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Religion Today Daily Headlines - October 24, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - October 24, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • LSU Digitally Erases Cross in Picture of Students
  • Less Religious are Less Likely to Vote, New Poll Finds
  • Research Shows Unborn Twins Interacting in the Womb at 14 Weeks
  • Court Blocks Indiana Defunding of Planned Parenthood


LSU Digitally Erases Cross in Picture of Students

A group of Louisiana State University football fans is outraged after the school digitally erased the tiny crosses they painted on their bare upper chests at a recent football game, Fox News reports. LSU officials sent out a photo of The Painted Posse -- Christian students who paint their bodies with LSU school colors and small crosses for home games -- in a weekly email newsletter following LSU's Oct. 13 game against South Carolina, and the students were shocked to see that the crosses had been edited out of the photo, which appeared to be otherwise untouched. "I was a bit surprised, because our pictures get used so frequently, and the cross had never been edited before," Posse member Cameron Cooke said. "The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower. And it reminds me who I need to act like in Death Valley," he added, referring to Tiger Stadium's nickname. School spokesman Herb Vincent said the school altered the image to prevent other students from being offended. "We don't want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out," LSU said in a statement. "Only one of the students, who didn't appreciate it, actually contacted us about it. So next time, we'll just choose a different photo. ... It was just a straight sports communication message, no politics involved, no religion."

Less Religious are Less Likely to Vote, New Poll Finds

A new poll released Monday from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that Americans who are less religious are less likely to head to the polls this election season, the Christian Post reports. Religiously affiliated Americans are more likely to vote than those who are religiously unaffiliated or less religious, by a margin of 73 to 61 percent, the survey found. If these findings are true, it could spell troubling news for the Obama campaign, since voters who are less religious are also more likely to support the president. Americans who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated -- now 19 percent of the population -- are the fastest-growing group in America's religious landscape. Obama holds a substantial lead among the religiously unaffiliated -- 73 percent of those polled, compared to only 23 percent of that group who say they support Mitt Romney. The latest Real Clear Politics average of national polls shows Romney with a narrow lead over Obama, 47.7 to 46.9 percent.

Research Shows Unborn Twins Interacting in the Womb at 14 Weeks

An Italian researcher has published interesting data about twins and how they develop in the womb, WORLD News Service reports. According to LifeSiteNews, "Umberto Castiello of the University of Padova, Italy, published a report in October showing unborn babies have the ability to interact as early as 14 weeks into the pregnancy." The research team examined video footage of twins gathered by a four-dimensional ultrasound. They found that the "14-week-old twins touched each other head to head, arm to head, and head to arm. At the 18th week, they made more contact and, as the team wrote, began 'spending up to 30 percent of their time reaching out and stroking their co-twin.'"

Court Blocks Indiana Defunding of Planned Parenthood

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled Tuesday that Indiana cannot cut off funding for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortions, WORLD Magazine reports. The court upheld the core portion of a lower court order that said Indiana could not enforce a state law barring abortion providers from collecting Medicaid funds for any medical services. The law, signed by Republican governor Mitch Daniels in May 2011, made Indiana the first state to deny Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds for general health services, including cancer screenings. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, spoke out against the ruling: "Over the last two years -- as 14 states have introduced or enacted measures to end taxpayer funding of abortion businesses -- America's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has been able to rely only on sympathetic courts and the Obama administration to buck the will of the taxpayers," she said. "Taxpayers across the country want out of the abortion industry, and pro-life lawmakers will not stop working until every dime of taxpayer funding is cut from Planned Parenthood."

Publication date: October 24, 2012