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Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 4, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 4, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Candidate: Christians Should 'Convert, Pay Tribute or Leave'
  • Planned Parenthood: Obama 'Has Our Back' and Gets Our Vote
  • California Senate Approves Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors
  • Olympic Star Stands Firm on Virginity


Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Candidate: Christians Should 'Convert, Pay Tribute or Leave'

According to the popular Egyptian website El Bashayer, Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate competing against former Mubarak official Ahmed Shafiq in the runoff election to become Egypt's new president, has declared that he will "achieve the Islamic conquest of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya [Islamic tax required of non-Muslims]," the Gatestone Institute reports. Morsi allegedly made these comments while speaking with a journalist at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, adding, "We will not allow [Shafiq] or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt." When the journalist pointed out that the first Muslim conquest of Egypt was "carried out at the hands of Amr bin al-As [in 641]," he asked Morsi who the second Islamic conqueror would be. Morsi replied, "The second Muslim conqueror will be Muhammad Morsi, and history will record it." When asked what he thought about many Coptic Christians voting for his opponent, Morsi reportedly said, "They need to know that conquest is coming, and Egypt will be Islamic, and that they must pay jizya or emigrate."

Planned Parenthood: Obama 'Has Our Back' and Gets Our Vote

Saying Barack Obama has "stood with Planned Parenthood time and again when it mattered most," the Planned Parenthood Action Fund has formally endorsed the president, OneNewsNow.com reports. "Since taking the oath of office, President Obama has been a champion of women's health, working to expand women's access to affordable, quality care," PPAF said. "He's done more for women's health than any president in history. ... The stakes for women have never been higher than they are in this election and the contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney couldn't be starker. That's why Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to be standing with the president and endorsing his bid for re-election." In a video endorsement, PPAF president Cecile Richards attacked Romney, describing him as "out-of-touch" and reassuring Planned Parenthood supporters that Obama "has our back."

California Senate Approves Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors

The California state Senate voted last week to ban parents from seeking professional counseling for their children with the goal of preventing them from becoming homosexual, CNSNews.com reports. SB 1172 states that "under no circumstances shall a patient under 18 years of age undergo sexual orientation change efforts, regardless of the willingness of a patient's parent, guardian, conservator or other person to authorize such efforts." Dr. Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute said: "Sexual activities and sexual preference, especially in the case of children, can be modified and changed. It is ethically wrong to prohibit parents from seeking and receiving professional assistance to help their own children with serious problems like this. The way to protect young people from suicide is to tell them their innate worth and their personal responsibility to make healthy choices, not tell them they have no choice, which depresses individuals struggling with sexual identity." Randy Thomasson, president of the pro-family group SaveCalifornia.com, added that the bill would "withhold emotional, mental and physical help from a child who has been raped or molested, who, as a result of this physical and emotional exploitation, is confused about his or her sexual identity."

Olympic Star Stands Firm on Virginity

Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones created a buzz when she told the world on an HBO talk show that at age 29 she's a Christian, a virgin and delaying sex until marriage, Baptist Press reports. Her revelation on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" quickly made headlines and circulated on social media, with some noting similarities to New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. With three NCAA titles and 11 All-American wins, Jones hopes to qualify for this year's Olympics after a disappointing 7th-place finish in the women's 100M hurdles at the 2008 games in Beijing -- but says her hardest challenge is remaining a virgin and finding someone to date. "The journey has been hard," she said on NBC's Today show. "Harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college, has been to stay a virgin before marriage. It's just something, a gift I want to give my husband. ... I've had guys tell me, 'Hey, you know, if you have sex it will help you run faster.' ... I'd like to be married. If you marry me, then yeah." Jones grew up in poverty, often homeless, and said she wants to enjoy the commitment that her parents -- who never married -- didn't have.

Publication date: June 4, 2012