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Scott Brown Takes Heat in NH on Assault Weapon Ban.

Image: Scott Brown Takes Heat in NH on Assault Weapon Ban

By Melissa Clyne

Though he hasn’t announced any plans to run for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, Scott Brown is causing a stir in in the Granite State.

The moderate Republican and former senator from Massachusetts headlined a state GOP holiday party in Nashua that drew supporters and protesters, many of them gun-rights activists who take issue with Brown’s position favoring a federal ban on assault weapons,The Boston Globe reports.

“His coming here is calculated disrespect, just as if he went to Saudi Arabia with pork chops in his suitcase,” protester Jay Simkin told Politico. “If he wants gun control, he should stay in Massachusetts.”

Brown, who also is pro-choice, changed course on the gun control debate after last year’ deadly shootings in Newtown, Conn. His move angered Second Amendment purists.

“If it’s Brown, flush it down,” one protester’s sign read. Others featured scrawled slogans such as “Keep New Hampshire Scott Free” and “Brownbagger go home to Mass.”

Brown has a vacation home in the Granite State, where he is relocating full-time,  sparking speculation that he plans to run for office from his new state.

Republicans there are looking for someone to challenge incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the former governor elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

Brown has been coy about his intentions, but polling data collected before the launch of troubled Obamacare showed him trailing Shaheen by four percentage points, according to USA Today. His chances are thought to have risen since national outrage over policy cancellations and skyrocketing premiums.

“I didn’t think she was all that vulnerable,” Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy told USA Today. “I feel a little bit differently about that now. But having said that, Republicans need a candidate and they don’t have one right now.”

In Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren unseated Brown in 2012. He won the seat in 2010 in a special election.

A popular governor, Shaheen supported the Affordable Care Act, a decision that is coming back to haunt her in the form of a vicious TV spot skewering her and the president for the failed initiative.

“Obamacare, as you know, is a mess, and it’s really dramatically affecting people’s everyday lives,” Brown said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Scott Brown Moving to New Hampshire, New Talk of Senate Bid.

Image: Scott Brown Moving to New Hampshire, New Talk of Senate Bid

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is selling his home and plans to move to New Hampshire, the latest sign that he’s considering a U.S. Senate bid from that state.Brown, 54, has found a buyer for his Wrentham home and is set to close on that deal this week, Andrew I. Glincher, managing partner and chief executive officer at Brown’s employer Nixon Peabody LLP, said in an interview. Brown will continue to work out of the law firm’s Boston office because he isn’t licensed to practice law in New Hampshire, Glincher said.

Brown didn’t respond to an e-mail inquiry.

The move will fuel speculation that Brown intends to challenge New Hampshire’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who is seeking re-election next year. Brown lost his Massachusetts Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats in the 2014 midterms to take control of the Senate. The party already has a majority in the U.S. House.

A former New Hampshire governor, Shaheen, 66, was elected in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote in a three-way race, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office data. Two Republicans, former state Senator Jim Rubens and activist Karen Testerman, already have announced intentions to challenge Shaheen.

A WMUR Granite State Poll showed Shaheen with a 57 percent favorability rating. The poll was conducted from Oct. 7 to Oct. 16.

Vacation Home

Brown owns a vacation home in New Hampshire and made a number of public appearances in the state this fall. He is scheduled to headline the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s annual holiday party on Dec. 19 in Nashua.

Earlier this year, Brown won clearance to spend money from his federal political action committee in the state.

Glincher said Brown hasn’t made up his mind about running for the Senate, although he thinks the former senator has ambitions beyond the law firm.

“Some people, when they start, you are already writing the press release for when they leave,” Glincher said.

Brown, in a 2010 special election, won the Massachusetts Senate seat held for almost half a century by Democratic Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who died in 2009.

After losing to Warren in November 2012, Brown considered running again in a special election to replace Senator John Kerry, who was appointed Secretary of State in February by President Barack Obama. Instead, Brown began working as a counsel at Nixon Peabody in March.

