As Alaska, Oregon & D.C. consider pot deals, Democrat icon Patrick Kennedy says don't make kids' addiction law of land

Former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a liberal icon of the Democratic Party, pleads with Americans to stop the trend of legalizing pot that is creating a "big marijuana" just like "big tobacco" in how it "targets our kids" and profits from addiction. His op-ed comes at Halloween amid concerns about pot-laced candy in children's trick-or-treat bags, a safety concern cited by Denver police and by others.

Photo: Alaskans oppose legalization because of its potential to harm kids like Big Tobacco.

Headline News

North Dakota poised as first state to confirm science & declare life begins at conception

North Dakota would be the first state to define life as beginning at conception if the state convention's constitutional amendment, Measure 1, is approved by voters this Tuesday. Conception is defined medically in terms of the one-cell zygote -- created by the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm -- that after dividing several times, implants in the uterus. However, these cells are not just undefined blobs of tissue, and science shows "your world was shaped in the first 24 hours after conception."

Denver warned of pot-laced Halloween candy, pot industry resists restriction on edibles

A trend in children overdoses as well as two deaths linked to marijuana edibles has alarmed Denver parents about the perils of pot-laced candies and as Halloween approaches. Denver police have even produced a video, urging Denver residents to be wary of familiar-looking candies because of the ease with which they can be turned into pot edibles--by simply spraying treats like Sour Patch Kids, Gummi Bears and gum drops with hash oil.

Fla. church changes course with marijuana growers

In Central Florida, Tiny Bethel Baptist Church voted 5-3 to not sell a parcel of property that would have allowed GrowHealthy to build the company's largest medical marijuana production facility in a converted mattress factory next door. Members of the congregation changed their vote from 8-0 in favor of the sale after Mike Hasha, a local church leader, warned them company officials had misrepresented medical marijuana as a "miracle drug."

15-year-old Katie, a sex-traffickers dream

An abolitionist, speaker and advocate living in Manhattan, Raleigh Sadler helps the church understand the issue of human sex trafficking and how it can be intervene in a natural way. In this blog, Sadler illustrates the very real issue of sex trafficking in our own back yard through the eyes of 15-year-old Katie.

Churches urge 'Yes on 1,' Tennessee's pro-life amendment

Thousands of Tennessee voters have been heading to early voting sites starting Oct. 15 to cast their ballots on several proposed changes to the state constitution--including the pro-life Amendment 1 which could change the state's abortion laws. Amendment 1 is the state's first ever vote on abortion and proposes adding language to the constitution that gives elected representatives the right to "enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion." It also would include the statement, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."

Legal expert: 'Abusive' video exploits 6-year-old & warrants investigation

The video is "horrifying" and the t-shirt company is exploiting little girls, says legal expert, responding to an ad with "princesses" spouting obscenities supposedly to further a feminist agenda. "It is not free speech, it is exploitation of innocent girls," Anita L. Staver, president of Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, said after looking at a two minute and thirty-five second commercial for a t-shirt.

100 plus police converge on Billy Graham's Cove

More than 200 police officers and spouses gathered at Billy Graham's Cove Oct. 13-15 for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's first National Law Enforcement retreat. The purpose of the event was to offer encouragement and spiritual guidance to law enforcement officers and their families BGEA leaders said.

Judges quit, say no to same-sex marriages

Six North Carolina magistrates—a judicial officer of the District Court who handles certain criminal and civil matters—stuck to the Word of God rather than protect their paychecks, choosing to resign rather than be forced to do something that would violate each of their Christian convictions: perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Teachers told to scrub 'faith' from bios

An Alabama school superintendent has instructed teachers to scrub references about "things of faith" from online biographies on district websites, causing a Christian trial attorney to raise concerns about violation of these educators' religious liberties. The action came after Russellville (Ala.) City Schools received a laundry list of concerns from a an out-of-state "freethought" organization that objected to the baptism of several football players which took place on school property following a team practice.

Culture warrior to Houston clergy: Be like MLK Jr. - unite, go to jail, fight in court

Native Houstonian Richard Land, a major figure in American life who spent nearly a quarter of a century on the front lines of the culture wars, in his "wildest imagination" says he never thought he would witness government intrusion into Houston's pulpits. Land urged the pastors, subpoenaed for emails and other communications, to stand together, be aggressive in court, and go to jail--in the same manner of slain Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.

