Sunday, October 31, 2021

New Poll: Biden's Approval Rating Drops to 42%; Due to Instability, Chaos -- Inflation Helps GOP

 A new NBC News poll shows not only has President Joe Biden's approval rating fallen to just 42%, but 71% of Americans -- and even half of Democrats -- say the country is headed in the wrong direction, the Newsmax website reports today (October 31, 2021).

"What people voted for was stability and calm, and what they got was instability and chaos," NBC's Democratic pollster Peter Hart said. 

The Democrats now trail Republicans on the economy, inflation, and immigration, and have even lost ground on tried-and-true Democratic issues like education and the coronavirus. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Biden:Pope Told Him Keep Taking Communion; Says Abortion Not Mentioned in Papal Meeting

 President Joe Biden said yesterday that Pope Francis had told him he should keep receiving Communion amid fierce debate in the U.S. Church over Biden's support of abortion, the Reuters website reports today (October 30, 2021).

Biden has come under pressure from conservatives at home and his most ardent critics in the U.S. Church hierarchy have said he should be banned from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the faith.

Asked if the topic of abortion came up during a long meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday, Biden said no. He said the pope told him he was happy he was a good Catholic and he should  "keep receiving Communion."

Friday, October 29, 2021

Study: Only 13% of Evangelicals Practice Tithing; Half Donate Less Than 1% of Their Annual Income

 A new study shows that while a majority of evangelicals say tithing -- giving 10%  of one's income to the church -- is a biblica; commandment, only an estimated 13% engage in the practice, while half give away less than 1%of their income annually, the Christian Post website reports today (October 29, 2021).

The study, "The Generosity Factor, Evangelicals and Giving," which will be formally released on November 1, reflects data collected from 1,000 American evangelical Protestants and highlights how and when evangelicals give money. 

The study also found that half of all American evangelical Protestants give less than 1% of their household income to the church or charity.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Fla. Elementary School Has Gay-Bar Field Trip; Broward County School Board Member Attends

 A Florida elementary school took students on a field trip to a local gay bar called Rosie's, according to a school board member who accompanied the children, the WND website reports today (October 28, 2021).

Sarah Leonardi of the Broward County School Board wrote yesterday in Twitter that she "wa so honored to be invited to chaperone."

She added "the students and I had a fun walk and learned a lot about our community."

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

US Issues Its First Passport with an "x" Gender; May Replace Male, Female Terms with LGBTQ

 The State Department said today (October 27. 2021) that the U.S. has issued its first passport with an "x"gender designation and expects to be able to offer the option to nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people early next year, according to the Newsmax website. 

Jessica Stern, U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, said the move brings the government documents in line with the "lived reality" that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations. 

"When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect," Stern said.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Top Orth.Patriarch to Visit US, Meet Pres.Biden; Bartholomew Leads over 200M Orth.Christians

 The spiritual leader of the world's 200 million Eastern Orthodox Christians brings an agenda spanning religious, political and environmental issues to a 12-day U.S. visit beginning this week that includes a meeting with President Joe Biden and various ceremonial and interfaith gatherings, the Religious News website reports today (October 26, 2021).

Bartholomew's title, Patriarch of Constantinople, reflects the ancient imperial name of the city now known as Istanbul in the predominantly-Islam  country of Turkey where Orthodox Christians are mostly ethnically Greek, and are a small minority.

Bartholomew will receive an honorary degree from the University  of Notre Dame on October 28 in an event highlighting efforts to improve Orthodox-Catholic ties, centuries after the two churches broke apart in 1054 amid disputes over theology and papal claims of supremacy. 

The Patriarch of Constantinople is considered the first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox hierarchy, which gives him a role of leadership, but not as much power as the Catholic pope.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Pope Hosts a Group of Prisoners at the Vatican; Tells Them Asking God for Help Is "A True Prayer"

 Pope Francis hosted a group of prisoners and ex-prisoners at the Vatican recently, listening to their stories and offering words of advice, including telling them to ask for help when they need it, the Crux website reports today (October 25, 2021).

Speaking to the group during the October 22 meeting at the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis stressed the importance of having the courage to take the first step toward self-improvement, saying "in life,there must always be a first step."

Francis said a person might want to take that first step, but might not know what to do, and in these cases he said it's important to pray, and to ask God for help. This, he said, is "a true prayer."

