By Christy Barritt
Animal Rights Activists Petition Pope to Stop Releasing Doves
A new petition is calling for the head of the Roman Catholic Church to stop releasing doves as part of official ceremonies at the Vatican.
The petition was created after a recent event where birds of prey attacked the doves upon release in St. Peter’s Square.
Care2, an animal rights activist group, said that domesticated doves are easy targets for other birds and therefore the practice needs to be ended.
Releasing the doves is meant to be a symbol of peace. But at the recent event called the Caravan of Peace, tens of thousands of people witnessed the doves being attacked by a sea gull and a crow. Videos and photos of the attack went viral.
“Nobody saw the dove release as a symbol of peace,” said petition creator Chris Wolverton. “It was a scene of violence.”
He suggested using paper cranes or white poppy flowers instead.
Edward Snowden Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Two Norwegian lawmakers announced in January that they nominated U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize. They claim that the former National Security Agency contractor contributed to a “more peaceful and stable world.”
Snowden has been charged by the U.S. with three felonies. He leaked information about secret U.S. programs that collect data on all phone calls made on the Verizon network as well as the Internet data of internationals from major companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple.
Baard Vegar Solhjell and Snorre Valen of Norway said in a joint statement that Snowden’s revelations “may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term” and that they didn’t support all of his actions. They also said that they’re convinced that the public debate on the policy changes that followed have benefited the world.
Pro-Life Bill Passed by House
The U.S. House has passed a new bill that would prevent taxpayer funding for abortions. Known as HR 7, the House voted 227 to 188 in favor of the legislation.
The bill would prohibit insurance plans sold in the new health care exchanges from covering abortions and would eliminate tax benefits for small businesses that purchase insurance plans covering abortions.
The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” was introduced by New York Republican Representative Chris Smith, who said he’d like to see this kind of abortion provision become permanent instead of in need of annual renewal by lawmakers.
When laying out his case, Smith said, “HR 7 will help save lives and will reduce abortions.”
Despite this win in the House, the Senate is not expected to pass the bill. Should the legislation be approved, President Obama has expressed intentions to veto it.
Increased Hostility Toward Christians in Public Schools
A legal organization based out of California is claiming that there’s a notable increase in hostility and harassment directed at Christian students attending public schools.
Advocates for Faith and Freedom said that the complaints generally involve teachers and administrators who are restricting the students’ free speech rights simply because they’re Christians.
Bob Tyler, general counsel for the firm, told the Christian News Network that AFF is seeing a major increase in requests for help from parents of kids who are encountering hostility while in school.
“The more that our kids are being told that there is no God, and the more hostile that these teachers are allowed to be, and the more disapproval that they have the ability to show toward Christ, the greater impact it will have on future generations and whether they believe in God,” he said.
He’s committed to fight for Christian students’ free speech rights in the courts.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.