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Religion Today Daily Headlines – June 11, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines – June 11, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • USAID Sponsors Pro-Homosexual Events in Developing Countries
  • Homeschooling Skyrockets in the U.S.
  • Franklin Graham Says Obama Yet to Respond to IRS Targeting
  • Former Planned Parenthood Employees Describe Delaware Abortion Centers


USAID Sponsors Pro-Homosexual Events in Developing Countries

The U.S. Agency for International Aid (USAID) normally provides food, drugs and other essential items on behalf of the U.S. to poor countries around the world, but under the Obama administration, the agency has expanded its portfolio: it now ships homosexual activism around the world. In April, with help from the Levi Strauss Foundation and millionaire and homosexual activist Tim Gill, USAID began spending $11 million to train homosexual activists in other countries, WORLD reports. The training began last week, in Columbia, which has recently affirmed traditional marriage. "This partnership leverages the financial resources and skills of each partner to further inclusive development and increase respect for the human rights of LGBT people around the world," said Claire Lucas, senior adviser of the USAID Office of Innovation and Development Alliances during a panel at the Ronald Reagan Building in D.C. "It can be a real game-changer in the advancement of LGBT human rights."

Homeschooling Skyrockets in the U.S.

The number of homeschooled children in the United States has increased by 75 percent since 1999, according to a new report published in Education News, CBN News reports. The study's findings serve as more proof that a growing number of parents are rejecting public schools. According to the report, discrepancies in achievement between sexes, income level and ethnicity are nonexistent in homeschooling. "Recent studies laud homeschoolers' academic success, noting their significantly higher ACT-Composite scores as high schoolers and higher grade point averages as college students," the report said. Researchers also found the number of primary-aged homeschool kids is growing seven times faster than public school kids. According to Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, the increase is partly because the large number of children homeschooled in the 1990s are now homeschooling their own children. Currently, 4 percent of all school-age children are educated at home.

Franklin Graham Says Obama Yet to Respond to IRS Targeting

Franklin Graham says he is still waiting for President Obama to respond to his letter about Internal Revenue Service agents' targeting of tea party and conservative groups, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, which he leads, the Christian Post reports. "I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt," Graham said during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity. "I like the president. I think he's a nice person. I disagree with him on many of his politics, but at the same time I wanted to write him and let him know that we suspected that we were targeted. Would he look into it? But I have not heard a reply yet." Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, told reporters last month that several organizations carrying the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their exemption applications were singled out by IRS agents for additional reviews between 2010 and 2012. Graham wrote to Obama on May 14, saying: "I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us. This is morally wrong and unethical -- indeed some would call it 'un-American.' Mr. President, the IRS has already publicly acknowledged it operated in a less than neutral and nonpartisan way. We also now know that the target of their improper actions was much wider than political or Tea Party organizations. Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of America's history -- repressive government rule?" Graham told Hannity he didn't think Obama knew about the IRS targeting; White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has claimed the IRS action was not politically motivated and the administration wasn't aware of the issue until Lerner's admission.

Former Planned Parenthood Employees Describe Delaware Abortion Centers

On May 29, two former employees of the nation's largest abortion provider testified before state lawmakers in Delaware, WORLD reports. A pair of pro-abortion nurses, Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, explained to a bipartisan panel in vivid detail the "meat market-style assembly-line abortions" provided at Planned Parenthood of Delaware. "It was an absolute nightmare," Mitchell-Werbrich said. "I'm surprised more people haven't lost their lives there." Vasikonis spent more than 20 minutes detailing what she observed -- and tried in vain to fix -- last year at Planned Parenthood centers in Dover and Wilmington. The charges bore many similarities to the unsafe conditions at Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia abortion facility: unsterilized instruments, faulty oxygen masks, untrained staff, disregard for patients, breaking privacy laws, and failure to report patient complications. Mitchell-Werbrich spent even longer on her testimony, saying she was angry that repeated attempts to draw attention to the dangerous conditions were ignored. She said state officials had continuously failed to take action until a Philadelphia television station reported on the story in April.

Publication date: June 11, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines – June 11, 2013