Signs and Wonders: Online petitions, Christian persecution, Romney, single-parent homes

Newsworthy | Warren Cole Smith

Signs and Wonders: Online petitions, Christian persecution, Romney, single-parent homes

CNN's Piers Morgan
Associated Press/Photo by Jae C. Hong

Out of control? If you go to White House website, you can literally petition our government by creating an online petition. President Obama has promised to respond to any petition that gets at least 25,000 signatures. In an electronic world in which YouTube videos can get 100 million-plus views, it turns out that getting 25,000 signatures on a petition is not that difficult. The most recent petition to reach that threshold is one to have CNN talk show host Piers Morgan deported for his views on gun control. The petition accuses Morgan of a “hostile attack on the U.S. Constitution.” I think Morgan is to journalism what Velveeta is to cheese. It seems to me that the market for his brand of conversation is made up of the same people who watch “too cute” cat videos. But I do wonder if having the president of the United States and his staff weigh in on this issue is truly highest and best use of their time.

Suffering for Jesus. A new study released by the think tank Civitas says at least 200 million Christians face oppression in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Militant Islam is the primary reason for the persecution. The study’s author, Rupert Shortt, is a journalist and visiting fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He wrote, “Exposing and combating the problem ought in my view to be political priorities across large areas of the world. That this is not the case tells us much about a questionable hierarchy of victimhood. The blind spot displayed by governments and other influential players is causing them to squander a broader opportunity. Religious freedom is the canary in the mine for human rights generally.”

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Now he tells us. Tagg Romney, Mitt’s oldest son, has been in the news this week saying his father did not want to be president after all. According to Tagg, “He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to … run.” Then came the comment that caused many Republicans to choke: “If he could have found someone else to take his place … he would have been ecstatic to step aside.” I don’t know if Tagg or Mitt noticed, but at one time about a dozen serious candidates were in the race. None of them perfect, but one or two of them pretty good. And if Romney had stepped aside, some other very good candidates might have emerged. I don’t know what Tagg intended with his comments, but the effect was to dishonor his father’s supporters. I was never among that group, but I will acknowledge that they sacrificially invested time, reputation, and money for a campaign—we now see—Romney apparently thought he shouldn’t have to work for.

This explains (almost) everything. A newly released study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that 25.8 percent of American children live in single-parent homes. That number is particularly troubling when you consider that of the 26 other countries surveyed, the average was 14.9 percent. Among African-Americans the rate was much worse: 72 percent of black children grow up in single-parent homes. No fault divorce and social welfare policies that discourage marriage are among the possible explanations for the high rates of single-parent homes in the United States.

Signs and Wonders will take a break for the remainder of this week. Merry Christmas.

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