Posts from January 2016 (Page 3)

Bernie Sanders Says ‘Everyone Believes in God in Their Own Ways.’ Then, He Offers His Definition.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt,  speaks during a campaign rally in Springfield, Mass. The state where Hillary Clinton and Sanders will meet to debate on Tuesday, Oct. 13, for the first time is evidence of why she's still the front-runner. Clinton has staff organizing on the ground for months in Nevada and they know how to navigate the state's baroque caucus system. (AP/Michael Dwyer)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said in a recent interview with the Washington Post that “everyone believes in God in their own ways,” and that his own take is that “it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

Sanders’ beliefs about God have sparked curiosity of late, especially after an Oct. 2015 “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” appearance during which the candidate avoided directly answering whether he believes in the Lord.

“I am not actively involved with organized religion,” Sanders, 74, told the Post, explaining that he does not believe in God in the traditional sense. “I want to be treated with dignity and respect, and I want other people to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, speaks during a campaign rally in Springfield, Mass. (AP/Michael Dwyer)

Despite not holding to a traditional paradigm when it comes to God, Sanders said that a sense of morality is extremely important when it comes to the American political system.

“I think it is important that a sense of morality be part of our politics,” the candidate said.

His brother, Larry Sanders, who was also interviewed by the Post, described his younger sibling as “quite substantially not religious,” though the two are Jewish and grew up celebrating traditional customs.

These comments come after Sanders told Kimmel that people should help one another, and that “we cannot worship just billionaires.”

“I am who I am and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe that as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people,” Sanders said back in October. “This is not Judaism — this is what Pope Francis is talking about — that we cannot worship just billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that.”

ABC News coverage of the Democratic Presidential debate from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, airing Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 on the ABC Television Network and all ABC News platforms. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)

Sanders’ interview with the Post comes after fellow Democratic contender Hillary Clinton spoke openly about her Methodist faith at a campaign event on Monday.

“My study of the Bible, my many conversations with people of faith, has led me to believe the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all your might and to love your neighbor as yourself, and that is what I think we are commanded by Christ to do,” Clinton said. “And there is so much more in the Bible about taking care of the poor, visiting the prisoners, taking in the stranger, creating opportunities for others to be lifted up, to find faith themselves that I think there are many different ways of exercising your faith.”

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 48 percent of U.S. adults see Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as a religious person, with 40 percent seeing Bernie Sanders, too, as “very” or “somewhat” religious.

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Lawyer for Embattled Pro-Life Activists Behind Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos Reveals What He Believes Will Happen Next

This photo provided by The Center for Medical Progress shows anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who produced a series of undercover videos that seek to implicate Planned Parenthood in illegalities related to the handling of fetal tissue. On Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, a grand jury indicted Daleiden and one of his colleagues, Sandra Merritt, on a felony charge for using fake driver's licenses to gain access to a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas. (The Center for Medical Progress via AP)

Charles LiMandri, an attorney for pro-life activists with the Center for Medical Progress who were indicted on charges involving an undercover video series that purports to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal parts, believes that it’s likely that the case against them could be dropped.

As TheBlaze previously reported, Daleiden, the 27-year-old founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was indicted along with Sandra Merritt, 62, by a grand jury in Harris County, Texas; both are accused of a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record, with Daleiden also being indicted for prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs — a misdemeanor.

The county had been investigating Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, but said that officials found no wrongdoing and, instead, indicted the activists behind the controversial undercover video series.

LiMandri, president and chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, has been representing the two since last summer in a Los Angeles lawsuit involving biomedical company Stem Express and is consulting on the Texas case, and he told The Church Boys podcast this week that he believes one of two things will likely happen next concerning the indictment.

“Either the government in the DAs office in Harris County will come to its senses and voluntary dismiss this indictment, or the criminal law attorneys that have been retained [by Daleiden and Merritt] will file a motion to dismiss and get these charges dropped,” the attorney said.

Listen to LiMandri discuss the case below:

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LiMandri addressed both the I.D. issue as well as the purchase and sale of fetal body parts — two elements of the case that he believes are entirely unfounded.

“They were never going to take possession of body parts,” he said, adding that he believes that the indictment “makes no sense.”

LiMandri said that he senses that the political heat surrounding the issue of abortion likely played a role in the indictment, saying that it is “so infused with politics and peoples’ view of morality” that such a case can easily end up being politicized.

