The Lamp

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Archive for the ‘civil rights’ Category

What a Woman’s Worth

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

May marks the beginning of graduation season. On college and university campuses across America, a new crop of young adults will grip their degrees, toss their hats in the air and hope to land a job. A poignant Washington Post article explains that within the first year of entering the real world, female grads will learn precisely what separates them from their male counterparts in the workforce: their pay (“Her Pay Gap Begins Right After Graduation”).

The article is based on “Behind the Pay Gap,” a study released April 23 by the American Association of University Women.

“One year out of college, women working full time earn only 80 percent as much as their male colleagues earn,” the report states. “Ten years after graduation, women fall farther behind, earning only 69 percent as much as men earn.”

Although individuals can make choices that enhance their earning potential, it’s clear that society has yet to value women for what they are truly worth. So what can be done to rectify this social injustice? The American Association of University Women suggests that publicly recognizing the disparity as a problem is the place to begin.

Unfortunately, too often both men and women dismiss the pay gap as merely a matter of different choices. In reality, though, even women who make the same occupational choices that men make won’t bring home the same paycheck.

In education, a field dominated primarily by females, women earn 95 percent of what men earn. By contrast, in biological sciences where more men are in the mix, women earn only 75 percent of their male peers.

Despite the progress women have made over the past three decades, equity in pay remains an issue. Gender pay discrimination is difficult to document, and typically is discovered only after other possible explanations have been eliminated.

“These unexplained gaps are evidence of discrimination, which remains a serious problem for women in the work force,” the women’s association study concluded.

“I’m not looking for an America that just gets a little better from here,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “I’m not just looking for an end to the empires of pornography that objectify women; I’m looking for a society that revolts against the idea of a woman only earning 80 cents compared to every dollar a man makes doing the same job.”

It’s possible that some bosses subconsciously make discriminatory decisions about pay based on personal beliefs about gender roles. So Christian employers and managers with responsibility for setting wages have a duty to take notice of such inequities and become agents for change.

The American Association of University Women notes that leadership is critical to changing attitudes and policies within an organization. Without a concerted commitment at the top, pay-equity policies are unlikely to be taken seriously.



Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, civil rights, CMC, equal pay, Equal Rights, jobs, men and women, Recent News & Events | Leave a Comment »

Texas Protects Students From Secularists’ Harassment

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

Texas students will have greater freedom to express their religious views on school campuses under the Religious Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act, a measure signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on June 8.

Under the new law, religious beliefs expressed in homework, artwork and other assignments are to be judged by traditional academic standards. Students can’t be penalized or rewarded because of the religious content of their work.

Supporters say the measure is needed to protect students from censorship and school districts from lawsuits. There are plenty of cases to illustrate the degree of religious discrimination that exists in America’s public schools.

Perry earned the respect of many Christian parents in April when he acknowledged at a news conference that teens’ religious speech was quashed at public school. The governor cited examples of students being prohibited from wishing troops overseas a “Merry Christmas” or told they couldn’t distribute religious bracelets at recess.

Along with granting students freedom of religious expression, the new law also requires schools to establish a “limited public forum” at all school events in which students speak. Of course, schools will have to develop a neutral method for selecting pupils to speak at school events and graduation ceremonies, and officials must provide a written or oral disclaimer that the student’s speech was not endorsed by the school district.

It all seems like a lot of unnecessary machinations just to extend a basic right that’s already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Still, Texas lawmakers should get a gold star for going the extra distance to make sure school is not a place where children are harassed by secularists who can’t respect Christian views.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Anti-discrimination, Center for Moral Clarity, christians, civil rights, CMC, Education, Equal Rights, Evangelism, freedom, Freedom of Religion, Mission / Evangelism, moral, moral values, Preaching, public school, Recent News & Events, Religion, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley, school, texas | Leave a Comment »

On Second Thought

Posted by thelamp on May 17, 2007

The state of Pennsylvania is allowing a Christian college and a coalition of faith-based, non-profit service organizations to use government-funded job placement services after previously denying the request.

Geneva College and the Association of Faith-Based Organizations (AFBO) had been denied access to the state’s job placement services, which are funded by the federal government. State and federal officials said they were concerned about violating a governmental “non-discrimination policy” that prohibits listing of religious staffing requirements.

Geneva College is a four-year private Christian college in Beaver Falls, Penn. The Association of Faith-Based Organizations, based in Springfield, Va., works to protect religious organizations’ constitutional right to staff and select members on a religious basis.

Prompted by a lawsuit last December, the federal government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have conceded that “the policy did not apply to Geneva College or AFBO’s members, and they will no longer be prohibited from posting job listings.”

