Religion Today Daily Headlines - July 24, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - July 24, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Colorado Residents Gather to Remember Massacre Victims
  • U.S. Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Since 1960s
  • U.S. Troops Given Permission to Wear Uniforms at Gay Pride Parade
  • 'Death Pathway' for Terminally Ill Patients May Be Used to Cut Costs


Colorado Residents Gather to Remember Massacre Victims

Thousands gathered Sunday night in Aurora, Colo., for a prayer vigil honoring the victims of Friday's theater massacre that killed 12 and wounded 58 others, CBN News reports. "We are a family in Aurora," said Aurora mayor Steve Hogan. "We are good, hardworking people who believe in the goodness of our fellow man. We are coming together as a family would." Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke the names of the 12 dead, and each time the crowd responded, "We will remember." Rev. Robin Holland of Living Hope Baptist Church in Aurora prayed, "One day, Lord, we know that our city will march back into that theater and we'll claim that theater back, Father God, 'cause it doesn't belong to terrorists, it belongs to the city of Aurora." President Barack Obama also met with the families of victims in Aurora on Sunday, a decision Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called "the right thing."

U.S. Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Since 1960s

Poverty in America is on track to rise to levels unseen in nearly half a century, Fox News reports. Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall, and in a recent survey of more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics -- nonpartisan, liberal and conservative alike -- the Associated Press found a broad consensus that the official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a smaller increase, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest since 1965. Demographers also predict that poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5 percent for many more years, that suburban poverty -- already at a record level of 11.8 percent -- will increase again in 2011, that part-time or underemployed workers will rise to a new high, that child poverty will increase from its 22 percent level in 2010, and that the poorest poor -- defined as those at 50 percent or less of the poverty level -- will remain near its peak level of 6.7 percent.

U.S. Troops Given Permission to Wear Uniforms at Gay Pride Parade

For the first time ever, U.S. military personnel were given permission to wear their uniforms at a gay pride parade, WORLD News reports. The Pentagon granted a "one-time" exception to the military dress code, allowing several hundred active duty troops to march in San Diego's Gay Pride Parade in full uniform on July 21.  According to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, "It's a radical departure from the long-time policy which states that uniformed soldiers cannot provide a platform for a 'political message.' What could be more political than rallying alongside half-naked men, women and drag queens?" One of the service members who marched in the parade, an openly gay Air Force recruiter, said: "It was absolutely thrilling last year to walk down the street. But this year -- to be able to march in uniform -- wow! I'm speechless."

'Death Pathway' for Terminally Ill Patients May Be Used to Cut Costs

British hospitals may be placing thousands of terminally ill patients on a "death pathway" to save money, warn elder care experts. According to Baptist Press, six doctors in alliance with the Medical Ethics Alliance, a Christian organization, issued the warning about the Liverpool Care Pathway in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the newspaper reported July 8. The pathway, which gives healthcare providers the power to withdraw medication and fluids from patients in their final days, is used in as many as 29 percent of hospital deaths. In their letter, the doctors insisted natural death was a less painful manner of dying than the withholding of fluids and drugs. There is no "scientific way of diagnosing imminent death," they said. "It is essentially a prediction, and is possible that other considerations may  come into reaching such a decision, not excluding the availability of resources." One of the doctors, retired geriatrics specialist Gillian Craig, said, "If you are cynical about it, as I am, you can see it as a cost-cutting measure, if you don't want your beds to be filled with old people." A Department of Health spokesperson told The Telegraph the pathway "is not about saving money. ... It is an established and respected tool that is recommended by [the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] and has overwhelming support from clinicians at home and abroad."

Publication date: July 24, 2012