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Pope:Don't Return Migranrts to Unsafe Countries; Says Violent, Inhumane Conditions Exist in Libya

Pope Francis today (October 24, 2021) urged countries not to send migrants back to insecure countries such as Libya, where he said many suffer violent and inhumane conditions, the Newsmax website reports.

The pope's appeal at his Sunday blessing came as European Union leaders are struggling to overcome their differences on how to handle immigrants. 

"We have to put an end to the return of migrants to countries that are not secure," he said, citing  "thousands of migrants, refugees, and others who need protection in Libya."

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Pope Confirms Greece, Cyprus Trip in Early Dec.; Lauds German Chancellor Merkel as Great Leader

In an interview to an Argentine news site, Pope Francis today (October 23, 2021) confirmed that he is planning to travel to Greece and Cyprus in early December, and urged world leaders preparing for the G20 summit in Rome and COP28 gathering in Glasgow to be creative in how they approach global politics and economics in a post-pandemic world, according to the Crux website. 

He also heaped praise on outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling her a leader who has made history and a model for women in leadership. 

"In the first week of December, I am going to Greece and Cyprus," Pope Francis said to the  Argentine news outlet "Telam."  

Friday, October 22, 2021

Supreme Court Won't Reject Texas Abortion Law; Will Consider Legal Arguments over Law on Nov.1

 The U.S. Supreme Court today (October 22, 2021) said it will consider legal arguments over the Texas abortion law that is the nation's most restrictive, on November 1, and that the law will remain in effect, according to the Washington Post website.

The court granted an expedited review of what is called S.B.8, which the Biden administration in a filing today said "has virtually eliminated abortion in Texas after six weeks of pregnancy."

The decision sets up a momentous term for abortion rights in the Supreme Court. The justices on December 1 will consider a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, far earlier than the court's precedents currently allow.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Taliban Hits Reporters at Women's Rights Rally; Attack Reporters Covering Free Women's Rally

 The Taliban beat up several journalists today (October 21, 2021) to prevent media coverage of a women's rights demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, according to the Euro News website.

One foreign journalist was hit with a rifle butt by a Taliban fighter, while another fighter punched him.

At least two other journalists were hit as they scattered, pursued by Taliban fighters throwing kicks. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pope Benedict Hopes to Make It to Heaven Soon; Retired Pope,94, Welcoming His Eventual Death

 Retired Pope Benedict XVI said he hopes to soon join a beloved professor friend in "the afterlife" in a sign that the 94-year-old pontiff is not only accepting his eventual death but welcoming it, the Newser website reports today (October 20, 2021).

Benedict penned an October 2 letter to a German priest, thanking him for letting him know of the passing of the Rev. Gerhard Winkler, a priest and academic colleague of the former Joseph Ratzinger. 

"Of all my colleagues and friends, he was the closest to me," Benedict wrote. The two men worked together for several years at the University of Regensburg.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dr. Fauci:Vaccinated Can Gather for Holidays; Had Previously Stated It Was Too Soon to Tell

 Dr Anthony. Fauci says if you are vaccinated and plan to be around other people who are vaccinated, you can get together and do so safely, the Newsy website reports today (October 19, 2021).

"That's one of the reasons why we emphasize why it's important to get vaccinated," Fauci said. 

Just a few weeks ago, Fauci had said it was too soon to tell whether or not holidays should go as planned. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Court Denies Biden's Attempt to Block Texas Law; Won't End Law That Forbids Heartbeat Abortions

 A federal appeals court has handed the Biden Department of Justice another legal defeat in its bid to halt Texas' heartbeat abortion ban, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 18, 2021).

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals , in a 2--1 decision, denied the Department of Justice's request to block the law which prohibits an abortion if an unborn baby's  heartbeat is detected. 

"We are excited to continue serving hundreds of lives through the Texas Heartbeat Act,"  said Kimberlyn Schwartz, director of media for Texas Right to Life.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Pope Will Continue to Be a "Pest" for the Poor; Says No One Can Stop Him as It Is Christianity

 Pope Francis said yesterday he realizes some people -- including within the church --  consider him to be a "pest" for defending the poor, but it won't stop him as it is part of Christianity, the Reuters website reports today (October 17, 2021).

"Thinking about these situations, I make a pest of myself with my questions, and I go on asking and ask everyone in the name of God," said Francis.