But he repeatedly maintained that a charge surrounding the purchase of body parts was not appropriate, considering that Daleiden never intended to actually obtain such tissue.

This photo provided by The Center for Medical Progress shows anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who produced a series of undercover videos that seek to implicate Planned Parenthood in illegalities related to the handling of fetal tissue. (The Center for Medical Progress via AP)

“You cannot find an indictment against David Daleiden for trying to buy … baby body parts — which he wasn’t doing, he was only trying to make it clear that Planned Parenthood was willing to sell them,” LiMandri said. “How can you have him as a purchaser without Planned Parenthood as a seller in that context?”

He continued, “It’s clearly in our view a very biased and probably politicized conclusion.”

According to Time, the misdemeanor charge reportedly relates to a letter that Daleiden sent to Planned Parenthood offering to pay up to $1,600 per fetal specimen.

As for the I.D., the lawyer said that there is a statute that restricts tampering with a government I.D., and that both Daleiden and Merritt had used a card that resembled a California driver’s license, but that had a different name on it with their picture. He said, though, that the purpose for that statute has to do with those seeking to defraud the elderly and commit crimes — not those seeking to do undercover journalism.

“They’re known in the pro-abortion industry as people who are pro-life advocates,” LiMandri said. “Like any other undercover journalist who doesn’t want to be recognized, they assumed an identity to gain access to Planned Parenthood. … The statute does not apply to this situation.”

A petition calling for all charges to be dropped has attracted nearly 86,000 signatures. See how the pro-life movement has reacted here.

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High School Guidance Counselor Asks Hillary Clinton How Her ‘Beliefs Align With the Ten Commandments.’ Here’s How She Responded.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, listens as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that she’s a “person of faith” during a campaign event in Iowa on Monday, offering a rare glimpse into her Christian worldview after a high school guidance counselor asked how her beliefs “align with the Ten Commandments.”

“I would say I am a Democrat because of my Christian values, but many of my friends would say they are Republicans because of their Christian values,” 36-year-old Jessica Manning told Clinton. “So in these next few months as I am supporting you and defending you to my Republican friends, I am just curious: how you would say your beliefs align with the Ten Commandments and is that something that’s important to you?”

Clinton proceeded to note that she is a life-long Methodist and that, as a Christian, she knows that people of faith have “a constantly, constant, conversation in our own heads about what we are called to do and how we are asked to do it,” noting that people — based on different experiences — might reach different conclusions.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“My study of the Bible, my many conversations with people of faith, has led me to believe the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all your might and to love your neighbor as yourself, and that is what I think we are commanded by Christ to do,” she said. “And there is so much more in the Bible about taking care of the poor, visiting the prisoners, taking in the stranger, creating opportunities for others to be lifted up, to find faith themselves that I think there are many different ways of exercising your faith.”

But it’s her comments about judging others that have been getting attention over the past few days.

Clinton continued, “But I do believe that in many areas judgment should be left to God, that being more open, tolerant and respectful is part of what makes me humble about my faith, and I am in awe of people who truly turn the other cheek all the time, who can go that extra mile that we are called to go, who keep finding ways to forgive and move on.”

She went on to express disappointment that Christianity, in her view, is sometimes “used to condemn so quickly and judge so harshly.” Clinton admitted that she’s not a perfect person, but said that she always tries to be and do better.

Clinton’s comments in Iowa mirror statements that she made in April 2014 while delivering the keynote address at the United Methodist Women’s Assembly, where she praised women in the denomination for their tradition of “taking the social gospel into the world.”

It was during that speech that she shared in-depth details about her faith, saying that her grandmother, Hannah, sang hymns to her as a child and taught her to “never be afraid to get your hands dirty,” and that her father would kneel nightly by his bedside in prayer.

She added that her mother was also a devout Christian who taught Sunday school and ”was committed to social justice issues,” according to the United Methodist News Service.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

But Clinton said it was her youth pastor, Don Jones, from First United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois, who first taught her to “embrace faith in action.”

Clinton spoke specifically about the importance of human beings caring for one another, citing the Bible’s central characters to illustrate her words.

“Like the disciples of Jesus, we cannot look away, we cannot let those in need fend for themselves and live with ourselves,” she said, according to CNN. “We are all in this together.”

(H/T: NY Times via Christian Post)

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Former Head of UK Equality Commission: Britons Should Accept That Muslims ‘See the World Differently to the Rest of Us.’

