A Texas hospital said Sunday that it would remove life support from a pregnant, brain-dead woman following a judge’s order that it was misapplying state law to disregard her family’s wishes.
J.R. Labbe, a spokeswoman for John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, issued a statement Sunday that says the hospital “will follow the court order” issued Friday in the case of Marlise Muñoz.
Life support was terminated at 11:29 a.m. Sunday, and she has died, family members told News 8.
Heather King and Jessica Janicek, attorneys for Marlise’s husband Erick Muñoz, issued a brief statement to confirm what happened:
“The Muñoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñoz’s body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered. May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey.”
Judge R.H. Wallace had given the Fort Worth hospital until 5 p.m. Monday to comply with his ruling to remove Muñoz from life support, which Erick Muñoz says is what his wife would have wanted.
She was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot.
“From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it,” the statement from the hospital said. “On Friday, a state district judge ordered the removal of life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Muñoz. The hospital will follow the court order.”
Both the hospital and family agreed before Wallace’s ruling that Marlise Muñoz meets the criteria to be considered brain-dead – which means she is dead both medically and under Texas law – and that her fetus, at about 23 weeks, could not be born alive this early in pregnancy.
The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. It also has garnered attention on both sides of the abortion debate, with anti-abortion groups arguing Muñoz’s fetus deserves a chance to be born.
A pro-life group held a vigil outside JPS Hospital on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re very saddened that the baby is gone,” said Carol Novielli, who brought a rose and stuffed animal to remember the child.
Behind the scenes, local conservatives like State Representative Matt Krause said they spent the weekend trying to get the hospital and district attorney’s office to appeal the ruling.
“We at least were trying to get the hospital board to have an emergency meeting to appeal Judge Wallace’s ruling,” he told News 8.
But Erick Muñoz and his wife were both paramedics familiar with end-of-life issues and knew they did not want to be kept alive by machines in this type of situation.
Muñoz described in a signed affidavit Thursday what it was like to see his wife now: her glassy, “soulless” eyes; and the smell of her perfume replaced by what he knows to be the smell of death. He said he tried to hold her hand but can’t.
“Her limbs have become so stiff and rigid due to her deteriorating condition that now, when I move her hands, her bones crack, and her legs are nothing more than dead weight,” Muñoz said.
But the hospital argued it was bound by Texas law that says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn from a pregnant patient, regardless of her end-of-life wishes.
Legal experts interviewed by The Associated Press have said the hospital was misreading the law and that the law doesn’t have an absolute command to keep someone like Muñoz on life support.
Larry Thompson, a state’s attorney arguing on behalf of the hospital Friday, said the hospital was trying to protect the rights of the fetus as it believed Texas law instructed it to do.
“There is a life involved, and the life is the unborn child,” Thompson said.
But on Sunday, the hospital said it would respect the judge’s order and back down.
(Contributors: ABC News – WFAA reporters Jobin Panicker and Todd Unger and the Associated Press contributed to this story)
Operation Rescue releases the following statement: We are grieved that the JPS hospital has removed life support from Marlise Munoz and her baby. As the term “life support” implies, Marlise’s body was alive and supporting a thriving pregnancy at the time support was withdrawn.
It is despicable that dehumanizing and deceptive language was used to refer to Marlise as a “corpse” and her baby’s condition as “incompatible with life” in order to elicit public support for putting them to death.
A human being does not lose their God-given human beauty or dignity just because they are disabled or incapacitated. This case just goes to show how far we have slipped into the abyss of a Culture of Death and how intolerant we have become of those who are seen as “inconvenient.”
We strongly believe that the order that led to the termination of life support is in complete contradiction to Texas law that was enacted to protect pre-born babies just like the Munoz child. The courts have failed this baby, the attorneys who should have defended Texas law have failed this baby, and the hospital has failed this baby. May this tragedy serve as a wake-up call to our society, lest others wrongly fall victim to this dehumanizing utilitarian view of life and death.
Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. The statement above is attributable to Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. (Contributor: Christian Newswire)
While Christians grieve and pray, two facts stand out. First, “the hospital argued it was bound by Texas law that says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn from a pregnant patient….” Second, “Judge R.H. Wallace had given the Fort Worth hospital until 5 p.m. Monday to comply with his ruling to remove Muñoz from life support….” Thus, the hospital’s pro-life legal position was overruled by a judge’s decision. Result? The baby died. This is all too familiar. Pray that righteous law will supersede the death sentence currently on millions of babies in the womb. The Supreme Court has been wrong before. Let us keep on praying.
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” (Acts 17:24-25)
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Gal. 6:9)
The Supreme Court on Friday offered a short-term compromise that would continue to exempt a group of Denver nuns that operates charity nursing homes from the birth control mandate of the nation’s health care law if they declare their objections in writing.
The nuns will take the court up on its offer and provide a written notice, officials said.
The justices asked the nuns to write the Department of Health and Human Services declaring themselves a religious nonprofit organization and making their objection to birth control. In return, the high court would continue to block for them the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, while their appeal is heard in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Their nuns’ lawyer, Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said they were delighted to hear about the court’s decision. “It made no sense for the Little Sisters to be singled out for fines and punishment before they could even finish their suit,” he said.
Under the health care law, most health insurance plans have to cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives as preventive care for women, free of cost to the patient. Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the birth control requirement, but affiliated institutions that serve the general public are not. That includes charitable organizations, universities and hospitals.
In response to an outcry, the government came up with a compromise that requires insurers or health plan administrators to provide birth control coverage but allows the religious group to distance itself from that action. The exemption is triggered when the religious group signs a form for the insurer saying that it objects to the coverage. The insurer can then go forward with the coverage.
A group of Denver nuns who run nursing homes for the poor, called the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, say signing that form makes them complicit in providing contraceptive coverage, and therefore violates their religious beliefs.
The high court exempted them from the government form requirements, saying the nuns only have to inform HHS in “writing.”
“To meet the condition for injunction pending appeal, applicants need not use the form prescribed by the government and need not send copies to third-party administrators,” the justices’ order said.
Rienzi said the court’s order also will provide protection to more than 400 other Catholic organizations that receive health benefits through the same Catholic benefits provider, Christian Brothers. It’s one of the religious health care providers that is exempted from the health care law’s requirement to provide contraceptive coverage and has said all along that it will not make contraceptive coverage available.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor blocked the contraceptive coverage mandate for the nuns on New Year’s Eve, only hours before portions of the law’s coverage went into effect.
Sharon Levin, director of federal reproductive health policy for the National Women’s Law Center, said the battle isn’t over.
“The Supreme Court emphasized that the order ‘should not be construed as an expression of the court’s views on the merits,’” Levin said. “We are confident that once the merits in this case are fully considered by the 10th Circuit, it will once again uphold the birth control regulations as it did in December.”
The Supreme Court already has decided to rule on whether businesses may use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees. That case, which involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees, is expected to be argued in March and decided by summer. (Contributor: By Jesse J. Holland for Associated Press and The Washington Times)
Intercessors have learned not to trust any human court to uphold Biblical values, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Our trust is only and always in God, as we pray for His continued mercy and sovereign wisdom to move on the justices for righteous majority opinions. Give thanks that this ruling does suggest a sympathetic view toward religious freedom with regard to the onerous demands of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on “The Little Sisters” and similar groups.
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:9)
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
House Republicans are preparing to unveil their own broad template for overhauling the nation’s immigration system this week, potentially offering a small opening for President Obama and congressional Democrats to pass bipartisan legislation before the end of the year.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders are expected to release a one-page statement of immigration principles this week at their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., according to aides with knowledge of the plan. The document is expected to call for border security and enforcement measures, as well as providing a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, the aides said.
The Republican effort comes as Mr. Obama is expected to push once again for an overhaul of the immigration system in his State of the Union address Tuesday, and as lawmakers from both parties describe immigration as one of the few potential areas for bipartisan compromise before the end of the current Congress.
