By Christy Barritt
Peace Corps OKs Gay Couples to Volunteer
The largest government-run volunteer organization in the U.S. announced that it’s changing its policy to allow same-sex couples to volunteer together overseas.
The Peace Corps, a program that works in 76 different countries, implemented this change in June.
In their announcement, the Peace Corps said that they’ve added expanding service opportunities to same-sex couples to further diversify the pool of Peace Corps applicants. The organization also said it will only send same-sex couples into countries where homosexuality is not a crime.
“I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together,” said Deputy Director Hessler-Radelet in a statement.
Married heterosexual couples have been allowed to serve together since the program began in 1961.
Court Overturns Arizona’s Pro-Life Law
A federal appeals court struck down an Arizona law that banned abortions after 20 weeks.
The bill, known as the Mother’s Health and Safety Act, has been through more than one court since being signed into law in April 2012 by Governor Jan Brewer. The law was set to take effect last August, but the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit before that happened, saying it was unconstitutional.
A federal district court judge upheld the constitutionality of the measure, but now the 9th Circuit Court has blocked the state from implementing it. The case is expected to go to court again.
The law stated “20 weeks” is when abortions should be banned because that is the time, based on scientific research, that a preborn baby can begin to feel pain, and it is also when the risks are greater for the mother.
Survey: Kids Start Watching Online Porn as Young as 6
An online security company called Bitdefender recently completed a study of 19,000 parents. They found that children as young as 6 are watching online pornography and that by 8 some are flirting with cyberspace strangers.
The company surveyed parents from the U.S. as well as six other countries. They also used data they collected from their own parental control software.
The study showed that the top web category that most interests children is pornography, followed by online shopping, file sharing, social networks, news, gambling, and online dating. The average age when children are first exposed to porn on the web is 11, though some as young as 6 have seen it.
Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi said this is a growing problem among youth. “Kids nowadays are acting like young adults online—just give them an Internet-connected device, and they will find a way to things parents would like to ban forever,” said Cosoi.
Churchgoers Not Always Open About Faith
A LifeWay Research survey of Protestants showed that 14 percent of churchgoers admit that many people in their lives aren’t aware they’re even Christians.
The survey focused on attributes of discipleship. Two of those traits they concentrated on were “Being unashamed around nonbelievers” and “Showing transparency among other Christians.”
Sixty-six percent of American churchgoers agreed that Christians should seek out honest feedback about their spiritual life from other Christians.
The survey also showed that churchgoers often leave important elements of faith unspoken. Twenty-nine percent said that “Spiritual matters do not tend to come up as a normal part of my daily conversations with other Christians.”
“The temptation for Christians is to pretend to be ‘not-too-religious’ when they are around neighbors and coworkers,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “Yet, Scripture calls believers to not be ashamed of the gospel and its work in our lives.”
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.