Trevor Phillips accused those who expect Muslims to change of promoting "the deepest form of disrespect." (Image source: YouTube)

The former head of the United Kingdom’s equality commission has said that Muslims are unlike their non-Muslim neighbors and suggested that the country might just have to accept that they may never integrate into British society.

Trevor Phillips, past chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, accused those who promote the idea that Muslims will eventually change and become more like other Britons of exhibiting the “deepest form of disrespect.”

Trevor Phillips accused those who expect Muslims to change of promoting “the deepest form of disrespect.” (Image source: YouTube)

Speaking Monday at the Policy Exchange, a research organization, Phillips said that Muslim communities “see the world differently from the rest of us.”

“Continuously pretending that a group is somehow eventually going to become like the rest of us is perhaps the deepest form of disrespect,” he said, according to quotes posted Wednesday in the Times of London.

“Because what you are essentially saying is the fact that they behave in a different way, some of which we may not like, is because they haven’t yet seen the light. It may be that they see the world differently to the rest of us,” he said according to the Daily Mail.

People will not change “simply because we are constantly telling them that basically they should be like us,” he added.

Prime Minister David Cameron has emphasized the importance of integrating Muslims into British society in order to combat the allure of the Islamic State.

After warning last week that the spouses of migrants who don’t pass an English-language proficiency test may have to leave the country, Cameron told the BBC, using the Islamic State Arabic acronym, “[I]f you’re not able to speak English, you’re not able to integrate, you may find, therefore, that you have challenges understanding what your identity is and you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from Daesh.”

Phillips has previously voiced criticism of multiculturalism, saying that Muslims who wish to live under Shariah law should leave the U.K.

Following Muslim protests of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, Phillips said that Muslims must accept that freedom of speech is a key component of British life, even if it offends some.

Dear Christians: We Aren’t Called To Be Critics

Photo credit: Shutterstock

After writing my last article I quickly realized how diverse our views are within the Christian faith. The premise of my article was that we should be less critical and more supportive of those pastors who are blessed with sizable God-given influence.

The article was basically inspired by the whole “love your neighbor” thing in the Bible (Mark 12:31). However, the comments I received from strangers and even close friends ranged from uplifting support to scornful disagreement. Although my article wasn’t centered on Joel Osteen – the comment section quickly filled with accusations about his alleged false teaching and heresy.

I don’t want to make the focus of this article simply about him or about defending his wealth (even though he doesn’t take a salary and is the largest contributor at Lakewood Church) or defending flawed statements he has made (and made public apologies for) or refuting the alleged prosperity gospel he teaches (the one he publicly and specifically denies teaching).

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Instead, I want to explain why I do not believe that God has called us to be critics. And I want to actually practice what I will be preaching – which is to address the principle of a concern instead of attacking those I might disagree with.

We Criticize Real People When We Choose to Criticize

We live in a digital era with instant access to an abundance of avenues to voice our opinions. This is the “Catch 22” of the social media age – healthy, respectful online discourse is just as prevalent as damaging, negative discourse. It’s not always wrong to voice criticism, but I have to argue that social media and the comment section of an article is hardly the ideal place for doing it.

My concern is the lack of hesitation that people seem to have when making personal accusations like “heretic” and “false teacher.” My fear is that as we are taking to the online forum we are forgetting to be gentle and respectful in the process (Titus 3:2). Just because a computer screen separates us from someone doesn’t mean we should lack decency in our words toward them.

In other words, if there is something that you would not feel comfortable saying to a person’s face – then you probably don’t need to type it out. Some of the hurtful comments I have read lately makes me secretly wish that Jimmy Kimmel would invite Joel Osteen on his show for a Christian rendition of “Mean Tweets.” I think it would be incredibly helpful in teaching us to understand that pastors are just as human as anyone else.

Principle Not Personal

I am not against disagreeing with someone or respectfully stating your opinion against a false doctrine, such as the “prosperity gospel.” In fact, Christians have a responsibility to respectfully disagree with teachings that are damaging and leading people away from Christ. Where I have hesitation is the idea of attacking specific people, especially people we don’t know personally.

