Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network Gives Church Leaders Counsel on World Vision Flip-Flop

PHILADELPHIA—World Vision’s controversial decision last week to hire gay Christians in legal marriages, followed by the national backlash, then a reversal of the policy just 48 hours later certainly created a buzz in church circles. How should churches respond and how should pastors counsel their congregations?

The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network (PPN, sent a special communication to pastors on the topic, with special regard to how to address the headlines from the pulpit.

“There are teaching times that come our way in our own personal lives, in our homes, and now within our nation and within the Church itself,” wrote PPN President Sam Rohrer, also President of the American Pastors’ Network (APN, “This is one of those times, and it must not be lost or overlooked.

“We face a sobering question: If World Vision and its leadership could so carefully deliberate and then justify a position so clearly anti-biblical and then call their actions ‘Christian’ and in pursuit of Christian ‘unity,’ then what other ‘Christian’ organization, churches, camps, colleges and universities, or organizations of any type that depend on the contributions of Christians around this nation are considering such a glaring compromise of Truth?

“We’ve witnessed an increased attack on Truth generally and God’s model specifically,” Rohrer continued. “Now is not the time for silence. Now is not the time for ambivalence. Now is not the time for neutrality. Now is not the time for being Christian in name only where selective disobedience to God’s clear teaching is deemed acceptable. Now is not the time when talking about the Good News of the Gospel and its ability to transform lives and give eternal life to all who believe can be communicated to people with glaring disregard to sin. Doing so is nothing short of heresy.”

Rohrer went on to tell pastors that a quest for Truth is inextricably linked to the Good News and true love, with very clear Scriptures on the issue of homosexuality. It is a matter of great seriousness when organizations or churches claim to embrace the Gospel then knowingly and willingly encourage, endorse or support the continuation of acts that God says to be sin, he said.

“When any organization or church that professes Christ endorses acts that God says manifest gross selfishness and may commit a person to an eternity separated from the God they say they serve, this is a matter too serious to ignore,” Rohrer added.

“The time is now for pastors in the pulpit to ask themselves where they stand on the definition of marriage and the acceptance of homosexuality. The time is now for public clarification by Christian organizations of all types on marriage and embracing homosexuality within their organizations. Now is the time to understand the fact that God has but one acceptable definition of marriage and that any variation is sin condemned by a holy God—be it sex before marriage, infidelity within heterosexual marriage or homosexuality. If clarity by a ‘Christian’ organization on this issue is not made, I would assert that there is little in God’s Word these organizations would defend with clear conviction.”

PPN also encouraged pastors and their congregations to contact the Christian organizations they support and ask for a clear explanation of positions on marriage and homosexuality, invoking what PPN calls “the World Vision rule,” where Christians can no longer assume where an organization might stand.

“We need to tell the Christian organizations we support that unless they clearly state their position in support of God’s definition of marriage and His view of homosexuality, we will withhold our support,” Rohrer said. “The time is not later; the time is not tomorrow. The time is now.”

For more information on Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, visit or call 610.584.1225.

The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues; examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in our political process on a non-partisan basis.

Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a state chapter affiliate of the American Pastors’ Network. The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide).

Hollywood's 'Noah' Tops Box Office With $44M Debut

“Noah,” the controversial biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, topped the box office in its debut over the weekend, grossing $44 million in the U.S. and Canada and outselling “Divergent” and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Sabotage.”

The new film, which some criticized for deviating from the Bible upon which it is based, exceeded the projection that it would garner $41 million.

Paramount Pictures says that the $44 million weekend box office sales the film generated from 3,567 screens include $1.6 million from Thursday night preview shows. Paramount was expecting a $30-$33 million debut of the film that cost $125 million to produce.

“I was asked if the film has been a success in spite of the controversy or due to the controversy,” Don Harris, president of domestic distribution at Paramount, told Bloomberg. “But movies work commercially because the movies themselves work. This film works as an epic.”

Faith-based movie “Son of God” raised $25.6 million in its February debut.

Film analysts believe that “Noah” attracted a wider audience, and not just the religious, due to Hollywood touches given to the film by Director Darren Aronofsky.

