Religion Today Summaries, October 17, 2003

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, October 17, 2003

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

  • Anglican Leaders Warn of Division

  • Conservative Christians Cheer Supreme Court's Revisit of Porn Law

  • 'Marriage Protection Week' Radio Broadcast Discusses Benefits of Marriage

  • One-Minute Journal Bolsters Students' 'Moment of Silence'

Anglican Leaders Warn of Division
Baptist Press News 

Anglican leaders at an emergency meeting in Canterbury issued a statement Oct. 16 that distances the worldwide body from a controversial action by the Episcopal Church and warns of an even further divide if an openly homosexual bishop is consecrated. In days leading up to the meeting between the world's primates and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams -- the Anglican spiritual leader -- it was thought that conservatives might have enough votes to remove the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion. But that did not materialize. The two-day meeting was called after the Episcopal Church confirmed its first openly homosexual bishop, Gene Robinson. The Anglican statement, passed unanimously by the 37 primates, criticizes both the decision by the Episcopal Church and the one by the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada allowing blessings of same-sex couples. It warns against Robinson's consecration, scheduled for Nov. 2. Robinson has said he will not back down. "This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level," the statement said. The primates reaffirmed a non-binding resolution passed by worldwide bishops in 1998 that stated homosexuality is "incompatible with Scripture." The primates asked that a commission be formed to consider the Archbishop of Canterbury's role in maintaining worldwide communion during times of crisis.

Conservative Christians Cheer Supreme Court's Revisit of Porn Law
Adelle Banks, Religion News Service

Conservative Christian groups are hailing the Supreme Court's decision to once again consider the constitutionality of protecting children from online pornography.  The justices decided Tuesday (Oct. 14) to hear arguments concerning the Child Online Pornography Act. "The court revisits this case at a time when pornography is more available than ever to young people who use the Internet," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. Pat Trueman, a senior adviser for the Family Research Council, also cheered the high court's consideration of the issue." Pornographers are shamelessly enticing our children with free `teaser' pornographic images," Trueman said in a statement. "There is no logical or legal reason not to hold pornography peddlers liable for providing minors with material they cannot legally possess." The current will determine whether a subsequent law prevents too much material from being seen by adults. The court also will determine whether the government can mandate an adult-only screening system to prevent children using computers from viewing harmful material. The Child Online Protection Act, passed by Congress in 1998, has been rejected twice at the appellate level. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law as an unconstitutional barrier to free speech.

'Marriage Protection Week' Radio Broadcast Discusses Benefits of Marriage
Agape Press

In observance of "Marriage Protection Week," a national pro-family radio broadcast is devoting two days to discussing the rich societal benefits of traditional marriage -- and the potential harm of same-sex "marriage."  The host of the two-day series on Focus on the Family is that ministry's psychologist in residence, Dr. Bill Maier.  He says the goals of the broadcast are to educate people of faith about the issue of same-sex marriage, and to equip them with persuasive arguments to counter the rhetoric of those who advocate homosexual unions.  Maier's guests on Thursday and Friday are nationally syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher and Glenn Stanton, director of social research and cultural affairs at Focus on the Family.  Stanton says bringing men and women together as spouses and parents is "an essential social good" -- but it is unfortunate that those advocating homosexual marriage contend that "men and women don't need each other and that kids don't need a mom or a dad."  He adds it is ironic that at the very time when scientific understanding of the benefits of marriage has never been fuller, "we are proposing moving further away from that important societal idea."

One-Minute Journal Bolsters Students' 'Moment of Silence' 
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A former policy analyst for the Texas Senate is trying to help public school students make the most of a moment of silence observed in schools statewide. Texas is the most recent state to require its school children to observe a mandatory "moment of silence" during the school day.  Under a bill signed by Governor Rick Perry in May, school districts are required to observe one minute of silence and recite pledges to both the U.S. and Texas flags.  Students are required to participate unless their parents submit a written objection, and there is no penalty for students who do not participate. Deborah Knapp is a Christian who has written My Sixty Seconds -- a journal for school children that includes a few lines of scripture and a short prayer for every day of the school year.  Knapp says the moment of silence can have a big impact on school campuses. "I think it's just really important that our children know that the Bible is for them and gives them instruction, and also shows them all the wonderful promises our Lord has for them," the author says.  Knapp was inspired to write My Sixty Seconds because her youngest daughter is a public school student.  "Now, our children will have 60 seconds each school day to spend with our Lord."