Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 6, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 6, 2010


Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • California's Proposition 8 Overturned, Christian Leaders Respond
  • Kagan Confirmation Provokes Concern among Evangelicals
  • Catholic Charities Says BP Isn't Filling Aid Request
  • Pakistani Christians Request Prayer for Flood Victims

California's Proposition 8 Overturned, Christian Leaders Respond

On Wednesday, August 4, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker struck down California's Proposition 8- a voter-driven referendum, which confirming that marriage should remain between one man and one woman. Many politically active Christian leaders spoke up against this decision, expressing deep concern over implications of the controversial ruling. "The religious liberty dimensions of the decision are momentous and deeply troubling. According to Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that "while Judge Walker declared that the religious freedoms of citizens and religious bodies were not violated… the very structure of his argument condemned religious and theological objections to homosexuality and same-sex marriage as both harmful and irrational." "It's not just marriage that was put on trial," said Daniel Blomerg, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, "but the fundamental freedom of having your vote count and having the liberty to express and live by your religious beliefs. It's pretty shocking." On his radio program Thursday, August 5, author and President of Prison Fellowship Chuck Colson told listeners, "What's at stake here goes beyond California and even beyond marriage itself. The reasoning that overturned California's law, that said that the right of gays to marry is a fundamental constitutional right, would, if applied nationally, overturn similar laws throughout the country."

Kagan Confirmation Provokes Concern among Pro-life Evangelicals

Elena Kagan was confirmed 63-37 by the U.S. Senate Thursday, August 5. Kagan will become the 112th Justice and the fourth woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life Action, tells Focus on the Family's Citizen Link that Kagan will likely become one of the most agenda-driven, pro-abortion justices. "It is deeply troubling that the Senate voted to confirm Ms. Kagan without fully investigating her role in manipulating medical evidence during the partial-birth abortion debate in 1996-97," said Yoest.  "The American people want fair and impartial judges, and Justice Kagan's negative impact will be felt for decades to come." "We expect that Elena Kagan will continue her life-long practice of using her position to place her opinion as the final authority over the law, treat the Constitution as optional, and re-write the facts to fit her agenda, all to the detriment of our country," Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, told The Christian Post.

Catholic Charities Says BP Isn't Filling Aid Request

Religion News Service reports that social service arm of the local Catholic Church said Tuesday (Aug. 3) it's nearly out of relief money for people damaged by the BP oil spill because the oil company has not approved a replenishment the church requested in June. Jim Kelly, co-president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, said the archdiocese and its partners have distributed $1.8 million in aid to families along the Gulf coast since May. BP donated $1 million toward that effort, but that money is gone and Catholic Charities is spending out of its reserves to keep the relief sites open, Kelly said. The church issued a public appeal for funds Tuesday. It was contacting foundations and prior donors as well, because the church is committed to keeping the work going, he said. "We're hoping a major foundation or somebody will step up and say we've got to do something in the meantime. But the majors are telling us this is a BP and government problem," Kelly said.

Pakistani Christians Request Prayer for Flood Victims

According to the Christian Post, Pakistan's leading church body has called upon the worldwide Christian community to pray for the more than three million people affected and in need of emergency assistance. "We are deeply grieved by the consequences of the flood and urge the international community to pray for the victims," said Raheel Sharoon, spokesperson for the Church of Pakistan. So far, more than 1,500 people have died in Pakistan's worst flooding in 70 years. The United Nations and several countries have announced millions of dollars in aid to help the flood victims in Pakistan.