“The principles they lay out I’m sure won’t satisfy everybody,” Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, said at an immigration forum on Friday. But, he added, “if we can make some compromises here for the good of the country, I think we have a very good chance for the first time in a long time of changing something that is really damaging all of us.”
The Senate, led by Democrats, passed a broad bipartisan measure in June to overhaul immigration that included a 13-year path to citizenship. But the legislation stalled in the Republican-controlled House, where some of the party’s more conservative members oppose any form of legal status as “amnesty.”
But heading into the three-day Republican retreat, even some of the most ardent conservatives say consensus is forming around an immigration package that would include several separate bills on border security; a clampdown against the hiring of undocumented workers; expanded guest-worker programs; a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the country as children; and a path to legal status for undocumented workers with family ties to citizens or employer sponsors.
The White House has said it wants a path to citizenship for both children and adults in any new immigration legislation.
“The president’s pathway to citizenship is a stumbling block,” said Representative Andy Harris, a conservative Republican who represents the Maryland district that will host the retreat. “But legalization with no path to citizenship can gain some votes.”
Representative Peter T. King, a Republican of New York and a longtime critic of proposals to change the immigration system, said it was significant that both the third-ranking Republican in the House, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, and the Judiciary Committee chairman, Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, had voiced support in recent days for legal status for some immigrants living in the country illegally — and have taken very little heat for their remarks on either side of the aisle.
But the divisions that have slowed progress in the House have not been entirely mended. Representative Raúl R. Labrador, a Republican of Idaho and once a leading immigration negotiator in the House, said it would be a mistake to push forward.
“The president has shown he’s not willing to work with us on immigration,” Mr. Labrador said. “It’s not worth having a party divided when we have so many issues we can come together on.”
On Thursday, aides to House conservatives who oppose the leadership’s plan gathered in the office of Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama and a fierce opponent of the immigration push, to plot a strategy to torpedo it.
Critics worry that House Republican leaders and Senate Democrats are essentially negotiating a final deal, bypassing formal House-Senate negotiations, where conservatives had hoped to derail the process. Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, one of the Democratic architects of the Senate bill, said: “One thing is certain, just as with the budget, at some point both the House and the Senate will have to sit down and resolve all the contentious issues.” (Contributors: By Ashley Parker and Jonathan Weisman for The New York Times)
Our nation is thoroughly divided on so many issues! In earlier years, U.S. presidents and leaders sought God’s wisdom, declaring national days of prayer and repentance. Can we hope and pray for such mercy again? Might strong intercessory prayer stoke the fires of revival? “Come, Lord, and rescue our beloved country. Give us righteous leaders who will call upon Your name. By faith, let strong intercession by Your Church lead the way. May timidity, fear, and weakness be cast away.”
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-7)
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:16b-18)
50 years of ‘liberation’ has devastated our society.
It is somewhat ironic that as Washington lawmakers and the Beltway media look back on the 50-year war on poverty, they overlook another equally significant 50-year anniversary that has actually limited the success of this effort: the sexual permissiveness of the 1960s cultural revolution.
That revolution championed a culture in which rules, responsibility and the traditional family were disposable. Building strong families is inexorably tied to eradicating poverty. Unfortunately, the revolution of the ‘60s has more effectively shaped our culture than the war on poverty.
Today, we are living in a world where most of the professed goals of the sexual revolution have been realized. We have experienced true sexual freedom. The millennials have coined the term “friends with benefits.” They can and do hook up at will. Unfortunately, we have found that what was supposed to bring freedom has instead shackled us to activity without meaning.
The seeming meaninglessness that accompanies sex without intimacy has entirely shifted our collective understanding of the most fundamental unit in our society — the family. Family has become disposable. Is it overreaching to link the breakdown of the family to a generation of teens that has become so jaded that they can take pleasure in so-called games like “Knockout” — knocking out a random stranger on the street with one punch? We think not.
It has been the most vulnerable, in particular children and the economically disadvantaged, who have borne the brunt of the consequences of this societal upheaval. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, children from father-absent homes are significantly more likely to be poor and most at risk. This is the price of freedom without restraints. In this light, it becomes painfully clear that the casualties of the sexual revolution are still being counted.
