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Religion Today Daily Headlines - December 18, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - December 18, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Mike Huckabee: Removing God From the Classroom Leads to Violence in Schools
  • Islamists Claim Victory on Egypt Constitution Vote
  • Atheist Billboard in Times Square Dubs Jesus a 'Myth'
  • Poll: Vast Majority of Palestinians Support Violent Approach to Israel


Mike Huckabee: Removing God From the Classroom Leads to Violence in Schools

In response to the deadly mass shooting Friday in Newtown, Conn., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said new laws regulating guns won't deter such shootings, linking the removal of God from the classroom to increased violence in schools, CNN reports. "We ask why there's violence in our school but we've systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be surprised that schools have become such a place of carnage? Because we've made it a place where we don't want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability. That we're not just gonna have to be accountable to the police if they catch us but one day we stand before a holy God in judgment. If we don't believe that, then we don't fear that. People are going to want to pass new laws. This is a heart issue ... laws don't change this kind of thing." Huckabee made similar comments following the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., earlier this year, saying violent acts should not be a surprise considering the removal of God from public forums.

Islamists Claim Victory on Egypt Constitution Vote

Islamists appear to have won a narrow victory in the first round of voting on Egypt's constitution, though Egyptian rights groups are charging that there were widespread violations, CBN News reports. The opposition umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, condemned irregularities and violations and called for a massive rally against the constitution on Tuesday, Dec. 18. According to rights groups, violations included the presence of Muslim Brotherhood members at the polls, women being prevented from voting because they were not wearing Islamic veils, individuals falsely identifying themselves as judges, and Christians being denied entry to polling stations. Additionally, as polls closed, hundreds of Islamists attacked the offices of one of Egypt's oldest liberal parties. The controversial draft constitution would empower Islamists to enforce the most widespread and strictest implementation of sharia (Islamic law) that modern Egypt has ever seen. One voter, Mohamed Ewais, said: "I cannot accept a constitution with very limited, very limited actually, rights for minorities, rights for women, rights for even children. It's not suitable for Egypt, actually. We are talking about a country that has been in place for over 210 years as a modern state." Israelis are also watching the Egyptian vote with concern, as an Islamist victory could threaten the 33-year peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Atheist Billboard in Times Square Dubs Jesus a 'Myth'

The group American Atheists has put up a billboard in Times Square with an anti-Christian message, WORLD News Service reports. The billboard features a picture of Santa Claus and the caption "Keep The Merry!" above a picture of Jesus with the caption "Dump the Myth!" American Atheists' David Silverman told Fox News: "Most Christians are really atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion. They need not be Christian to enjoy the holiday season." Silverman said a private donor paid more than $25,000 to have the billboard posted above a nightclub in the crossroads of the world for one month, ending Jan. 10, 2013. "We chose Times Square because it is a place where people go to shop and be festive, which has nothing to do with religion," Silverman said. Lamar Outdoor, the advertising giant that leased the space to Silverman's group, said it wasn't the company's place to censor the message.

Poll: Vast Majority of Palestinians Support Violent Approach to Israel

A new poll from the Arab World Research and Development shows that the vast majority of Palestinians believe the best way to handle Israel and achieve independence is armed force, the Times of Israel reports. Of 1,200 Gaza and West Bank Palestinians surveyed, an overwhelming 88 percent believe the result of Operation Pillar of Defense -- Israel's eight-day operation against Hamas terror targets in Gaza last month -- proved that armed struggle is the best means of gaining Palestinian independence. The Palestinians' successful U.N. nonmember statehood bid last month was also viewed overwhelmingly positively, adding popularity to both Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah. But for the first time since 2006, more West Bank Palestinians support the political approach of Hamas as opposed to that of Fatah and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. While Abbas tends to favor a two-state solution reached by negotiations, Hamas -- recognized internationally as a terrorist group -- refuses to recognize Israel and vows eternal jihad against the Jewish "infidels" that reside there. Interestingly, more Gazans, 40 percent, said they preferred Fatah's approach to that of Hamas, which rules over them. Thirty-seven percent of Gazans said Hamas' approach was better.

Publication date: December 18, 2012