Religion Today Summaries - November 4, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - November 4, 2004

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

  • President Bush Wins Re-Election; Values Voters Made The Difference

  • Pro-Family Groups Laud Landslide Victory for Traditional Marriage

  • Columnist Says Public School Promoting Islam Should Be Sued

  • Trial Five Christians Charged with 'Wounding Religious Feelings' in India

President Bush Wins Re-Election; Values Voters Made The Difference
Tom Strode, Baptist Press

Faith and morality played major roles Nov. 2 as American voters re-elected President Bush, expanded the Republican Party's advantage in Congress and approved amendments to protect marriage in 11 states. The close and contentious battle for the White House came to an end when Democrat nominee John Kerry conceded the election in a phone call to Bush yesterday. Ohio Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, estimated that 25 percent of Bush's raw vote in Ohio came from white evangelicals. "The faith factor was the difference in this election," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Not only did more than three-fourths of evangelicals vote for Bush, but "a whole lot more of them voted" than in 2000, Land said. Even The New York Times acknowledged that the faith factor was determinative. "Because people of faith voted their values, their beliefs and their convictions, we have for the first time since 1988 a president who won a majority of the popular vote," Land said. "Bush is the first war-time president in modern history to not only win but to increase his majority in the House and the Senate." "The upsets in the Senate and House races and the 11 marriage amendments showed that no matter where you lived, people came out to support the kind of values that founded and built this great nation," Bauer, president of American Values, said in a written statement.

Pro-Family Groups Laud Landslide Victory for Traditional Marriage
Charisma News Service

Pro-family Christian leaders are praising the resounding, coast-to-coast rejection of gay marriage this week. Voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments Tuesday limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Often by huge margins, the amendments won in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon -- the one state where gay-rights activists hoped to prevail. The bans won handily in Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio and Mississippi, the Associated Press (AP) reported. "[This] vote reveals once again the broad support for protecting marriage among the American people," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said. American Values President Gary Bauer added: "This issue does not deeply divide America. The country overwhelmingly rejects same-sex marriage, and our hope is that both politicians and activist judges will read these results and take them to heart." The amendments on banning gay marriage reportedly unified evangelical Christian voters. "We've come together in great unity," said Rod Parsley, pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, who traveled the state speaking in support of a ban, Bloomberg reported. Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, said: "The election is a clean sweep on marriage. The move to amend the U. S. Constitution to preserve traditional marriage will move full steam ahead."

Columnist Says Public School Promoting Islam Should Be Sued
Jim Brown, AgapePress

A freelance writer who writes for is protesting what he calls the Islamic indoctrination of grade school students in one of the country's largest public school districts. During the ongoing month of Ramadan, children in the third through fifth grades in Herndon, Virginia, schools are being taught about the Muslim holiday and about other Islamic customs and practices. With the help of a so-called multicultural trainer, the young students are reciting Muslims' sacred words and imitating their faith practices. Prayer rugs are given out, Islamic prayers are recited, and as columnist Dave Gibson recently commented, "a happy face is put on the most dangerous religion the world has ever known." Gibson is outraged that the Fairfax County school district prohibits recitation of the Lord's Prayer but encourages students to pray to Allah. The conservative columnist says secularists who want God removed entirely from schools are also noticeably silent about the Islamic indoctrination occurring in the Virginia public school system. "What angers me," Gibson remarks, "is the ACLU has not been heard from on this. I can guarantee you, if someone had brought in Christian Bibles or wanted to teach about Judeo-Christian beliefs, the Herndon school district would be sued immediately." Where, he wonders, are the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuits and the public indignation so often unleashed on any expression of Christian faith in the public schools?

Five Christians Charged with 'Wounding Religious Feelings' in India
Vishal Arora, Compass Direct

An Indian court recently charged five Christians with the crime of "wounding the religious feelings" of Hindus, after a complaint was lodged in the tribal belt of Orissa. The Christians were released on bail on October 28. Lawyer Pratap Chhinchani, who will defend the five in court, said he believed a Hindu extremist group was behind the complaint and that the charges were false. Meanwhile, the World Hindu Council (VHP) continued its "reconversion" drive in Orissa unhindered by local authorities. Christians reject the term "reconversion to Hinduism," since most tribal converts were animists before they turned to Christianity. However, Indian law views all tribal peoples as Hindu, placing them at the lower level of the Hindu caste system. Christian leaders also claim the VHP has threatened tribal Christians with the loss of job opportunities and other privileges awarded to Hindu members of the Scheduled Castes. Under existing law, tribal villagers who convert to Christianity are denied access to these privileges.