Religion Today Summaries - February 23, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - February 23, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Study: More Kids Getting Sex-Change Treatments
  • Most U.S. Children Born Out of Wedlock
  • Court Says Quebec Parents Can't Pull Students Out of Religion Class
  • 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominations Announced

 

Study: More Kids Getting Sex-Change Treatments

According to a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics, sex-change treatments for teens and young children are on the rise at clinics in the United States, although still a small number, CBN News reports. The treatments, which include taking drugs to stop puberty, often start around age 11. Dr. Norman Spack, who wrote the report, said pediatricians "need to know there are children who think they were born the wrong sex." Spack is the director of one of America's first gender identity medical clinics at Children's Hospital Boston, which averages about 19 sex-change procedures on kids every year.

Most U.S. Children Born Out of Wedlock

New research shows more than half of births to American women younger than 30 are outside of marriage, the Daily Mail reports. With two-thirds of children in the U.S. born to mothers under age 30, it appears the majority of births are out of wedlock. Across all ages, four in 10 women are not married when they have children. Data shows the fastest growth in the past 20 years is among white women in their 20s with some college education but no four-year degree; most college graduates, however, marry before having children, suggesting family structure is becoming a new class divide. "Marriage has become a luxury good," said Frank Furstenberg, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania. But studies consistently show that children born to married couples do better in school and develop fewer social, cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems.

Court Says Quebec Parents Can't Pull Students Out of Religion Class

Canada's highest court has ruled that children in Quebec schools cannot opt out of a course on ethics and world religions, the Religion News Service reports. The Supreme Court on Feb. 17 unanimously rejected an appeal from Catholic parents who sought to keep their children out of the class because they felt exposing them to a variety of religions would confuse them. The nine high court judges disagreed, saying that exposing children to different beliefs and values was a fact of life in Canada's multicultural society. Simply teaching children other religions "does not constitute an indoctrination of students that would infringe on the [parents'] freedom of religion," the court said. The mandatory course is seen as part of Quebec's ongoing march toward secularism; it covers many world religions from a cultural perspective. When it was established in 2008, some parents argued it infringed on their freedom of conscience; the Supreme Court decision upheld two lower court ruling that dismissed the parents' claim.

43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominations Announced

The Gospel Music Association (GMA) yesterday announced the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards nominees. Artist of the Year nominees are Casting Crowns, Jason Crabb, Laura Story, Lecrae and The Isaacs; New Artist of the Year nominees are Jamie-Grace, Dara Maclean, Royal Tailor, Beyond The Ashes and The City Harmonic; Male Vocalist of the Year nominees are Christ August, Christ Tomlin, Jason Crabb, Kirk Franklin and Steven Curtis Chapman; Female Vocalist of the Year nominees are Francesca Battisteli, Kari Jobe, Laura Story, Mandisa and Natalie Grant; and Group of the Year nominees are Casting Crowns, David Crowder*Band, Gaither Vocal Band, NEEDTOBREATHE and The Isaacs. The Dove Awards will be held at Atlanta's Fox Theatre on April 19, following a sold-out 2011 show which aired on the Gospel Music Channel and garnered 1.5 million viewers.

Publication date: February 23, 2012

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