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Religion Today Summaries - September 16, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 16, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Pat Robertson Says Alzheimer's Justifies Divorce
  • Messianic Jews Singled Out in Israeli Town
  • Evangelicals Launch Campaign Supporting Life, EPA Mercury Regulations
  • Rick Perry's Faith Becomes Subject of Scrutiny


Pat Robertson Says Alzheimer's Justifies Divorce

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said this week on his TV show, the 700 Club, that a man would be morally justified to divorce his wife with Alzheimer's disease in order to marry another woman, according to Russell Moore's blog on Crosswalk.com. Although Christian marriage vows are binding to the death, Robertson said: "[Alzheimer's] is a kind of a death. ... I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her." Robertson said Wednesday that he had no further statement.

Messianic Jews Singled Out in Israeli Town

Messianic Jews in a suburb west of Jerusalem continue to be harassed for following their faith, this time by anonymously placed flyers in public areas singling out members of Messianic congregations, Compass Direct News reports. The flyers began appearing two weeks ago in the town of Mevasseret Zion, with the addresses, phone numbers and even some photographs of the Messianic Jews, as well as allegations about "soul stealing" and "brainwashing." Asher Intrater, leader of the Ahavat Yeshua Congregation, said he thought the flyers were "an effort to drive us out of the neighborhood." This is the second time in three months that Messianic Jews in Mevasseret Zion have been singled out for ridicule. On June 26, members of Yad L’Achim, an ultra-Orthodox, anti-Christian group, protested outside the home of a Messianic couple. It is unclear who posted the flyers, and Intrater declined to speculate.

Evangelicals Launch Campaign Supporting Life, EPA Mercury Regulations

According to Christian Newswire, evangelical leaders and pastors have launched a radio ad and letter-writing campaign asking pro-life members of Congress to stop trying to remove EPA regulations on mercury pollution, because those regulations were intended to prevent mercury poisining in the unborn. In one of the ads, Rev. Tracy Bianchi described the permanent brain damage and developmental challenges mercury poisoning causes in the unborn. "I expect members of Congress who are pro-life to use their power to protect life, especially in the unborn," she said. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, said, "For the life of me, I can't understand why some are trying to block the EPA from regulating mercury levels when they know the unborn will pay the price." One in six babies born in the U.S. has harmful blood levels of mercury, which is consumed by pregnant mothers when they eat contaminated fish.

Rick Perry's Faith Becomes Subject of Scrutiny

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry talked about his Christian faith in a speech at Liberty University, a move that has brought him under scrutiny, such as in a Washington Post article that said he was "cloaking his candidacy in his Christianity." Perry spoke of pondering in his 20s his purpose in life and how he had finally turned to God when he had nowhere else to turn. "This is one of [Perry's] early attempts to say: 'This is who I am,'" said Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Others are questioning Perry's statements. William Martin, a professor at Rice University who studies religious conservatives, said he questioned Perry's healthcare and socioeconomic record: "I looked at his policies, and they didn't seem to be something that would flow from a heart full of Christian love, so I was thinking he had found religion conveniently. But as best I can tell, it seems to be a long-standing conviction of his."

Publication date: September 16, 2011