Religion Today Summaries - June 6, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 6, 2008

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

  • US Split on Homosexuality as "Sin"
  • T. D. Jakes Embraces Obama
  • Donations Honor Maria Chapman
  • Mom Fights Church Ban on Autistic Son

US Split on Homosexuality as "Sin"

The Baptist Press reports that Americans hold differing opinions on the issue of homosexuality, including whether homosexual behavior is sinful. A telephone survey of 1,201 American adults conducted in April revealed that 48 percent of Americans believe homosexual behavior is sinful, while 45 percent say it’s not, almost a statistical tie when considering the margin of error. Among those with a religious affiliation, 55 percent of Catholics and 31 percent of Protestants said they do not believe homosexual behavior is sinful. That number dropped to 17 percent among born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Protestants. Holding opposing views, 39 percent of Catholics, 61 percent of Protestants and 79 percent of born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Protestants said they do believe homosexual behavior is sinful.

T. D. Jakes Embraces Obama

Obama’s candidacy has been met with mixed reviews, reports the Christian Post. Popular and influential Christian leader Bishop T.D. Jakes of megachurch The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, expressed enthusiastic support for Obama as the Democratic nominee. He pointed to the victory as more than a racial victory, and a landmark for democracy and change. “I hope that we can somehow merge the best ideas of our differences and emerge with a president who epitomizes our highest and best ideals,” Jakes wrote. Obama has strong support from the African American Christian community. Vision American President the Rev. Dr. Rick Scarborough, however, questions Obama’s liberal history. “We don’t know a lot about Sen. Obama’s plans for America... What we do know is that, if elected, he would be the least experienced man to occupy the White House in at least the last 100 years.”

Donations Honor Maria Chapman

Donations have poured into Shaohannah's Hope, Shaohannah’s Hope, the adoption and orphan care ministry founded by music artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, in sympathy for their daughter, Maria. The organization has raised over $310,000 toward Maria's Miracle Fund in just two weeks, the ministry announced Tuesday. The figures testify to the thousands who have contributed not only prayer but love offerings after the Chapmans' 5-year-old adopted daughter died on May 21, when she was accidentally struck by a car driven by her older brother. Chapman and his wife established Shaohannah’s Hope in 2003 after adopting Shaohannah from China. The organization, based in Franklin, Tenn., helps reduce the financial burden of adoption by giving away grants to participating Christian couples. Over 1,600 families have benefited from grants averaging $3,000 from the ministry, according to The Associated Press

Mom Fights Church Ban on Autistic Son

The Associated Press reports that the mother of a 13-year-old autistic boy goes to court on Monday after violating the restraining order banning her son from Catholic mass. The Rev. Daniel Walz of Church of St. Joseph in northern Minnesota, where Carol Race brought her son Adam, says the boy - who is already more than 6 feet tall and weight more than 225 pounds - has hit a child, has nearly knocked over elderly parishioners while bolting from his pew, has spit at people and has urinated in the church. Race said Walz's claims are exaggerated, and that her son has never done any of those things. Jan Marrin, who is acting as a spokesperson for the parish, said the church board tried working with the Races to find "reasonable accommodations." That included offering a video feed of Mass that could be watched in the church basement. The Races refused all suggestions. "It's a difficult issue," Marrin said. "There are no easy answers."