Religion Today Daily Headlines - November 28, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - November 28, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Florida Planned Parenthood Clinic Offers Black Friday Discount
  • Atheist Group Gets Major Funding at the University of Wisconsin
  • 'Two and a Half Men' Star: Don't Watch My Show
  • Survey Finds Less Cheating in High Schools


Florida Planned Parenthood Clinic Offers Black Friday Discount

The traditional first day of Christmas shopping known as "Black Friday" took on a whole different meaning for a South Florida Planned Parenthood clinic that offered special pricing on birth control and emergency contraception to women who visited between certain hours, the Christian Post reports. In what appears to be an email offer to a supporter, the message read: "We are truly thankful for all our patients and supporters, so this Thanksgiving we are offering a day after Thanksgiving special! Visit the Kendall or West Palm Beach health center for this one-day deal." The coupon offered $10 off for a visit on Friday, Nov. 23, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and was also good for $5 off an "emergency contraception." Though Planned Parenthood advocates said the discounts were not for abortions but for birth control pills, pro-life blogger Jill Stanek disagreed, saying the $10 off part read as if it could be used for an abortion procedure. "When you step back and look at the ad objectively, there is no legitimate clinic that offers ads like this for women's healthcare," Stanek said. "I mean, we're not talking about Lasik [eye] surgery here. This is about killing babies. I think the ad is simply insidious." It isn't the first time an abortion clinic has offered a discount for their services; the Orlando Women's Center, for example, has offered Sunday discounts since last year.

Atheist Group Gets Major Funding at the University of Wisconsin

An atheist group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seems on track to receive nearly $70,000 in student fees for staffing and programming next year, in what is believed to be the first major funding of any atheist student group at a state university, the Journal Sentinel reports. The group -- Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics, or AHA -- said it would provide support services for students struggling with doubts about their faith and offer a safe place to discuss religious issues without fear of recrimination. The allocation marks the first time that an atheist group has qualified for funding beyond the small, event-specific grants most student-run organizations receive, and it appears to be the largest ever awarded to any campus group of its kind in the country, the Columbus-based Secular Student Alliance stated. "It's pretty common for groups to have budgets of a few hundred dollars," said Alliance spokesman Jesse Galef. "This is something on a different magnitude entirely." According to Dr. Albert Mohler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "The decision to fund an atheist student group at the University of Wisconsin follows the appointment of atheist chaplains at several major universities, including Harvard University. Taken together, this is another sign of the increasingly secularized character of the nation's leading academic institutions."

'Two and a Half Men' Star: Don't Watch My Show

The teen actor in the CBS comedy "Two and a Half Men," which is known for its raunchy humor and sexually explicit dialogue, has denounced the show as "filth" and is urging people to stop watching, CBN News reports. Nineteen-year-old Angus Jones, who has played the character Jake since he was 10 years old, said he recently had a spiritual awakening and now wants to leave the show. However, he said he can't, so instead he is encouraging viewers to tune out. "Please stop watching 'Two and a Half Men,'" he said in a video posted by Forerunner Christian Church in California. "I'm on 'Two and a Half Men' and I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth. ... You cannot be a true, God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't. I'm not okay with what I'm learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show."

Survey Finds Less Cheating in High Schools

A new survey from the Josephson Institute of Ethics finds that the portion of high school students who admit to cheating, lying or stealing dropped in 2012 for the first time in a decade, the Religion News Service reports. The reasons aren't totally known, but the results of the poll of 23,000 high school students are "a pretty good sign that things may be turning around," said Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization. Among the highlights from the survey: The number of students who said they lied to a teacher in the past year about something significant plunged from 59 percent in 2010 to 51 percent in 2012, and the number of students who said they had stolen from a store fell from 27 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2010. Though the survey suggested overall improvement, it found that boys are more likely than girls to engage in dishonest conduct: 45 percent of boys said they believe "a person has to lie and cheat at least occasionally in order to succeed," compared with 28 percent of girls.

Publication date: November 28, 2012