Life lessons from a Hatmaker

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If you’re struggling with the LGBTQ issue, here’s something to ponder, and it’s especially helpful if you’re trying to reconcile the LGBTQ issue with your religious beliefs—the words of Jen Hatmaker, a Texas pastor and mother of five. Here’s what she had to say in the Aug. 28, 2017, edition of Time magazine when asked if the LGBTQ issue will divide the church: “If we are following Christ literally, then nobody’s humanity is up for grabs. Nobody. That is a ...

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Judges probably influenced by campaign contributions

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Do campaign contributions affect how judges decide cases?  Studies indicate the answer is yes. A recent effort by Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra to disqualify a Summit County judge illustrates how money might drive the public’s thinking on a judge’s impartiality.

First, some background about money and state supreme court elections.

In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. that Chief Justice Brent Benjamin of the West Virginia Supreme Court erred in not recusing himself from a ...

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Why has the state fought compensating Dale Johnston?

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[This piece was published in the Columbus Dispatch on July 16, 2017, and is an update of a blog post published in August 2016]

If you believe the court system always renders justice, you’re mistaken. Just ask Dale Johnston. After spending nearly seven years on Death Row for two murders he didn’t commit, Johnston has yet to succeed in a 24-year ordeal to obtain compensation for his wrongful conviction. And the real killer is now behind bars.

Johnston was convicted in 1984 ...

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Meet my friend, Fr. Vinny

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Fr. Vinny

Meet my friend, Fr. Vinny McKiernan, associate pastor at the Newman Center at Ohio State University. That’s him in the photo, with my wife, Deb.

I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to be incapable of fatigue. At age 86, Fr. Vinny recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of is ordination. Being a priest for 60 years isn’t ...

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Rwanda could teach U.S. about collaboration

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What a can the United States learn from Rwanda?  It would seem, little. The U.S. is a large, industrialized nation, with nearly 325,000,000 people, a gross domestic product of $18 trillion, and an average life expectancy of 78 years. Rwanda is a tiny, developing country of only 11 million people, with a poor infrastructure and insufficient access to electricity, and an average life expectancy of 64.5 years.

More about what we can learn from Rwanda in a minute. First, let’s review ...

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Join Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly and advocate for common sense

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gabby-2

Interested in making a difference in gun policy? Here’s your opportunity.

Join the Ohio Coalition for Common Sense, a state initiative started by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, a Navy Captain and former astronaut. The Coalition brings together a broad cross-section of state leaders—business, law enforcement, veterans, faith, medical and civic leaders—who support commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence. The Coalition is part of a national organization, Americans ...

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First Amendment protects pediatricians’ right to ask about gun safety

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Florida pediatricians had a good day in court last month when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit struck down on First Amendment grounds a statute that prohibited them from addressing gun safety with parents.

The battle over a pediatrician’s right to freely practice medicine and protect the safety of children was one that never should have occurred, but Florida legislators thought it necessary to protect gun rights when, in fact, gun rights were never threatened.

The legal conflict began ...

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Tort reform results in two justice systems

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Are there two justice systems in Ohio? Regrettably, yes. Because of tort reform, there’s one for businesses and doctors and another for those occasionally injured at the hands of either.

Before going any further, let me explain something important. The purpose of this post is not to be critical of businesses or doctors. The purpose is to illustrate disparities in the justice system.

The distinction between the systems was highlighted in an Ohio Supreme Court decision in December. The case concerned a ...

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We forget we’re all the same

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bolognaI couldn’t get away from it. The same message came to me three times last weekend. Each message was simple—the importance and value of every human life. But strange, how difficult it is to recognize the value of each human life when we have to deal with people who differ from what we believe the norm should be. I’ll explain more in a minute, but first let’s look at the series of ...

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We need more liberals

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With the divisive discord that permeates the news and our conversations, I think about the dearth of liberals in our world. There are plenty of liberals, you might say. No, there are plenty of progressives. There’s a difference.

The term “liberal” has been perverted to refer to political progressives, when it actually means being broad-minded and tolerant of people with different views. You can be conservative and be liberal. Consider Columnist David Brooks.

Few people are able to maintain a strong ...

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