He called on pharmaceutical companies to make vaccines for the COVID-19 more available to the poor, noting that only 3%--4% of the population in some countries had been vaccinated.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Poll:Evangelical Churches Are More "Practicing;" Practicing Christians See Faith as Very Important

 A new survey reveals that evangelicals account for a higher share of practicing Christians than their mainline counterparts, the Christian Post website reports today (October 16, 2021).

The American Bible Society released the seventh chapter of its 11th annual State of the Bible Report on October 14 titled "The Bible in the American Church." Data in the chapter was based on a survey of 3,354 adults.

The chapter differentiates between self-identified Christians and practicing Christians, A practicing Christian is defined as one who "identifies as a Christian, attends a religious service at least once a month, and strongly agrees their faith is very important in their lives." In contrast to practicing Christians, who "have incorporated the faith into their life and routine in a transformative way," self-identified Christians are those who "simply say they believe."

Friday, October 15, 2021

Pope Condemns Abortion: Says"It Is Homicide;" Tells Med. Professionals to Protect Unborn Babies

Pope Francis encouraged a group of medical professionals at the Vatican yesterday to keep working to protect human life, including unborn babies from abortion "homicide," the Life News website reports today (October 15, 2021).

Speaking to a group of medical professionals gathered for a medical conference, Pope Francis encouraged them to keep working to protect all their patients, including those who are still in the womb.

"I have been very clear -- 'abortion is homicide,'" he said.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Social Security Increase Will Be 5.9% for 2022; Cost of Living Adjustment Is Largest in 39 Years

 Millions 0f retirees on Social Security will get a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022, the Newsy website reports today (October 14, 2022).

The biggest cost of living adjustment in 39 years follows a burst in inflation as the economy struggles to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

The COLA (cost of living adjustment) amounts to $92 a month for the average retired worker, according to estimates released yesterday by the Social Security Administration.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gas Prices Nearly Doubled in the Past 17 Months; AAA Says Gallon of Gas Averages $3.27 in the US

 Gas prices have nearly doubled in the past 17 months, the Yahoo News website reports today (October 13, 2021).

In fact, the national average price has hit a seven-year high.

AAA says a gallon of unleaded gas averages $3.27 nationwide. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Jehovah's Witness in Russia Gets 4 Yrs. for Faith; JW Is Seen as an Extremist Rel. Group in Russia

 Since April 2020, five men, including Vladimir Skachidub, have been convicted and imprisoned for practicing their faith in Russia's Krasnodar Territory where their religion is considered an extremist group, the Religious News website reports today (October 12, 2021).

Skachidub, a Jehovah's Witness, was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison yesterday, for his religious beliefs. 

"I am a Jehovah's Witness, and I am being prosecuted solely for my peaceful religious activities..." said Skachidub during a hearing.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Some 200 Hindu Radicals Attack Church in India; Claim Christians "Illegally" Converted Hindus

Christian leaders in India are demanding action be taken against a mob of some 200 radical Hindu nationalists who left a church damaged and at least three Christian women seriously injured in  an attack in India's northern state of Uttarakhand, the Christian Post website reports today (October 11, 2021).

The attackers accused the church of "illegally" converting people to Christianity. 

Christians make up about 2.5% of India's population, while Hindus comprise 79.5%.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Pelosi Calls Meeting with Pope "Spiritual Honor;" Her Pro-Abortion Stance Angers Many US Bishops

 Despite ongoing tensions between Nancy Pelosi and a portion of the U.S. Bishops' Conference over her pro-abortion stance, the Speaker of the House had a private audience with Pope Francis yesterday that she called "a spiritual personal and official honor," the Crux website reports today (October 10, 2021).

His Holiness's leadership is a source of joy and hope for Catholics and for all people, challenging each of us to good stewards of God's creation..." Pelosi said in a statement. 

Pro-abortion Catholic politicians -- particularly President Joe Biden and Pelosi -- have been a frequent topic among U.S. bishops, with  a number of prelates advocating that they and others be barred from communion. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Cal. Requires Ethnic Studies for H.S. Grads; Includes Blacks,Asians,Latinos,Native Americans

 California yesterday became the first state to make ethnic studies  a required class for high school graduation to help students understand the struggles and contributions of Black, Asian, Latino, Native/Indigenous Americans, and other groups that have experienced racism and marginalization in America, the Yahoo News website reports today (October 9, 2021).