“It certainly feels like the ‘biggest’ film of 2014,” Tim Briody, analyst for Box Office Prophets, told USA Today.

“Noah” outsold “Divergent,” which collected $26.5 million to place second in the U.S. and Canada, according to Rentrak Corp. “Sabotage” claimed seventh place with $5.3 million.

The audience of “Noah” was split evenly between men and women, and skewed older with 74 percent being above 25 years of age, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film was released after the National Religious Broadcasters and Paramount jointly announced that all future marketing materials for the film will add an explanatory message, saying, “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

Behind the move was an appeal by Jerry A. Johnson, president and CEO of NRB, “to help audiences better understand that the feature film is a dramatization of the major scriptural themes and not a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story,” the two said in a statement.

“Because of the quality of the production and acting, viewers will enjoy watching main themes from the Noah story depicted in a powerful way on the big screen,” Johnson said. “However, my intent in reaching out to Paramount with this request was to make sure everyone who sees this impactful film knows this is an imaginative interpretation of Scripture, and not literal.”

Many people will watch the film, Johnson added. “Christians should be ready to engage with them about the main biblical themes that are portrayed in the film, namely sin, judgment, and salvation.”

Weeks before the debut, creationist Ken Ham listed five ways the film deviates from the Bible.

One, Noah’s family only consists of his wife, three sons, and one daughter-in-law, contrary to the Bible, Ham wrote in a blog post. Two, rock-like people (that seem to be fallen angels) build the Ark with Noah. Three, a wounded Tubal-Cain axes his way inside the Ark in only about 10 minutes, hides inside and then convinces Noah’s middle son to lure Noah to the bottom of the Ark in order to murder him but the middle son has a change of heart and helps kill Tubal-Cain instead. Four, the movie has an over-the-top emphasis on environmentalism where animals are much more important than people. Five, Noah, who is portrayed as a very angry man, repeatedly told his family that they were the last generation and were never to procreate, and when his daughter-in-law became pregnant, he vowed to murder his own grandchild.

Same-Sex Marriage: A 'Truth Serum' for Evangelicals

What a week! It started with World Vision announcing that it had changed its employment policy to allow partners in a legal, same-sex relationship to be employees. This action set off a theological firestorm both because of the organization making the decision – World Vision U.S. ranks among America’s top ten charities and serves over 100 million people in at least 100 countries – and the breath-taking nature of the shift in theology and doctrine it seemed to signify.

Amazingly, in making the announcement, Richard Stearns, World Vision president, explained “this is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support.”

Stearns asserted that World Vision had “chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue” and equated the same-sex marriage issue with such issues as baptismal methods, complementarianism vs. egalitarianism, reproductive issues, and divorce and remarriage where Christians adopt “a range of views.” Stearns denied that World Vision’s actions undermined their commitment to biblical authority:

People can say, “Scripture is very clear on this issue,” and my answer is, “well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.” The church is divided on this issue. And we are not the local church. We are an operational organization uniting Christians around a common mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ.

Now, in less than a week, as the result of much prayer and importuning by Christian brothers and sisters World Vision has reversed its original decision. World Vision’s board has discovered an essential truth: the same-sex marriage issue is a truth serum for Evangelical Christianity. Same-sex marriage CANNOT be squared with the traditional, historic, Evangelical view of biblical authority.

In their statement rescinding their policy change, Word Vision acknowledged that “we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, ‘we believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.'”

The essential truth that emerges from this sad, but instructive episode, is that the issue of same-sex marriage is utterly unlike the other issues raised by Stearns in his original statement. The Bible is crystal clear on the issue of marriage. As God declared in Genesis and Jesus reaffirmed in Matthew’s Gospel, marriage is between male and female (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19: 4-6). Furthermore, God condemns all same-sex behavior as sinful and immoral (Rom. 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9).

As World Vision has learned, Evangelicals cannot declare “neutrality” on this issue, and it cannot be fudged or finessed. If you tolerate same-sex marriage and/or same-sex behavior as acceptable morality for Christians, then you have rebelled against biblical authority and departed from the orthodox faith of biblical Christianity.

