Faith and Morals
This graduation season has revealed a heavy bias against spiritual Americans, as a number of school officials and judges have passed heavy-handed rulings indicating that anything remotely related to Christianity be barred from commencement ceremonies. The latest example of such violations of First Amendment rights can be found in Vermont, where a high school valedictorian's commencement address was redacted by the school principal to omit any reference to God's influence upon him.
Following an intense campaign by the pro-family Parents Television Council (PTC) to derail it, the controversial teen drama Skins has been canceled by the MTV network after only one season on the air. The program, based on a popular British TV show by the same name, never gained the ongoing popularity enjoyed by its counterpart in the UK, averaging only around one million viewers per week— down from the 3.26 Americans who had watched its premier episode. While MTV said in a statement that Skins “is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped,” other MTV shows with worse ratings continue to air, making it likely that Skins succumbed in large part because of PTC’s campaign aimed at parents, program sponsors, and even the U.S. Congress and Justice Department.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is currently testing the waters for a potential presidential run, has called on fellow Governors, as well as the American people, to join him on August 6 for a time of prayer and fasting for the nation. Among the Governors who have said they will attend the bipartisan event at Reliant Stadium in Houston, called The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis, are Sam Brownback of Kansas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Additionally, Rick Scott of Florida, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, and Christine Gregoire of Washington are expected to declare August 6 a day of prayer in their own states.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has shot back a pointed response to an article by an evangelical Christian columnist who declared that evangelicals should not vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. In an open letter to Warren Cole Smith, associate publisher for WORLD magazine, the LDS church’s public affairs head Michael Otterson told Smith that he was “struggling just a tad with your logic that the very fact of being a Mormon disqualifies a person from high public office.” Such a revelation, Otterson said, “would be news to Senator Orrin Hatch, who has served his country and constituents for 34 years,” as well as to Senator Harry Reid, “the Senate Majority Leader — one of the most powerful positions in government.”
Ninety-two percent of Americans would answer “yes” to the question, “Do you believe in God?” according to a recent Gallup poll. That number is down just four points from the 96 percent of Americans who answered in the affirmative back in 1944, when Gallup first queried the nation on the issue.