Disorderly conduct. The Rev. Frank Schaefer is facing discipline and may lose his ministerial credentials from the United Methodist Church for officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony in defiance of church guidelines. A church-based jury found Schaefer guilty yesterday of flouting denominational rules and showing “disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church.” Schaefer presided over his son’s wedding in 2007. He testified at his trial that he told his superiors about the wedding but did not inform his congregation at the time. Schaefer did not face discipline until April of this year when a church member learned of the ceremony and filed a complaint. Schaefer, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, could have avoided the trial if he had agreed to never again perform a same-sex wedding, but he declined because three of his four children are gay.
State senator stabbed. Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds, a former gubernatorial candidate, was stabbed multiple times earlier today at his home in Bath County, Va., and is in critical condition. Deeds' 24-year-old son was found dead from a gunshot wound in the home. Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, said in a news conference that police were not looking for any suspects, an indication that the attack involved only the senator and his son, according to The Washington Post. The 55-year-old Deeds, a Democrat, has been in the state Senate since 2001. He has run for the statewide offices of attorney general and governor, losing both times to current Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Taking up the cause. The U.S. House is poised tomorrow to vote on a resolution calling for the release of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned for more than a year in Iran for his Christian faith. The Senate unanimously passed a similar resolution last Friday. The resolution condemns Iran for its persecution of religious minorities and calls the Iranian government a “chronic and systematic violator of religious freedom.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has led efforts in Congress to pressure the Iranian government and the Obama administration to work toward Abedini’s release. “I hope President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will take every opportunity to raise his case, and make clear to the Iranian regime that this abuse of an American citizen, for peacefully practicing his faith, materially undermines any suggestion that they have moderated their oppressive policies,” Cruz said in a statement Friday.
Gettysburg remembered. Today is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech at the dedication of Soldiers’ National Cemetery near the central Pennsylvania battlefield where thousands were killed or wounded during the Civil War. Politicians, historians, and visitors gathered today at, the cemetery to commemorate the brief but celebrated address. Attendees included Civil War historian James McPherson, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who administered the oath of allegiance to 16 new U.S. citizens during the event.