As the World Vision episode illustrates so vividly, the same-sex marriage issue will act like a truth serum, dividing true Evangelicals from the faux Evangelicals who seek to travel under the Evangelical banner while denying the biblical faith of their Evangelical forefathers.

Perhaps in the final analysis the same-sex marriage and homosexual issue will purify and refine Evangelicalism (always a prerequisite for true spiritual revival) by causing those who accept the current politically correct zeitgeist to be known. As the Apostle John said long ago, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not of us.” (I Jn. 2:19)

ObamaCare delay increases insurers' costs, says health policy analyst

A health policy analyst suggests an extension for ObamaCare enrollment is a bad idea and will only create more uncertainty for insurance companies.

Health and Human Services claims it has seen a surge in interest, and wants to ensure that consumers who may be in line have time to complete enrollment.

Even so, Yevgeniy Feyman with the Manhattan Institute thinks that by doing this delay, along with all the previous changes, the black letter of the law is no longer visible.

“They’ve changed it significantly,” he says, “and it’s really just a political ploy to get more people enrolled to make the make the law look better the first year.”

It’s unclear how long the extension will last, although The Associated Press reports that some people have urged the administration to go as late as April 15.

Feyman says the delay creates uncertainty among insurers, and those insurers have to “price in that uncertainty,” which adds to the cost.

Several insurance companies supported the Affordable Care Act in the legislative process. Based on that, did insurance companies create some of the uncertainty?

“I don’t think any of them were expecting this,” Feyman says of the healthcare legislation, which he describes as more “disastrous” than insurers could have predicted.

“It’s a good thing that we’re expanding health care to people who didn’t have it before,” he tells OneNewsNow. “But it’s just the way that we’re doing it is not good. It’s downright terrible right now.

Supreme Court Hearing Gives Hobby Lobby Reason to Hope HHS Mandate Will be Stopped

The questions from members of the Supreme Court and the tenor of the oral arguments today in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases against the HHS mandate give observers reason to hope the high court will overturn the controversial Obamacare provision.

In court today former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement argued on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, two family businesses whose cases were consolidated before the court. Clement argued that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that nothing in the law excludes these family businesses and their owners from religious freedom protections.

“No one should be forced to give up their constitutionally protected civil rights just to open a family business,” said Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and counsel for Hobby Lobby. “This case demonstrates in no uncertain terms that the government’s efforts to strip this family business of its religious rights represent a gross violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.”

The Court is expected to rule on the case before the end of its current term in June.

Joshua Hawley, an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri and a counsel to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (which represents Hobby Lobby), spoke with the Daily Caller after the hearing. Hawley thinks the decision will turn based on how the Supreme Court reads the statute, rather than on Constitutional issues.

“There was virtually no discussion of the First Amendment claim,” Hawley said. “It was all based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

“The Greens [Hobby Lobby’s owners] only have an objection to 4 out of the 20 contraceptives that are mandated,” Hawley says. ”Almost nobody knows that, but it’s very important to the case. They are providing for 16 out of the 20. It’s just the abortion-inducing drugs or devices that they object to.”

Hawley also told the Daily Caller that the tenor of the questions was favorable to Hobby Lobby and HHS mandate opponents.

Having said that, after Hawley (who has litigated and clerked at the Supreme Court before) voiced caution about the perils of predictions, he revealed that “the general tenor of the questions were in our favor — and I do think the Justices were, by and large, asking the right questions in this case — and that we had the right answers for them.”

What were those favorable questions? According to Hawley, “Discussion in the courtroom focused on — does the government have another means of delivering to women the contraceptives to which the Green’s object?

Hawley said the questions focused on whether the government, if it wants to fund birth control, can do so in a way that does not violate employer rights and conscience.

Meanwhile, liberals think Justice Kennedy will decide that the HHS mandate forces companies to pay for abortions and that he will vote to overturn the mandate as a result.

“Shortly after Kennedy made this statement, Justice Kagan’s face dropped. It appeared that she’d just figured out that she would be joining a dissenting opinion,” a liberal blog said.

