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Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 17, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 17, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Police: Family Research Council Shooter was LGBT Volunteer
  • InterVarsity Reinstated as New York University Decides Leadership Policy is 'Not Discrimination'
  • Pro-Family Leaders Protest U.S. Embassy's Participation in Prague Gay Pride Parade
  • Christianity Today Investigates Influential Evangelical Figure David Jang


Police: Family Research Council Shooter was LGBT Volunteer

A man suspected of shooting and wounding a security guard in the lobby of the Family Research Council's D.C. headquarters had been volunteering at a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, CBS News reports. A law enforcement official has identified the suspect arrested in Wednesday's shooting as Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va., and another official said the shooter made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire. While police have not yet stated Corkins' motivation, a coalition of 25 gay rights groups have released a statement through GLAAD condemning the shooting. "The motivation and circumstances behind today's tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence," the statement read. "We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident." The guard, who was an employee of the FRC, was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

InterVarsity Reinstated as New York University Decides Leadership Policy is 'Not Discrimination'

In the continuing saga of whether or not Christian student groups violate college non-discrimination policies, the State University of New York at Buffalo has re-recognized InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) as an official student organization just in time for the start of the school year, Christianity Today reports. The SUNY Buffalo student senate suspended IVCF operations on campus in December 2011 after the student newspaper reported that the club asked one of its leaders to resign because he was gay. According to the SUNY student association's "all-inclusive" policy, an organization cannot exclude students from becoming members. Though IVCF has no restrictive membership clause, it requires its student leaders to agree with the organizations' doctrinal and purpose statements. Following an investigation by a university committee, IVCF was officially de-recognized as a club in April, but regained official status July 27 when SUNY Buffalo's Student-Wide Judiciary ruled that it was "common sense, not discrimination" for a religious group to want its leaders to agree with its core beliefs.

Pro-Family Leaders Protest U.S. Embassy's Participation in Prague Gay Pride Parade

More than 120 pro-family and pro-life leaders from 11 countries signed a letter initiated by the World Congress of Families protesting the U.S. Embassy's participation in the Prague "Gay Pride" parade on August 18, WORLD News Service reports. According to a statement released by the World Congress of Families, the letter notes that the Obama administration has made promoting gay rights -- including same-sex marriage -- a foreign policy priority. It further comments that "the United Nations has never affirmed homosexual marriage or rights" and that the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically says that "men and women ... have a right to marry and found a family." Family is described as "the natural and fundamental group unit of society" and, as such, "is entitled to protection by society and the state." Signers of the letter include Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America; Father Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life; Mike Huckabee; and Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America.

Christianity Today Investigates Influential Evangelical Figure David Jang

The National Association of Evangelicals is studying the theology of a potential buyer of Glorieta Conference Center to guide staff leaders and trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources in deciding whether to sell the 2,100-acre property near Santa Fe, N.M., to Olivet University, according to ABP News. The study is a "primary condition" regarding the sale of the property to the San Francisco university, whose founder, Korean pastor David Jang, has become an increasingly influential figure in Asian and now American evangelicalism. Jang and his followers have also founded media outlets -- including the Christian Post -- and are key influencers in the World Evangelical Alliance, but according to an investigative report by Christianity Today, many say Jang leads a group that has encouraged the belief that he is the "Second Coming Christ." Christianity Today reported on both sides of conflicting allegations that Jang's teachings are influenced by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church and that many of his followers secretly believe he is a messianic figure completing Jesus' earthly mission. Olivet's president, Bill Wagner, doesn't believe the allegations against Jang, but LifeWay officials said in response to the Christianity Today report: "We have been aware of concerns about Olivet University and its movement for some time. Those concerns are precisely why we engaged the National Association of Evangelicals to conduct a thorough review of their theological views to determine compatibility with ours." The review is expected to be completed this fall, and will then be reviewed by LifeWay's leadership and trustees.

Publication date: August 17, 2012