Signs and Wonders
Lady Gaga
Associated Press/Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision
Lady Gaga

Signs and Wonders: Lady Gaga counsels, U.S. growth, Times minority report, Sabbath in Britain


No thanks. Proving the old axiom that “not all help is helpful,” pop star Lady Gaga announced last week that she would offer free counseling before each show on her 2013 Born This Way Ball Tour. “At the BornBrave Bus you have access to professional private or group chats about mental health, depression, bullying, school & friends,” she announced on her Facebook page. The sad reality is that many thousands of kids will likely seek out her “advice” and will be encouraged to continue in the self-destructive behavior that is leading to the depression in the first place.

Demography is destiny, redux. New 2012 population estimates released last Thursday by the Census Bureau show an America growing modestly. The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million, reaching 313.9 million people. Those numbers represent a growth rate of 0.75 percent, slightly higher than 2011’s 0.73 percent rate. The annual growth rate of the United States reached a high in 1950 of more than 2 percent, and—despite some “up” years—has been trending slightly downward ever since. The economy drives growth at the state level. North Dakota’s booming economy caused it to grow 2.2 percent from July 2011 to July of this year. The District of Columbia, fueled by the rapid growth in government spending, was next-fastest growing, followed by Texas, Wyoming, and Utah. Two states lost population: Rhode Island and Vermont. California remained the most populous state, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.

Biased reporting. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Illinois clergy support traditional marriage. On three separate occasions, bills that would allow same-sex “marriage” have died in committee in the Illinois legislature. Polls consistently show a lack of support for same-sex “marriage” in Illinois. So what does The New York Times write about? The lead in a story last week said, “More than 250 religious leaders in Illinois have signed an open letter in support of same-sex marriage, which the legislature is likely to take up in January.” The story quotes extensively clergy from rapidly shrinking denominations such as The Episcopal Church, but mentions only briefly the opposition of the Catholic Church, the largest religious body in the United States, and the Southern Baptist Church, the largest Protestant denomination in the country (with about 150,000 active members in Illinois, far more than The Episcopal Church). This story is just one more example of how the Times, which aspires to be our national newspaper, is out of touch with the nation it hopes to serve.

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Sabbath suspension. A court ruling in Britain said Christians couldn’t refuse to work on Sundays because remembering the Sabbath is not a “core component” of Christian teaching. The judgment came on an appeal brought by a Christian woman who said her employer forced her to resign because she refused to work on Sundays. Celestina Mba said she loved her job, and she had even found other workers willing to take her shifts. But that didn’t matter to her employer or the court. The case is causing consternation in religious circles in England because it essentially means the courts are now in a position of deciding what doctrines are “core” and which doctrines are not.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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