Religion Today Summaries, November 4, 2002

Religion Today Summaries, November 4, 2002

In Today's Edition:

  • Are Christians Apathetic to U.S. Election Process?
  • State Ballot Propositions Target Family Issues
  • Baptist College Students Can Vote, Judge Declares
  • Radical Islamic Cleric Being Held and Questioned in Connection with Bali Bombing

Are Christians Apathetic to U.S. Election Process?
James L. Lambert

(AgapePress) - Several pro-family advocates are voicing their dismay over what appears to be a trend among believers toward indifference when election time rolls around.  Recently, only 25% of Christians have voted.  Radio talk-show host Paul McGuire recently blasted "apathetic Christians" who he maintains continually refuse to vote or be part of the election process in America. He says with so much at stake on November 5, he cannot understand why so many Christians continue to remove themselves from the political and social issues of the day.  McGuire thinks Christians are "spiritually deceived" when they think that it is better to "remain silent" by not voting. He further contends that pastors that "falsely believe you can be 'spiritual' and not connect with society" mislead their congregation and create a disservice to society's general welfare.  Pro-family advocates all agree that Christians and their leaders need to fulfill their responsibility to vote. They are hopeful that recent trends will reverse themselves -- but claim they will need help from the hundreds of thousands of pastors and priests in communities across America.

State Ballot Propositions Target Family Issues

Next Tuesday's election features several important ballot propositions that directly impact the family.  A defense of marriage act is on the ballot in Nevada.  Measures to decriminalize marijuana or weaken drug laws are on the ballots in Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, and South Dakota.  Voters will decide on gambling issues in Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, and Tennessee.  And measures respecting special rights for homosexuals are on the ballots in Tacoma, WA, Westbrook, ME, and Ypsilanti, MI.  A guide to all the state ballot measures affecting the family can be found on Family Research Council’s website at, along with links to voter guides from affiliated state family policy organizations.

Baptist College Students Can Vote, Judge Declares
(Baptist Press)  Four Ouachita Baptist University students, one of whom is the governor's daughter, can vote in the Nov. 5 general election following a ruling from a U.S. district judge.  The students had been blocked from voting in a dispute over residency requirements in Clark County, Ark, where OBU is located.  The case, filed by four OBU students and the wife of a student, claims that Circuit Judge John Thomas wrongly ruled the previous week that college students whose families live outside the county are ineligible to use their campus address for voting purposes and register to vote in the county.  Howard said the students would suffer irreparable harm if he did not issue the temporary order. He noted in a written order later that the action barring them from voting in Clark County was taken after the deadline had passed for them to register to vote elsewhere.  The judge set a Nov. 13 date to hear arguments on the merits of the case and noted, "the court finds that, in all likelihood, the plaintiffs will succeed."

Radical Islamic Cleric Being Held and Questioned in Connection with Bali Bombing

(Voice of the Martyrs)  BBC News reports that Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, a radical Islamic cleric, is being questioned by Indonesian authorities. They want to ask him about his alleged involvement in acts of terror across South-East Asia, and his alleged leadership of a militant group, Jemaah Islamiah, which some believe was responsible for the deadly bombing in Bali. When Mr. Ba'asyir was taken away, his supporters clashed with the police, injuring at least four policemen and several supporters—none seriously. He was flown to Jakarta, and was installed in a police hospital where he is being treated for respiratory problems and heart and stomach complications. He denies all the allegations against him and says he would resist all efforts by police to detain him if he were released from the hospital. It is not known when he will face further questioning.