Religion Today Summaries - April 3, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 3, 2006

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • More Than 25,000 Teens Rally Against “Virtue Terrorism”
  • ACLJ Asks Federal Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging 'In God We Trust'
  • Billy Graham's New Book Makes Bestseller List in First Month
  • Number of Priests Accused of Child Sex Abuse Decreasing, Says Study

More Than 25,000 Teens Rally Against “Virtue Terrorism”

American teens are once again challenging societal norms. Only this time, the young rebels are in “reverse rebellion... sick and tired of pop culture telling us it’s cool to sleep around, dress like tramps, get high on drugs and alcohol, and behave badly,” said 18-year-old Amanda Hughey. “Life is not MTV.” “It’s ‘virtue terrorism’ and teens have had enough!” said Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania, which is advancing the BattleCry message - a national movement of hundreds of thousands of teenagers who, fueled by their Christian faith, are taking a stand against pop-culture forces. BattleCry believes culture is contributing to the spread of STDs, drug abuse, violence, and suicide among teens. Integrating high-voltage live stadium events (produced primarily by teens), interactive teen-inspired Web technology, and a powerful coalition of youth and adults, BattleCry is inspiring, empowering, and equipping teens to value godly character over culture. Today's Teen Reality: MTV is profoundly influential in the lives of its young fans by glamorizing drug and alcohol use, sexual promiscuity, and violent behavior; 80% of 15 to 17-year-olds have had multiple hard-core porn exposures; 8,000 teenagers contract an STD every day.

ACLJ Asks Federal Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging 'In God We Trust'

"In God We Trust" has been America's official motto since 1956. On March 28, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in federal court in Sacramento on behalf of 47 members to ensure that it remains that way. The ACLJ amicus brief supports the federal government's request asking the federal district court to dismiss the lawsuit filed last November by atheist Michael Newdow. The ACLJ brief argues that the legal challenge to the national motto can have othe ramifications as well. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ said, "We believe the court should dismiss this lawsuit, which has no basis in fact and represents another flawed attempt to use the legal system to remove a legitimate reference to the religious heritage of our nation." The brief itself states: "A decision in this case invalidating the motto would render constitutionally suspect a number of practices that traditionally have been a part of American society."

Billy Graham's New Book Makes Bestseller List in First Month

No stranger to the New York Times bestseller lists, evangelist Billy Graham once again joins the ranks of the top-selling authors in the country with the release of his newest book, The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World. This time around, however, his is not the lone book in the religious genre. Mr. Graham often references the ongoing search for purpose and meaning in life he finds among individuals around the world, and recent trends in publishing confirm his observations. The fact that Graham's latest volume is now climbing the charts shows that audiences are still looking for the one book that best meets that need. It has been 10 years since Graham last released a book. The Journey is quite different fromhis previous 24 published works, which have all been topical, dealing with single issues. At 87, Billy Graham is perhaps the oldest author ever to make the New York Times bestseller list.

Number of Priests Accused of Child Sex Abuse Decreasing, Says Study

Although child sex abuse allegations against Catholic clergy may continue, there is a marked decrease in the number of cases that have occurred in recent years, said a report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Catholic News Service reports that a supplement to the study says most of the recent allegations concern events that took place decades ago. The original study, covering the years 1950-2002, was released in 2004 and commissioned by the U.S. bishops' National Review Board. The supplemental study contained further analysis of the same data and was released in Washington March 30 along with the 2005 audit of how the U.S. church is applying its sex abuse prevention policies. "The decrease in sexual abuse cases is a true representation of the overall phenomenon," said the John Jay supplemental report. "Even if more cases are reported, they will be based primarily on abuse that occurred years before."