Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 25, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 25, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Following Gay Marriage Announcement, Obama 'Explains Himself' to Religious Leaders
  • President Obama Calls for Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act
  • MTV Cans Reality Show About Virgins Pursuing First-Time Sex
  • Voters in Georgia GOP Primary Will Vote on Personhood


Following Gay Marriage Announcement, Obama 'Explains Himself' to Religious Leaders

According to a report from the New York Times, soon after President Obama made his announcement about gay marriage, he "gathered eight or so African-American ministers on a conference call to explain himself," WORLD News Service reports. The Rev. Delman Coates, the pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md., who was on the call, said the call worked, and that those on it agreed to "work aggressively" on behalf of the president's campaign, despite the fact that "gay marriage is contrary to their understanding of Scripture," he said. The New York Times also said that "in the hours following Mr. Obama's politically charged announcement, the president and his team embarked on a quiet campaign to contain the possible damage among religious leaders and voters." Among those the White House called was Joel Hunter, a megachurch pastor in Florida, who told the president that "some of the faith communities are ... afraid this is an attack on religious liberty." Hunter said this decision made it more difficult to support Obama but that -- so far, at least -- he would continue to do so.

President Obama Calls for Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act

During a fundraising event in New York City Monday, President Obama for the first time personally called for the repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), WORLD News Service reports. DOMA was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for purposes of federal laws and regulations. It also protects individual states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. "If you believe in states' rights, then we need DOMA," said former Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickels, who sponsored the Senate version of the law. Though the Obama administration has done several things to undermine DOMA over the last four years -- including not defending it in court when it's attacked -- the president's address Monday marked the first time he's publicly called for the law to be repealed or struck down outright.

MTV Cans Reality Show About Virgins Pursuing First-Time Sex

MTV has dropped an apparently ill-conceived idea for a reality show about people as young as 18 willing to have the network document their journey to losing their virginity after many spoke out against the "fame-for-sex" concept, the Christian Post reports. "Young adulthood is a time for exploration. New relationships, fresh experiences and sexual firsts," read MTV's casting call posted online earlier this month for the program, which appears to have tentatively been titled My First or Losing It. However, after many concerned parents, conservative leaders and others condemned the casting call, the network reconsidered its plans for the program: "This was a preliminary casting notice, and we're not moving forward with a pilot," an MTV spokesperson said Monday. Focus on the Family executive Jim Daly said: "Of course I am glad that MTV changed course on the show. God's design for sexuality is sacred and beautiful and should never be exploited."

Voters in Georgia GOP Primary Will Vote on Personhood

Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, announced this week that Republican voters in all 159 Georgia counties will have the opportunity to approve granting "personhood" status to all human beings from "their earliest biological beginning" on the July 31 Republican primary ballot, the Christian Newswire reports. While the resolution is non-binding, Becker said its approval would "send a clear message to all elected officials in the state that a majority of voters reject the current culture of death created by abortion on demand." Specifically, the question reads: "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function or condition of dependency?" To become a law, the Georgia legislature would vote to place the "personhood" question on the general election ballot in 2014 to be approved by Georgia's voters. More than 34,000 babies are aborted annually in Georgia. Earlier this year, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks, which Becker estimates will save an estimated 1,500 lives per year.

Publication date: May 25, 2012