Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 1, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 1, 2008

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Atheists Assail Bill Recognizing America's Religious History
  • Americans Flunk Bible IQ; Radical Muslims Ace Islam 101
  • Court Rules Against Egyptian Convert
  • ABS Poll Shows Americans Want President with Biblical Ideals of Leadership

Atheists Assail Bill Recognizing America's Religious History

According to, a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that recognizes America's "rich spiritual and religious history" is drawing fire from some of America's most prominent atheists. The resolution, H.R. 888, resolves to "affirm" the religious traditions that most historians say played a crucial role in America's founding. It calls religious principles and foundations "critical underpinnings" of America's institutions, condemns attempts to remove religion from U.S. history, and designates the first week in May as "American Religious History Week." The resolution's language has aroused the anger of many atheists who see its provisions as violating the First Amendment of the Constitution and amounting to religious nationalism. "They're throwing 25 million Americans under the bus who don't believe in the Christian faith," Rick Wingrove, the Capitol Hill representative for American Atheists, told Cybercast News Service. "If you have a piece of legislation that favors Christians, what does that say to non-Christians?" Atheists are taking particular umbrage to a five-page list of factual line-items that allegedly points to a strong Christian tradition in American history.

Americans Flunk Bible IQ; Radical Muslims Ace Islam 101

In his new book The Faith, former Nixon aide and Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson works to equip his fellow Christians who he says are ignorant of their own faith. According to a DeMossNewsPond release, Colson maintains that radical Islamists have a better understanding of the Muslim faith than most Christians have of Christianity. While 60 percent of Americans can't name five of the Ten Commandments (p. 28), Colson fears that today's Christian Americans aren't able to do much better. Colson asserts that this lack of biblical knowledge and worldview prevents Christians from defending their faith against cultural threats such as postmodernism and Islamo-fascism. Take the Bible IQ Quiz here.

Court Rules Against Egyptian Convert

In a blow to religious freedom in Egypt, a Cairo court has ruled against a Muslim convert to Christianity who requested that his religious affiliation be changed, Compass Direct News reports. Judge Muhammad Husseini said in a verdict on Tuesday January 29 that it was against Islamic law for a Muslim to leave Islam, a legal representative for convert Muhammad Hegazy said. “He can believe whatever he wants in his heart, but on paper he can’t convert,” Husseini told the administrative court, according to the member of Hegazy’s legal team. Husseini based his decision on Article II of the Egyptian constitution, which makes Islamic law, or sharia, the source of Egyptian law. The judge said that, according to sharia, Islam is the final and most complete religion and therefore Muslims already practice full freedom of religion and can not return to an older belief (Christianity or Judaism). “What happened is a violation of my basic rights,” convert Hegazy told the US Copts Association following the hearing. “What does the state have to do with the religion I embrace?”

ABS Poll Shows Americans Want President with Biblical Ideals of Leadership

According to a Religion News Service release, the American Bible Society has discovered what America wants in a President, based upon research done through a Zogby Poll. A nationwide survey of likely voters shows that the majority of those questioned want someone who mirrors biblical ideals of leadership. Truthfulness and integrity, by far, topped the list of the characteristics respondents feel are most important. And they say they want a leader who is, in essence, a servant and mindful of accountability to God. Three-quarters of the likely voters agree that it is appropriate that every President since George Washington has been sworn into office with a hand on a Bible. Also, about six in ten say that they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who speaks publicly about following the example of admirable leaders from the Bible and who consistently uses the Bible for guidance in both public and personal matters.