- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2023

Black pastors and leaders in Ohio are urging voters to reject the state ballot measure known as Issue 1, which would put the right to an abortion in the state constitution, The Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson reports.

“This is not a party line vote, nor is Issue 1 a Republican or Democrat issue,” said Brian Williams, pastor of the Hope City House of Prayer in Columbus. “This is a moral issue, and for the Black community in particular, it is a life-or-death matter.”

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The statistics are telling: In 2022, Black women accounted for 48.4% of abortions in the state, versus 43.1% for White women. White residents make up 81% of the state’s population, Ms. Richardson noted.

Pope puts ‘blessings’ on table for same-sex couples

Pope Francis has said it might be possible for the Catholic Church to bless same-sex couples. While the pontiff said such “blessings” would not equal the church’s marriage sacrament, it would express “a request for help from God.”

Francis’ comments were written in July, in a response to five conservative, retired Cardinals who sent “dubia” — Latin for questions — to the pontiff. They demanded “yes” or “no” answers, precipitating the Vatican’s release of the pope’s letter.

Advocates for LGBTQ Catholics hailed the move as a potential “tremendous step forward,” but also acknowledged there would likely be intense pushback from more conservative members of the faith.

Faith & Blue Weekend links cops, congregations

Starting with a kickoff event at the National Law Enforcement Museum in the District of Columbia on Friday, an estimated 4,000 community events nationwide will mark the fourth National Faith & Blue Weekend, when churches and law enforcement meet to build bridges of understanding, organizers said.

“This weekend is about saving lives, and it’s about saving careers,” said the Rev. Markel Hutchins, chairman and CEO of civil rights organization MovementForward, which is behind the weekend.

“What Faith & Blue is doing is it is connecting officers to the humanity of the people that they’re policing,” Mr. Hutchins said. “We have got to transform the hearts and the minds of our law enforcement professionals, if we’re going to decrease the number of officer-involved tragedies.”

Sex abuse law hits archdioceses 

Maryland enacted a law Oct. 1 that lifts time limits on filing lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, prompting Baltimore’s Catholic Archdiocese to file for bankruptcy protection and spurring lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Washington.

The Archdiocese of Washington was sued in Prince George’s County Circuit Court a day after the measure took effect. Three anonymous plaintiffs say officials in the archdiocese allowed clergy to abuse children sexually “for decades.”

Two days before the measure became law, the Baltimore Archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move that blocked any new lawsuits. Archbishop William J. Lori said the move would allow for more equitable settlements for all victims, while the victims are angry that they will have to wait longer for “justice.”

Video: How to teach the Bible to kids during the school day 

There’s a way to bring the Bible to public school students during the school day, according to Kori Pennypacker, CEO of Bible2School. She spoke with Billy Hallowell about the legal framework that allows the elective, off-campus activity and the growth the organization has experienced.

In our opinion

Hollywood’s Christian revival. From its earliest days, Hollywood has been tainted with sin and scandal. Today’s image is little different, columnist Billy Hallowell writes, “considering the depravity of [its] contemporary content.”

But there’s good news brewing under the massive “HOLLYWOOD” sign that dominates Tinsel Town’s landscape: More celebrities are finding faith in Christ, and that faith is having an impact on their lives and their work.

Mr. Hallowell recaps the stories of actor Chris Pratt, “Big Brother” host Julie Chen Moonves and tattoo artist and designer Kat Von D, who just released a video of her baptism and has tossed her occultic belongings. It’s worth reading to see how God is moving in an admittedly sinful spot.

Keeping the faith. It’s a battlefield out there for Gen Z children, ministry leader and author Jason Jimenez writes, and dealing with their issues of depression and even suicidal thoughts is vital to promote their mental health and spiritual flourishing.

Jason says it’s important for parents to not doubt a child’s Christian faith, even if they express problems with depression or suicidal thoughts. Instead, parents should pray, avoid technical terms and speak plainly, and explain the technical causes of depression. There are ways out that will both aid their mental health and allow them to keep their faith strong, he says.

Ask Dr. E. Columnist Everett Piper this week answers the question: How important are other people’s opinions?

“Sometimes,” writes Dr. E, as he’s known, “absurdity is the best teacher. Like the alarm on your nightstand, it can break the power of nightmares and call us back to reality.”

He says the objective truth God has established is the plumb line for decision-making, not what Bob or Sally think. “History has taught us over and over again that opinions are always laden with sin and lead to slavery, whereas Jesus said, ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’”

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