In recent days the New Hampshire Democratic Party has pressed Brown to release his client list at the law firm. Glincher said the information won’t be made public.

“The bottom line is that is unobtainable,” Glincher said. “Simply, it is not going to happen.”
© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


Brown Vetoes Bill Banning Semi-automatic Rifles.

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Friday that would have imposed the nation’s toughest restrictions on gun ownership, saying it was too far-reaching.

The legislation would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.

It was lawmakers’ latest attempt to close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to work around previous assault weapon bans. Gun rights groups had threatened to sue if the semi-automatic weapons ban became law.

“I don’t believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights,” the Democratic governor wrote in his veto message.

He also noted that California already has some of the nation’s strictest gun and ammunition laws.

Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who proposed the measure, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The bill sought to ban the sale of assault rifles, but Brown objected that it also would have applied to low-capacity weapons commonly used for hunting, firearms training and target shooting, and some historical and collectible firearms. Brown also didn’t want thousands of legal gun owners to have to register their existing weapons as assault rifles and be blocked from selling or transferring the weapons.

The governor’s actions were a mixed bag for both gun rights groups and those seeking greater restrictions.

He signed a measure from Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner which bans kits that allow people to turn regular ammunition magazines into high-capacity magazines, as well as two other pieces of legislation that restrict the ability of mentally ill people to possess firearms.

Brown approved a measure making California the first state to impose a statewide ban on lead bullets for all types of hunting. Hunting with lead bullets already is prohibited in eight counties with endangered California condors. About two dozen states also have partial bans, most in sensitive wildlife refuges.

But he vetoed other bills including measures giving several San Francisco-area communities special authority to regulate weapons and gun shows, as well as several other bills he said went too far to restrict the sale or possession of certain types of handguns or shotguns.

Some of the new laws could trigger legal challenges.

Gun owners’ rights groups have said they also could consider mounting recall campaigns or election-year challenges against Democratic lawmakers who voted for the gun bills. Final votes on the legislation occurred last month, just as two Colorado state lawmakers were recalled for supporting tougher gun laws in that state.

Related Articles:

Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill to Allow Non-citizens on Juries

Obama Renews Push for Gun Control Legislation

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

California Bill Allows Nurses, Others to Perform Abortions.

California’s liberal Gov. Jerry Brown now has a bill on his desk allowing nurses, certified midwives, and other specially trained clinicians to perform early-term vacuum aspiration and medicine-induced abortions.

AB 154, whose main sponsor is Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and is supported by numerous pro-choice groups, passed both legislative chambers this past week and is now on Brown’s desk, reports Breitbart News.

If Brown signs the bill, it will allow non-physician staff at Planned Parenthood’s clinics, among others, to obtain licenses to perform the abortion procedures.

New Medicare Warning: Obamacare Rule Changes Coming 

Planned Parenthood says the legislation is necessary because a shortage of doctors in some parts of the state means that women often have to wait until later in their pregnancies to terminate them, which is a riskier procedure.

“Early abortion access is a critical public health issue,” Planned Parenthood says on its legislative page.

“An estimated one in three women will decide to terminate a pregnancy by age 45, yet many women often do not have sufficient access to early abortions because of the limited number of physicians providing the services in their communities. Almost half of the counties in California have no accessible abortion provider, requiring women to travel significant distances to terminate a pregnancy or wait for an appointment for services.”

The bill is co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, Black Women for Wellness, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, and NARAL Pro-Choice California.

Pro-life groups are lobbying Brown to veto the bill, saying it will multiply the number of abortions performed in California.

“This bill is not about helping women, it is specifically designed to trivialize what an abortion is, and its risks,” Brian Johnston

Executive Director, California Pro-Life Council, told

“The founder of National Abortion Rights Action League, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who subsequently became pro-life, says that vacuum aspiration abortion is inherently dangerous to the mother, as the physician must blindly probe for the baby.”

