Friday, February 06, 2015

Worth a Look (Friday Favorites)


On Current Events:
Last week, the leaders of my Church called a news conference in support of nondiscrimination AND religious freedom.  Of late, the two values have clashed quite a bit.  I love the call for a middle ground:

Yet today we see new examples of attacks on religious freedom with increasing frequency. Among them are these:
  • In the state of California, two-dozen Christian student groups have been denied recognition because they require their own leaders to share their Christian beliefs. The university system is forcing these groups to compromise their religious conscience if they want recognition for their clubs. 
  • Recently in one of America’s largest cities, government lawyers subpoenaed the sermons and notes of pastors who opposed parts of a new law on religious grounds. These pastors faced not only intimidation, but also criminal prosecution for insisting that a new gay rights ordinance should be put to a vote of the people.
  • Several years ago, an Olympic gold-medal gymnast—a Latter-day Saint, as it happened—had been selected to lead the American delegation to the Olympic Games. He was pressured to resign as the symbolic head of the team because gay rights advocates protested that he had supported Proposition 8 in California. Ironically, he was denied the same freedom of conscience that commentators demanded for the gay athletes he would symbolically represent.   
  • More recently, the head of a large American corporation was forced to resign from his position in a similar well-publicized backlash to his personal beliefs. 
Sadly, the list is expanding. Accusations of bigotry toward people simply because they are motivated by their religious faith and conscience have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and public debate. When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from employment or made to suffer personal loss because they have raised their voice in the public square, donated to a cause or participated in an election, our democracy is the loser. Such tactics are every bit as wrong as denying access to employment, housing or public services because of race or gender. Churches should stand on at least as strong a footing as any other entity when they enter the public square to participate in public policy debates.It is one of today’s great ironies that some people who have fought so hard for LGBT rights now try to deny the rights of others to disagree with their public policy proposals. The precious constitutional right of free speech does not exclude any individual or group, and a society is only truly free when it respects freedom of religious exercise, conscience and expression for everyone, including unpopular minorities. Today, state legislatures across the nation are being asked to strengthen laws related to LGBT issues in the interest of ensuring fair access to housing and employment. The leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on record as favoring such measures. At the same time, we urgently need laws that protect faith communities and individuals against discrimination and retaliation for claiming the core rights of free expression and religious practice that are at the heart of our identity as a nation and our legacy as citizens.   
The whole transcript is well worth the read!


Human Interest:

The Single Most Powerful Principle You Can Use to Change Another Person

Can a Blind Man See?  ~ FASCINATING podcast on how our expectations play a part in people's growth.  Featured is "Batman," an amazing blind man who uses echolocation to see.

And two Youtube Videos about him, including a TED talk:







Cooking:
More Crockpot Freezer Meals -- 40 Meals in 40 Hours
Now I just need freezer space!


No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...