Religion Today Summaries, November 6, 2002

Religion Today Summaries, November 6, 2002

In Today's Edition:

  • GOP Scores Historic Victory – Good News for Pro-Family Issues
  • Israel Prepares for Early Elections Amid Violence
  • Pastor Aims to Reduce City Killings
  • American Bishops Draft New Policy on Sex Abuse by Priests

GOP Scores Historic Victory – Good News for Pro-Family Issues

(Family Research Council)  As the results slowly rolled in last night from Tuesday's balloting, it became increasingly apparent that the Republican Party - and President Bush - had recorded a remarkable achievement. Although the final outcome of several hotly contested Senate races is still in doubt, it is apparent that the GOP had turned precedent on its head. Only rarely has the party in control of the White House failed to lose seats in Congress in mid-term elections. Usually the presidential party suffers significant losses. In the mid-term election of 1994 Republicans gained more than 50 House seats two years into Bill Clinton's first term.  Should the GOP retake the Senate, prospects for the pro-family and pro-life legislative agenda, and confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominations, should improve. But there will still be plenty of heavy lifting to do in the Senate, where Democrats can be expected to exploit the rules to block pro-family legislation.  On balance, this was a significant victory for our pro-family issues. Pro-family and pro-life forces in the House and Senate were strengthened, and President Bush emerged from the evening as a potent political power.

Israel Prepares for Early Elections Amid Violence
Stefan J. Bos - Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

(Assist News Service) Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced early elections within 90 days on Tuesday, November 5, and Palestinian officials urged Israeli voters to choose a Government "that supports peace."  Speaking to reporters the beleaguered Prime Minister suggested he had acted under pressure as "elections are the last thing the country needs right now" at a time of Palestinian suicide attacks and a possible United States-led war against Iraq.  Ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made an early ballot a condition for joining the cabinet as Foreign Minister, although he warned he would still challenge Sharon to become the Likud party's next premier-candidate, at an upcoming primary.   "I will dissolve the Knesset and call general elections within 90 days," Sharon told a news conference after failing to form a right- wing government to replace his 20-month-old broad coalition. The voting is expected to take place either January 28 or the early days of February.

Pastor Aims to Reduce City Killings

(Charisma) A pastor is leading an effort to reduce the killings in Oakland, Calif.  Bob Jackson is the leader of Black Men First, a group of 200 African American professionals who have started walking the streets trying to connect with some of the local drug dealers.  “I blame a lack of education and family structure," Jackson told The Los Angles Times.  “There are no men at home or in the city schools.  These youths have no role models but rap video stars and drug dealers."  Will G. Blass Jr., a business consultant and former church sports coach, has joined the project.  “We've got no choice but to go in and fight for these kids," he said.  "If you feel it from your heart and are honest in your approach, the kids will feel it, too.”  Jackson has founded the Men of Valor Academy, where 50 young men are housed and fed while they finish their education.  "These boys have never been mentored or taught by anybody," he said.  "Most come from single-parent homes where their mothers talk about how they're growing up to be just like their no-good fathers...they're programmed to be bad."

American Bishops Draft New Policy on Sex Abuse by Priests

(AgapePress)  America's Roman Catholic bishops have released the new draft of their policy on priests who are accused of molesting children.  Worked out last week in talks with the Vatican, the policy still would get molesters away from children, although victims' groups say the process is cumbersome and secretive.  The most significant changes would create church tribunals to hear the cases of accused priests who maintain their innocence, and preliminary investigations that bishops would conduct privately.  At their meeting next week in Washington, U.S. bishops will vote on the changes. If approved, which seems likely, the text will then go to the Vatican for final review. After that, the rules would be binding for all U.S. bishops and dioceses.