Religion Today Daily Headlines - October 31, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - October 31, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Pakistani Christians Pray for Americans Affected by Hurricane Sandy
  • Ad Comparing Voting for Obama to Losing Virginity Causes Backlash
  • Top Southern Baptist Official Breaks Pledge, Endorses Romney
  • Polls Show Conflicting Early Voting Numbers


Pakistani Christians Pray for Americans Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Pakistani Christians are praying for the safety of Americans affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to a message sent to the ASSIST News Service by Ashfaq Fateh, a Pakistani Christian leader who has been working to promote peace, human rights and Christian rights in his country, ASSIST reports. "We have come to know that Hurricane Sandy is about to affect 60 million Americans," Fateh said. "It has been learnt that a state of emergency has been imposed in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Florida and others. Sixty million is a very big population and we, the brothers and sisters in Pakistan, are worried for the situation in your country. We have been facing nonstop floods for the last three years and we can imagine how difficult it is to survive without shelter, food, medication and schooling for the young. So at this moment, we assure you that we shall be praying for your great people to be protected from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy." Fateh quoted Jesus as saying, "I am the vine and you are the branches," and added: "The branches from Pakistan will be continually praying for you. Please keep us informed about your safety." Fateh said he would welcome updates from people affected by the storm at [email protected] so he could pray for them specifically.

Ad Comparing Voting for Obama to Losing Virginity Causes Backlash

An ad starring a young actress comparing voting for Obama to losing her virginity has gotten backlash from Christians and conservatives, WORLD Magazine reports. In the ad, Lena Dunham says: "Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy, somebody who really cares about and understands women. ... My first time voting was amazing. ... Before, I was a girl. Now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, behind the polling curtain, I voted for Barack Obama." According to the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, "It's low-brow even for this White House, which seems to think using expletives to describe your opponent is conduct becoming a U.S. president." Perkins thinks the ad will actually backfire with the audience it's supposed to attract -- women. "The gender gap has all but vanished in this election," he said. "What was once a 16-point lead for Obama has evaporated, thanks in part to demeaning strategies like this one. These women are moms, too, and they recognize that a president with two young daughters should know better."

Top Southern Baptist Official Breaks Pledge, Endorses Romney

Breaking a longstanding personal pledge, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has endorsed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying next week's election is the most important since Abraham Lincoln's win in 1860 and he can no longer stay silent, the Religion News Service reports. "America is at a fork in the road and must choose between a President Barack Obama who wants to remake America in the model of a European welfare state and a Governor Mitt Romney who wants to restore a more economically vibrant and traditionally moral America," Land wrote in an Oct. 26 column in the Christian Post. Land, who is executive editor of the independent Christian Post and the top public policy spokesman for the SBC, said the "stark and revealing" differences between the Republicans and Democrats on abortion rights and same-sex marriage guided his decision. "For Christians of traditional religious faith, there cannot be more fundamental issues than the protection of the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death and the defense of marriage as a divinely-ordained institution between one man and one woman," he wrote.

Polls Show Conflicting Early Voting Numbers

A Reuters/Ipsos survey found that Barack Obama is leading Mitt Romney among early voters 54 percent to 39 percent, but a Gallup survey found just the opposite -- that Romney is currently leading Obama 52 to 45 percent. According to Gallup's Oct. 22-28 tracking polling, Romney is leading Obama 51 to 46 percent among all likely voters, but the race is tied at 49 percent among those who have not yet voted but intend to vote early. Early voting is now available in all 50 states, and according to WORLD Magazine, as many as 40 percent of all ballots cast this year will be by early voters.

Publication date: October 31, 2012