Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 19, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 19, 2007

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

  • Disney Demands Removal of 'God' From Ten Commandments Movie Ads
  • Parents Using Religion to Avoid Vaccinations
  • Oral Roberts University President to Take Leave
  • Apollo Moon Documentary Bears Witness for a Creator

Disney Demands Removal of 'God' From Ten Commandments Movie Ads

It's a movie about the Bible, but family-friendly Disney Co. is moving heaven and earth to make sure the word "God" is stricken from some advertisements promoting an upcoming animated film on Moses and the Ten Commandments, FoxNews reports. Radio Disney was to broadcast a radio spot for Promenade Pictures, makers of the film "The Ten Commandments," but the company sent an e-mail earlier this month instructing that the phrase "chosen by God" be stripped from the script. Calls to Radio Disney Network sales associate Jason Atkinson and other representatives were not returned. "In connection with the Ten Commandments, I did find it offensive," said Promenade president and Chief Operating Officer Cindy Bond. "God in our movie is the main character. You rip the whole guts out of the piece." Nonetheless, Promenade complied with Disney's request because they are targeting a teens and tweens audience.

Parents Using Religion to Avoid Vaccinations

An Associated Press story says that Sabrina Rahim doesn't practice any particular faith, but she had no problem signing a letter declaring that because of her deeply held religious beliefs, her 4-year-old son should be exempt from the vaccinations required to enter preschool. Rahim is among a growing number of parents who are claiming religious exemptions to avoid vaccinating their children. In actuality, parents are possibly skeptical of the shots or concerned they can cause other illnesses. Some parents say they are forced to lie because of the way the vaccination laws are written in their states. Rahim admits the practice is "misleading," but she fears that earlier vaccinations may have contributed directly to her son's autism. The AP examined vaccination records from several states and the Centers for Disease Control and found that many states are seeing increases in the rate of religious exemptions for kindergartners. "Do I think that religious exemptions have become the default? Absolutely," said Dr. Paul Offit, head of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.

Oral Roberts University President to Take Leave

The Associated Press reports that Oral Roberts University president Richard Roberts has asked the school's board of regents for a leave of absence amid accusations of lavish spending at donors' expense and illegal involvement in a political campaign. Roberts, 58, said he would continue in his role as chairman and chief executive of Oral Roberts Ministries. "I don't know how long this leave of absence will last, but I fully trust the members of the Board of Regents," Roberts said in a statement released by the university. "I pray and believe that in God's timing, and when the Board feels that it is appropriate, I will be back at my post as president." Earlier this month, a lawsuit brought by three former ORU professors alleged several counts of fiscal irresponsibility on behalf of Roberts and his wife.

Apollo Moon Documentary Bears Witness for a Creator

A film documenting the Apollo moon project using rare footage from NASA contains numerous spiritual references pointing to the existence of God, ASSIST News Service reports. “In the Shadow of the Moon” opened September 7th and even garnered an award at the Sundance Film Festival. “It’s a film about the experience of going to the moon told by the people who went – in their own words,” says director David Sington. “They wanted to organize a reunion of moonwalkers. That grew into an idea of doing a reunion on film.” The 10 astronauts – now in their seventies – come across as surprisingly reflective and human, speaking of the profound impression they gained from walking on the lunar surface and gazing back at Earth. Charlie Duke, the 10th man to walk on the moon, makes an explicit declaration of his faith in Jesus Christ on camera. Edgar Mitchell and Gene Cernan described profound spiritual experiences, but not within a specific Christian context. Cernan discovered the universe seemed to have purpose behind it, that there must be a Creator who stands above the religions of mankind. “Edgar Mitchell’s experience profoundly changed and shaped his whole life,” notes Sington. “He had a moment of epiphany – suddenly grasping who he is in relation to the universe."