There are two distinct reactions to gun violence. One is to tighten gun regulations in an effort to get guns off the street. The other is to arm more people so they can kill would-be attackers. The Charleston, South Carolina, shooting at a church last year has provided the Mississippi legislature with a pretext to do the latter.
Perhaps the strongest story of the power of forgiveness is found in the story, reported today by the Adventist Review, of Isaac Ndwaniye, the President of the East Central Rwandan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists who lost his entire family to mass genocide that was perpetrated by some of the people he has been called back to serve. If anybody ever had an excuse to abandon his calling, it is Pastor Ndwaniye.
Doctor to U.S. Senate – “The only time I experienced any qualms about what I was doing was when I had my neonatal care rotation and I realized that I was trying to save babies in the NICU that were the same age as babies I was aborting, but I rationalized it, and was able to push the feelings to the back of my mind.”
March 2016 has been punctuated by violence. On March 4, a group of terrorists attacked a convent and nursing home run by the Missionaries of Charity, also known as Mother Teresa’s Home, in Yemen. Sixteen people, including eight residents, four nuns, and several other volunteers were killed.
By Jason Hines, PhD, JD – Prior to 1990, the Supreme Court’s standard in determining whether a law violated a citizen’s free exercise of religion was intimately tied to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. An Adventist, Adele Sherbert, sued to receive unemployment benefits after she was fired from her job because she refused to work on the Sabbath. In the case that now bears her name, Sherbert v. Verner, the Court ruled in her favor, establishing the rule that the government could not substantially burden a citizen’s religious freedom unless the government had a compelling interest and had narrowly tailored the measure to minimize infringement.
This morning the eight-member United States Supreme Court heard the contraceptive mandate cases that were consolidated under the name Zubik v. Burwell (Docket Number 15-191). (See transcript.) They key issue in all the cases was religious employers who rejected the method of receiving the “religious employer exemption” to the Affordable Care Act (2010) which required group health plans and insurance issues to offer plans that provided “approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”
By recognizing the sincerity of opposing positions on the issues and deriving specific areas of accommodation, the conversation moves from ideology and conflict to one of mutual and practical problem-solving.
This morning President Obama threw a straight pitch directly into the strike zone when he nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland, currently the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was confirmed to that court in 1997 with bipartisan Congressional support and has been well regarded by both Democrats and Republicans.