Clergy Approve of Bush, Time Mag Looks at End Times & more

Clergy Approve of Bush, Time Mag Looks at End Times & more

In Today's Edition:
  • Bush Approval Ratings at 82 Percent among Protestant Clergy
  • Time Magazine Explores The Apocalypse
  • Church Wins Significant Federal Case Against NYC School Board
  • Hungarian Bus Crash Kills 19 Polish Pilgrims

Bush Approval Ratings at 82 Percent among Protestant Clergy 

Over eight out of 10 Protestant church pastors generally approve of the job President Bush is doing, while just 11 percent generally disapprove, and 6 percent have no opinion. During the same time frame in which the ministers' opinions were gathered, data released from the Gallup Poll showed that an average of just over 77 percent of American adults approve of President Bush's performance, while 17 percent disapprove and 5 percent have no opinion.

Ellison Research, an independent marketing research firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, conducted the study among a representative sample of 567 senior pastors from Protestant churches across the nation. The study was designed and funded by Ellison Research.

Although approval is high nationwide among pastors, it is somewhat lower than average in the Northeast, where the president's job approval rating is 78 percent (compared to 82 percent in the Midwest, and 84 percent in both the South and the West). Much of this small disparity is because the Northeast is home to a somewhat larger proportion of politically liberal ministers.

Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, explained that the primary reason pastors as a group are more likely to approve of President Bush's performance is that pastors are considerably more likely than the general public to be Republican. "While among the U.S. population Democrats outnumber Republicans, among Protestant ministers, Republicans outnumber Democrats by a wide margin," Sellers noted.

Time Magazine Explores The Apocalypse 

(ANS) -- It's not the end of the world as we know it, but Americans are talking about it now more than ever before. Spawned by the terrorist events on Sept. 11, and the success of the Left Behind books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, people are taking a closer look at Biblical prophecies that herald the coming apocalypse, according to TIME magazine.

According to a survey by TIME magazine and CNN, one in six Americans believe they will live to see the end of the world, as described in the Book of Revelations. The findings were featured in Time's new cover story, The Bible and the Apocalypse: Why more Americans are reading and talking about the end of the world, which hit the newsstands on June 23. "Particularly since Sept. 11, people have been searching for answers as to how current events fall in line with Biblical prophecy," said Kyle Watson, author of Apocalypse South and founder of Christian news site "For many, apocalyptic events are no longer fiction, but seem very real."

Watson, who was interviewed for the TIME cover story, said that believers should rejoice in the coming apocalypse because it brings them closer to being with Jesus. But for those that are left behind, having knowledge of the events that will unfold during the tribulation is crucial. Watson's end-time thriller, which was nominated for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, brings the apocalypse down to a local level that people can understand. "Whereas a lot of books focus on the worldview of the apocalypse, Apocalypse South is about how the tribulation will affect people at a local level."

End time books like Left Behind and Apocalypse South, coupled with terrorist acts and civil unrest throughout the world, have keep dialogue flowing on the subject of the apocalypse. Time's article reveals that one-third of Americans have spoken to others since Sept. 11 about what the Bible says about the end of the world. ( -- By Jackie Watson).

Church Wins Significant Federal Case Against NYC School Board 

A federal district court ruled on July 26 that a Bronx church, known for its compassion for the poor and needy, can now hold Sunday meetings in a local public school. The church's fight for equal access to public property has been on and off for seven years, according to a news release from The Alliance Defense Fund. The New York City School District, claiming church meetings would violate the so-called separation of church and state, defied last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Good News Club case that said religious groups had equal access to public school facilities.

But U.S. Federal District Court Judge Loretta Preska ruled against the school district in favor of the church. In her opinion, Preska made it clear that the church's worship service and outreach to the community "fall squarely within the Supreme Court's precise holding in Good News Club: the activities are not limited to 'mere religious worship' but include activities benefiting the welfare of the community, recreational activities and other activities that are consistent with the defined purposes of the limited public forum policy."

Hungarian Bus Crash Kills 19 Polish Pilgrims 

(ANS) -- Nineteen Polish Catholics were killed and 32 injured when a bus taking them on a pilgrimage crashed early Monday, July 1, near Hungary's popular Lake Balaton resort, police officials said. Ferenc Vass, spokesman for the local Somogy county police, told news media the death toll also included one of the drivers and eight other men as well as eight women. There were fears that the death toll could rise as dozens of people were rushed to nearby hospitals with serious injuries. It was apparently difficult to reach the wounded passengers.

The bus, carrying 49 pilgrims, including an apparently injured priest and two drivers, was bound for, a shrine to the Virgin Mary in southeast Bosnia. Many of the passengers were from Stoczek, a small town near the city of Lublin in eastern Poland. "It was a group of pilgrims heading for Medjugorje. These were people coming from the area, but also a few from remote locations," said Father Wlodzimierz Machulak, head of the Stoczek monastery, in an interview with the Reuters news agency.

"This was not the first such pilgrimage organized by Father Stefan (believed to be among the injured). The transport was provided by a private firm," he added. The Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller described the accident as "tragic news" for his mainly Catholic nation.