Methodist Bishops Table Policy Change on Homosexuality United Methodist bishops have tabled a proposal that would have loosened restrictions in the church's mostly conservative policies on homosexuality. --by Kevin Eckstrom of Religion News Service at the PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly website 5.10.07
He and Kirk Cameron (co-hosts of an award-winning Christian TV program) challenged the two originators of the “Blasphemy Challenge” to a debate on the existence of God. According to Comfort, he and Cameron (an ex-atheist) are qualified to debate on the subject. Comfort had not only written a book titled “God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists”, but had spoken at Yale on the subject of atheism, and been flown by American Atheists, Inc., to their 2001 annual convention to be a platform speaker. —excerpted from an article from the Christian Newswire Service 4.26.07 as submitted by Muriel McConnon
Those flip-flops on abortion rights…
“Why does the liberal media call it a flip-flop? Because they believe in the moral correctness of their pro-choice position. The only reason someone would move from the morally correct position, as they perceive it, to the morally incorrect position is because of political expediency. But religious conservatives believe that their position is the morally correct position. So they don’t see this as a flip-flop. They see this as a journey… as growth.” –Richard Land, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal 4.28.07
Student Sent Home for Protest of Gay Day of Silence – At issue: A piece of tape on his shirt that read, ‘I’m straight.’
A 15-year-old Michigan student’s expression of mild opposition to a pro-homosexual event at his school got him sent home for the day. Now he’s arguing for his right to free speech.
David Gardner didn’t agree with Oakridge High School’s observance of the Day of Silence, during which proponents of homosexuality place tape over their mouths or refuse to speak, even in class. As part of the event, participants pass out pro-gay literature to students.
David grabbed a piece of tape, wrote “I’m straight” on it and stuck it to his shirt as his personal protest…
Some of David’s friends expressed their support by printing Bible verses on T-shirts and wearing them to school. Two were asked to go home on Friday because of the shirts…
“When is the church of Jesus Christ going to come out of its closet and take its place in society the way it’s supposed to be?” his father asked. “If we don’t stand up sooner or later, we’re going to run into more trouble than we’re going to know what to do with.”
David said the trampling of his First Amendment rights “scares him.”
“The church isn’t standing up,” he said, “so I figured I’d be the first one to start.” –excerpted from an article at Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink site, as submitted by Muriel McConnon 4.24.07
Florida Family Policy Council Sues Harassing Police Officer
Last year, the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) rented a tent at a Promise Keepers conference to hand out information on the state’s marriage protection amendment and to collect petitions.
But some Sunrise, Fla., police officers would have none of it. They shut down the petitioners. Then, Sgt. Stephen Allen took it upon himself to lecture the family advocates on homosexuality and the Bible. He went so far as to mockingly kiss another officer.
Now FFPC is fighting back. It filed suit Tuesday in federal district court, charging that Broward County and Allen violated the civil rights of its staff and volunteers. –excerpted from an article at the Focus on the Family website, by Jennifer Mesko 4.26.07, as submitted by Mark Zaveson
Use of Wiccan Symbol on Veterans’ Headstones Is Approved
To settle a lawsuit, the Department of Veteran Affairs has agreed to add the Wiccan pentacle to a list of approved religious symbols that it will engrave on veterans’ headstones.
The settlement, which was reached on Friday, was announced on Monday by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which represented the plaintiffs in the case.
Though it has many forms, Wicca is a type of pre-Christian belief that reveres nature and its cycles. Its symbol is the pentacle, a five-pointed star, inside a circle.
Until now, the Veterans Affairs department had approved 38 symbols to indicate the faith of deceased service members on memorials. It normally takes a few months for a petition by a faith group to win the department’s approval, but the effort on behalf of the Wiccan symbol took about 10 years and a lawsuit, said Richard B. Katskee, assistant legal director for Americans United. –excerpted from a New York Times article by Neela Banerjee, 4.25.07 as submitted by Mark Zaveson.
Indianapolis Billboards Claim the Bible Affirms Homosexuality – A pro-gay billboard campaign in Indiana attempts to use the Bible as a basis for supporting homosexuality.
Community Church and Faith in America. Pastor Jeff Miner described one of the billboards that proclaims, “Ruth Loved Naomi as Adam Loved Eve.” “Most people probably have no idea that the Bible does contain a number of powerfully affirming passages toward gay people,” he told Family News in Focus.
Another billboard recasts the story of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant and claims “Jesus Affirmed a Gay Couple.”
“The (Greek) word that the Roman centurion uses to describe this sick person is ‘pais,’ ” Miner said, “which is precisely the word that was used in ancient Greek to refer to one’s same-sex partner.”
Joe Dallas, author of The Gay Gospel, a book debunking such twisting of Scripture, took issue with the claims.
“You really have to do mental gymnastics to do this,” he said.
Dallas explained there’s nothing in the Bible that suggests the relationship between Ruth and Naomi was anything other than a deep friendship. And Greek lexicons render the word “pais” as simply a servant or a child, not a same-sex partner.
“It shows a certain mindset,” Dallas said, “when someone cannot read about two people loving each other without assuming that the love was sexual.” –from an article at the Focus on the Family website, 4.25.07 as submitted by Mark Zaveson