National Shorts

House Passes 20-week Abortion Ban


(WNS)–The U.S. House of Representatives in mid-May approved a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, exactly two years after a Pennsylvania jury found abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty of murdering late-term infants born alive. “Late-term abortion is not health, and it’s not care,” Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., a registered nurse, said on the House floor. “This is a human rights issue.”  The 242-184 vote also came almost two years after the House passed similar legislation that eventually died in the Senate. Republicans appeared poised to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act again in January, but GOP leadership abruptly pulled the bill amid a controversy over an exception for rape and incest victims.


Evangelicals Hold Steady Amid U.S. Faith Decline


(WNS)–Christianity is waning in the United States.  That’s the primary finding of a major new survey of American religious belief, published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. The telephone survey of 35,071 adults from all 50 states found just 71 percent of Americans now identify themselves as some category of “Christian.” (The study included Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses in that category.) That proportion is a decline of nearly 8 percentage points since 2007, when Pew conducted its first Religious Landscape Study.  “Evangelicals stand out in terms of the ability to retain our own young people, including millennials,” Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told me. “And that just points to the importance of a strong understanding of the gospel and very clear theological grasp of Christianity.” Churches not holding to a biblical worldview and orthodox doctrine are losing adherents quickly, he said.


Homeschoolers Win Televised Quiz Bowl Against Michigan Schools


(WNS)–Isaac Van Loh, 16, says his team’s victory on a Michigan quiz show helped to vindicate homeschooling and prove its rigor. The Lansing Homeschooler Chargers’ win on April 29 was the first time in the 26-year history of QuizBusters, a show on Michigan PBS affiliate WKAR-TIV, that a homeschool team nabbed the championship. “It shows that we’re not just sitting at home or going on field trips to the amusement park. We’re actually learning stuff,” Isaac told the Lansing State Journal.  The Chargers faced formidable opponents in the Okemos Chieftains, who had consistently dominated the 60-school tournament. The Chieftains were the returning champions.  Both teams faced a gauntlet of questions ranging from particle physics and Scottish literature to botany and African geopolitics—a range of inquiry likely to inspire panic in most adults. Yet kids on both teams remained calm and collected, routinely buzzing in answers before host Matt Ottinger could even squeeze out the first few words of his question.


Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Kicks Off Presidential Campaign


(WNS)–Famed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson officially launched his 2016 presidential campaign Monday in Detroit, vowing to “heal, inspire, and revive” the nation. “It’s time for the people to rise up and take the government back,” Carson said to a throng of supporters at Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. The formal announcement starts a new chapter in an unusual rise to political prominence for the 63-year-old Republican. Two years ago, Carson assailed President Barack Obama’s policies—particularly on healthcare—with the president only a few feet away at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, transforming the doctor from a political unknown to a rock star among conservatives.

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