Signs and Wonders
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New Jersey

Signs and Wonders: New Jersey family tests gay therapy ban

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Not over yet. In August, New Jersey passed a law preventing licensed therapists from helping men and women with unwanted homosexual attraction overcome those destructive desires. The law generated a national controversy because it could have the effect of criminalizing Christian counselors in the state. The law is in the news again. Two New Jersey parents have sued because they believe homosexuality is immoral and want help for their 15-year-old son. Under current law, they can’t get that help. According to Yahoo News: “[The unnamed teen] has a sincerely held religious belief and conviction that homosexuality is wrong and immoral, and he wanted to address that value conflict because his unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion are contrary to the fundamental religious values that he holds, the lawsuit claims.”

Libertarians rising? A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute takes a closer look at Libertarians and their growing political clout. Libertarianism, with its radical individualism, is not an appropriate worldview for Christians, but Christians who rightly stand against federal government attempts to restrict liberty—especially religious liberty—can work with Libertarians on a number of issues. This survey is especially important in the aftermath of the Virginia election. The Libertarian candidate in Virginia got about 7 percent of the vote. It’s hard to know for sure if that cost Republican Ken Cuccinelli the election. Some of those Libertarians might have voted for the Democrat, and some might have stayed home and not voted at all. But it seems likely that the Libertarian vote cost the Republicans more than the Democrats. For a season it looked as though Libertarianism was more or less dead, politically speaking, but the Virginia election makes me wonder if Libertarianism has new political life.

Iowa rising. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah was among those who came out for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual fall banquet on Saturday night. Joining him was Sarah Palin, whom many still remember as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 election. Lee said Republicans needed to do better at offering market-based alternatives to Obamacare if they want to be taken seriously in 2014. “Frustration is not a platform,” Lee said. “Anger is not an agenda, and outrage, as a habit, is not even conservative.”

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Thor thumps the others. Thor: The Dark World trounced all comers at the box office this weekend, pulling in more than $86 million. It was bad news for Ender’s Game, which managed another $10 million, but faded to fifth place. It now looks like it will struggle to recover its $100 million production budget. The movie is not a victim of the boycott by pro-homosexuality groups, though. Rather, it is succumbing to bad marketing and an unfortunate release date. Also, fans of the book, the core audience for the movie, have been disappointed by the movie’s deviations from Orson Scott Card’s original story. Their lack of enthusiasm has dampened viral and word-of-mouth buzz. Ender will likely continue to wither in the face of Thor and the new Hunger Games offering, out in two weeks. In the meantime, Gravity continues to soar. It added another $8.4 million and passed Star Trek Into Darknesswith a total now over $231 million. Two Christian-themed movies, Grace Unplugged and I’m In Love With A Church Girl, are near the end of their theatrical runs, but both movies have made back their production budgets and will likely turn profitable in DVD sales.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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