The bill gained overwhelming support in the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

The requirement would first apply to those who graduate in 2030.

Friday, October 8, 2021

NYC to End Gifted and Talented School Program; Being Ended to Cut Racial Disparities in Schools

 New York City officials are phasing out the "Gifted and Talented" program for elementary school students, a significant change aimed at addressing racial disparities in the largest school system in the country, the NY Daily News website reports today (October 8, 2021).

The entry exam identifying students as "gifted" will be eliminated, officials confirmed today.

Under its use, about 2,500 incoming kindergarteners per year passed the optional exam, going on to spend the elementary school years in separate classrooms and schools. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

US Teoops Secretly Training the Taiwan Military; Due to Threats of Aggression by Communist China

 Small units of Taiwan's military ground forces have been trained by a U.S. special operations unit and a contingent of Marines, who have been secretly operating in that country, the Newsmax website reports today (October 7, 2021).

Some two dozen members of U.S. special operations and support troops have been conducting the training in an effort to strengthen Taiwan's defenses in light of concerns about potential aggression by Red China.

Officials in Taiwan said that American forces have been conducting the training for at least a year.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Musssolini Heir Tops Votes in Rome Elections; Rachele Mussolini Gets over 8K Votes Counted

 The granddaughter of Italian dictator and ally of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, looks set to win the most votes in municipal elections in Rome, the Euro News website reports today (October 6, 2021).

According to a near-final count today, Rachele Mussolini of the far-right Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) party was the most popular candidate.

The 47-year-old had received more than 8,200 votes after ballots were counted in more than 97% of polling stations in Rome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Number of Christians Increases in Indonesia; Most-Muslim Nation Now Has 28M Christians

The latest data released by the government of Indonesia indicate that the number of Christians in the Muslim-majority archipelago has increased, the Christian Post website reports today (October 5, 2021).

The Southeast  Asian country, which is home to the world's largest Muslim population, now has over 28 million Christians.

Among Indonesia's population of 236.63 million, 86.88 percent identify as Muslims.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Rel.Leades Meet at Vatican on Climate Change; Offer Solutions to Save Earth from Ecology Crisis

 Pope Francis and other religious leaders made a giant appeal today (October 4, 2021) for next month's U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) to offer concrete solutions to save the planet from "an unprecedented ecological crisis," the Reuters website reports.

The "Faith and Science Towards COP26" meeting brought together Christian leaders, including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Orthodox Ecimenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as representatives from several other religions. 

"COP26 in Glasgow represents an urgent summons to provide effective responses to the unprecedented ecological crisis and the crisis of values that we are presently experiencing, and in this way to offer concrete hope to future generations," the pope said.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Huge Oil Spill Sends Crude Oil into Cal. Beaches; Kills Many Birds, Fish, Threatens Local Wetlands

 Crews raced today (October 3, 2021) to contain the damage from a major oil spill off the Orange County coast in California that left crude spoiling beaches, killing fish and birds, and threatening local wetlands,  the LA Times website reports.

The spill -- first reported yesterday -- originated  from a pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach.

The failure caused at least 126,000 gallons of crude to spill into coastal waters.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Pat Robertson Steps Down as Host of TV Show; Served 60 Yrs. of TV Ministry on "The 700 Club"

 Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson announced yesterday he is stepping down from his role as host of "The 700 Club" television program, the Raw Story website reports today (October 2, 2021). 

While his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is calling it "60 years of History-Making TV Ministry," many others are applauding his decision.

For more than half a century Robertson, an ordained minister, waged what he saw as a religious war against the LGBTQ community.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Penn State Drops 117 for COVID Non-Testing; Students Failed to Meet U.'s Test Requirements

 At Penn State University, 117 students have been placed on interim suspension for failure to comply with the university's weekly COVID-19 testing requirement, the WND website reports today (October 1, 2021).

Students at Penn State who are subject to required weekly COVID -19 testing have been notified by the university that they are out of compliance with the school's health and safety policies and have been placed on interim suspension through the Office of Student Conduct.

Students on interim suspension may not participate in classes, in person or remotely; are not allowed on university property; and may not attend any Penn State-sponsored events, programs,and activities. They are also temporarily removed from their residence halls.