Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Religious right set to gather
A three-day summit will bring well-known figures to Brandon to talk bedrock issues.
By SHERRI DAY, Times Staff Writer
Published September 20, 2007
Katherine Harris waves to voters before Election Day. She is among those speaking at the Family Impact Summit today in Brandon.
[KEN HELLE | Times (2006)]
Former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer will serve as a keynote speaker.
BRANDON - Hundreds of conservative Christians are expected to converge here today for a three-day meeting intended to mobilize support for the bedrock issues of the religious right.
Dubbed the Family Impact Summit, the nondenominational event will feature a variety of speakers and panelists who represent a Who's Who among the Christian Right. Scheduled presenters include Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council; Richard Land, who leads the Southern Baptists' lobbying arm; and former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
Former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer will serve as a keynote speaker, and Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo, is expected to talk about right-to-life issues.
Summit organizers also anticipate representatives from several national Christian advocacy groups like Focus on the Family and the American Family Association.
Who you won't find in attendance: Sitting politicians and those seeking office. That's because organizers of the meeting, which will be held on the campus of Brandon's Bell Shoals Baptist Church, want to keep it free of politics.
"This is about hearts and minds," said Terry Kemple, the event's primary organizer and head of the Community Issues Council, a Christian values advocacy organization based in Valrico. "In the long term, our hope is to reverse the moral decline in America. And I believe that the best hope for doing that is the Christian Church."
Kemple and other Florida conservative leaders got the idea for the event last September after attending a values voters' briefing in Washington, D.C.
For the Brandon workshop, the agenda includes a wide range of topics ranging from "What Every Christian Should Know about Islam" to "Christian Citizenship" and "Racial Reconciliation."
Kemple expects more than 300 participants, mostly from Florida and neighboring states, to support the event.
The gathering also has its detractors. Members of Equality Florida, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian and transgender persons, plan to hold a press conference and vigil tonight in front of the church.
The Rev. Robin Hankins, Equality Florida's president emeritus, says the group takes issue with speakers who preach that homosexuality is wrong and an abomination before God. In particular, group members plan to speak out against what they call leaders of the "anti-gay industry."
Several of the summit workshops, with titles like "Homosexuality and Youth" and the "Homosexual Agenda," focus on gays.
"The summit is geared towards targeting people who they feel should change sexual orientation or most often parents who make their children go to these things in order to change sexual orientation," said Hankins, who also serves as the chaplain of the Unity Church of Clearwater. "There are also people who go to these things of their own accord because their religion tells them that being homosexual is wrong. I wholeheartedly disagree with that. ...God loves us as we are."
Hankins, who also leads an advocacy group called Queerly Divine, is planning his own workshop for Saturday that will center on theologian Daniel Helminiak's book What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.
Summit organizers take the criticism in stride.
"It's unfortunate that folks whose loudest cry is tolerance wouldn't tolerate us having the opportunity to espouse our beliefs without mounting some kind of massive protest," Kemple said.