By Christy Barritt
Judge Says It’s Legal to Pray for Other People’s Harm
A Dallas judge ruled it was okay to pray for another person to be harmed.
The judge cited that such prayers are not illegal, as long as they do not directly cause damage to someone.
The case was brought about in a lawsuit against a former Navy chaplain. He used Psalm 109 to pray against the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), according to the Dallas Morning News.
The chaplain encouraged his supporters to pray Psalm 109:8-12 and direct it toward MRFF. The verse begins, “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.”
The MRFF founder claimed he’d received death threats and had his property damaged as a result of the prayers. However, the district court judge said that offering a prayer is not directly connected to causing real harm to a person.
City Violated Pro-Lifers’ First Amendment Rights
The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the city of Jackson violated pro-life activists’ First Amendment rights when it prohibited them from holding a protest in the city square in 2011.
Members of Operation Save America were arrested in May of 2011 when they attempted to hold a three-day vigil to oppose the state’s only abortion clinic.
The group found out that the city attorney had sought a temporary restraining order against them without notifying them. The group had no opportunity to defend itself before a district judge granted the motion that prevented the protesters from being in the location.
The Wyoming Supreme Court later ruled that graphic signs in the public square were protected under free speech by the First Amendment.
Church Giving Drops $1.2 Billion
The National Council of Churches’ 2012 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches reported that churches are still feeling the effects of the recession. Contributions dropped $1.2 billion from figures reported in the 2011 Yearbook.
Some churches are cutting staff as a result. The Dayton Daily News in Ohio said in an article that many churches in their area have turned to layoffs, as well as slashing missionary support and outreach programs, as a result of this decline.
Per capita giving is also down $17.00 from the previous year to $763.00. The yearbook’s editor said this is due to “high unemployment and a protracted economic downturn.”
More Babies Being Born to Unmarried Couples
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study that shows nearly one in four babies is born to unmarried couples who are living together.
Their study was based on face-to-face interviews with more than 22,000 men and women from 2006-2010.
A previous report showed that more than 40 percent of births were to unwed mothers.
Also significant from the survey was that 23 percent of the reported births were to unmarried heterosexual couples who were living together. When the study was done in 2002, this number was at 14 percent.
Other points of interest from the study were that 43 percent of women aged 15 to 44 had never had a baby, and the average age at which women had their first child was 23—age 25 for men.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.