We have spent our lives in the trenches of family triage. In a society where families are disposable, families on the fringe — poor families, families of the incarcerated — are especially disposable. Our organization, the Ridge Project, fights every day to stabilize and rebuild families who society has kicked to the curb.
So what is the answer? The first step toward any kind of recovery is admitting fault. For starters, how about a generational mea culpa? By and large, parents in America owe an apology to anyone born after 1980. We were wrong. We were selfish. Learn from us.
Truly, there is no such thing as a disposable family. There are no lost causes if we are willing to take action. It is time to restore families — to emphasize and teach the value of healthy relationships. Only then can we begin to heal, and to feel again.
We must have a serious conversation about robust policies that support and strengthen family bonds for the families most at risk. In Ohio, we championed a recent legislative initiative called the Forgotten Victims of Crime resolution.
This resolution established the month of April as a time to raise awareness of the plight of families of incarceration. There are more than 2 million people incarcerated in the United States, many of whom are parents and who have lived their lives in poverty.
According to a recent report by RTI, incarcerated fathers have half the marriage rate, nearly twice the divorce rate, but the same rates of paternity as men who have never been to prison. When a person is sentenced to prison, his family is kicked to the curb.
Given that the children of the incarcerated are statistically much more likely to become incarcerated themselves, it is not inaccurate to say that when we fail to support these families, we have begun the process of imprisoning these children. For our nation to not intervene to stabilize the most fragile families is both immoral and unsustainable.
We are sounding the alarm for the millions of children of incarcerated parents who are caught in the social injustice we created when we embraced the lie that there are no consequences for abandoning self-control.
The war on poverty was never intended to become the war on family. We are calling on our nation to begin here, to fight for the most disadvantaged families, to create radical changes to policies that have an entrance process but no exit strategy, that sentence families to generational poverty and entitlement.
We look to members of communities across the United States to uphold the value and dignity of families, and urge our fellow citizens to reclaim and restore healthy relationships and healthy families. It is time to admit that we were wrong: There is no such thing as success or liberty without healthy families. (Contributor: By Ron and Catherine Tijerina for The Washington Times – Ron and Catherine Tijerina are co-directors and co-authors of the TYRO Dads curriculum and “High Five: Love Never Fails” Dream Pump, 2013)
The “sexual revolution” is not a stand-alone sin, and nothing will restore individual and family purity from the widespread abuse and perversion of this most sacred of God’s gifts to mankind until hearts are changed by the Gospel and Jesus Christ becomes Lord in lives so affected. Pray for those victimized by the forsaking of God’s laws. Let us reach out with compassion wherever possible.
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls…. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:21, 27)
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like [those] who do not know God….” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s promise to issue rules making it easier for banks to do business with legal marijuana sellers is being viewed in Colorado with cautious optimism, with an emphasis on the caution.
Having to conduct transactions in cash has been a huge drawback for Colorado’s nascent retail marijuana shops, which launched Jan. 1, but it may take more than a Justice Department guidance to solve the problem.
“At best, Holder’s statement is a ‘proceed with caution’ yellow light,” Don Childears, president and CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association, said in a statement. “While we are encouraged that the attorney general has stressed cessation of prosecution, we don’t anticipate that bank regulators are prepared to tell banks they can ignore federal drug law. Two of those bank regulators are outside the executive branch and won’t necessarily follow the AG’s view.”
Mr. Holder said in remarks late last week at the University of Virginia that he would release “very soon” a guidance to federal prosecutors and law enforcement giving wiggle room to banks that provide business accounts to marijuana clients in violation of federal banking laws.
“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” said Mr. Holder. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited, is something that would worry me, just from a law-enforcement perspective.”
He’s not the only one worried. In Colorado, retail pot sellers have expressed worries about becoming juicy targets for thieves. The state’s 30-plus stores are doing roughly $1 million in combined business per day, resulting in piles of cash but few places to deposit it.
Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group in Denver, said he was “encouraged” by Mr. Holder’s statement.
“Everyone recognizes that the banking issue has created serious public safety and accountability problems for this new industry,” Mr. Elliott said in a statement. “We urge Mr. Holder, the Treasury Department and the Obama administration to move quickly to create regulations that allow the legal marijuana industry, its employees, and customers to do business with banks just as any other business sector does.”
That may take more than a go-ahead by Mr. Holder. Mr. Childears said that for Colorado bankers, “the only real solution is literally an act of Congress,” given that offering services for pot shops isn’t viewed by most banks as a “high priority.”
“Some banks might be tempted to take on this business, but we have trouble believing that any bank would risk regulatory problems by doing so without great confidence on a number of fronts, including a low threat of prosecution now and in the future; a high probability there will be no action by bank regulatory agencies on a variety of federal laws; internal comprehensive compliance regimens to comply with applicable law and several other factors,” said Mr. Childears. “We don’t see that happening.”
The banking law disconnect isn’t confined to Colorado. In June, Washington is expected to launch its retail marijuana market. Both Colorado and Washington voters approved in November 2012 initiatives allowing retail sales of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.
Other states are expected to consider similar measures, starting with Alaska, where organizers are moving to place a legalization initiative on the August ballot. (Contributor: By Valerie Richardson for The Washington Times)
Those following national news know that when state laws conflict with federal law, head-on collisions will occur. When Texas took a stand against late abortions, a federal judge struck it down. Oklahoma voted for “one man-one woman” marriage, and a judge said no. Now Colorado and Washington have voted to allow legal marijuana sales, and federal law prohibits such, so banks are wary. But the attorney general is working to create “wiggle room” for banks to handle the cash. And so it goes. “A nation divided against itself . . . .” Pray accordingly.
“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.’” (Matthew 12:25)
“Woe to those who devise iniquity, and work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.” (Micah 2:1)
With the 2014 Super Bowl right around the corner and the Seattle Seahawks on a remarkable playoff run, Pastor Mark Driscoll sat down with players and staff from the team. The players deliver an amazing testimony talking about their faith in Jesus Christ and how it intersects with life on and off the football field.
Russell Okung, Chris Maragos, coach Rocky Seto, and Russell Wilson answered the question: “Who is Jesus?”
When coach Seto is asked about Jesus, he testifies clearly, “Jesus is better than the Super Bowl.”
Although the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of the sport and the greatest achievement football players and coaches can attain in their careers, the Seahawks testify none of it would mean anything without Jesus.
Pastor Mark Driscoll goes around to each player to speak, and they each deliver a powerful testimony showing that their LOVE for Jesus means more than anything on the football field. Watch the amazing testimonies: <Click Here to Watch> (Contributor: By John Callahan for The Christian Post)
Give thanks for players on either Super Bowl team and throughout the NFL who share their Christian witness openly and are not ashamed of the Gospel. Pray that athletes who enjoy celebrity status will use their influence wisely. Pray they offer a clear testimony that it is Jesus Christ who rules and regulates their lives, not football; that they live for the eternal, not temporary fame. Pray they have moral strength to reflect purity in social habits and fidelity in marriage.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: … or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)
The Pentagon on Wednesday is expected to announce widespread changes to rules governing religious items and religion-based physical attributes that service members can maintain while in uniform — including beards, some religious tattoos, and turbans.
NBC News obtained an early draft of the new Department of Defense instruction which states that the military will make every effort to accommodate “individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs” (conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs) of service members.
It goes on to say that unless doing so could have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order and discipline, health and safety, or any other military requirement, commanders can grant service members special permission to display their religious articles while in uniform.
Requests for religious accommodation can be denied when the “needs of mission accomplishment outweigh the needs of the service member,” the directive will explain.
Earlier this month, a major in the U.S. Army who is a Sikh American took his case to staffers on the Hill, explaining how he and other Sikhs should be able to serve in uniform and still maintain their religious beliefs, including wearing turbans and unshorn hair, including beards.
