Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 11, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 11, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • National Cathedral Scales Back 9/11 Commemoration
  • Obama Declares Three Days of 'Prayer and Remembrance' for 9/11
  • 25 DNC Speakers Defend Legal Abortion
  • Nine-Year Battle to Prosecute Kansas Planned Parenthood Comes to an End


National Cathedral Scales Back 9/11 Commemoration

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., is scaling back plans to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, according to CBN News. In past years, the cathedral hosted events that drew the attendance of presidents and other leaders, but this year the church will mark the day with prayers during regularly scheduled events rather than holding a larger event. The interim dean, Rev. Dr. Francis Wade, said in statement he hoped the decision would help the country heal and "move past the tragedy."

Obama Declares Three Days of 'Prayer and Remembrance' for 9/11

President Obama on Friday didn't declare just one national day of prayer and remembrance in honor of 9/11 -- he declared three, reports. In a presidential proclamation from the White House, Obama called on Americans to spend Friday through Sunday, Sept. 7-9, in "prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing in of bells, evening candlelight remembrance vigils and other appropriate ceremonies and activities" to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. Obama went on to say: "On September 11, 2001, in our hour of grief, a nation came together. No matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. This weekend, as we honor the memory of those we have lost, let us summon that spirit once more. Let us renew our sense of common purpose. And let us reaffirm the bond we share as a people: that out of many, we are one." Ironically, the president's proclamation capped a week in which religious topics came to the forefront of the Democratic National Convention. Three times Democratic delegates shouted "No!" on amendment Wednesday to reinsert "God" into the text of the 2012 party platform and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a day after delegates voted to drop any reference of God from the platform.

25 DNC Speakers Defend Legal Abortion

Led by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic National Convention saw 25 speakers reference the party's support for legal abortion, an average of eight speakers per night in what several media outlets called the most "abortion-centric" Democratic convention since at least 1992, Baptist Press reports. In 2004, Democratic nominee John Kerry didn't even reference abortion in his acceptance speech, and Obama in 2008 mentioned "abortion" only in the context that both parties should work together to reduce "the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country," but 2012 was much different. Speakers, however, preferred phrases or words such as "reproductive rights" and "choice." Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, may have been the only speaker to explicitly mention the word "abortion" when she said, "I am proud to say that the Democratic Party believes that women have the right to choose a safe, legal abortion with dignity and privacy." Some suggested Democrats were promoting legal abortion in an attempt to go after the female vote, but a Gallup poll this year showed that among all women voters -- Democrats, Republicans and independents -- 46 percent call themselves "pro-life" and 44 percent "pro-choice." A 2011 Gallup survey found that 32 percent of Democrats call themselves "pro-life."

Nine-Year Battle to Prosecute Kansas Planned Parenthood Comes to an End

A Kansas prosecutor last week dropped all remaining criminal charges against a Kansas City-area Planned Parenthood facility accused of performing illegal late-term abortions, WORLD News Service reports. The decision ended a nine-year legal battle initiated by then-Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline to prosecute the abortion giant in criminal court. Johnson County district attorney Steve Howe announced that 32 misdemeanor charges against Planned Parenthood had been dismissed. Those charges were the last part of a criminal case Kline filed in 2007 that initially included 107 criminal charges, 23 of which were felony charges of "false writing" for faking abortion reports. Howe said his decision to end the case came after consulting current Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Most of the charges from 2007 have been dismissed over the previous 10 months, notably when Howe's office revealed last fall that state officials in departments controlled by Democrat Kathleen Sebelius, then-governor of Kansas and now secretary of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama, had years ago shredded documents that were key evidence against Planned Parenthood, a major Sebelius supporter.

Publication date: September 11, 2012