Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Boy Scouts March in Uniform at Utah Gay Pride Parade
- Iraqi Christians Face Tough Times Amid Violence
- Study Finds Parents Clueless About Kids' Online Behavior
- Citing Risk to Adoptions, Missouri Governor Vetoes Anti-Sharia Bill
Boy Scouts March in Uniform at Utah Gay Pride Parade
Despite orders from their local council not to do so, a number of Boy Scouts and their leaders marched in uniform at the Salt Lake City homosexual pride parade on Sunday, the Christian News Network reports. Just days after the Boy Scouts of America voted to end the organization's ban on openly gay members, Salt Lake leaders arranged for the Scouts to march in the parade, including Peter Brownstein, one of the local Scoutmasters. Brownstein told NBC that a few adults and youth marched in uniform at the front of the parade, and that he also marched, but not in Scoutmaster apparel. "I was essentially intimidated and told not to wear my BSA uniform," he told reporters. "So, I am unfortunately not in my BSA uniform, but I am glad that others have chosen to do so." According to reports, an email to the Scouts from Salt Lake City executive Rick Barnes outlined that members and leaders could participate in the parade, but not in uniform. However, some of the leaders and members wore their uniforms anyway. BSA headquarters responded in a statement: "These individuals stated a personal opinion and do not represent Scouting. Scouting teaches people that often in life, one finds rules they don't agree with, but a Scout is to be obedient. To simply disobey a rule because you disagree with it is not an example to set for youth. It is up to each council to determine how best to hold their leaders to the standards of Scouting. We will support the Greater Salt Lake Area Council as they determine the appropriate response."
Iraqi Christians Face Tough Times Amid Violence
The nation of Iraq is awash in violence, with more than 500 people killed there in just the last month, CBN News reports. The attacks have mostly been Muslim against Muslim, but Christians have also been affected. Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada, who recently visited Baghdad, told CBN that many Iraqi Christians have decided to stay despite the violence in hopes of influencing their nation with the Gospel.
Study Finds Parents Clueless About Kids' Online Behavior
Your teens and tweens engage in a lot more risky behavior online than you think, according to a new survey by the online security firm McAfee. McAfee's 2013 "Digital Deception: Exploring the Online Disconnect between Parents and Kids" examined the behavior of tweens, teens and college-age kids and contrasted that with what their parents knew about kids' online experiences. The sad answer is not much. Eighty-eight percent of tweens and teens said their parents trust them to be safe online, but most acknowledged abusing that trust by posting intimate details about themselves (including phone numbers, email addresses, the name of their schools and home addresses). McAfee also found about 30 percent of teens and young adults sought out information on depression, but only 6 percent of their parents were aware of it. A quarter looked up information on drugs without their parents' knowledge. About 15 percent of kids looked up information about suicide or eating disorders, but less than 3 percent of their parents knew. Nearly half of kids said they'd seen sexual content online that disturbed them or made them feel uncomfortable, but less than 20 percent of parents knew about it. Almost 40 percent of kids intentionally looked up simulated or real-life violence online and almost a quarter sought out sex or pornography sites. About 10 percent had shared intimate photos or videos of themselves. Most tweens, teens and young adults said they hid their online activities from parents by clearing browser histories, hiding or deleting videos, or creating email or social media accounts their parents know nothing about. More than 70 percent of parents surveyed said they don't have the time or energy to keep up with their kids' online activities, nor do they know how to monitor them.
Citing Risk to Adoptions, Missouri Governor Vetoes Anti-Sharia Bill
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have made his state the seventh in the nation to prohibit judges from considering sharia, or Islamic law, and other "foreign laws" in their decisions, the Religion News Service reports. But rather than citing the usual arguments about anti-Muslim discrimination and the freedom of religion, Nixon introduced a new argument against such legislation, asserting it would make it harder for Missouri families to adopt children from overseas. Nixon said if state judges would not be able to consider foreign decrees that are sometimes required to finalize adoptions, adoptive families and children would be left stranded. "This legislation seeks to solve a problem that does not exist, while creating the very real problem of jeopardizing Missouri’s families' ability to adopt children from foreign countries," Nixon, a Democrat, said. State Sen. Brian Nieves, who introduced the bill in February, called the governor's reasoning for his veto "gibberish," saying, "His assertion that the bill somehow interferes with foreign adoptions is absurd." Nieves, a Republican, could try to override the veto; a veto override requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers, and the bill had the support of 24 of 34 senators and 109 of 167 state representatives when it passed earlier this year. Anti-foreign law bills have been proposed in roughly 30 states; supporters say the laws prevent courts from imposing harsh sentences under sharia, but critics say they single out Muslims and tie judges' hands in family law or contract disputes. Six states have passed the laws: Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Last month, Alabama lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting judges from considering foreign laws. It will face a statewide vote next year.
Publication date: June 6, 2013