Government officials, both state and federal, must recognize the constitutional right of religious organizations to hire employees who share their beliefs and values. This right is as central to a faith-based organization’s mission as other qualifications are to non-religious businesses. It shouldn’t take a court order, or threat of one, to enjoy the guaranteed protection of Constitution.


Posted in afbo, Anti-Christian attitudes, association of faith-based organizations, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, christians, civil rights, CMC, constitution, Education, Equal Rights, geneva college, God, pennsylvania, Recent News & Events, Religion/Politics, Separation of Church and State, Separation of Church and State--the First Amendment | Leave a Comment »

Restoring Rights is Righteous

Posted by thelamp on April 22, 2007

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and his cabinet have approved a plan to restore voting privileges and other civil rights to felons who have finished their sentences. Voting is a vital aspect of being a citizen in a democratic nation. The Center for Moral Clarity applauds this plan, because it should go a long way to help men and women who have paid their debt to society.

Until this change in policy, Florida was one of three states in the nation that permanently barred former felons from the voting booth. Perhaps lawmakers in Virginia and Kentucky will see the merit and wisdom in Florida’s compassionate decision and follow their lead. Full participation in the democratic process is advantageous for the entire nation.

During the 2004 presidential election, Florida had an estimated 960,000 ex-felons who were unable to vote. Nationwide, some 5.3 million Americans – roughly one in every 40 adults – have currently or permanently lost their voting rights as a result of a felony conviction. Among them are 1.4 million African-American men (that’s 13 percent of all black men in America). This rate is seven times the national average. Given current rates of incarceration, as much as 40 percent of the next generation of black men can expect to lose their right to participate in elections at some point in their lives.

Although the initial punishment is warranted, it’s wrong to keep people on the fringes of society permanently once they have served their sentences. Such restrictions benefit no one.

Each state has developed its own process for restoring voting rights to ex-offenders. However, in many instances, the restoration processes are so complicated and cumbersome that few who are eligible take advantage of the opportunity. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

Forgiveness is fundamental to Christianity. Through their activism, Bible believers have the ability to influence public policy to reflect this biblical principle. By restoring an ex-offender’s civil rights, the state is acknowledging that the crime has been put in the past and the door is open to a fresh start in society.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, charlie crist, civil rights, felons, florida, Recent News & Events, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

It Shouldn’t Happen Here

Posted by thelamp on April 20, 2007

Hartford, Connecticut, is an unlikely setting for a sex-trafficking ring. If asked, most Americans would probably name some far away third-world country as a more likely place where adults and juveniles could be forced into prostitution through fraud and coercion. Reality check. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that nine of the 10 people linked to human trafficking thugs operating out of New England have pleaded guilty for their roles in the crimes.

International sex trafficking is a well-known problem, but tragically, it happens here, too. As a nation of Christians, it is inconceivable that American citizens are being victimized in such a fashion. The United States isn’t a developing country plagued by lawlessness and corruption. There is no excuse for those who turn a blind eye, allowing the despicable crimes associated with modern day slavery to occur.

Worldwide, the selling of women and children is the third most valuable black-market commodity, after weapons and drugs. Sex trafficking is a $12-billion-a-year business. Most of the victims are women and children, including some boys, who are often sold multiple times, while their “owner” takes in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. To control them, traffickers brutalize, rape, torture and threaten to kill family members of unwilling sex-workers.

The Center for Moral Clarity commends the Department of Justice for making human trafficking prosecutions a top priority. In the last six years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. attorneys’ offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court. It’s worth noting that DOJ obtained a record high number of defendants charged and convicted in human trafficking prosecutions in 2006.

Plenty of organizations have committed to bringing public awareness to the ongoing need for justice across the world. Americans who advocate Christian principles of justice for the oppressed must also look closer to home. Ending human trafficking within the U.S. borders should be a priority for Bible-believing Christians as well as the federal government.

“If we don’t stop playing church, get outside the four walls of the sanctuary and begin modeling the compassion of Christ toward those who are hurting, we’re going to lose this nation,” Pastor Rod Parsley said. “Too much is at stake. Too many innocent lives hang in the balance. Too many freedoms are in jeopardy.”

This means, people have to care about what’s going on at the house down the block. Children of God have a responsibility to be their brother’s keeper. Rather than distancing themselves from neighbors, as has become commonplace in communities across the nation, Christians ought to be looking out for each other.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, christians, civil rights, CMC, connecticut, Equal Rights, hartford, new england, Recent News & Events, Religion, sex trafficking, us department of justice | Leave a Comment »