithourvote/pdfs/guide...

Perhaps the opponents of those politicians you cited decided that the audience in those congregations wouldn't be very friendly and decided not to appear.

Republican candidates made plenty of appearances at churches, including Santorum, Gingrich, et al during the most recent campaign. It happens all the time.
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/mar/02/...
http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/politic...

“Post-religious”

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#18
Dec 30, 2012
 
KMA wrote:
As far as Obamacare - Many congressmen have admitted that they didn't read it and don't know what's in it. Parroting a White House press release still doesn't tell us what's in it because I doubt those guys read it either. We'll really only find out what's in it when some goverment bureaucrats decide to enforce it.
Just throwing up your hands and admitting that you don't know anything hardly constitutes a sound basis for an argument on the issues.

The fact remains that the Affordable Care Act doesn't require religious organizations to pay for abortions or contraceptives, as the poster claimed.

Feel free to refute this with fact rather than an argument from ignorance.

“Post-religious”

Since: Apr 08

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#19
Dec 30, 2012
 
KMA wrote:
Btw, I don't think the phrase "separation of church and state" is found anywhere in the First Amendment or anywhere else in the Constitution.
Neither is the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, a jury of your peers, or innocent until proven guilty. Or God or Jesus, for that matter.

But a specific ban on religious tests for political office is, as is a ban on an establishment of religion.

That's what a separation of church and state means. The absence of the words "separation of church and state", noted in the US by Thomas Jefferson, doesn't mean the absence of the idea or the principle.

Similarly, courts have found that the principle of a "religious liberty" exists behind in the First Amendment, even if those words are not actually there:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

No one can rationally deny that the First Amendment guarantees the principle of religious liberty, even though those words do not appear there. Similarly, the First Amendment guarantees the principle of the separation of church and state - by implication, because separating church and state is what allows religious liberty to exist.
KMA

Benton, AR

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#20
Dec 30, 2012
 
If Obamacare doesn't require religious organizations to pay for birth control, why did Obama have to come up with a plan to accomdate them?(See quote from USA Today article below).

Maybe you should find a more credible source than the Obama administration. This isn't the only issue where they've been caught talking out of both sides of their mouths. Obama's "plan" to address this problem is to require the insurance companies to provide the benefit. Well, who do you think is going to pay for this benefit? I didn't see that his plan says the government will pay for it. So, this is really just a scam to make the religious organizations pay for it while saying that they are not. The insurance companies aren't going to provide the coverage for free, are they? So, who is paying for it?

Btw, it is a FACT that Congress did not read this law before they passed it. Nancy Pelosi said there was no need to read it because we will find out what is in it after it's passed. Unfortunately, Congress chooses to govern from ignorance.

As they say, Facts are stubborn things - FACT is, Obamacare requires religious organizations to pay for birth control.

__________
President Obama announced a plan today that attempts to accommodate certain religious employers opposed to a rule that would require them to provide access to birth control for women free of charge.

Obama announced that the rule would be tweaked so that in cases where non-profit religious organizations have objections, insurance companies would be required to reach out to employees and offer the coverage directly. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called it "a first step in the right direction."

"Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive service no matter where they work," Obama said. "That core principle remains.

"But if a woman's employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -- not the hospital, not the charity -- will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge without co-pays, without hassle."

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theov...

“Post-religious”

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#21
Dec 30, 2012
 
KMA wrote:
...
There are multiple problems with this paragraph. First, no one is dictating what health services a person can or cannot get.


Employers who want to deny their employees access to contraceptive services from insurance providers are.
KMA wrote:
A person can get whatever health care they want. If its not covered by their particular insurance plan they can pay for it themselves.


Why stop at contraceptives? Why not just provide a plan that offers aspirin, and then employees can pay for everything else themselves?
KMA wrote:
Second, saying that the insurance company is paying for it represents the same logic by many in this country that think if its coming from the goverment its free. Who pays the insurance premium? Do you think the insurance companies are just benevolent organizations with an endless pot of money? No, they charge premiums to cover all those costs plus to make a profit.
Insurance companies know that greater availability of comprehensive plans that include contraceptive services save money, lower costs, and spread risk to a wider population. That's why insurance companies haven't been complaining about the cost -- they'll make money.
KMA wrote:
The comment about churches wanting to keep their employees "in line" is just ignorant on its face.


Since employers don't have to pay for the service, feel free to show how.
KMA wrote:
And, finally, your last line - again, no one is interfering with the patient and doctors ability to make health care decisions. The patient is free to get whatever services she and her doctor decide on. It just may be that some of those services aren't covered by the patients insurance policy. There are many things that aren't covered by some insurance policies, some much more necessary than birth control. I suppose you think we should just require that insurance pay for anything and everything a person may want.
Furthermore, if the employee is not happy with the salary, benefits, or other conditions of his or her employment, he or she is free to seek other employment.
You apparently operate under the mistaken impression that women can obtain birth control without a doctor's prescription, that all employees are free to quit their jobs and take up new positions at the drop of a hat, and that health insurance is easily obtainable, especially without a job.

You're wrong.
KMA

Benton, AR

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#22
Dec 30, 2012
 
"No one can rationally deny that the First Amendment guarantees the principle of religious liberty, even though those words do not appear there. Similarly, the First Amendment guarantees the principle of the separation of church and state - by implication, because separating church and state is what allows religious liberty to exist."

Interesting that you argue for religious liberty while, at the same time, arguing against it. Let's think about it: SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE - but you want the church to pay money to the state? SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE - but you want to subject the church to government regulation? SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE - but you want to restrict the free speech (isn't there something about that in the first amendment?) rights of pastors? SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE - yet you want to violate "religious liberty" by forcing church members to pay for something their religion believes is wrong?

You throw around phrases like "religious liberty" and "church and state" but you believe they are only a one way street. You believe religion has no place in government but you believe the government should be able to tax and regulate churches. You dont believe in religious liberty or separation of church and state. You believe only in freedom FROM religion and keeping faith out of government.

If you really believed in "religious liberty" you would agree that churches should be tax exempt,that the government has no business telling pastors what they can and cannot say, and that the government has no business telling church members they have to pay for birth control.

But, like many people, you only see the constitution through the filter of your ideology. Let me ask you this: What was the primary purpose of the Constitution? Was it to restrict the power of the government? Or was it to restrict the rights of the people? Your interpretation is that the First Amendment restricts the rights of churches and their members. But, the aim of the Constitution was to restrict the government and to protect the rights of the people. Your version of "religious liberty" and "separation of church and state" empowers the government while trampling on individual rights and freedoms. I don't think that's what the framers intended. Do you?

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