As I left the Supreme Court building, I ran into one of the nation’s leading advocates for reproductive justice. We smiled at each other, and then I said “Kennedy thinks this is an abortion case. The government is going to lose.”

“That’s right,” she said, shaking her head. “That’s right.”

Justice Roberts, who upset some conservatives with his Obamacare decision, appeared ready to side with Hobby Lobby:

It’s worth noting that Kennedy expressed a different concern than one offered shortly thereafter by Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts, however, suggested that someone’s mere belief that something is an abortion is enough to trigger an religious exemption to federal law.

SIGN THE PETITION to support Hobby Lobby’s battle to stop the HHS Mandate

A USA Today report indicates the Obama administration “struggled” to say why it has the right to force organizations and businesses to pay for birth control or abortion-causing drugs.

While the justices were predictably divided along ideological grounds, it appeared that a majority of them did not want to force even for-profit corporations to offer health policies that include birth control methods they claim causes abortions.

“Isn’t that what we’re talking about?” Chief Justice John Roberts demanded of the government’s lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

Ed Whelan, a conservative legal expert, spoke with another conservative legal analyst who attended the Supreme Court hearing in person and came away from the oral arguments with a positive feeling and a prediction that the Supreme Court will overturn the mandate.

For what it’s worth, one person who did attend and who is very knowledgeable about the issues in the case (but who might suffer from an overly optimistic temperament) has given me his quick take. He sees a 6-3 victory for Hobby Lobby, with Kennedy and Breyer joining the conservatives on the bottom line. (Apparently, Breyer’s questions reflected his recognition that—as I discussed in this post—the accommodation that the Obama administration provided religious nonprofits is a less restrictive means—and that the HHS mandate therefore flunks RFRA.)

We shall see. I’d be very surprised and impressed if Breyer is willing to stand against the three women justices.

American Pastors’ Network Looks to Support More Church Leaders with Formation of State Chapters in 2014

PHILADELPHIA—Part of the mission of the American Pastors’ Network (APN, is to “identify, encourage, equip, educate and network pastors and church members” who will “Stand in the Gap for Truth” across the nation.

To realize this mission, APN hopes to establish additional state chapters around the country, which will operate much like the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network (PPN,, led by President Sam Rohrer, who also leads APN, and the North Carolina Pastors’ Network (NCPN,, led by President David Kistler. APN also seeks to provide local pastors with the resources they need to support their congregations as well as serve as salt and light in their communities.

“We have seen so much good come from networking pastors and bringing them together in Pennsylvania and North Carolina,” Rohrer said. “These pastors are extremely blessed to be able to interact with their peers, get support, pray together and lean on one another as they lead their flocks. It’s our hope that APN will be able to create more of these state chapters so we can better equip pastors and lead them to more engaged service within their communities, especially regarding the timely topics that shape our daily conversations and cause us to think more deeply about the U.S. Constitution and its precepts.”

In 2014, Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network has also been working to bridge the gap between Church and State through its new Ministers Together project. With events around the state, from Kutztown to Greensburg, Ministers Together has a mission to create opportunities to build relationships between pastors and elected officials on a biblical rather than political basis.

Through these events, PPN hopes to rebuild the biblical worldview perspective as ordained by God. PPN believes that those in the pulpit are “Ministers of God,” called by Him to preach the Word and speak the Truth in the public square. Likewise, those elected to office are not just “politicians” but occupy an equally ordained position as “Ministers of God,” with the clear job description of servants of God and God’s servants to the people.

The American Pastors’ Network has a mission to identify, encourage, equip, educate and network pastors and church members to “Stand in the Gap for Truth” across the nation while providing Bible-based and constitutionally consistent analysis and recommendations on matters of public policy.

APN is the largest, national network of pastors who believe in the authority of scripture, who boldly preach the whole counsel of God with a disciplined application of a biblical worldview to public policy, and who are building a permanent infrastructure of biblically faithful pastors and lay leaders and mobilizing congregations to participate in the political process. A new web site will soon be unveiled at

The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues; examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in our political process on a non-partisan basis.