And in California, Johnston said, “the California Business and Professions Code prohibits abortions being done on animals unless the abortionist is a trained and certified veterinary surgeon. If 154 is made law, a mother dog will have more dignity in the eyes of California law than a vulnerable young mother talked into an abortion by a Planned Parenthood staffer.”

The legislation was introduced by Assemblywomen Toni Adkins, the former administrator of a health clinic in San Diego.

Adkins told KQED Public Radio that In nearly half of California’s 58 counties, the only abortion providers are in hospitals, which provide urgent care in case of emergencies. However, women from rural areas who want a first trimester abortion often must travel long distances to obtain one at an unfamiliar clinic, Adkins said, and that geographic disparity is unjustified.

“Women need access to this procedure,” said Atkins. “And they should be able to get it in their own home communities, from providers they already know and trust.”

Atkins said abortions are medically a straightforward, simple procedure that can be performed safely in an outpatient setting by trained nurse practitioners, midwives or physician assistants.

Bill May, of Catholics for the Common Good, said that lawmakers passed the bill even though polls show Californians oppose allowing nurses to perform abortions.

“In a recent poll of California voters, across all demographics—men, women, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Democrats, Republican, Independents—by a 65-29 margin, the idea of allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to conduct abortions is rejected,” said May, referring to a April survey by Smith-Johnson Research of Sacramento.

A doctor who identified himself as being pro-choice told Breitbart News called the bill a “disaster” because it “sends us back 100 years to the problems of the complications from back-street abortions.”

Critics also say the training for non-physician staff is weak and that doctors’ supervision will be minimal, creating a risk of injuring or killing women.

But the California Medical Association endorses the bill because of “provisions for training in the bill and the amendments that clarify physician supervision.”

The training will be provided by the Board of Registered Nursing and not by physicians, however, and the legislation does not require a doctor to be present at the abortions or even on site.

In addition to the aspiration method, the non-physician abortions can be done by medication. Many doctors agree that the non-physicians can provide medications without much risk, but the aspiration method causes more risks to the patient.

Opponents also complain that the bill is an effort by Planned Parenthood and other groups to profit from Obamacare, which expands the number of patients eligible for state-funded health insurance, Medi-Cal, which funds abortions.

New Medicare Warning: Obamacare Rule Changes Coming 

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Calif. Set to Allow Gender-Confused Kids to Choose Bathrooms, Showers of Choice.

co-ed restroom
California Gov. Jerry Brown is about to sign a bill that permits schoolchildren to choose whether to use a boys’ or girls’ restroom based on their gender preference.

Jerry Brown, the governor of California, needs to be sued for child abuse, along with the state legislators who have voted for an iniquitous law.

Let me explain.

Fox News has reported that Gov. Brown is about to sign a bill that permits schoolchildren as young as kindergarten age to choose whether to use a boys’ or girls’ restroom based on their gender preference.

But the law doesn’t stop with bathrooms. It also extends to athletic locker rooms, where children could choose to shower with either boys or girls. What a travesty to confuse kids about their own sexuality more than they already are!

This is an important issue that belongs in the home. And taking it away from the parents and placing it into the hands of government is a giant leap into the abyss of child abuse.

Child abuse doesn’t only occur when adults physically harm children. It also occurs when children are egged on to harm their psyches by experimenting with things that are way beyond their years. That is a brainwashing operation worthy of the former Soviet Union. In the long run, that type of brainwashing can be far more harmful than political indoctrination.

All men and women of goodwill should not only feel deep pain about this law; they should also rise up against it. Those of goodwill in California should rise up and demand the recall of the governor and those who voted for such an abhorrent law—a law that could mean the annihilation of childhood.

The homosexual lobby knows it represents less than 4 percent of the American population. So they have resorted to a new, despicable low of attempting to recruit 5-year-olds. For children who often don’t know who they are until their late teens, to give them a choice of whom to shower with is beyond the pale of human decency.

If the good people of California do not demand the retraction of this abusive, immoral law, they will regret it for eternity.

