October 4, 2013
The Dangers of the Common Core Standards
Other criticisms of the Common Core Standards is that they are in fact “mediocre” levels of attainment, and represent a “one size fits all standard.” Additionally, “it will be easily politicized by societal norms … no longer will it just stick to facts … special issue groups will make sure that their issue is covered.”
The autonomy and religious liberty of Christian schools will be specifically harmed because a national standard really requires a national curriculum and a national test, Van den Berg said. These will naturally follow from national acceptance of the Common Core. The SAT, GED, and ACT are now being aligned to the Common Core, and students at Christian schools must take these tests, thus pressuring these schools to teach in alignment with the Common Core Standard. If students from Christian schools do not do well on these tests, it in turn reflects poorly on the school. Thus the autonomy of Christian schools is affected, and also their religious liberty if they are pressured to teach what is contrary to their doctrine. Credit transfers, course and credit recognition, and college admissions may be tied to a school’s adherence to the Common Core...
The Christian Dorm at the Public University
...Kosher dorms, Christian fraternity houses and specialized housing based on values have become part of modern college life. But the dorm on this campus of 7,000 students is among a new wave of religious-themed housing that constitutional scholars and others say is pushing the boundaries of how much a public university can back religion.
Officials said the dorm met a growing demand and did not conflict with the Constitution.
The Brave New World of Three-Parent Babies
“It is not about proselytizing, but about bringing a values-based opportunity to this campus,” said Troy’s chancellor, Jack Hawkins Jr. “The parents are the most excited. I’ve had calls to get me to intervene to get their son or daughter in there.” ...
The Biological Colonialism of the Rich
...We already know that children born of IVF have poorer health outcomes than those conceived naturally. Yet, in the rush to allow these women to bear children, significant potential safety risks are being ignored.
Indeed, a study published in Science just revealed that three-parent mice and other organisms have significant health problems, including with “individual development, cognitive behavior, and [other] key health parameters.” The Science authors strongly recommend more studies, but go on to suggest that despite safety concerns, families with “offspring that were severely afflicted” by mitochondrial diseases could decide “take the risk” anyway.
The willingness of some to do anything to have a baby has also spurred IVF biological colonialism, by which the fertility industry exploits the gestational capacities of destitute women in developing countries to fulfill the procreative desires of the well-off...
...There are two extremely radical and very worrying techniques which have just been given the green light in Britain. These techniques are designed to help women at risk of passing on mitochondrial disease [a group of disorders caused by cell mutations] via faulty mitochondrial genes outside the nucleus of their eggs. The aim is to help these women have children to whom they will have some kind of genetic connection — as opposed to their accepting the risk, remaining childless or choosing adoption, for example.
Both techniques create genetically modified children and will affect all the descendants of those created, in ways that could be very dangerous. But they’re also morally wrong in other ways. Because most genes are in the nucleus of our cells, supporters of the techniques argue that any change involving mitochondrial genes outside the nucleus will not affect parenthood. However, this is not the case...
Killing Christians With Impunity?
...But it turns out that the last century was the worst century ever for the persecution of Christians and martyrdom. Dr. David Barrett, a leading church statistician, says there were more Christians martyred in the 20th century than had been murdered in all previous centuries combined.
Persecution today continues to rear its ugly head in various places around the globe, such as in remnant Communist countries, like Vietnam or North Korea. But anti-Christian persecution is especially found in the Middle East and those places where the philosophy of Islamism---a supremacist form of Islam---prevails.
It’s a cliché by now, but it’s true: The Arab Spring has turned into the Christian Winter...
Grocery stores on Army bases in the U.S. are closed. The golf course at Andrews Air Force base is open
Insurance Manager: ‘We Have Yet To Have Someone Successfully Register On The Marketplace’
...“It’s day two of health care reform, and we have yet to have someone successfully register on the marketplace,” said Matt Hadzick, manager of a Highmark retail insurance store in Allentown, Pa., where people could go to register for the online insurance marketplace. “The registration process is very slow, and at one point it just shuts down.”...
9 Things You Should Know about Casinos and Gambling
...3. Modern slot machines are programmed for fast, continuous, and repeat betting. Players insert plastic, not coins; they tap buttons or touch a screen rather than pull levers; they place bets in denominations ranging from a penny to a hundred dollars on multiple lines that spin across a screen with each rapid tap of the button. The laws of pure chance or probability no longer dictate wins and losses on slot machines. Modern slots are hooked up to a central server that collects player information, preferences, and speed of play and has the capacity to program each machine to each player's style. The trend in slot design is to provide a slow and smooth "ride," with small wins that are less than the amount bet, but nonetheless encourage repeat bets and prolonged "time on machine."...
Ex-abortionist surrenders abortion instruments to Pope Francis
...Upon arriving in Rome, more obstacles appeared, with little chance of speaking directly to the pope. But at the last possible moment, following the pope’s speech, Oriente said he told a bishop his story. This bishop, whom he did not name, spoke directly with “Padre George,” Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who brought him before the pope “immediately, without hesitation.”
Oriente handed the package of instruments to the pope, who, he says, “gave me the mandate to evangelize the pro life [message] and to defend life itself.”
Pope Francis, he said, told him, “This evening I will pray. This [the instruments] I have to bring with me to my room to Santa Marta.”
“Then he laid his hands on me, and said, ‘You are blessed and fight for life.”
Oriente said, “The instruments of death were abandoned at the foot of the successor of Peter in the world, as death is put at the feet of Jesus in favor of life.”...