Religion Today Daily Headlines - February 18, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - February 18, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • 80 Congressmen Urge Secretary of State Kerry to Seek Release of Imprisoned American Pastor
  • Singles Survey Reveals Casual Views on Sex
  • U.S. Government Extends Federal Benefits to Homosexuals in Military

 

80 Congressmen Urge Secretary of State Kerry to Seek Release of Imprisoned American Pastor

More than 80 U.S. senators and representatives have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to "exhaust every possible option" to secure the release of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is facing a lengthy prison sentence in Iran because of his Christian faith, the American Center for Law and Justice reports. "This is a significant bipartisan effort to secure the freedom of a U.S. citizen who faces incredible torture and life-threatening punishment in one of Iran's most brutal prisons -- simply because of his Christian beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ. "This letter from a politically broad spectrum of members of Congress underscores the real issue here: the U.S. government must protect its citizens and exercise every diplomatic tool available to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed. We are very grateful for the Congressional support and urge Secretary Kerry to act without delay. Pastor Saeed's life hangs in the balance. Secretary Kerry's personal involvement in this case is critical to securing the freedom of this American."

Singles Survey Reveals Casual Views on Sex

A new survey done for Match.com is shedding some light on what singles are saying about their sexual behavior, CBN News reports. According to the survey, 42 percent would not date a virgin, 47 percent report having a "friends with benefits" relationship, and 44 percent of women and 63 percent of men have had one-night stands. Almost a third say they've had sex by the third date and almost half said they had sex by the sixth date. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control released two new studies Wednesday showing that the United States faces an ongoing and severe epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. More than 19 million new infections are reported every year, up from 15 million in 1996, and half of the new cases affect people ages 15 to 24.

U.S. Government Extends Federal Benefits to Homosexuals in Military

The U.S. government announced last week that it was extending a number of federal benefits to homosexuals in the military, the Christian News Network reports. The announcement was made by outgoing Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who stated that he would like to see the accommodations implemented by October 1, if not before. Among the 22 total benefits include hospital visitations, military child care and legal services, participation in family groups on base and privileges in commissaries. Because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the government from recognizing any other relationship outside of one man and one woman as being in a marriage, certain other benefits could not be extended, including assistance with housing and the provision of healthcare benefits. DOMA is currently being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear an oral argument on the issue next month and rule on the matter in June. 

Publication date: February 18, 2013

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