For more information on American Pastors’ Network, visit For more information on Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, visit or call 610-584-1225.

The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide).

Hobby Lobby’s Battle Against Obama Admin’s HHS Mandate Heads to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week in Hobby Lobby’s battle to protect itself from the HHS mandate that is apart of Obamacare. Hobby Lobby is challenging the mandate in court because it doesn’t want to be forced to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs for its employees.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the landmark case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores on March 25 determine whether individuals lose their religious freedom when they open a family business.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys challenging the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate are behind a second case the Supreme Court will hear.

The owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, the Hahns, are a practicing and believing Mennonite Christian family. They desire to run the company, a wholesale manufacturer of custom wood kitchen cabinet parts, in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys represent the Hahns in a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration over its abortion pill mandate. The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.

“The government has no business bullying family business owners into paying for other people’s abortion pills, which are widely available at low cost,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The Constitution guarantees the highest form of respect to the freedom of families like the Hahns. It’s absurd for the government to argue that disregarding the Hahn family’s freedom is necessary when it already exempts 100 million people from this unjust mandate.”

“Americans must be free to exercise their constitutionally protected liberties without fear of punishment,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No American family should be forced to choose between following their faith and submitting to unlawful and unnecessary government mandates.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued rules that health care plans must include all FDA-approved contraceptives, including drugs that can destroy a human embryo and sterilization services, without a direct cost to the patient. The HHS mandate contains only an exemption for churches and their affiliates. Religious nonprofits and businesses run by people of faith are not exempt and face crippling fines for noncompliance of up to $100 per day, per employee.

Numerous plaintiffs have filed suit against the Obama Administration challenging the HHS mandate onreligious liberty grounds. The plaintiffs include Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Little Sisters of the Poor, Notre Dame University, and others.
The pro-life Family Research Council strongly supports Hobby Lobby.
“The HHS mandate marks a turning point in America’s history. Religious liberty, jobs and healthcare are at stake: Can the federal government force individuals to violate their consciences as a condition of owning abusiness, holding a job, or purchasing healthcare?” it asks. ”

The answer is a resounding “No.” The government has no right to force employers to act against their moral and religious beliefs. First Amendment rights and freedom of conscience must be protected.”

Hobby Lobby, the family-owned arts and crafts business that has been the most high-profile plaintiff against Obamacare, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect it from being forced to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or be forced to pay severe fines. The company filed a brief last month at the Supreme Court is in preparation for oral arguments on March 25, 2014 before the nation’s highest court.

Hobby Lobby’s brief calls on two centuries of high court rulings to counter the government’s reasoning that the Greens’ rights as individuals cannot be exercised through their family-owned corporation. The brief insists that this freedom does not “turn[] on [the Company’s] tax status,” and further states that the Administration cannot “divide and conquer” the Greens’ religious liberties from those of Hobby Lobby to make those rights “simply vanish.”

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a landmark case addressing the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their deeply held religious convictions. This is good news to the Green family, who own the store.

The Obama administration says it is confident it will prevail, saying, “We believe this requirement is lawful…and are confident the Supreme Court will agree.”

The Supreme Court is also taking the case of the Mennonite cabinet makers forced to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs.

In July, a federal court granted Hobby Lobby a preliminary injunction against the HHS abortion-drug mandate. The injunction prevented the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate against the Christian company, but the Obama administration appealed that ruling recently. The government’s appeal makes it highly likely that the Supreme Court will decide the issue in the upcoming term.

Hobby Lobby asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its case and decide whether the Green family will be required to provide and pay for life-terminating drugs and devices in violation of their religious beliefs, according to an email from its attorneys to LifeNews.

“Hobby Lobby’s case raises important questions about who can enjoy religious freedom,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead lawyer for Hobby Lobby. “Right now, some courts recognize the rights of business owners like the Green family, and others do not. Religious freedom is too important to be left to chance. The Supreme Court should take this case and protect religious freedom for the Green family and Hobby Lobby.”

Duncan said last June the Christian-owned and operated business won a major victory before the en banc 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the government’s argument that the Green family and their family-owned businesses, Hobby Lobby and a Christian bookstore chain named Mardel, could not legally exercise religion.