RANDY WHITE: Houston's mayor hasn't solved the problem

Houston-area pastor Randy White writes that although Mayor Parker has announced the withdrawal of subpoena demanding five Houston pastors submit speeches and presentations to Houston's city government regarding a petition drive, this is not a victory. The lack of concern of citizens being able to redress the government through the appeal process is still endangered by an apparently politically motivated process in an attempt to restrict free speech in the church, White argues.

DEVELOPING: You can fight city hall - Houston mayor drops subpoenas

In a news conference this morning, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an openly lesbian public official, announced the city will withdraw subpoenas to five pastors demanding notes and other communication relating to a controversial ordinance granting rights to transgendered individuals.

Pope endorses Big Bang, evolution theories, describes God's role as a helper in creation

Pope Francis has proposed God was active in creation, but as a sort of helper who gave internal laws to created beings "and let them develop." The suggestion contradicts centuries of doctrinal teachings about God's specific activity in the six days of creation recorded in Genesis. But while endorsing the ideas of the Big Bang and evolution he was clear to say God was the origin for all things.

More cities say, 'Don't feed the homeless'

More U.S. cities are criminalizing efforts to feed the homeless since the July 2006 Las Vegas City Council's ordinance that made it illegal to offer so much as a biscuit to a poor person in a city park. It took seven years to catch on, but at least 21 cities have enacted laws related to the public feeding of people, and at least 10 more are in the "consideration" process.

Satanist attacks Oklahoma City's 10 Commandments

A month after an Oklahoma County judge dismissed a lawsuit arguing for removal of a public display of the Ten Commandments on the state capitol grounds, the 6-foot-tall granite monument was destroyed, Oct. 24, by a self-proclaimed Satanist who smashed it with his car.

Barna's findings beg the question, 'Are the lost reachable?'

George Barna released a study in conjunction with the publication of his new book, "Churchless," showing the number of unchurched adults is climbing and this group is less likely than in the past to have any church background at all. Moreover, he also found more unchurched reject any form of outreach now than ever before.

Fla. church changes course with marijuana growers

In Central Florida, Tiny Bethel Baptist Church voted 5-3 to not sell a parcel of property that would have allowed GrowHealthy to build the company's largest medical marijuana production facility in a converted mattress factory next door. Members of the congregation changed their vote from 8-0 in favor of the sale after Mike Hasha, a local church leader, warned them company officials had misrepresented medical marijuana as a "miracle drug."

Same-sex marriage surges while matrimony overall dips

Even while numbers of same-sex marriages in the U.S. are surging, overall numbers of married Americans have dropped to record lows. Commentators disagree about the cause, but at least one conservative leader says the ongoing redefinition of marriage in America is to blame.

Features

Evangelist-led innovation: Sturgis-style biker ministry at Texas-sized motorcycle event

Mission Lone Star hopes to evangelize hundreds of 400,000 bikers and others expected to ride in for the Lone Star Rally in Galveston, Texas, November 6-9. Using the chance of winning a daily drawing for $1,000, the ministry will try to attract attention of thousands to simply listen to a three-minute Gospel presentation as it competes with live music, bike shows, contests, rides, vendors, military tributes and much more during the jam-packed four-day weekend. Past efforts have seen 1 in 6 listeners surrender their lives to Christ -- each of whom receive follow up to begin discipleship.

Perspective

Bringing Every Thought Captive

Bringing Every Thought Captive is a series of 2-minute recordings featuring Dr. Richard Land as he speaks about faith issues and how they relate to current events. It is also podcast daily on a free SES mobile app.

Video

Billy Graham, fireman rescue the perishing

Heaven, a new film by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is set for release online Oct. 27 and on DVD Nov. 7—marking Billy Graham's 96th birthday. It's part of the ongoing My Hope campaign designed to cap Graham's 65-year global ministry. The 30-minute video Heaven is about a firefighter caught in a burning building and a woman whose father is murdered.

Film

Roma Downey, Mark Burnett pitch new series

Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett plan to add to their growing media presence with a reality show set to air next year on The Learning Channel (TLC Network). It is described as a six-part series on answered prayers that will follow people who claim to have benefited from "modern-day miracles, incredible twists of fate, and phenomena that logic and science cannot explain," according to a press release from the network.

Life