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Religion Today Daily Headlines - March 6, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - March 6, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • Maryland Pro-Lifers Seek Justice in Botched Abortion Death
  • Americans Feel Most Connected to Local Religious Institutions
  • Chick-fil-A Stays on University of New Mexico Campus
  • History Channel's 'The Bible' a Ratings Hit


Maryland Pro-Lifers Seek Justice in Botched Abortion Death

Pro-life groups in Maryland are hoping state regulators will revoke an abortionist's medical license and file murder charges after a patient under his care died, CBN News reports. State authorities are investigating the death of 29-year-old Jennifer Morbelli, who died Feb. 7 just days after receiving an abortion from late-term abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart. An initial medical examiner's report shows Morbelli suffered from a "complication related to childbirth in which amniotic fluid was pushed into her bloodstream." The pro-life group Operation Rescue is seeking second-degree murder chargers against Carhart, saying Morbelli's family was unable to reach him as her condition worsened -- and that he in fact had left town. "There was no one for the family to contact when her condition began to deteriorate back at the hotel," said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue. "She was not properly monitored. They knew it." Jack Ames, co-founder of Defend Life, added, "[Carhart] left for Nebraska and later that evening she was bleeding profusely and she had to go to the nearby hospital." Pro-life groups are also calling on the Maryland Board of Physicians to revoke Carhart's medical license. Some protesters recently stood vigil outside the building while the board met, and more than 1,300 people have signed an online petition asking the board to take action. Police say their investigation into Morbelli's death "remains active" while they wait for the full autopsy report, which takes 60 to 90 days to complete.

Americans Feel Most Connected to Local Religious Institutions

More than one-third of Americans say they feel "very connected" to their local church or religious institution, according to a new survey from Rasmussen Reports, Christianity Today reports. The survey's participants were asked to describe how connected they felt to nine governmental and nongovernmental institutions, including a "local church or religious organization," "local charity," "local government," "federal government," a "political party," and "local advocacy group." More than half of those surveyed (54 percent) said they felt at least somewhat connected to their local religious institution -- by far the institution with the strongest feelings of connection. Only 12 percent said they felt "very connected" either to local charities or local recreational groups, which both ranked second. "Nothing else comes close" to religious institutions, Rasmussen said. "Government and politics are near the bottom of the list." A separate study released by Rasmussen in February found that, beyond family, 35 percent of Americans say their primary allegiance is to their church, while 31 percent said it was to their country.

Chick-fil-A Stays on University of New Mexico Campus

Chick-fil-A will continue serving University of New Mexico students, after the Student Union Building board voted 8 to 3 last week to keep the fast food chain on campus. After Chick-fil-A's CEO made remarks last year in support of traditional marriage, some had argued the restaurant was disrespectful and threatening to gay and lesbian UNM students. SUB board president Rebecca Vanucci, who voted to get rid of Chick-fil-A, said, "If someone is telling me they feel unsafe then I feel I should respect that and that's why I wanted them removed." But not everyone believed the restaurant should be banned: A survey of about 3,700 UNM students and staff, presented by the SUB board at its meeting, showed that 94 percent said they wanted Chick-fil-A to stay on campus. "I feel business has the right to do business regardless of personal beliefs," said Steven Ybarra, a UNM senior. "They provide a good product with a good price in clean facilities." Some also expressed concern that if Chick-fil-A could be thrown off campus for the beliefs of its owners, other companies might ultimately have to comply with a wide range of ideologically driven conditions before doing business on campus.

History Channel's 'The Bible' a Ratings Hit

The new TV miniseries "The Bible" is drawing huge ratings on The History Channel, CBN News reports. The first two-hour installment attracted 14.8 million viewers -- more than any other program on Sunday. Four more episodes of "The Bible" will be broadcast each Sunday night this month. The series was produced by actress Roma Downey of "Touched by an Angel" fame and Mark Burnett, producer of reality TV shows like "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." The couple said in a statement: "We've been working on this project for the past four years now, and are deeply honored to be given this once-in-a-generation opportunity to breathe new visual life into the Bible's profound stories."

Publication date: March 6, 2013