The court further said the businesses were likely to win their challenge to the HHS mandate. Since then, courts in other parts of the country have ruled differently, setting up a conflict that only the Supreme Court can resolve.

The Court will consider the government’s petition and Hobby Lobby’s response next month. If the petition is granted, the case would be argued and decided before the end of the Court’s term in June.

“The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living,” said Duncan. “We’re confident that the Supreme Court will reject the government’s extreme position and hold that religious liberty is for everyone—including people who run a business.”

After the appeals court ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued a preliminary injunction and stayed the case until Oct. 1 to give the Obama administration time to appeal the decision.

In an opinion read from the bench, the court said, “There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved.”

Duncan says there are now 63 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate. The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.

Hobby Lobby could have paid as much as $1.3 million each day in fines for refusing to pay for birth control or abortion-causing drugs under the mandate.

A December 2013 Rasmussen Reports poll shows Americans disagree with forcing companies like Hobby Lobby to obey the mandate.

“Half of voters now oppose a government requirement that employers provide health insurance with free contraceptives for their female employees,” Rasmussen reports.The poll found: “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe businesses should be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without co-payments or other charges to the patient.

Fifty-one percent (51%) disagree and say employers should not be required to provide health insurance with this type of coverage. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.”

Another recent poll found 59 percent of Americans disagree with the mandate.

Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Sees Number of Clinics Drop to Lowest Point Since Roe

A new report released today provides excellent news for the pro-life movement as it shows the number of clinics run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business drop to its lowest figure since Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court decision that allowed unlimited abortions.

Conducted by American Life League, the latest survey of Planned Parenthood facilities in the United States shows the number of clinics and geographic areas served is the lowest number of clinics for Planned Parenthood since 1973. Ironically, while the Planned Parenthood abortion business is operating few clinics, its level of taxpayer funding has not dropped.

“We do exhaustive research on Planned Parenthood every year,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president at ALL, the nation’s oldest Catholic pro-life group. “This marks the eighth straight year of decline in both total facilities and total affiliates. Meanwhile, taxpayer subsidies remain at record highs under the Obama administration.”

The survey found that Planned Parenthood opened 13 new facilities in 2013 and closed 48. The closures took place in 16 different states. The number of clinics run by the abortion company has fallen from a high of 938 locations in 1995 to 872 facilities in 2005 to 695 today. About half of the locations Planned Parenthood operates either perform surgical abortions or dispense the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. All Planned Parenthood facilities refer for abortions.

Legislation that prohibits late-term abortions, de-funds Planned Parenthood, subjects abortion clinics to the same health and safety standards as legitimate health centers, or that limits abortions in other way has helped cut the number of Planned Parenthood centers. But Rob Gasper, the ALL senior researcher who conducted the survey, believes other factors are also at work.

“A look at the numbers shows a major period of decline beginning in 2007 and an acceleration in that decline in 2009. Coincidentally, two major efforts began in those two years,” he says. “First, in 2007, 40 Days for Life launched its first national prayer and fasting effort across more than 30 states. In 2009, American Life League started the Bringing Jesus to Planned Parenthood through Mary campaign.”

Last year, a survey conducted by Operation Rescue showed 87 surgical abortion clinics closed in 2013 alone, with 73% of all such clinics having shut down since 1991.

In Treating Mental Anguish Let's Not Forget Worshiping God, Says Pastor

Pastors such as Shane Idleman of the Westside Christian Fellowship Church, are calling on Christians to take a more holistic approach to mental illness and not dismiss the problem as either solely psychological or only a spiritual one. However, the pastor of the Lancaster, Calif., church says that in most cases, worshiping God should be a first choice instead of medication.

Idleman writes that Christians who are mentally or emotionally suffering should examine their hearts and delve deep into their spiritual and physical habits to identify if they are lacking in either or both areas. In his recent blog post he states that both could be contributing factors to mental health issues.

