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Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 27, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - May 27, 2013

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

In today's edition:

  • Boy Scouts Overturn Ban on Gay Members
  • Catholic Church Explains Pope's Comment on Atheists Receiving Salvation
  • One Third of Millennials Regret Going to College


Boy Scouts Overturn Ban on Gay Members

Delegates to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday approved new membership guidelines which open the ranks of the organization to homosexual members. Young men who openly claim to be homosexual may now participate as Scouts. The decision, the BSA leadership said in a statement, was based on "growing input from within the Scouting family." That input led to a national review of policy, or a "comprehensive listening exercise," resulting in a resolution to remove the restriction "denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone." Some 1,400 delegates to the National Council approved the change in membership standards by a margin of 61-39 percent, but changes to the adult leadership policy of the organization, which forbids homosexual Scout leaders, was not up for vote and remains in place. Rules on sexual misconduct, heterosexual and homosexual, also remain in place for Scouts and Scout leaders. John Stemberger, who waged a national campaign to keep the ban on homosexual Scouts in place through the website OnMyHonor.net, said the "most influential youth organization in America had turned a sad corner. ... The Boy Scouts are now teaching kids that when your values are no longer popular, change them." Stemberger added that BSA leaders had succumbed to the pressure of special interest groups by making the change to the membership policy. He added that he plans to call a coalition together to discuss creating a new youth organization centered on biblical values, a call echoed by many religious leaders.

Catholic Church Explains Pope's Comment on Atheists Receiving Salvation

After Pope Francis' comments during Wednesday Mass in Rome that God redeems nonbelievers, a number of people were left asking whether the Catholic leader believes atheists and agnostics go to heaven. The Vatican on Thursday issued an "explanatory note on the meaning to 'salvation,'" CNN reports. The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who are aware of the Catholic Church "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her." At the same time, Rosica said, "every man or woman, whatever their situation, can be saved. Even non-Christians can respond to this saving action of the Spirit. No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin." Rosica also said that Francis had "no intention of provoking a theological debate on the nature of salvation."

One Third of Millennials Regret Going to College

Here’s an indication of how burdensome student loans have become: About one third of millennials say they would have been better off working, instead of going to college and paying tuition, reports Jim Liebelt. That's a according to a new Wells Fargo study which surveyed 1,414 millennials between the ages of 22 and 32. More than half of them financed their education through student loans, and many say that if they had $10,000 the "first thing" they'd do is pay down their student loan or credit card debt. That's no surprise when you consider student borrowing topped the $100 billion threshold for the first time in 2010, and total outstanding loans exceeded $1 trillion for the first time in 2011. Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt in the U.S., which stands at about $798 billion. The problem sometimes is that not all college educations are worth their cost since they can’t guarantee a high-paying job to help pay off that student debt. A report from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys says the rising student debt problem can have a bad impact on the economy. Even in the best of economic times when jobs are plentiful, young people with considerable debt burdens end up delaying life-cycle events such as buying a car, purchasing a home, getting married and having children.

Publication date: May 27, 2013