Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Survey: Majority of Christians Hate Christian TV
- Court: Christian Photographer Can't Refuse Gay Ceremonies
- Another Court Rules Marriage Law Unconstitutional
- Christians in Pakistan Allege Seizure of Graveyard
Survey: Majority of Christians Hate Christian TV
Pastor David Wright, chief executive of DoersTV.com, polled his channel's more than 100,000 Facebook fans to find out what they thought of Christian TV -- and was shocked to discover the majority said they hate it and do not watch it, the Christian Post reports. Wright said 90 percent of the feedback to his poll was negative, and comments by respondents indicated several major turn-offs about Christian TV: too much begging for money and fundraising telethons, false prosperity teachers manipulating people for donations, a lack of quality programming, and a lack of integrity of the Christian leaders being broadcast. Wright said he was "flabbergasted" by the responses. "I kind of expected there would be those Christians who thought Christian TV was too boring or not relevant for the times, but I never would have imagined the disdain thousands of Christians have for Christian TV," he said. "Unfortunately, the greed for money has replaced the need for ministry among many of our ministers and Christian TV networks. ... We can't have pastors indulging in sin and expect people not to be turned off."
Court: Christian Photographer Can't Refuse Gay Ceremonies
Attorneys for a Christian wedding photographer say they will appeal a New Mexico court decision that ruled she violated anti-discrimination laws by refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony, the Religion News Service reports. "Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs," said Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the photography studio. The controversy began in 2006 when Elaine Huguenin, co-owner of Elane Photography, refused to photograph a lesbian "commitment ceremony" because her Christian faith viewed marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman. The May 31 decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling in 2008 that places of public accommodation could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. "The government cannot make people choose between their faith and their livelihood," Lorence said. "Could the government force a vegetarian videographer to create a commercial for the new butcher shop in town? American business owners do not surrender their constitutional rights at the marketplace gate."
Another Court Rules Marriage Law Unconstitutional
Another judge has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act -- the federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman -- unconstitutional, CBN News reports. Manhattan judge Barbara Jones said DOMA interfered with states' rights to regulate the institution of marriage. "Such a sweeping federal review in this arena does not square with our federalist system of government," she wrote. The case began in 2010 when Edith Windsor sued the U.S. government to recover $353,053 in federal estate tax after she was barred from claiming it from Thea Spyer, who died in 2009. The two were married in Canada in 2007, but the marriage was not legally recognized in the United States. Jones is the fifth judge to find DOMA unconstitutional; last week, a U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that DOMA discriminated against gay couples.
Christians in Pakistan Allege Seizure of Graveyard
Christians in a village in Punjab Province are fighting to save their decades-old graveyard from being converted into farmland by a retired army colonel, Compass Direct News reports. Because of the military man's influence, police have refused to address the complaint by Christians of Bhondary Wala village in Narang Mandi in spite of orders from senior administration officials, sources said. Rehmat Masih said Col. Farrukh Alam had claimed ownership of 150 acres of land and threatened area Christians if they did not vacate it. Masih said Christians approached Narang Mandi police after Alam desecrated Christians' graves on April 24, but officers refused to register their complaint. The retired army official acknowledged that the land had originally been designated as a Christian graveyard, but that the land was declassified as such and sold in 1983, and that he found out the land belonged to him a few years ago. He denied desecrating Christian graves, alleging that the Christians were being used by a member of the Ahmadiyya Islamist sect, considered heretical by many Muslims. He claimed "the Ahmadi" was using the Christians to oppose him because he never treated the sect member as a genuine Muslim. Masih said Alam was threatening him and other village Christians, and that the dispute was stoking religious tensions in the area.
Publication date: June 8, 2012