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Senator: Religious Rights 'Second Class' for Obama

(CBN News) – A possible running mate for Mitt Romney says the Obama administration treats religious freedom as “a second-class right.”

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman made the assertion while speaking out against the healthcare mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and sterilizations.

He told the Faith and Freedom Coalition that conscience rights were “treated as a mere afterthought or inconvenience.”

Portman has been touted as a potential vice president on the Republican ticket.

He will travel with Romney Sunday when his bus tour makes campaign stops in Ohio. They will visit Brunswick, Newark, and Troy.

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2012/June/Senator-Religious-Rights-Second-Class-for-Obama/

Crystal Cathedral Renamed 'Christ Cathedral'...

(CBN News) – The Crystal Cathedral, the mega-church founded by televangelist Robert Schuller, has been renamed the “Christ Cathedral.”

Members of California’s famous former Crystal Cathedral will relocate next summer.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange purchased the glass-paned building in bankruptcy proceedings for a little more than $57.7 million. The building was sold to pay off more than $40 million of debt.

“We hold Rev. Schuller and his ministry in the highest esteem,” Bishop Tod Brown said. “It was important that any change of name for the cathedral itself be respectful of its spiritual legacy while accommodating our needs to clearly define this important facility as a Catholic center of worship.”

The deal allows Crystal Cathedral’s congregation to meet at St. Callistus, a nearby Catholic church. They will be able to lease the building for free through December of 2013. The congregation plans to move next June.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange plans to transform the building into a Catholic cathedral.

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/June/Crystal-Cathedral-Members-Make-Plans-to-Move

'Teavangelicals' Ushering in a New Great Awakening?

(CBN News) – When the Tea Party started its political rise, the clear focus was economic — specifically the U.S. deficit, taxes, and spending.

Social issues took a back seat, but that didn’t stop Christians from joining and strengthening this new movement.

The result was the “teavangelical,” conservative Christians who are part of the Tea Party or at least agree with their agenda.

They travel the country calling for a better America, a return to Judeo-Christian principles and economic plans for a deficit-free future.

They come in all shapes and sizes, from the farm, town square, and even Capitol Hill.

“Well, I absolutely am [a Teavangelical] because I believe that we are taxed enough already,” Tea Party Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told CBN News.

“Government shouldn’t spend more money than what it takes in,” she said. “We should follow the Constitution. And I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, so I think that makes me a Teavangelical.”

Read an excerpt of David Brody’s The Teavangelicals.Some Teavangelicals like Kellen Guida have great stories to tell. Guida went from being a non-believing Tea Party leader in New York to a born-again Christian after hearing about Jesus from other party members during a political retreat.

“It was loud, boisterous, praying, talking about our faith all the time,” Guida said. “And it was a new experience for me. And it was an overwhelming experience for me, and I just loved it.”

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody’s new book, The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and The Tea Party are Taking Back America, reveals that without evangelicals there might not be much of a Tea Party movement in the first place.

Studies show that conservative Christians comprise at least half, if not more, of the Tea Party. So why have they signed up?

“I really think a lot of the motivation behind these Tea Party crowds is a spiritual component,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told CBN News. “I think it’s very akin to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution.”

“People are seeing this massive government growing and they’re realizing that it’s the government that’s hurting us,” he said. “And I think they’re turning back to, God in effect is our salvation and government is not our salvation.”

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2012/June/Teavangelicals-Ushering-in-a-New-Great-Awakening/

Religious Freedom: Appeals Court Upholds Missouri Prayer Ballot Initiative

(CBN News) – An appellate court ruled Wednesday that a proposed Missouri amendment allowing public prayer will be allowed to remain on the state’s ballot.

Under the measure, residents would be permitted to pray in public places as long as doing so does not disturb the peace.

The measure also says students can express their religious beliefs in school and can’t be forced to participate in assignments that go against their religious beliefs.

Opponents claimed the amendment leaves potential for students to refuse homework and could also violate some religious protections for prisoners.

But in a lower court ruling Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce rejected that argument, concluding the summary is fair.

If the majority of voters approve the measure in November, it will be added to the state constitution.

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/March/Missouri-Judge-Upholds-Public-Prayer-Ballot-Measure

Must Vote: Voters Not Tracking with Obama's Economy Claims...

(CBN News) – Twenty years ago, Democratic strategist James Carville spurred on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign with one of the most famous slogans in politics: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Today, Carville is warning President Barack Obama that his economic message is not getting through to voters.

An ABC News/Washington Post survey found that 54 percent of swing voters disapprove of the president’s economic policies. Independents oppose Mitt Romney’s economic stance by 47.

