Religion Today Daily Headlines - December 17, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - December 17, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • 27 Dead, Including 20 Children, in Connecticut Elementary Shooting
  • Nigerian Christians Ask for Prayer at Christmas Amid Attacks
  • Pastor John MacArthur: Democrats 'Adopted the Sins of Romans 1 as Their Platform'
  • Grad Student Expelled for Stance on Homosexuality 'Vindicated'


27 Dead, Including 20 Children, in Connecticut Elementary Shooting

Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the Associated Press reports. It is the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Eighteen children -- all between the ages of 5 and 10 -- and six adults died at the scene. Two more children died at an area hospital, and another adult died at a location nearby. According to officials, the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, walked into the school shortly after 9 a.m.; the first 911 calls started ringing in the Newtown emergency service department around 9:30, and local officials quickly requested help from state police. Witnesses described hearing loud popping noises as he fired at students, teachers and administrators, and adults cowering in nearby classrooms counted as many as 100 shots. Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance confirmed all of the shooting took place in two rooms, in one section of the school. "This is a tragedy of unspeakable terms," Gov. Dan Malloy said. "You can never be prepared for this kind of incident. What happened will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted." Sandy Hook Elementary School has around 600 students between kindergarten and fourth grade.

Nigerian Christians Ask for Prayer at Christmas Amid Attacks

Nigerian Christians are asking American churches to pray they will be safe from attacks this Christmas, CBN News reports. The radical Islamic group Boko Haram is carrying out a war to drive Christians from northern Nigeria, and dozens of Christians have died in bombing attacks during Christmas services the past two years. Rev. Musa Asake, general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, says he's "very, very worried" -- but he says that won't stop Nigerian Christians from going to church on Christmas. He is asking Christians in America to pray that "the Lord will intervene to protect churches." More than 770 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks so far this year, making 2012 the worst year of violence attributed to the group.

Pastor John MacArthur: Democrats 'Adopted the Sins of Romans 1 as Their Platform'

Evangelical pastor and author John MacArthur said the Democratic Party has "adopted the sins of Romans 1 as their platform," reports. "And as you know," MacArthur told his Southern California congregation Sept. 30, "I'm not one to talk about politics as such, but I was essentially amazed that one of the historic parties here in the United States adopted the sins of Romans 1 as their platform. Parties which used to differ on economics now differ dramatically on issues that invade the realm of God's law and morality. ... In an ideal situation, their platform would mean that the government passes out condoms so people can fornicate at will. For those who happen to get pregnant in the process, the platform advocates that you kill the baby at the will of the mother, up and including the ninth month. At the same time, it advocates homosexual marriage, which is an oxymoron, an utter impossibility, and a gross violation of the law of God. ... All of that is Romans 1. Romans 1 says God will judge, God has judged, throughout human history, nations that experience sexual freedom. ... And then Romans 1 says God will judge those nations that advocate homosexual behavior, men with men, women with women, doing what is unnatural." The Democratic Party voted to include support for same-sex marriage in its platform at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. At the convention, the party also affirmed its endorsement of Obamacare, which includes a regulation requiring virtually all healthcare plans to cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. God's name was also initially omitted from the platform, though it was eventually reinserted.

Grad Student Expelled for Stance on Homosexuality 'Vindicated'

Eastern Michigan University has settled a lawsuit with a graduate student who was kicked out for refusing to affirm homosexuality, CBN News reportsJulea Ward was a student in the school's counseling program when she asked her superiors to refer a gay client to someone else, saying her Christian faith prohibited her from affirming homosexual behavior. Instead, EMU officials expelled her from the masters program. The school has now settled with Ward for $75,000, and her lawyer said her constitutionally protected rights had been "vindicated." Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued Ward's case, said: "Public universities shouldn't force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The Sixth Circuit rightly understood this and ruled appropriately, so the university has done the right thing in settling this case."

Publication date: December 17, 2012