Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Military Says No Court Martials for Sharing Faith
- Gay Marriage Now Legal in Rhode Island
- Government Seeks 45 Years for Family Research Council Shooter
- Paul Ryan Comes Out in Support of Homosexual Adoption
Military Says No Court Martials for Sharing Faith
Members of the military are free to share their faith as long as they don't harass others, the Department of Defense said in a statement Thursday. A Pentagon ban on proselytizing had caused concern among religious liberty groups as some speculated that service members could face court martial for talking about Jesus, but a Defense Department spokesman said evangelizing is allowed as long as it is not disruptive. "Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization)," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. "If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case-by-case basis." Christensen said there were no plans to single out evangelical Christians for punishment: "The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members."
Gay Marriage Now Legal in Rhode Island
Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize gay marriage on Thursday as Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the legislation into law on the steps of the Statehouse, ABC News reports. The first marriages could take place Aug. 1, when the new law takes effect. "Today we are making history," Chafee said just before he signed the bill. "We are living up to the ideals of our founder. ... When your belief and heart is in something, it's easy work. I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love." The House passed the bill in January at the behest of House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence, who is gay. The Senate was seen as the bigger challenge, but the bill passed easily last week after Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said she would allow a vote despite her opposition to gay marriage. The House gave final approval Thursday with a 56-15 vote.
Government Seeks 45 Years for Family Research Council Shooter
Prosecutors are seeking a 45-year sentence for the man who pleaded guilty to plotting an attack at the Family Research Council's Washington, D.C., headquarters in August 2012, WORLD reports. Floyd Corkins II, of Virginia, never got past the building's lobby thanks to a security guard. Leo Johnson tackled and subdued Corkins, but not before the attacker fired three shots, hitting the guard in the arm. After Corkins' arrest, police found nearly 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack. Corkins, 28, told authorities he planned to shoot as many people as possible and smear the sandwiches in their faces as a political statement. The volunteer for The DC Center for the LGBT Community was angry over the position conservatives, including Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, had taken on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. In court documents filed Friday, government prosecutors said their sentencing recommendation was based on Corkins' intent. Without Johnson's intervention, the attacker "would have almost certainly succeeded in committing a massacre of epic portions," the filing said.
Paul Ryan Comes Out in Support of Homosexual Adoption
Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who made a bid for the White House as the running mate of Republican nominee Mitt Romney last year, revealed this week that he now believes homosexuals should be able to adopt children, the Christian News Network reports. Ryan was speaking at a town hall gathering in Janesville, Wis., when he was asked by an attendee about his views on same-sex marriage, the Employer Non-Discrimination Act, and homosexual adoption. He explained that while he remains opposed to same-sex marriage, his views have changed about permitting children to be adopted by gay couples. "Adoption, I'd vote differently these days," he said. "That was, I think, a vote I took in my first term, 1999 or 2000. I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple, I think if a person wants to love and raise a child, they ought to be able to do that. Period. I would vote that way."
Publication date: May 6, 2013