Persecution of Christians

This conversation got started as Pastor Olsen published a rebuttal to the Rev. Franklin Graham and his claim that Christians are being persecuted in the United States (see links).

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Bishop Karen Oliveto: Responding to Judicial Council decision

The consecration of a gay bishop violates church law, the top court of The United Methodist Church has ruled.

However, the bishop “remains in good standing,” the Judicial Council said in Decision 1341, until an administrative or judicial process is completed.

“Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,” said the decision, made public April 28. “It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop.”

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Pence Comments Prompt Debate on the ‘Billy Graham Rule’

This week’s discussion begins with the revelation that Vice President Pence seeks to abide by a variation of the so-called “Billy Graham Rule” limiting his social interaction with women. The news set off a lively debate on the Internet regarding setting appropriate boundaries for personal behavior, particularly regarding gender relations. So for our next class, we will focus on how Christians can steer clear of temptation and avoid even the appearance of evil.

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Violent Removal of Legally Seated Passenger

Most Americans have now heard about the incident two weeks ago where a legally boarded passenger was physically dragged off a United Airlines flight to make room for a crew member being shuttled to another flight. That incident has resulted in widespread anger and disapproval both nationwide and around the world, and has left United dealing with a PR nightmare and probably a lawsuit on behalf of the passenger.

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Gaza Strip Killing Raises Middle East Tensions

The recent killing of a senior operative in the militant Islamist movement called Hamas has raised the possibility of a clash between Israelis and residents of the Gaza Strip. Ancient animosities are rising to the surface again, making it more difficult for the people of this part of the Middle East to work toward peace. So the challenge of reaching across divisions and working for reconciliation, as nations and individuals, will be the topic of our next class.

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Healthcare Debate

This week, the House of Representatives voted on a bill aimed at replacing the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), which had been championed by Democrats and passed into law with no Republican support.

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