Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- 64 Percent of Americans Believe Jesus Rose From the Dead
- 77 Percent of Americans Think Morality is On the Decline; 1 in 3 Think the Bible is the Answer
- Obama Attends Easter Service Where Pastor Criticizes the 'Religious Right'
- University Puts 'Stomp on Jesus' Professor on Administrative Leave
64 Percent of Americans Believe Jesus Rose From the Dead
Most Americans still believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll. The national telephone survey found that 64 percent of American adults believe Jesus rose from the dead, while 19 percent reject the central Christian tenet of the resurrection. Seventeen percent said they were not sure. The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted on March 23-24, 2013; the margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
77 Percent of Americans Think Morality is On the Decline; 1 in 3 Think the Bible is the Answer
A new report finds Americans overwhelmingly -- 77 percent -- believe morals are declining in the U.S., with the most-cited cause for the decline a lack of Bible reading, the Religion News Service reports. The American Bible Society's annual State of the Bible survey, which details Americans' beliefs about the Bible and its role in society, found that the Bible remains a highly valued, influential force in America, but also uncovered a significant disconnect in belief versus behavior. While 66 percent of those surveyed agreed that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, 58 percent said they do not personally want wisdom and advice from the Bible, and about the same amount -- 57 percent -- read it fewer than five times per year. More than half (57 percent) of Americans ages 18 to 28 report reading the Bible less than three times a year or never. "Americans overwhelmingly recognize the decline of morality in our nation," said Doug Birdsall, president of American Bible Society. "The good news is the Bible is the ultimate instruction guide on how to live a moral life. Unfortunately, more than half of Americans rarely, if ever, read it. If we had a cure for cancer, wouldn't everyone with cancer take it? Americans are telling us that the cure for declining morality is sitting on our bookshelves. But more than half of Americans are simply letting the cure gather dust."
Obama Attends Easter Service Where Pastor Criticizes the 'Religious Right'
President Barack Obama attended Easter services at an Episcopal church near the White House and heard a sermon that criticized "captains of the religious right" for holding some people back, CNSNews.com reports. The sermon by Rev. Dr. Luis Leon at St. John's Church was based on the Gospel of John and the resurrection of Jesus. Leon said Jesus told Mary not to hold onto the past -- "You cannot go back" -- and said the religious right should focus on "the way things can be in the now." He went on: "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be on their side of the border." Leon added that the message of Easter was about the "proclamation of victory, the victory of powerful love over loveless power." St. John's Church history claims that every president since James Madison has visited; the Obamas also attended Easter services there in 2009 and 2012.
University Puts 'Stomp on Jesus' Professor on Administrative Leave
A Florida university has put a professor who told his students to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and stomp on it on administrative leave, the Christian Post reports. Florida Atlantic University announced Friday that Dr. Deandre Poole, the professor at the center of the controversy, was placed on leave for safety reasons. "As a result of the reaction to a recent exercise in Dr. Poole's intercultural communications class, the instructor's personal safety has been compromised," the university said in a statement. "Because of this, Dr. Poole will not teach any classes, conduct office hours, or be present at any of FAU's campuses or sites. Alternate instructors have been assigned to teach Dr. Poole's classes. Students have been notified and classes will continue as scheduled." Last month, it was reported that FAU junior Ryan Rotela was suspended for refusing to participate in the assignment from a class textbook titled Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, though the university maintained no student was ever suspended over the incident. In its statement last week, FAU also apologized and promised that such a class exercise would never be performed again.
Publication date: April 2, 2013