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Religion Today Daily Headlines - February 6, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - February 6, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • University of Michigan Denies Removing InterVarsity Chapter From Campus
  • Let Elderly 'Hurry Up and Die,' Japanese Official Says
  • California's Marriage Defenders Coming Up Short


University of Michigan Denies Removing InterVarsity Chapter From Campus

The University of Michigan has denied that it removed a chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from campus because the group's bylaws required its leaders to be Christians, the Christian Post reports. According to university spokesperson Kelly Cunningham, the Asian InterVarsity chapter did not complete its annual re-registration process by the Sept. 30 deadline, a requirement of all student organizations. Cunningham's statement came after the group said last week it was kicked off campus after refusing to revise its constitution to fit the university's nondiscrimination policy. But Greg Jao, an InterVarsity national field director, called the university's claim "factually inaccurate," saying the group had not submitted its constitution because the university would not recognize it. "It's the same as approved in prior years, not an administrative failure on our end, but [the university] won't accept it," he said. Cunningham, however, maintains that the university discussed the issue with the InterVarsity chapter in December, but the group has yet to complete the process. Jao says the group is just seeking to adhere to traditional Christian values. "Every student, regardless of beliefs, is welcome to attend meetings," he said. "But we believe it makes sense for a religious group to select religious leaders." 

Let Elderly 'Hurry Up and Die,' Japanese Official Says

The elderly should be able to "hurry up and die" to help the government, a senior Japanese official said, according to Baptist Press. Taro Aso, Japan's new finance minister, said: "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government. The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die." Aso, 72, said he would decline medical care as his life nears its end, reported British newspaper The Guardian. Nearly one-fourth of Japan's 128 million people are over 60, according to The Guardian, and almost 40 percent of the Japanese households receiving government welfare include family members 65 or older.

California's Marriage Defenders Coming Up Short

Ahead of the Supreme Court case over California's Proposition 8, a ruling that could change the nation's laws about same-sex marriage, traditional marriage proponents are facing financial struggles, WORLD Magazine reports. After raising money year after year to continue supporting Prop 8, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, traditional marriage coalition ProtectMarriage.com now finds itself $700,000 short of the money it needs to cover its litigation costs. "Unless the pace of donations starts to pick up right away, we could soon be forced over a financial cliff," ProtectMarriage.com said in a email to donors earlier this month. But while gay rights activists claim the decrease in funding represents a lack of support for traditional marriage, ProtectMarriage.com maintains that convictions have remained strong. "I don't detect a decrease in enthusiasm," ProtectMarriage.com attorney Andrew Pugno said. "What I detect is a certain degree of fatigue after having to essentially fight this issue non-stop since 2004, when the mayor in San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses." Beyond ProtectMarriage.com's battle in California, traditional marriage proponents in other states have been outspent and beaten by gay activists in the past four ballot measures -- such as in Washington state, where traditional marriage supporters raised $2.8 million compared to the $12.6 million raised by gay marriage advocates.

Publication date: February 6, 2013