On the campaign trail, the president remains bullish on the economy.

“We are in a stronger position, we are moving in a better direction than when I took office,” Obama recently said.

That message worries Democrats like Carville who says voters have major concerns.

“I’m worried that when the White House and the campaign talks about the progress that’s being made, people take that as a signal that they think that things are fine, and people don’t think that or believe that,” Carville explained.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seized on that theme, campaigning in the swing state of Florida.

“People across America are having a hard time. The president doesn’t understand how his policies have made things so hard for the American people,” Romney claimed.

“It’s finally time to have a president who’s in touch with what’s happening in America and I am,” he continued. “I’ll bring back America’s strength.”

In a speech Tuesday night, the president acknowledged that times aren’t so great for everyone.

“Does that mean I, we, are satisfied? Absolutely not,” he said.

Then, he returned to blaming the administration before him.

“They ran up the tab and are trying to pass the bill to me,” Obama said.

But Romney wasn’t part of the Bush administration. Carville says team Obama needs to spend more time addressing the voters’ concerns.

“They want to be reassured he understands the depth of the problem and that he has a plan,” Carville said. “To deal with the deterioration of the middle class in this country, and that’s what people want to hear.”

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2012/June/Voters-Not-Tracking-with-Obamas-Economy-Claims

Protect Free Speech: Lee Greenwood Offended by 'God Bless USA' Ban

(CBN News) – Kindergarten students at a New York City elementary school were banned from performing the song “God Bless the USA” at their graduation ceremony.

PS 90 principal Greta Hawkins said the song was not age appropriate and could end up “offending other cultures.”

But the song’s author, country music artist Lee Greenwood, said that as a man of faith he was offended by the principal’s decision.

“I wrote ‘God Bless the USA’ about the love I have for this country and the struggle we have gone through to remain free. Our country was founded on the principle that it welcomes people of all cultures and gives them the same rights we have as citizens,” he said.

“However, I feel compelled to echo the faith of our forefathers, who all believed in God and a respect of a higher authority,” he added.

Lee Greenwood talked with CBN News more about his reaction to the “God Bless the USA” controversy. Click play for his comments.

“Personally, denying the children of PS 90 to sing ‘God Bless the USA’ offends me as a Christian,” he said. “My song is about hope, faith, spirit, and pride. How could that be wrong on any level?”

Meanwhile, the American Center for Law and Justice is working to have the song ban reversed, saying banning the song tramples First Amendment free speech rights.

More than 23,000 people signed a petition in favor of the song being performed.

The petition, along with a letter from the ACLJ, was sent to the school superintendent, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and several other school officials.

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/June/Lee-Greenwood-Offended-by-God-Bless-USA-Ban

Israel Allies to US: Recognize Jerusalem as Capital...

(CBN News) – WASHINGTON — Members of the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation met in Washington, D.C., this week and called on the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

Several Jewish and Christian leaders, as well as pro-Israel lawmakers, attended the group’s Jerusalem Day Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday.

“Jerusalem is the rightful capital of the Jewish people, and it should stay that way,” Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., said. “It should always be unified under one simple flag, that star of David, because that is David’s city.”

Jerusalem’s ties to the Jewish people date back at least 3,000 years, to King David’s reign.

The city is mentioned 600 times in the Bible’s Old Testament and another 160 times in the New Testament. It is never mentioned in the Koran.

Yet a battle continues to rage today over whether Jerusalem should remain Israel’s undivided capital.

Palestinian leaders and their international backers want to split the city in two and make eastern Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state

“We have to be Israel’s friend, and I would implore this president, who I just believe in my heart is not Israel’s friend, to have a change of heart,” Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill.,told CBN News.

Legislation was passed on Capitol Hill in 1995 calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Seventeen years later and that still has not happened.

In fact, successive administrations – from President Clinton to President Obama – have used a waiver to delay that decision and keep the Embassy in Tel Aviv.

The embassy issue was a major part of the agenda at the Jerusalem Day event.

“For us, the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, the greatest country the world has ever known, to be fearful of moving our embassy to Jerusalem, in my opinion, is a disgrace and we need to do that and do that right now,” GOP Florida Senate candidate Dave Weldon said.

Rabbi Benny Elon, president of the Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, told CBN News that the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem was rooted not in history but hostility.

“They don’t need Jerusalem,” he said. “They just want to make sure that we, the Jews, shall not have it.”

Elon called on all American believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to put pressure on decision-makers in Washington to remedy the problem.

Source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2012/June/Caucus-to-US-Acknowledge-Jerusalem-as-Israels-Capital