By Garrett Haley
Christian News Network
MIDDLETON, Wisc. – Hoping to offer a doll that will appeal to both girls and boys, American Girl has unveiled their first ever full-size male doll, which has lead to criticism from a North Carolina pastor who believes the move will blur gender lines and confuse young children about whether it is acceptable for boys to play with dolls like girls do.
For over 30 years, American Girl dolls, along with their accompanying books and accessories, have been popular toys for children in the U.S. The original dolls featured storylines and outfits of young girls from different periods of American history, but since 1995 the company has sold doll characters in various modern settings.
On Tuesday, in an effort to continue modernizing their line of dolls, American Girl announced the creation of its first-ever full-sized male character doll.
“A boy character has been a top request from our fans for decades,” said American Girl spokeswoman Stephanie Spanos in a statement. Click here to continue reading.
Courtesy of Understand the Times
By Mary Rezac
Earlier this month, the International Marian Association submitted a request to Pope Francis, asking for the public recognition of the title of Mary as “Co-Redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer.”
The 10 page document was submitted by the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association, a group of more than 100 theologians, bishops, priests, religious, and lay leaders from over 20 countries dedicated to the “full truth and love of Mary, Mother of Jesus.” It comes during the 100th year anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal.
The significance of the request, if it were to receive approval, is that the faithful would be given further clarity on Mary’s unique role in cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption, Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Professor of Mariology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, told EWTN News. Click here to read more.
Comment by Understand the Times with Roger Oakland: It is a fact that there is an agenda to come up with a new title for the Roman Catholic “Mary” known as the Co-Redemptrix. This has been the plea of many Catholics for years based on apparitional messages from a woman claiming to be Mary, the mother of Jesus. Catholics who believe this have never taken the Bible seriously. The Bible states there is one Redeemer and His name is Jesus Christ. Another name for the Catholic Mary is “The Queen of Heaven” which the Bible clearly defines as a demonic entity that tricked the Jews in the days of Jeremiah.
LTRP NOTE: Posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source.
By Niraj Chokshi
New York Times
Reversing its stance of more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America said on Monday that the group would begin accepting members based on the gender listed on their application, paving the way for transgender boys to join the organization.
“For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs,” the group said in a statement on its website. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”
The announcement, reported on Monday night by The Associated Press, reverses a policy that drew controversy late last year when a transgender boy in New Jersey was kicked out of the organization about a month after joining. Click here to continue reading.
Pastor Resigns From David Platt’s Southern Baptist Mission Board Over Legal Brief Supporting New Jersey Mosque
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
A pastor who had served as a trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) International Mission Board, led by “Radical” author and former Alabama pastor David Platt [see the LT articles on Platt below], has resigned out of his concerns over the board’s participation in an amicus brief supporting the construction of a New Jersey mosque.
Dean Haun, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Morristown, Tennessee, told the Baptist and Reflector this week that he wasn’t aware that the Board had joined in the brief until he started receiving email and phone calls from other pastors who were troubled about the matter.
The Mission Board, the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty were among 20 groups that had joined the legal filing, including the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the Sikh Coalition, the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques and many others.
The matter centered around the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, which had sought to build a mosque in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, but was denied following community opposition. It sued in March of last year, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty assembled a coalition of faith groups supportive of the Society’s rights for an amicus brief to be filed with the court. Click here to continue reading.
Also, read this article/booklet by Mike Oppenheimer: Chrislam – The Blending Together of Islam and Christianity
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
Breaking Israel News
In what should have been an all-out Israel hate-fest with possibly disastrous consequences for the Jewish state, 70 nations gathered in Paris for a “peace” conference on Sunday – but at the end of the day, the results were lackluster and failed to accomplish anything significant against Israel.
The conference in Paris, set forward one year ago by former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, was expected to have dire repercussions for Israel. Fabius envisioned it as a way of forcing Israel to accept the two-state solution. His original proposal called for France and the other nations at the conference to recognize a Palestinian state inside Israel’s borders if an agreement was not signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The present incarnation of the conference was markedly toned down by the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault. At a conference in Paris last June setting the parameters for Sunday’s conference, the threat of recognizing a Palestinian state was removed. To continue reading, click here.
By Ryan Jones
The nations of the world gathering in Paris on Sunday to determine the fate of the Holy Land. Israel was not among them, and watched wholly unimpressed as the international diplomats engaged in “pointless” dialogue.
Trying to sound a note of balance, French President Francois Hollande said that both Palestinian terrorism and Jewish settlements are holding up peace in the Middle East.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was dismissive.
“The conference that is convening today in Paris is a pointless conference,” he said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “It was coordinated by the French and the Palestinians and aims to force conditions on Israel that conflict with our national interests.” Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes.
The Guardian (UK)
A yoga teacher in Russia has been charged with illegal missionary activity under a controversial new law designed to fight terrorism.
Computer programmer Dmitry Ugay was detained by police in St Petersburg in October while giving a talk at a festival about the philosophy behind yoga.
Ugay says he was stopped 40 minutes into his discussion, put into a car and taken to a police station without being informed of his apparent offence.
The 44-year-old now faces a fine for allegedly conducting illegal missionary activity, an administrative offence under the new Yarovaya law, a package of legal amendments intended to fight terrorism that is named after its author, the MP Irina Yarovaya.
Ugay’s court hearing in St Petersburg has been adjourned until next week, the state legal news agency Rapsi reported. Click here to continue reading.