I, for one, commit to do all I can to stir up the conscience of honorable people as well as religious leaders in California to lead this charge.



Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Leading the Way With Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and on-the-ground ministry teams. Youssef was born in Egypt.

After Rhode Island, Is Gay Marriage ‘Inevitable’?.


gay marriage
Rhode Island last week became the 10th state to approve same-sex marriage, and the Delaware Legislature holds a key vote on May 9 on the same issue. (Allegro Photography / Creative Commons)

Rhode Island became the 10th state to approvesame-sex marriage, and the Delaware Legislature holds a key vote on May 9 on the same issue. But Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, denies there is a national tide in support of marriage rights for gay couples.

“I don’t know that I would say Rhode Island is a trend,” Brown said, also questioning victories for supporters of gay marriage initiatives in Maine, Maryland and Washington state last November.

“Again, we’re talking about states that are not necessarily indicative of the rest of the country. These are pretty deep-blue, liberal states we’re talking about.”

Even so, Brown, the head of the leading national organization opposing same-sex marriage, finds himself playing defense as more Americans support same-sex marriage and more state legislatures debate measures authorizing it.

In an interview, Brown blasted “cultural elites” for demonizing supporters of traditional marriage and warned Republican officeholders of the perils of supporting same-sex marriage proposals.

Meanwhile, in Providence late Thursday afternoon, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted 56-15 to give final approval to a bill legalizing gay marriage. Legislators then broke out in a spontaneous singing of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill in a ceremony on the steps of the state capitol.

All six New England states now allow same-sex marriage.

“A historic realignment is happening all around us,” said Chafee, a former Republican senator who said he became an independent in part because of the GOP’s stance on social issues. In an interview on MSNBC, the governor predicted the measure would carry economic and other benefits.

“I want Rhode Island to be one of those hip, happening places, and tolerance is part of it,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Delaware Senate is slated to vote on a bill authorizing same-sex marriage that passed the House last week. “In Delaware, it’s going to be a tough fight,” Brown acknowledged, calling it another solidly Democratic state.

But he was more optimistic about defeating gay marriage proposals elsewhere. In Illinois, he said supporters of a bill that passed the state Senate remain short of passage in the House, in part because of opposition from African-American Democratic legislators.

In Minnesota, he said opponents had “a very good chance of winning” against a bill that has cleared House and Senate committees. In New Jersey, he predicted Democratic efforts to overturn Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a bill authorizing same-sex marriage weren’t “going to go anywhere.”

In Oregon, he predicted advocates of same-sex marriage would succeed in getting a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot that would reverse a ban on gay marriage voters passed a decade earlier. “I think we can win that vote even though Oregon, again, is viewed as a very liberal state,” Brown said.

He blamed Hollywood, academia and the mainstream media for advocating gay marriage and demonizing its opponents.

“The reality is that a lot of our cultural elite, in the media and academia, in Hollywood, have embraced a totally new conception of marriage, and they’re using their positions to try to make this new conception the norm and try to make people believe it’s inevitable,” he said.

“And the goal of this whole inevitability argument is to sap the will of the majority of Americans to even fight on the issue, and that is not going to happen.”

A Pew Research Center poll in March found 70 percent of the millennial generation, those born after 1980, support same-sex marriage. Does that make its expansion inevitable over time?

“Well, of course it’s a challenge,” Brown said. “But this idea that somehow young people’s ideas are fixed and as they grow older they won’t change their ideas is not true. We believed all sorts of things when we were younger that we no longer believe.”

Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign, has said that support for gay marriage was increasing as more Americans became aware of gay men and lesbians they knew personally. Brown disputed that as an argument.

“This is not about the civil rights of the folks that live down the hall,” Brown said. “This is about redefining a public truth, a public good.”

He warned Republican officeholders that supporting same-sex marriage “is a career-ending move.” Of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who recently announced he was switching positions in support, Brown said: “He’s guaranteed a primary.”



Responding to a ‘Friendly Atheist’ Who Isn’t Too Happy With Me.

Dr. Michael Brown
Dr. Michael Brown

Dear Hemant,

A colleague sent me a link to your recent blog where you interacted with my response to Dannika Nash’sopen letter to the church from her generation. I’m glad you read what we both had to say, and I’m glad you posted her very gracious response to me. I have reached out to her to continue our interaction, and I trust it will be constructive.

What I found most interesting—and certainly informative—was the way Dannika (and many others) read my response as opposed to how you read it (along with many of your readers). In your words, my whole response “was just dripping with condescension … and phrases that were very holier-than-thou.” In contrast, Dannika wrote, “I appreciate Dr. Brown’s contribution to the respectful dialogue that is beginning to finally surround this issue.”

If you’ll look at the comments following my article on the Charisma site, you’ll see that the vast majority of readers, including young people, found my tone to be gracious and respectful, which is exactly what I intended. In contrast, most readers commenting on your blog shared your perspective, some of them apparently adding their comments to the Charisma site as well, with comments like this: “This is one of the most vile, condescending, repugnant pieces of [mild expletive deleted] I have ever read.”

Isn’t this fascinating? Two different sets of readers with two different worldviews and two different sets of presuppositions perceive the identical words in two totally different ways. This underscores how easy it is to misread or misunderstand written communication. As far as my article was concerned, I absolutely intended it to be respectful and gracious, and there was no condescension in my heart when I wrote it.

As you mentioned in your edited comment, I addressed Dannika as “College Kid,” because that’s how she signed her letter, and I thought that was how she wanted to be represented. And in my response, I expressed my appreciation to her for sharing her thoughts and my genuine sorrow for the conflicts she had experienced in the church. I also told her that as a church leader, it hurt me to know she had heard “hateful preaching” in the past, and I recognized that she was speaking for millions of others. Why else would I devote a lengthy article to her letter?

I openly confessed to the mess my generation had made of marriage, even though she never brought that up in her open letter, and I closed my response with a proposal: “Let’s get some key folks from your generation and my generation together and spend a few days before God, worshipping Him, loving on Him, studying His Word, asking for His heart toward all people, and learning from each other.” Does this sound condescending?

It’s obvious that if you didn’t know me or my intent, you could take some of the article to be condescending, but I was genuinely reaching out to Dannika and her like-minded peers.

As for my phrases that were allegedly “very holier-than-thou,” how would you define that? Could it be that, based on your definition, any difference I would have with Dannika based on my understanding of Scripture would be defined as “holier-than-thou”?

You wrote, “I was so angry when I read Brown’s letter. What arrogance on his part to think that, because he was older, he was automatically wiser.” (I guess I wouldn’t have known that you were the “friendly atheist” if you hadn’t said so on your blog!)

This too is fascinating, first because my article got you so angry, and second because in your view, I claimed to be “automatically wiser” because I was older.

Actually, I was countering the common viewpoint expressed in Dannika’s letter, namely, that the older generation needed to get with it and learn from the younger generation. In response I wrote, “To be totally candid with you, I always listen to young people and ask for their insights, and I’m sure that your generation cares a lot about fairness and justice and equality. But could it be that my generation is not totally ignorant about these things? Could there be a reason that one of the Ten Commandments says, ‘Honor your father and your mother’—or is that outmoded now too?”

Perhaps you overreacted to what I wrote? May I also ask if you, as a high school teacher, expect your students to show you a certain level of respect? And, all things being equal, are most people wiser when they are 40 years old and have had many more life experiences than they were when they were 20? To repeat what I wrote to Dannika (which is very different than what you wrote), “Is there no wisdom we can impart to you about marriage and family and gender?”

Finally, you said, “What gall to write about a little girl who testified before a state legislature in opposition of gay rights by saying, in part, ‘Which parent do I not need, my mom or my dad?’ (Apparently, no one thought to ask the little girl which dad or mom in a same-sex couple ought to be discarded.)”

Why was that “gall”? Dannika wrote her letter as a young person to the older generation, and I asked her to consider the words of a younger person speaking to all generations. What is so galling about that? (I mean that honestly, Hemant, not as a provocation.) As for your parenthetical comment, first, the 11 year-old girl wasn’t talking about discarding a parent; she was talking about the importance of a mom and a dad. Second, yes, I’m convinced that, all things being equal, it would be better for a child to be raised by his or her mom and dad than to have two moms or two dads and be cut off from one of the biological parents.

All that being said, thanks again for posting Dannika’s response, and thanks for your candor in the midst of our disagreements. Let’s keep communicating. In fact, here’s an open invitation to you, along with the 30-and-under crowd (especially the self-described “Nones” when it comes to religion) to call into my radio show next Wednesday, May 8, between 2-4 PM EST, and we can all listen, interact and learn.



Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrownon Twitter.

Virtual Schools: A Homeschooling Alternative?.

Virtual online school
Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior? Try a virtual school. (RNS)

Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters attending public schools—even though she’s a substitute teacher in a public school in Minnesota.

Brown initially home-schooled her daughters until a friend told her about the Minnesota Virtual Academy, an online public school that is fully accredited. She liked the curriculum, and as a single mom relying on substitute teaching income, she preferred how the school provided the supplies instead of having to buy supplies herself as a home school parent.

“You can’t give your kids an effective moral and religious upbringing if you only see them a couple of hours a day,” said Brown, a Catholic whose daughters, now in the 10th and 12th grade, started virtual school in the second and fourth grade. “When you’re at home with them, you can incorporate your beliefs into the day.”

Since Florida became the first state to try them in 1996, virtual public schools have enjoyed dramatic growth, with at least some of it coming from religious families. Like home schooling parents, parents of virtual public school students like having their children home so they can integrate religion and values into the school day.

In the 2011-2012 school year, 275,000 students were enrolled in online K-12 programs, up from 50,000 a decade ago, according to “Keeping Pace with Online and Blended Learning: A Guide to Policy and Practice 2012,” a report from the Colorado-based Evergreen Education Group. Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia offer virtual public schools.

A growing number of private religious schools are also seeking religious course developers to develop virtual courses for them.

“There’s a lot of interest about online learning in the faith community,” said Matthew Wicks, chief operating officer for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

Brown said she had considered a Catholic virtual school for her daughters, but thought the academics were not as strong as at the Minnesota Virtual Academy.

Virtual schools are different than home schooling in several ways. They are part of the public school system, employ state-certified teachers, administer state assessment tests, and follow standardized curriculums. There are also report cards and transcripts.

In a typical week, students spend about 20 to 25 hours on textbook reading and class work, and another five to 10 hours per week attending online classes with a teacher and fellow students.

The largest virtual school operator is K12 in Herndon, Va., followed by Baltimore-based Connections Education, which was recently acquired by Pearson, the British textbook publisher. The rest of the industry consists of smaller operators and some nonprofit virtual schools.

These schools generally cater to students who have had problems succeeding in traditional school environments, but also attract students who need extra flexibility to devote several hours a day to athletics, music, art or other pursuits.

That flexibility also attracts families of faith who want their children to be able to attend daytime prayer services or be involved with other religious activities.

While virtual school providers develop secular curriculums, religious parents like that they can interject their own religious views into the courses. When her daughters’ history course came to the Protestant Reformation, Brown said she gave the lesson a “Catholic slant.”

“I wasn’t bashing Martin Luther, but just saying, this is how we do it, and this is how they do it, and why,” Brown said.

On chapters involving evolution, some religion parents stress that evolution is a theory, and also raise creationism.

“Some families who are religious, with K12, they often see a chance for their children to learn with a little bit more freedom in a public school context,” said Jeff Kwitowski, senior vice president of public affairs at K12.

Parents of faith also like virtual public schools because they don’t have to worry about their children hearing foul language or seeing a racy music video on a classmate’s iPod.

Copyright 2013 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.


Calif. budget to be buoyed by voter-OK’d tax hikes.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — After years of double-digit deficits and billions in budget cuts,California‘s fiscal outlook is looking brighter.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday will propose his third budget since reclaiming the governor’s office. It’s expected to be the first time in many years that the nation’s most populous state does not face drastic budget cuts.

The state still must address a $1.9 billion deficit, but that is far from the $25 billion shortfall Brown faced when he started his latest term as governor two years ago. Thanks to tax increases approved by voters in November, California is projected to start running budget surpluses within two fiscal years if Brown can keep the Legislature’s Democratic supermajorities in check and hold down spending.

“You can take this to the bank: We’re not going to spend money that we can’t afford to spend,” Brown said earlier in the week. “We have to do more with less; that’s just the way life is.”

California’s general fund spending hit a high of $103 billion before the recession decimated the state’s economy and severely cut tax revenue for the state and municipalities. It dropped to a low of $87 billion during the 2011-12 fiscal year, requiring lawmakers to make deep cuts in a wide array of state services, including K-12 schools, higher education, the court system, and social services for the needy and disabled.

Many Democratic lawmakers want to use the $6 billion a year in extra tax revenue to rebuild those services. But Brown has said the 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins July 1, will be marked by “fiscal discipline and living within our means.”

He promised last fall during the campaign for his tax initiative that the extra money would go to schools, colleges and universities.

Cuts are still expected in some areas, such as the courts, because lawmakers are required to pass a balanced budget. But after years of debating how much to cut from education and other programs, Brown and California lawmakers can turn their attention to setting spending priorities and revamping some of the state’s funding schemes.

Among Brown’s priorities is creating a new funding formula for schools, which would be aimed at giving school districts more control over spending and directing state money to the neediest children and poorest districts. His proposal is expected to run into opposition from lawmakers representing more affluent regions of the state.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he is open to Brown’s school funding proposal. He said the goal is laudable, but there will be a lot of details to work out.

“How do you make sure, without micromanaging, that the kids that need help the most get the help that they need?” Steinberg said. “How do you make sure that the proven approaches to improving student achievement and helping kids graduate are funded?”

California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst’s office projected last fall that the state’s overall general fund spending would be about $94 billion in the coming fiscal year, nearly 8 percent more than in the current year.


By JULIET WILLIAMS | Associated Press

Charismatic Teacher Mary Brown Passes at 73.

Mary Ann Brown
Mary Ann Brown

Mary Ann Brown passed away in Augusta, Ga., at 3 a.m. Friday—her usual prayer time with the Lord. She was 73 years old.

A native of Houston, Brown graduated and received her doctorate in theology from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The founder and president of Marry Ann Brown ministries, she was a national and international conference speaker.

“Women of the Word is saddened at the loss of our beloved friend and a ‘Mother in Israel,’” said Betsy Roy, national director of Women of the Word. “While we deeply miss her, we rejoice that she is now fully present with the Lord.”

According to Women of the Word, “The Lord has blessed [Brown] with the gifts of His Spirit and many have been saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, set free by His Word and brought into a closer relationship with Jesus.”

John A. Looper, executive director of Restoration Fellowship International, sent out a prayer request in July, saying Brown and her son were on their way to a center in Augusta where they would see medical doctors and “be ministered to by the affiliated church and healing center through their fasting and prayer ministry. She indeed needs a miracle from Jehovah-Rapha to curse the inoperable pancreatic cancer she is battling as well as to restore her health and strength.”

Brown is survived by three sons, one daughter, two brothers, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Whole Life Ministries is hosting a special time Monday night for attendees to share memories of Brown. Funeral services and interment will be held at Laurel Land Funeral Home and Cemetery, 6000 South R. L. Thornton, Dallas, 75232. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Whole Life Ministries “The Healing Center”, 2621 Washington Rd., Augusta, Ga., 30904.



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