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Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 5, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 5, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • JCPenney Releases Father's Day Ad Featuring Two Gay Dads
  • NAACP Leader Opposes Group's Same-Sex Marriage Support
  • Abortion Facility Exposed by Activists Surrenders License
  • Southern Baptist Leader Richard Land Loses Radio Show Over Trayvon Martin Comments


JCPenney Releases Father's Day Ad Featuring Two Gay Dads

JCPenney has released a Father's Day print ad featuring a real-life same-sex couple hugging their two young children, Yahoo! Finance reports. The ad reads: "What makes Dad so cool? He's the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver -- all rolled into one. Or two." Earlier this year, the retailer came under fire for its decision to employ openly gay talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman. Conservative group One Million Moms criticized the retailer for abandoning traditional values, but JCPenney stuck with Ellen, saying in a statement that "Ellen represents the values of our company." One Million Moms released a statement on May 31 condemning JCPenney's new ad. "It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war," the statement said. "JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature."

NAACP Leader Opposes Group's Same-Sex Marriage Support

The Rev. Keith A Ratliff Sr., NAACP state conference president for Iowa and Nebraksa, said he is in prayer about his relationship with the organization following its endorsement of same-sex marriage, WORLD News Service reports. Ratliff, also one of 64 members of the NAACP's national board of directors and pastor of Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, said: "I'm against same-sex marriage. There are a number of issues that the NAACP has to address and deal with, and I certainly don't think same-sex marriage should be a top priority." Last Saturday, the 103-year-old civil rights group announced it was supporting same-sex marriage because "civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law," according to a statement from NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous. Ratliff took exception to the NAACP equating same-sex marriage with the civil rights movement. "There is not a parallel between the homosexual community and the struggles of African-Americans in our country," he said. "I haven't seen any signs on any restrooms that say 'For Homosexuals Only.' Homosexuals do not have to sit on the back of the bus, as African-Americans had to."

Abortion Facility Exposed by Activists Surrenders License

A Birmingham, Ala., abortion business surrendered its license to the state's Department of Public Health and ceased operations on May 18, WORLD News Service reports. New Woman All Women Health Care came under scrutiny in January after pro-life advocates videotaped two women being carried out of the back of the building to waiting ambulances. A review of 911 calls revealed both women had overdosed on a drug administered by the clinic, and a subsequent month-long investigation and investigation by the Department of Public Health found many violations -- including a third overdose victim -- that ran the gamut from lack of properly trained staff to doctors falsifying patient charts to use of equipment that lacked current inspections. "The regulators were able to discern for the first time how horrific this abortion clinic was," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. "The number of health code violations [and] drug violations were so numerous that they simply could not be rehabilitated and had to be shut down." An attempt to reopen under new ownership failed after pro-lifers pointed out a connection between the applicant and owner Diane Derzis -- which ran afoul of requirements set up by the state.

Southern Baptist Leader Richard Land Loses Radio Show Over Trayvon Martin Comments

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leader Richard Land, who was accused of plagiarism in a radio segment in which he said civil rights leaders and President Obama had used the Trayvon Martin case to stir racial tensions and boost the president's reelection chances, received two official reprimands for his comments and will lose his weekly program, Christianity Today reports. Land, the head of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the denomination's top policy spokesman, has apologized twice for his commentary on the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. His comments provoked demands by some black Southern Baptist leaders for his censure, but many, including Fred Luter, who is expected to become the denomination's first African-American president this month, have accepted the apologies. The ERLC trustee committee, whose chairman resigned during the investigation, said "damage was done to the state of race relations in the Southern Baptist Convention" by Land's comments. "We must now redouble our efforts to regain lost ground, to heal re-opened wounds, and to realize the dream of a Southern Baptist Convention that is just as diverse as the population of our great nation," a trustee statement said.

Publication date: June 5, 2012