Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Obama: Boy Scouts Should Lift Gay Ban
- Pro Athletes Influence Society More Than Pastors, Say Two-Thirds of Americans
- Oregon Baker Under Investigation for Denying Wedding Cake to Lesbians
Obama: Boy Scouts Should Lift Gay Ban
President Barack Obama said in a pre-Super Bowl interview that gays should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, CBN News reports. "The scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives," Obama told CBS' Scott Pelley. "And I think nobody should be barred for that." The statement comes after last week's announcement that the BSA may end its ban on homosexual scouts, leaders and volunteers -- a proposal expected to be discussed and possibly voted on at a board meeting in Texas this week.
Pro Athletes Influence Society More Than Pastors, Say Two-Thirds of Americans
A new survey by the Barna Group released just before the Super Bowl suggests that Americans believe professional athletes influence society more than pastors "by more than a three-to-one margin," Christianity Today reports. According to the poll, 64 percent of Americans think pro athletes have more influence than professional faith leaders, whereas 19 percent think faith leaders have more influence. Eight percent say both have equal influence and 10 percent are unsure. "Sports figures are deemed most influential by those making $60,000-plus, college graduates, whites and parents," notes Barna. "Those most likely to select faith leaders were weekly church attenders and those with incomes under $40,000." Barna also found that 61 percent of Americans support athletes' public professions of faith, and perhaps most interestingly, only 32 percent of Americans said athletes' professions of faith made people "more spiritually minded."
Oregon Baker Under Investigation for Denying Wedding Cake to Lesbians
An Oregon baker is under investigation by the state for notifying a lesbian woman that he did not make cakes for same-sex ceremonies, the Christian News Network reports. Last month, Aaron Klein, owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery he operates with his wife, was approached by a mother and her daughter interested in a cake for the daughter's upcoming wedding to her lesbian partner. After Klein informed the women that the bakery did not make cakes for same-sex marriages, they filed a complaint with the state. "[I] didn't mean to make anybody upset," Klein said. "[It's] just something I believe in very strongly. ... I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God." At this time, the office of the Attorney General of Oregon is investigating the matter, and Klein has two weeks to respond to the complaint filed by the women. In Oregon, nondiscrimination laws prevent public accommodations from being denied to any individual on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex [or] sexual orientation." Klein, who says he regularly serves homosexuals but cannot in good conscience accommodate their request for a wedding cake, stated: "If I have to be penalized for my beliefs ... that'll be what it is." He affirmed that he would rather close than compromise his faith. "My First Amendment rights allow me to practice my religion as I see it," he said.
Publication date: February 5, 2013