Religion Today Summaries - July 30, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 30, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Anne Rice: 'I Quit Being a Christian'
  • British Government May Give Green Light to Atheist Schools
  • Episcopal Head Says Conflict a Sign of Life
  • Groups: Day of Prayer Defense 'Inadequate'

Anne Rice: 'I Quit Being a Christian'

The Huffington Post reports that bestselling novelist and Christian Anne Rice made a surprising announcing on Facebook Wednesday, renouncing institutional Christianity. Rice, who authored the bestseller "Interview with the Vampire" before coming to faith, often talked about her Roman Catholic faith online. The author has also recently launched a new series of novels about angels, which debuted in October 2009 with "Angel Time." On Wednesday, Rice said she is still "an outsider" in the Christian community. She wrote, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life." She later said she "remain[s] committed to Christ as always."

British Government May Give Green Light to Atheist Schools

ASSIST News Service reports that plans to set up atheist schools in the United Kingdom could soon be given the green light by the British government. Education Secretary Michael Gove says he is open to the idea as part of reforms to his department. The move comes after atheist Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," suggested the idea. Ann Widdecombe, the Former Home Secretary who is also a believer, said it is not something that should be opposed. She told Premier Radio, "If you can set up faith schools, then I think quite obviously you must also be allowed to set up a school that will cater for people whose parents are bringing them up specifically to have no faith." Addressing the House of Commons education select committee, Gove said parents opposed to faith-based schools should be given more opportunities to educate their children in the way they want in the state education system.

Episcopal Head Says Conflict a Sign of Life

The Christian Post reports that the head of The Episcopal Church has no problem with current arguments within the Anglican Communion, most of them involving her branch. "If there's no conflict, it means that we're dead," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told a web audience on Wednesday. "There has always been push and pull in the church. It's a sign that the diversity among us is passionate and that is a gift from God, not something to be squelched." The Episcopal Church avoided being separated from the rest of the Communion this weekend, when the Standing Committee rejected a committee to isolate the American branch. "There was ... a clear reflection by members of the group that The Episcopal Church's presence is important to that dialogue," Jefferts Schori said during the webcast.

Groups: Day of Prayer Defense 'Inadequate'

CBN News reports that a coalition of pro-family groups want the Obama administration's defense of the National Day of Prayer to go further than it does. This past spring, a federal judge ruled the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. In response, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit defending the Day of Prayer. According to the Baptist Press, the Justice Department failed to cite three specific Seventh Circuit cases that would the coalition says would lead to a quick dismissal of the case. Among the groups filing the motion were the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family Action, and Liberty Institute. "Even if we're not allowed to participate , we are hopeful that, with these cases being brought to the court's attention, that they will quickly come to the conclusion that they lack jurisdiction to hear this case," Ken Klukowski, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Religious Liberty, said.