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President Obama and the Public Good

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill, January 24, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Saul Loeb/Pool)I write a column each week for The Dallas Morning News as part of their "Texas Faith" panel.  This recent question especially intrigued me.

Our editor states, "President Obama made the case for the common good, as he saw it, in his State of the Union address. Jackie Calmes of the New York Times summarized his theme this way: 'Government and citizens are responsible together for the common good, even as they celebrate individualism and free markets.'  Of course, you might say.  Shared responsibilities and creating room for the individual to flourish are major elements of our national creed.

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Natalie Wood and Thanksgiving

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story (Credit: Reuters)Tuesday night on NCIS, Robert Wagner played a man accused of murder.  Today, some are wondering if he was acting.
Natalie Wood was born Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko in San Francisco.  Her parents were Russian immigrants; she spoke both Russian and English.  Her family soon moved to Santa Rosa, where Wood was noticed during a film shoot.  She made her film debut in 1943, a few weeks before turning five.  Studio executives changed her name to "Natalie Wood," a name she never liked.  At the age of nine she starred in Miracle on 34th Street, launching her career.  She would appear in 56 films.

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Is it ever right to divorce a spouse with Alzheimers?

senior couple holding hands (Credit: Karen Roach via Fotolia)When Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson told a caller on his TV show that a married man dating another woman because his wife was suffering from Alzheimer's "should divorce and start all over," it caused a predictable reaction. Even his co-host reminded Robertson that couples vow to remain together "for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer." But Robertson did not back off: "I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because, here is a loved one, this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly, that person is gone. They're gone. They are gone." Alzheimer's, he said, "is a kind of death." And he said he would not put a "guilt trip on someone who divorced for such a reason."

What to make of this? Conservative Christian leaders were swift to condemn Robertson’s remarks. But as the New York Times reported, many doctors and patient advocates had a more complex response – some suggesting that he had broached an important subject, how spouses and other family members of dying patients can prevent their lives from being engulfed and start to move on.

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Michele Bachmann and homosexuality

Michele Bachmann waves with her husband Marcus after she addressed a gathering of supporters to formally launch her campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in her childhood hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, June 27, 2011. (Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)Marcus and Michele Bachmann own Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center. As you know, the Minnesota congresswoman is running for president. The couple has made national headlines recently after ABC's Nightline aired a video dealing with their clinic's efforts to help gay people leave homosexuality.

CNN's Anderson Cooper is among the media figures who have lambasted the clinic. Cooper criticized specifically their "'reparative therapy,' which claims to be able to 'cure' gay people of their homosexuality." He attacked "this notion that this is somehow a choice, which there's no evidence of."

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Divorce and the Word of God

When is divorce permissible biblically? When is it not? What does the Lord say about such a difficult subject?

This is unfortunately a very common question. America has 5% of the world's population, but 50% of its divorces. Web sites, magazines, and support groups on the subject of divorce abound.

In all the cacophony of voices speaking to this issue, it's vital that we hear God's. That's my only job in this essay—to give you what the word of God says, and what it means for us. Every one of us has experienced divorce or known someone affected directly by it. Let's ask the Lord our most common questions about this painful subject, and listen to him as he offers us hope for hurting hearts.

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