Religion Today Summaries - February 15, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - February 15, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Atheist Couple Sues to Remove 'Under God' From Pledge of Allegiance
  • Poll: 55 Percent of Christian Singles Believe in Love at First Sight
  • Al Qaeda Backs Syrian Revolt
  • Muslim Brotherhood Calls for New Government in Egypt


Atheist Couple Sues to Remove 'Under God' From Pledge of Allegiance

An atheist couple in Massachusetts have filed a lawsuit against their school district, believing their three children are being discriminated against with the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Christian Post reports. Under Massachusetts state law, the pledge is said every day in public schools, but "students have a right to not say it all, the entire pledge," said district superintendent Stephen Mills. David Niose, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, argued, "No child should go to school each day to have the class declare that her religious beliefs are wrong in an exercise that portrays her and her family as less patriotic than believers." According to Diana Verm of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, it is the first case of its kind. A judge in a Massachusetts Superior Court heard oral arguments Feb. 13, but did not immediately rule on the case.

Poll: 55 Percent of Christian Singles Believe in Love at First Sight

According to a Valentine's Day poll conducted by, 55 percent of Christian singles believe in love at first sight -- 58 percent of men and 53 percent of women. Twenty-four percent said they didn't, and 21 percent were undecided. When asked, "What do you want most for Valentine's Day?" 81 percent of men said they wanted a significant other, compared to 61 percent of women. "Even after everything we think we know about love and commitment, singles still believe you can tell from the first impression whether a person is right for you or not," said Ashley Reccord of ChristianMingle. "These results are contrary to what we expected. While the stereotype is that women are more romantic at heart, our poll suggests men may trump women in believing in romance, even if they don't always show it outwardly." Additionally, 46 percent of Christian singles believed there was one right person in the world for them, compared to 34 percent who disagreed and 20 percent who were undecided.

Al Qaeda Backs Syrian Revolt

Al Qaeda's leader has called for the ouster of Syria's "pernicious, cancerous regime," raising fears that Islamic extremists will try to hijack the increasingly bloody uprising against Syrian president Bashar Assad that began 11 months ago with calls for democratic change, reports. In an eight-minute video message released Feb. 11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to support Syrian rebels. Hours later, an Iraqi Muslim sheikh spoke out in agreement, saying, "Jihad is the duty of every Muslim against the Assad regime." The United Nations estimates that more than 5,400 people have been killed in Syria, making it one of the deadliest conflicts of the Arab Spring. The uprising has become markedly more violent in recent months, including a string of suicide attacks on security targets that have killed dozens since December and which the Assad regime has blamed on al Qaeda.

Muslim Brotherhood Calls for New Government in Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood is demanding that Egypt's ruling military generals give up their power and appoint a Brotherhood member as the new prime minister to form a new government, CBN News reports. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said the interim military government had failed to manage Egypt's deterioriating security and economic situation. "If there is a government in place that is really backed by the choice of the people, it will act without regard for any pressure from anyone," he said. "It will seek to reassure the people and provide it with security." The extremist Islamic party controls 50 percent of the seats in the newly elected parliament.

Publication date: February 15, 2012