“We can’t tell a clinically depressed person to ‘just get over it…pray and move on,’ but on the flip side, we can’t dismiss the fact that some depression is self-inflicted,” writes Idleman. “Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not discounting the deep emotional and psychological pain associated with depression and anxiety, but I do want to remind you that God makes provision for all of our needs. There may be a time and a place for medication, but, in most cases, it should not be the first thing we turn to. The first step must be toward God…toward worship.”

Although it may not always be the case, Idleman notes that part of what may occur in a person’s spiritual life can have much to do with an individual’s state of mind. He writes that “depression, fear, and anxiety are often by-products of a misaligned heart” while emphasizing that worship has the power to break down those mental issues.

While he believes taking medication for treatment of such issues in some cases is appropriate, Idleman thinks it should not be the first choice to turn to. He insists the first step must be towards God.

“I encourage those suffering with depression and anxiety to look first at their spiritual and physical health. I’m not minimizing depression or anxiety, they are debilitating, but we shouldn’t immediately assume that we need a prescription without first checking the obvious. Do we have a strong devotional and prayer life? Are we monitoring our thought life and media choices carefully? Are we taking care of our body?,” he writes.

Individuals should also take into consideration their physical health, which oftentimes is neglected he says.

“God sometimes uses pain, sickness, and disease to draw us closer to Him…poor nutrition affects us negatively in several different ways. High levels of caffeine or nicotine, for example, lead to irritation, anger, impatience, anxiety, and worry…the exact opposite of the fruit of the Spirit,” Idleman says.

He adds, “Clearly, health plays a vital role in our overall attitude. When we feed the body what it needs, it will run better. In the same way that many cases of diabetes can be reversed by proper nutrition, so can many cases of depression.”

Idleman also emphasizes that his intent is not to be legalistic about what he feels might be the causes for several mental issues, but rather help make Christians aware that many cases can be curtailed if spiritual and physical health were priorities.

Each May, Americans recognize Mental Health Month with events and activities in communities across the country. This year’s theme is “Get Connected” to emphasize the role of social relationships in protecting and improving mental health.

For more information, visit The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Doc Ruptured 20-Year-Old Woman’s Uterus So Badly in Abortion She Can Never Have Children Again

Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen, sometimes referred to as the “Gosnell of Texas,” has been sued by a former abortion patient who alleges that he inflicted life-threatening injuries on her during a 23-week abortion then failed to inform her or send her for the emergency care and surgery she required.

Melanie Mendoza filed suit in Harris County Court on March 10, 2014, seeking unspecified damages after her horrific late-term abortion experience with Karpen on Valentine’s Day, 2013.

Operation Rescue obtained the court documents, which can be viewed at, that allege Karpen rushed through the late-term procedure, lacerating Mendoza’s uterus and creating a large T-shaped rupture that left her uterus open to the abdominal cavity.

It was among the worst injuries to the uterus that the Ob/Gyn treating Mendoza at the West Houston Medical Center “had ever seen or read about.”

Ms. Mendoza’s ordeal began on February 7, 2013, when she reported to Karpen’s Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston where she was found to be 22 weeks pregnant at that time. She was told by the staff that such late-term abortion procedures were “low-risk,” post-abortion hemorrhage was less than after childbirth, and that it was “highly unlikely any uncomplicated or mid trimester abortion will cause a problem with infertility or future pregnancies.”

On February 14, Mendoza kept her abortion appointment at Karpen’s second abortion location, the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center, also in Houston, where over a dozen other women were waiting for abortions.

According to the complaint:

The Plaintiff watched as each young woman was called to go to the back. Finally, the Plaintiff was the only young woman left in the waiting area, and she remained there, alone, for some time after the last young woman had left, and the Plaintiff got the feeling she had been forgotten. Finally, a nurse came to the waiting area and appeared to be surprised the Plaintiff was still there. From that moment, everything thereafter appeared to be rushed.

During the now 23-week abortion, Karpen’s alleged negligence was responsible for the grossly ruptured uterus, partial laceration of the broad uterine ligament, and heavy internal bleeding. It appears Karpen never tried to repair the rupture and sent Mendoza home under the impression that the surgery had been uneventful.