The new directive will explain that if the articles of faith or physical attributes interfere with the proper function of protective clothing and equipment, the request could be denied. For example, a beard or unshorn hair cannot interfere with gas masks or helmets.
Jewish service members can request permission to wear a yarmulke while in uniform. Muslim service members can request to wear a beard and carry prayer beads. Even Wiccan service members, those who practice “Magick,” can seek accommodation — the directive covers all religions recognized by the U.S. military.
The policy will also spell out that service members have the right to observe no religion at all.
According to Defense Department statistics, which are based solely on self-reporting, there are only a handful of Sikh Americans in the military (about 3).
There are nearly 3,700 Muslims, nearly 6,300 Buddhists, and more than 1,500 Wiccans.
The immediate commander can approve some of the religious accommodation, but some will have to be kicked up to higher headquarters.
In some cases wearing something that impacts the uniform (religious apparel), grooming (beards, longer hair), religious tattoos, and some jewelry with religious inscriptions.
The directive stresses that “the importance of uniformity and adhering to standards, of putting unit before self, is more significant and needs to be carefully evaluated when considering each request for accommodation.”
It goes on to say that “it is particularly important to consider the effect on unit cohesion.”
Each individual service member has to re-apply for new permission at each new assignment, transfer of duty stations, and for each deployment. (Contributor: By Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube for NBC News)
The loosening of military uniform standards may promote diversity, but recent Pentagon rulings have had either subtle or obvious restrictions on the freedoms of Christians, especially military chaplains, to be loyal to their calling to preach and share the Gospel. Pray for equitable decisions. Pray God’s protection on Christian believers from discrimination and mistreatment. Christians do not want special privileges, simply fair and honest regulations for all faiths.
“Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:7)
“ …providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Cor. 8:21)
A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The numbers also show there was a record number of individuals on food stamps in 2013 and that the cost of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was at an all-time high.
The USDA says that there were 23,052,388 households on food stamps in the average month of fiscal 2013, an increase of 722,675 from fiscal year 2012, when there were 22,329,713 households on food stamps in the average month.
Those numbers were compared with the Census Bureau’s estimates for the total number of U.S. households in the last month (September) of each fiscal year to determine the percentage of all U.S. households in that fiscal year that were on food stamps.
In 2013, according to the Census Bureau, there were 115,013,000 households, which means the that the households on food stamps–23,052,388 households–equaled 20.0% of all households.
In the past five years alone, the number of households on food stamps has greatly increased. In fiscal year 2009 – Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009 — the number of households on food stamps was 15,232,115. Five years later, in 2013, that amount had increased by 51.3% to reach 23,052,388 households.
Not only have households seen a major increase in food stamps’ participation, but so have individuals.
In 2013, the monthly average for individuals on food stamps hit an all-time-high of 47,636,084, according to the USDA, an increase of 1,027,012 over the 46,609,072 individuals who were participating in the program in 2012.
That number has dramatically increased from five years ago. In fiscal year 2009, the number of individuals participating in the food stamp program was 33,489,975. In 2013, the number was 47,636,084, an increase of 42.2%.
Furthermore, the cost of food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has reached an all-time high.
For fiscal year 2013, the SNAP program cost $79,641,880,000, which is a 164% increase over the past decade. When adjusted for inflation, the cost of the SNAP program was $30,153,090,000 in fiscal year 2003.
During the last five years, the SNAP program grew by 36.8%, from $58,223,790,000 in 2009 to $79,641,880,000 in 2013.
The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold. (Contributor: By Ali Meyefor CNSNews.com)
Increased dependency on government food stamps translates into less individual freedom and creativity. Pray against a spirit that lulls people into expecting to be cared for by the massive federal machine. This leads to a weak citizenry and less free enterprise. Pray for national renewal and revival. While there are genuinely poor people who do need help, many are simply avoiding work. Pray for renewal that sees work as worthy, holy, and a gift from God.
“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.” (2 Thess. 3:10-11)
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. … Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” (Genesis 2:8, 15)