A drive through Wadi Shu’ayb in Jordan
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More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.
“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”
Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings.
The Richland Hills church in Texas — the largest of the nation’s 13,000 a cappella Churches of Christ — has decided to add an instrumental worship assembly with communion on Saturday nights.
Jon Jones, an elder and former pulpit minister at the 6,400-member church, told the congregation Dec. 3 that Richland Hills’ elders “fully and completely” endorsed the decision....
Senior minister Rick Atchley — a national leader in efforts to foster better relations with instrumental Christian Churches — told the congregation the decision should help ease crowding at Richland Hills’ two Sunday morning services. Moreover, he said, it will allow the congregation to “reach more people who need Christ.”
[I]t is important to note that Christianity's origins lie more in the image of the empty tomb on the Sunday after the crucifixion than they do at the crèche. It was their fervent belief in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that convinced his followers he was, as Peter put it, "the Christ, the son of the living God" who had told them of a new way of salvation: that he would die and rise again, thus effecting the forgiveness of sins and offering a portal to eternal life.
His views did generate much support but caused much controversy as well. He ultimately gained more than he lost though because he had a religion named after him. The Lutheran Church.
"Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible," he wrote in a column titled, "America, Not Keith Ellison, Decides What Book a Congressman Takes His Oath On."
"If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress," Prager wrote, adding that using the Koran "undermines American civilization."
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a high school student has a right to display a banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" during a school event.
The court's ruling, anticipated early next year, is expected to clarify how far school officials can go to control slogans on banners, T-shirts and other items at school-sponsored events, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday.
The case arises from Juneau, Alaska, where a principal removed a student's "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner. Joseph Frederick unfurled the sign on the street outside the school in 2002 as the torch for that year's Winter Olympics passed. Principal Deborah Morse suspended Frederick, who sued her, alleging her actions violated his right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment. A federal judge in Alaska rejected the claim by Frederick, but he won before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The court also agreed to decide whether taxpayers have the right to challenge President Bush's faith-based initiative as an unconstitutional promotion of religion. Taxpayers normally cannot legally dispute how the government spends money, but the court made an exception for religion.