The next day, experiencing intense pain, Mendoza made her way to the West Houston Medical Center emergency room where a CT Scan revealed her ruptured uterus and massive internal bleeding. Mendoza was rushed into emergency surgery. Her injuries were so severe that she can never have another child since doctors now believe she would “be in extreme danger” if she were ever to become pregnant again. She was only 20 years old at the time of her abortion.

Had Ms. Mendoza delayed seeking emergency care, hospital staff believe she would have died from her injuries.

Last year, Operation Rescue obtained information provided by three former Karpen employees, who first came to Operation Rescue in an attempt to blow the whistle on their former boss. Allegations made by the informants included illegal late-term abortion and the killing of babies born alive during late-term abortions among other violations.

Later, the women went public in a report released by Operation Rescue and in an interview recorded by Life Dynamics, Inc. at Operation Rescue’s request.

The informants indicated that Karpen would often seriously injure women during abortions then not tell them. The women would be released from Karpen’s abortion facilities without ever knowing that they had suffered injuries that required additional care.

These allegations are identical to Mendoza’s claims.

Deborah Edge, a former Karpen employee told Life Dynamics, Inc. during the interview, “There was a lot of things – I mean – from with these large abortions, these botched abortions that he was doing – to hurting the patients on the table, to causing some kind of major problem . . . [like] ripping a uterus and not letting the patients know. Trying to stitch them back together and send them home with a package of gauze and then they come back tomorrow so you could pull it out. But never telling the woman, you know, ‘Hey, I ripped your cervix…You need to get that looked at.’ He would never tell the woman.”

“Ms. Mendez’s law suit alleges that Karpen seriously injured her during a late-term abortion and then never told her she was injured. This is exactly the same allegation made to us by three former Karpen employees, who also provided us with photographic evidence that Karpen was murdering babies born alive in a similar way that Kermit Gosnell did,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

“Now that Ms. Mendoza’s lawsuit has corroborated this part of our informant’s allegations, we believe their other allegations now have more credibility. We are calling on authorities such as the Texas Medical Board to reopen investigations into Karpen’s practices and take emergency action to prevent him from inflicting harm on anyone else.”

Operation Rescue obtained photographic evidence supplied by three former employees of Karpen’s depicting the gruesome remains of very late-term babies that had been aborted by Karpen in 2012. The babies had cuts in their necks from ear to ear, injuries that could not have been done inside the uterus. The three former employees told Operation Rescue that the babies had been born alive, then killed in acts very similar to those committed by convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia.

But before the whistleblowers’ accusations hit the public, Operation Rescue submitted a complaint to the Texas Medical Board supported by affidavits from the clinic workers and other evidence, including the photos, but the TMB dismissed the complaint on February 8, 2013, noting that Karpen had done “nothing improper.”

“On the same day that the TMB penned the ‘cover-up’ letter telling us that Karpen did nothing wrong, Ms. Mendoza was in the hospital getting emergency surgery in order to save her life from horrifying injuries she says Karpen inflicted upon her,” said Newman. “We just have to wonder how many more women will suffer or even die before the TMB and other officials stop protecting this dangerous man.”

In May, on the heals of the conviction of Kermit Gosnell on three counts of First Degree Murder for killing born-alive babies, Operation Rescue went public with the information garnered from the Karpen informants and posted the photos depicting the two aborted babies for the public to evaluate for themselves, then filed formal complaints with the Texas Attorney General’s office and Harris County District Attorney seeking a criminal investigation.

This prompted a Harris County grand jury to take up the Karpen case, but it suspiciously failed to indict him. Operation Rescue has reason to believe that the grand jury was never presented with all of the evidence in the case and that the testimony of the informants was cast as not being credible.

Newman believes that the Mendoza lawsuit changes that.

“The allegations in the Mendoza case gives new credibility to Deborah Edge’s testimony and that of the other former Karpen employees. We believe these women, who courageously faced often vicious attacks on their character, have been vindicated by Mendoza’s experience,” said Newman. “The Mendoza allegations are serious enough that is would be negligent if Texas Medical Board and other authorities don’t take a second look at Karpen.”

Read Mendoza v. Karpen, Harris County Case No. 666364