By Christy Barritt
Bill Introduced to Protect Faith-Based Adoption
In August U.S. Representative Mike Kelly and Senator Mike Enzi filed the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014. If passed, the bill would prevent discrimination against faith-based child welfare service providers and would threaten states that continued such discrimination with a loss of federal funding.
“Faith-based charities and organizations do an amazing job of administering adoption, foster care, and a host of other services,” Enzi said. “Limiting their work because someone might disagree with what they believe only ends up hurting the families they could be bringing together.”
In some states faith-based adoption agencies have been denied federally funded contracts. “This bill . . . is about ensuring that everyone who wants to help provide foster or adoptive care to children is able to have a seat at the table,” said Kelly.
Four World Vision Children Killed in Israeli Attacks in Gaza
Four children who were sponsored by World Vision have been killed in Gaza due to Israeli airstrikes and violence. The Christian humanitarian organization has temporarily suspended its operations in the region. Their work in the country took place at a U.N. shelter that was bombed in August, killing 16 people and injuring 130.
World Vision has already notified the children’s sponsors.
World Vision’s Senior Director of Advocacy & Outreach, Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, called for an end to the fighting on behalf of the children. “Children are precious in the eyes of God,” Cannon said. “Our government and political leaders engaged in this conflict must do everything within their power to protect the lives of innocent children who are literally being caught in the crossfire and continue to suffer the devastating consequences of the increasing humanitarian disaster in Gaza.”
Diner Gets Discount for Praying
A woman traveling for business received a 15 percent discount on her restaurant check after praying for her meal.
Jordan Smith stopped for breakfast at Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She and two of her colleagues prayed for their food before eating. When they received their bill, they were surprised to see a discount there.
According to Smith, the waitress came over at the end of the meal and told them about the deduction they’d received. Smith took a picture of the receipt, where the discount was listed along with the words “Praying in Public” beside it. She posted the photo on her Facebook page, where it went viral.
Despite the gesture, many people called the discount discrimination and a double standard. However, the likes and shares far outnumbered the critics.
HIV Increase Among Males 13 to 24
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control released a report showing an increase in HIV cases among males ages 13-24. Though the U.S. had lower HIV rates overall, the report listed several possible reasons for the increase within that age group.
“Delays in diagnosis, temporal trends in diagnoses, and variations among groups may reflect earlier changes in HIV incidence,” the report stated. “Reports show that many at high risk do not test annually and the overall percentage of youth who had ever tested for HIV during the period of analysis was low compared to other age groups.”
There is concern that more may be infected and not know it. Coupled with high-risk behaviors, health officials fear this could have the makings of another epidemic like the one in the 1980s.
“It’s been more than 30 years since the first cases were reported,” said Amy Lansky, deputy director for surveillance, epidemiology, and laboratory sciences at the CDC. “It’s harder to maintain that sense of urgency.”
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.