By Christy Barritt
Military Chaplains and Same-Sex Marriages
Last fall the U.S. Senate passed legislation as an amendment to the defense authorization bill that protects military chaplains from being required to conduct same-sex weddings.
When Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (the policy banning gays from serving openly in the military) was repealed in September 2011, gay-rights activists immediately began pushing for same-sex marriage ceremonies for gay service members by military chaplains—as long as they took place in states where those unions are legal. The Department of Defense complied and authorized chaplains to perform the ceremonies.
The amendment protecting military chaplains from being required to perform these ceremonies was proposed by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), who said in a statement that the proposal would allow chaplains to “maintain the freedom of conscience necessary to serve both their nation and their religion without conflict.”
How Do Americans Define Wealthy?
A new Gallup poll shows that most Americans would consider earning $250,000 a year more than enough money to lead “a very good life.”
Gallup reported that Americans say they need to earn $150,000 a year to consider themselves rich.
In 2003, Gallup took the same survey and Americans then reported they would consider themselves rich if they earned $120,000 annually.
Wages for most Americans, who have a median household income nationwide of about $50,000, have not increased since 2003.
The poll results were based on telephone interviews with a random sample of approximately 1,000 adults nationwide.
Bible on Approved List Again at Walter Reed
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center rescinded its policy that prohibited friends and family of wounded military troops from bringing Bibles or other religious reading material to their loved ones.
A policy memorandum from the commander of the medical center issued in September stated, “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”
After a public outcry over the policy (and after several lawmakers denounced the memorandum), the hospital took action.
A spokesperson from the medical center said the policy would be rewritten in order to be clearer, and that Bibles would again be allowed in the hospital.
Most Obstetricians and Gynecologists Say Pregnancy Begins at Conception
A survey published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology said that a majority of American obstetricians and gynecologists believe that pregnancy begins at conception.
Of the 1,000 OB-GYNs who responded to the questionnaire, 57 percent said that pregnancy starts at conception. Twenty-eight percent said pregnancy doesn’t begin until the embryo is implanted in the uterine wall, which happens about a week after conception. Fifteen percent said they were uncertain.
At what point pregnancy begins is a hot topic currently due to the growing use of contraceptive methods that block implantation after fertilization occurs.
According to Reuters News Service, the study showed that doctors who said they were religious or are opposed to abortion or birth control methods that block implantation are more likely to say that pregnancy begins at conception.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons. www.christybarritt.com