John Piper, one of the prosperity gospel’s biggest critics, actually voices his own hesitations about personally identifying those he disagrees with. His exhortation is to make it a principle thing and not a personal thing (which I completely agree with). This is our best option for at least two reasons of which Piper makes mention –

  1. If you warn against false teaching on principle rather than on a specific person it allows for people to use their own discernment, which is hopefully based upon scripture and the help of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Which is the way the Bible instructs us to test any teaching that we listen to (1 John 4:1).
  2. If false teaching is criticized in principle it will teach others to see it in any situation and in any person – not just one particular pastor. The Bible explains that there will be many false prophets so it isn’t a problem that is going away any time soon and not one that can be resolved by exposing one “false teacher” (1 John 4:1). Our fight isn’t against a flesh and blood anyway; it is against the principles in false teaching, which is inspired by “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Finding biblical support for exposing false teachers is not as simple as quoting Bible verses either. There are several scriptures that mention false teaching – 2 Peter 2:1, Matthew 7:15, Romans 16:17-18.

But nowhere in these scriptures does it instruct us to publicly declare a particular person a heretic or a false teacher. In fact, judging from the situation that occurred with the woman caught in the act of adultery, criticizing someone publicly and without compassion is dangerous territory.

We also have to keep in mind that some scriptures are more descriptive than they are prescriptive. If all verses are intended as a prescriptive blueprint then we need to start greeting one another with a “holy kiss” as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:26.

All that to say, we should not simply assume that because there is a verse with Paul telling someone to rebuke someone else that he is telling us to do so as well. With any scripture, we must be careful to view it within proper context.

Avoid, Not Attack

We should defend and guard our beliefs in some cases, but it is wrong to believe that in all circumstances and situations we should react as the doctrine police. In some instances we are actually instructed to avoid rather than engage with those we disagree with.

That seems to be Paul’s instruction in both 1 Timothy 6:20-21 and Romans 16:17-18:

“Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21 NLT

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17-18 ESV

Notice the key word “avoid” in both scriptures. This is the opposite of what we naturally want to do. As human beings we love to argue and we love to prove one another wrong. It is incredibly tempting to not only attack the people we disagree with, but also publicly show our attack to the world via social media.

The fact is though, I see much more scriptural evidence for avoiding than I do for attacking.

And in Romans 14 we’re even told to welcome those we disagree with:

“Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.” Romans 14:1 MSG

Living It Out

This world is brimming with critics and criticism. And there is absolutely no shortage of Christians willing to give their opinions on doctrine and debate scripture. But when we take our differences online to discuss them we nearly always end up in a worst place than before we started. Not to mention the divisiveness that develops, which presents a poor example of the unity that Jesus prayed that His Church would have (John 17:20-23).

It should serve as a warning sign that the places in scripture where we see Jesus and the disciples actually rebuking and exposing people is when they comes across judgmental religious circles who are proud of their “perfect” doctrinal knowledge. (Matthew 23:13-28, Luke 11:37-44, John 5:39-40, Titus 1:10-11)

We are all imperfect in our efforts to share the perfect love of God. This should give every believer hesitation before criticizing someone else. Instead of wasting our breath arguing over our differences I suggest we offer grace to those we disagree with and offer the simple Gospel to everyone.

The truth is we don’t need more Christians debating scriptures; we need more Christians living them out. We don’t need more Christians looking for false doctrine; we need more Christians preaching sound doctrine.

It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen disputing and discussing the Christian faith. What’s hard is actually living it out.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

Israeli Archaeologists Find Inscriptions in Galilee in the Language of Jesus. These Are the Words They’ve Deciphered So Far.

An archaeologist cleans one of the Aramaic inscriptions found in Israel's Galilee region. (Miki Peleg/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists have uncovered three 1,700-year-old Aramaic and Greek inscriptions in northern Israel honoring men who were described as “rabbis,” but mystery remains over the identity of the religious leaders.

The Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday announced the discovery of the epitaphs in the cemetery of the ancient city of Zippori, also known as Sepphoris, which once served as the capital of Galilee.

An archaeologist cleans one of the Aramaic inscriptions found in Israel’s Galilee region. (Miki Peleg/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Researchers said they were able to discern three Aramaic words and one Greek word in the funerary inscriptions. The Aramaic words translate to “the Tiberian,” “forever” and “rabbi,” while the Greek inscription mentions the name Jose, a common name for Jews at the time.

Motti Aviam of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology said in a statement announcing the discovery that one of the inscriptions was particularly surprising.

