Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 15, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 15, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Tunisian Olympians Targeted by Islamist Radicals
  • Maryland Chick-fil-A Vandalized Over CEO's Christian Beliefs on Marriage
  • Iran Declining Help in Aftermath of Quakes
  • Honesty May Boost Health, Study Finds


Tunisian Olympians Targeted by Islamist Radicals

Islamist radicals have targeted two Tunisian Olympic medalists for behavior and dress considered un-Islamic, as the country that launched the Arab Spring uprisings is facing increasing challenges from religious extremists, the Associated Press reports. Islamists on social media networks called on the government to strip Habiba Ghribi -- who won silver in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the first Tunisian woman to win an Olympic medal -- of her nationality because her running gear was too revealing. A Facebook campaign by the extremist group Ansar al Chariaa is targeting swimmer Oussama Mellouli for drinking juice before racing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mellouli won gold in the 10-kilometer marathon and bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle.

Maryland Chick-fil-A Vandalized Over CEO's Christian Beliefs on Marriage

A Chick-fil-A in Frederick, Md., was vandalized over the weekend by same-sex marriage supporters, who decorated the restaurant with a gay pride flag and glued pro-gay-marriage stickers to the windows, the Christian Post reports. According to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, cleaners were hired to remove the stickers, which had been put in place using a heavy spray-on adhesive. In response to the incident, Josh Levin of Marylanders for Marriage Equality issued a statement to NBC Washington that read: "We abhor any vandalism or disrespect in this campaign. ... We encourage our supporters to have conversations with people they know who may be undecided on the issue." Earlier this month, a 30-year-old man of West Hollywood, Calif., was arrested for reportedly spray-painting "Tastes Like Hate" on the side of a Chick-fil-A in Torrance, Calif. The suspect, Manny Castro, explained his actions to the Huffington Post by saying: "Everybody is entitled to free speech, but it seems like for the gay tribe, this is more of an issue of equal rights -- human rights. I'm against what these people stand for, what this company stands for. They're trying to take away what little rights we have."

Iran Declining Help in Aftermath of Quakes

Iran is declining offers of assistance from other countries after two earthquakes measuring 6.4 and 6.3 in magnitude devastated rural villages in the country's northwest Saturday, killing at least 306 people, Baptist Press reports. The quakes struck in quick succession, leveling homes in an estimated 230 villages. Iran's government has launched a fund to quickly rebuild homes in the mountainous region before the beginning of winter, and the Red Crescent Society is distributing tents, blankets, food and water to the 16,000 people left homeless. Authorities called off rescue operations on Sunday, saying all possible survivors had been recovered.

Honesty May Boost Health, Study Finds

People who tell fewer lies experience improved health, such as less stress and fewer headaches, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Baptist Press reports. "Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week," said lead author Anita Kelly, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame. "We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health. We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health." The study followed 110 people for 10 weeks, half of which were told to stop telling lies for the duration of the study. Those who told fewer lies reported fewer mental health complaints, such as feeling tense or melancholy, and fewer physical complaints, such as sore throats and headaches. Some said they realized they could simply tell the truth about their daily accomplishments rather than exaggerate, and others said they stopped making false excuses for being late or failing to complete tasks, Kelly said.

Publication date: August 15, 2012