Saturday, February 15, 2014

Recommended Reading List 2-14-14 Edition

Each week I share with my church articles, essays and blog posts that I have found meaningful.  Here's what I shared this week:
  • Intelligent thoughts about abortion in Kansas--Okay the intelligent thoughts are not coming from the state legislature which becomes more draconian every day regarding women's sexuality and reproduction.  The thoughts are coming, however, from CCCUCC's own political scientist Michael Smith who teaches at Emporia State.  In his column this week published in newspapers around KS, he points out that new data shows that the number of abortions is at its lowest level in a generation.  This is due to a struggling economy and the availability of contraception, and it is NOT due to ever more restrictive state laws about abortion.  It's too bad that the same state legislators who say they want to limit the number of abortions also are the ones who oppose sex education and birth control.    
  • Intelligent thoughts about homosexuality in Texas--You've probably seen the news that Mizzou's own Michael Sam has come out as gay and stands to be the first openly gay player in the NFL.  Here's a great on-air commentary from a sportscaster in Dallas that points out the craziness of the NFL which gladly accepts players who have committed all kinds of crimes such as beating women, killing people while driving drunk, etc. but doesn't want to accept a gay man. 
  • Why bother going to church?  Donald Miller an evangelical best-selling author announced recently that he doesn't participate in a local church--after all churches are full of hypocrites aren't they?--I was sent this week a response to Miller's individualistic Christianity and I found it to be a refreshing argument for why community is essential to being Christian.
  • The Obama Administration is worse than Bush when it comes to immigration--This past Tuesday night CCCUCC hosted a mock legislative hearing on our broken immigration hearing.  Among those who spoke was an 11 year-old boy who told the heartbreaking story of how his father was deported for being an undocumented immigrant.  So far, the Obama administration has deported far more undocumented immigrants than its predecessor ever did.  This article shows why it is not just the fault of Congress but also the Executive Branch.  
  • The Kansas bill that would legalize segregation based on sexual orientation--Kansas House Bill 2453 was approved and now is headed to the Kansas Senate.  It would allow businesses, individuals and government officials to refuse to serve LGBTQ people if doing so goes against their religious convictions.  This means a police office could refuse to help an LGBTQ person if doing so offended his religious beliefs.  A business could fire a LGBTQ person based on its owners' religious beliefs.  Thankfully as of today, it looks like the bill will not pass the Kansas Senate, but this truly is an awful bill.    
  • Lawsuit filed in MO to force the state to recognize same-gender marriages--I hope you are keeping up with the lawsuit filed by the ACLU this week on behalf of eight same-gender couples asking for the state to recognize their marriages.  Let's pray that Missouri will have the same luck as Virginia
  • Ban the Ban--MORE2 has been working to overturn the Missouri ban on people with drug convictions getting food stamps.  Currently in MO, you can be a convicted murder, rapist or child molester and still get food stamps, but if you are someone with a drug conviction trying to get clean and sober food stamps are not available to you.  There's hope that the state legislature will overturn this cruel law.    
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