“One of the surprises in the newly discovered inscriptions is that one of the deceased was called ‘the Tiberian,'” Aviam said. “This is already the second instance of someone from Tiberias being buried in the cemetery at Zippori.”

A Greek inscription was also found. Researchers say that though Aramaic was the spoken language, some Jews read and spoke Greek. (Miki Peleg/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Aviam suggested that Jews from around Galilee may have been brought for burial to Zippori due to “the important activity carried out there by Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi,” the second century rabbi also known as Judah the Prince who was the editor of post-biblical Jewish oral traditions known as the Mishnah.

On the other hand, Aviam also posited that “the Tiberian” descriptor in the epitaph might simply have meant that the man originally came from Tiberias, reflecting the combination of science and hypothesis that is part of archaeological study.

The Aramaic word “le-olam,” that is, “forever,” was seen for the first time inscribed in Zippori, the researchers said.

“The term le-olam is known from funerary inscriptions in Bet She‘arim [in the Galilee] and elsewhere and means that the deceased’s burial place will remain his forever and that no one will take it from him. Both inscriptions end with the Hebrew blessing ‘shalom’ [peace],” Aviam said.

Though the men were referred to as “rabbis,” the archaeologists said they were not sure what precisely “rabbi” meant at a time when many Torah sages were studying in the city.

The Greek inscription discovered featured the name Jose, which the Antiquities Authority noted was a common Jewish name at the time.

In contrast with Zippori, epitaphs found in Tiberias in Galilee were primarily written in Greek, the researchers said. Though Aramaic was the everyday spoken language in the area, some Jews spoke and read Greek.

The Antiquities Authority offered further background on Zippori in a press release announcing the discovery:

Zippori was the first capital of the Galilee from the time of the Hasmonean dynasty until the establishment of Tiberias in the first century CE. The city continued to be central and important later on and was where Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi resided and compiled the Mishnah. The Jewish life in the city was rich and diverse as indicated by the numerous ritual baths (miqwe’ot) discovered in the excavation; while at the same time the influence of Roman culture was also quite evident as reflected in the design of the town with its paved streets, colonnaded main roads, theater and bathhouses. The wealth of inscriptions from the cemeteries attests to the strong Jewish presence and the city’s social elite in the Late Roman period.

Bible scholars and historians believe that Aramaic, once the spoken language in the area, was the language of Jesus.

The Palestinian Authority frequently denies the Jewish connection to Holy Land, accusing Israel of “Judaizing” Jerusalem and instead promoting the notion that Palestinians were in the area first.

What Bill Maher Said About Incredibly Controversial, Jesus-Themed ‘Family Guy’ Episode Has Sparks Outrage: ‘Serial Anti-Catholic Bigots’

Comedian and television host Bill Maher, center, is joined by animator Seth MacFarlane, left, and broadcaster Larry King after he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Catholic League president Bill Donohue is outraged over comments about Jesus that were made on the Jan. 22 episode of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” with Donohue calling Maher and guest Seth MacFarlane “serial anti-Catholic bigots.”

In a statement released by the Catholic League this week, Donohue decried the on-air discussion that the two had about “The 2,000-Year-Old Virgin,” a controversial 2014 episode of MacFarlane’s show, “Family Guy.”

“[Y]ou’re so lucky that you do cartoons,because the things you get away with in cartoons — I’m so jealous of,” Maher told MacFarlane, before going on to discuss the episode in question. “I saw your show and it was a repeat, I know. Jesus was f**king Peter’s wife and not only was Jesus f**king Peter’s wife, but it was a scam. He was f**king a lot of people’s wives.”

Maher added, “And this was your Christmas show.”

Watch these comments below (caution: strong language):

Donohue made it clear in his statement that he decries this discussion, taking aim at the comedians’ past treatment of Christianity.

“When serial anti-Catholic bigots Bill Maher and Seth MacFarlane get together, it is a sure-fire recipe for new lows in tastelessness,” he said in a statement. “And that’s what we got on HBO last Friday night, as MacFarlane appeared on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher.'”

As TheBlaze previously reported, this particular episode of “Family Guy” enraged critics back in 2014 as well. NewsBusters, for one, said that the episode went “above and beyond the usual sacrilege.”

Comedian and television host Bill Maher, center, is joined by animator Seth MacFarlane, left, after he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“The 2,000-Year-Old Virgin” involved “Family Guy” character Peter Griffin, among others, trying to help Christ lose his virginity, according to Christian Today.

