Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who Supported Prop 8

Who voted in favor of the same-sex marriage (proposition 8) in California which passed in November:

Evangelicals – 85%
Protestants - 66%
Those making less than $40,000 a year – 63%
Roman Catholics - 60%
Nonwhite voters - 57%
Over age 55 - 56%

Source: Public Policy Institute of California

Gift Certificates for Abortion

The Indiana branch of Planned Parenthood is offering gift certificates on its website for services – including abortion. The organization says only 5% women come into their clinics come for abortion. But the Office for Pro-Life Ministry for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis is outraged. The director says "It's offensive because Christmas is about the celebration of human life."

Biggest Evangelical Charities

Here is a list of the biggest Evangelical charities according to Forbes magazine. The first number is the organization's assets in millions and the second number is the donor efficiency.

1. Salvation Army 10,853 - 92%

2. Trinity Broadcasting Network 919 - 88%

3. American Bible Society 529 - 79%

4. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 301 - 96%

5. Young Life 221 - 94%

6. Christian Broadcasting Network 209 - 81%

7. MAP International 169 - 99%

8. Samaritan's Purse 167 - 93%

9. Catholic Relief Services 165 - 85%

10. World Vision 151 - 88%

11. Christian & Missionary Alliance 128 - 93%

12. Campus Crusade for Christ 108 - 93%

13. Wycliffe Bible Translators 104 - 94%

14. