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Clerk defies Court, denies gay marriage licenses

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Kentucky, September 1, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)Kim Davis is county clerk in Rowan, Kentucky. Following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage, she has refused to issue marriage licenses, including requests from three same-sex couples. After a federal judge ordered her to issue such licenses, she turned to the Supreme Court. On Monday, the Court rejected her appeal. If found guilty of official misconduct, she could face up to a year in jail.

Many who oppose same-sex marriage applaud her courage, but no one thinks her actions will reverse the law. America's unbiblical moral trajectory appears irreversible. It's easy to lose hope.

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400 pastors resigned last Sunday

Rows of church pews, podium, altar, empty church (Credit: Ekko via Lightstock)Fallout from the Ashley Madison scandal continues. The company's CEO has resigned; several people who used the adultery website have committed suicide. And some 400 clergy resigned publicly from their ministries last Sunday.

Let's put that number in perspective.

One pastor who seeks to have an affair is one too many. Infidelity shatters the spouse, devastates the children, and wounds the congregation. Pastors who violate their marriage vows sin against God, their family, and the sheep they are called to shepherd.

At the same time, 400 pastors constitute 0.00125 percent of the Ashley Madison database. They make up 0.067 percent of the estimated 600,000 vocational ministers in the U.S. Critics who draw lines from Ashley Madison to Josh Duggar and recent exposes of materialistic televangelists slander hundreds of thousands of faithful ministers. Clearly, some condemn fallen believers so they can justify their rejection of our faith.

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A surprising reason for the Pope's humility

Pope Francis is showed his portrait taken by a boy as he arrives in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican for an audience with with Altar boys and girls, August 4, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)In three weeks, Pope Francis will make his first visit to the United States. When you think of him, what adjectives come to mind? For most of us, humility is at the top of the list.

And rightly so. After his election, the new pope rode back to the St. Martha guesthouse with the other cardinals rather than using the papal car. He chose to live in the guesthouse rather than in the opulent papal apartment. He regularly welcomes trash collectors and cleaners to daily mass, carries his own luggage on planes, and is driven in a Ford Focus.

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More on-air shootings expected

WDBJ-TV7 anchor Chris Hurst, right, hugs meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner during the early morning newscast at WDBJ-TV7 after Hurst's fiance Alison Parker was killed during a live broadcast, Roanoke, Virginia, August 27, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber)Brad Bushman is a psychology and communication professor at Ohio State University with a chilling perspective on the Virginia on-air shooting that took the lives of two journalists. According to Bushman, we should expect more such violence in the future.

He notes that "nobody knew who Vester Lee Flanagan II even was" before the shooting. Like him, perpetrators of recent shootings in Paris, Brussels, and France wore cameras. The Islamic State constantly videos its horrific executions. With the advent of wearable cameras and drones, murderers who want attention are more likely than ever to kill on-air.

The more we secure our safety, the less secure we seem to feel.

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The 3 zip codes without Ashley Madison users

Young couple holding broken heart (Credit: WavebreakMediaMicro via Fotolia)If you live in Polvadera, New Mexico, or in Nikolai or Perryville, Alaska, you don't have any neighbors who registered with Ashley Madison. However, Polvadera (population 269) has no Internet access, and Nikolai (population 94) and Perryville (population 113) are tiny. That's 476 people out of more than 321,000,000 Americans. The rest of us are left to wonder about our neighbors' marriages.

Authentic character is vital for those who would influence their culture for Christ. How do we build such integrity? (Tweet this)

Consider this analogy: a house in our neighborhood had a red brick exterior. Now it is covered in white stone. Masons cut the stone, piece by piece, and fitted it over the brick walls. Gradually the red became white. The owner could have had the bricks removed, but why go to such an expense? His goal was to change the appearance of his house, not its underlying character.

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