“After running into Jesus at the Quahog Mall, Peter is stunned to discover that the Son of God is still a virgin,” reads the episode’s synopsis. “So, he enlists Quagmire and Cleveland to help him throw Jesus the best birthday ever by finding a way to help him become a man.”

At one point during the episode, Jesus has a specific request for Peter regarding his wife Lois, telling him that he wants to lose his virginity to her — a request that the husband agrees to in exchange for a massage chair.

HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 31: Bill Maher during his New Year's Eve show at Neal S Blaisdell Concert Hall on December 31, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. L. Pemoni/Getty Images Comedian Bill Maher during his New Year’s Eve show at Neal S Blaisdell Concert Hall on December 31, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (L. Pemoni/Getty Images)

“Look Peter, I know it’s a lot to ask, but if it wasn’t okay I wouldn’t suggest it,” Jesus said while trying to convince Peter to agree.

Read more about the episode here.

Donohue encouraged his supporters to contact Time Warner, the owner of HBO, with complaints about the on-air comments from Maher and MacFarlane.

(H/T: Charisma News)

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‘One Month Is All It Takes’: Archbishop’s Dire Warning to Educators About the Islamic State’s Brainwashing of Youths

(Westminister Cathedral)

The Archbishop of Westminister is reportedly slated to deliver a dire warning to Catholic educators during an address at an education conference on Thursday, warning that it could take a little as one month for the Islamic State to use the Internet to brainwash at-risk youths.

Archbishop of Westminister, Cardinal Vincent Nichols (Westminister Cathedral)

“One said that it was clearly possible to bring a person to the point of being willing to leave all for the sake of their newfound cause, even to the point of embracing violence or suicide, within a four-or five-week period,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols said in prepared remarks. “One month is all it takes to transform a dissatisfied and disorientated teenager into a terrorist.”

The Catholic leader will reportedly warn educators during the Secondary Leaders’ Conference of the Catholic Association of Teachers, Schools and Colleges in London, England, to look out for at-risk youths who could be easily recruited by the Islamic State.

Nichols will purportedly warn that isolation, a loss of shared values and Internet access, among other elements, put young people — particularly those around ages 14 or 15 — at greater risk of exploitation by extremists, according to the Catholic Herald.

The archbishop is proposing that Catholic leaders help young people cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ so that they can find a broader purpose, as the outlet reported that the text of the speech notes that terrorists are going after kids due to the fact that they are considered “clean skins” — individuals who have not yet developed their values and can be easily prodded.

Many young people, according to Nichols, are looking to be part of something bigger and broader — a yearning that terrorists seize upon.

“It is to teenagers such as these that the call of a definitive, demanding faith, one which asks for a heroic sacrifice in a wide cause for victory … is cast as a true fulfillment of all the unfocused yearning within them,” the text reads, according to the Herald.

Read more about Nichols’ planned address here.

(H/T: Catholic Herald)

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Public’s Stance on the ‘Least Religious’ Presidential Candidate Revealed — and It Might Shock You

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the University of Iowa Field House, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is viewed as the least religious presidential candidate, edging out Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as having the lowest perceived faith devotion, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Trump has certainly had some notable slip-ups while discussing and addressing religion on the campaign trail, but that hasn’t stopped him from defying the odds by successfully courting many religious Americans; this research only adds to the intrigue surrounding that dynamic.

One of the conundrums that has astounded political observers is Trump’s strong standing among evangelicals, as he has attracted support from people like Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and even received an endorsement this week from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., among others.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the University of Iowa Field House, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Traditionally, many Americans have indicated that a candidate’s religiosity is an important attribute in their voting decisions. But support for Trump is unusually high, even among those who would seemingly want to see a candidate overtly align with their faith view.

Despite routinely describing his Christian faith on the campaign trail and pledging that, if elected, he would be the “greatest representative of the Christians they’ve had in a long time,” Americans actually view Trump as the least religious among both Republican and Democratic candidates, according to the Pew Research Center poll that was released on Wednesday.

Pew Research Center Pew Research Center

While 68 percent of Americans view Ben Carson as “very” or “somewhat” religious, with 65 percent saying the same of Ted Cruz, and 61 percent positing the same of Marco Rubio, just 30 percent of U.S. adults believe that Trump is a “religious person,” with 60 percent saying that he is “not too” or “not at all” religious, according to Pew.

This is notable, especially considering that 48 percent of adults see Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as a religious person, with 40 percent seeing Bernie Sanders, too, as “very” or “somewhat” religious. This comes after Sanders avoided answering Jimmy Kimmel when he directly asked the candidate last October if he believes in God.

So, while Trump — who recently spoke to scores of Christian students at Liberty University, a prominent evangelical college — has spoken quite a bit about faith, he still falls lowest among all candidates when it comes to the public perception that he is a religious individual.

“While the conventional wisdom in American politics has long been that someone who is not religious cannot be elected president of the United States, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that one of the candidates who is widely viewed by Republicans as a potentially ‘good’ or ‘great’ president, Donald Trump, is not widely seen as a religious person, even by those in his own party,” reads a statement from Pew.

Pew Research Center Pew Research Center

Atheism is still the most unpalatable attribute among general voters, with 51 percent of U.S. adults saying that they are less likely to vote for a candidate who does not believe in God; this is by no means to imply that Trump is an atheist, with the statistic being shared to show just how prevalent religious sensibilities remain in the American political sphere.

Likewise, 51 percent said that it is “very” or “somewhat” important to elect a president who agrees with their religious perspective; more specifically, 64 percent of Republicans or Republican-leaning Americans said the same.

Trump is tied with Carson as being either a “great” or “good” presidential option among white evangelical Protestants, with Cruz coming in third at 49 percent.

Pew Research Center Pew Research Center

This comes after a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that Trump by far has the largest share of evangelical supporters — 42 percent — out of any other candidate, with Ted Cruz coming in second with 25 percent.

The Pew Research Center study was conducted from Jan. 7-15, 2016, among 2,009 U.S. adults. Read the entire report here.

Why I Would Never Let Trump Speak at Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

On January 18, Jerry Falwell, Jr. welcomed Donald Trump to Liberty University to speak in the school’s chapel.

Mr. Falwell has now endorsed Mr. Trump as his choice for president of the United States. As the college president who wrote the “this is not a daycare” article that received so much national attention recently, I have been asked by the media if I would be next: Will I be inviting Mr. Trump to Oklahoma Wesleyan University to speak in our chapel service?

My answer has been simple and brief. No, I will not.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

In selecting speakers for Oklahoma Wesleyan, party affiliation and political positions do not matter. Personal conduct, public statements, theological integrity and moral consistency do.

In short, unless it is an open debate where different sides of the issue will be presented, we choose speakers who generally promote our university’s mission and who do not stand in opposition, either in word or deed, to what we claim to hold dear as a Christian community. I believe I owe it to our students, faculty, staff, board, donors and church to do nothing less— and frankly, Donald Trump simply doesn’t represent OKWU’s behavioral, theological, moral or political ideals.

“But, we need to defeat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders,” many have said: “Your criticism of Trump only helps them. You need to stop attacking those on ‘our side!’”

My response:

Anyone who is pro-abortion is not on my side.

Anyone who calls women “pigs,” “ugly,” “fat” and “pieces of a–” is not on my side.

Anyone who mocks the handicapped is not on my side.

Anyone who has argued the merits of a government takeover of banks, student loans, the auto industry and healthcare is not on my side.

Anyone who has been on the cover of Playboy and proud of it and who brags of his sexual history with multiple women and who owns strip clubs in his casinos is not on my side.

Anyone who believes the government can wrest control of the definition of marriage from the church is not on my side.

Anyone who ignores the separation of powers and boasts of making the executive branch even more imperial is not on my side.

I’m a conservative. I believe in conserving the dignity of life. I believe in conserving respect for women. I believe in conserving the Constitution. I believe in conserving private property, religious liberty and human freedom. I believe in morality more than I do in money. I hold to principles more than I yearn for power. I trust my Creator more than I do human character. I’d like to think that all this, and more, makes me an informed and thoughtful citizen and voter. I’ve read, I’ve listened and I’ve studied and there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, in this man’s track record that makes Donald Trump “on my side.”

I refuse to let my desire to win “trump” my moral compass. I will not sell my soul or my university’s to a political process that values victory more than virtue.

No, Donald Trump will not be speaking at Oklahoma Wesleyan University while I am it’s president.

“The conservative…will not surrender to the contagion of mass-opinion or the temptations of…power… [I]f he hopes to conserve anything at all, he must make his stand unflinchingly.” Russell Kirk

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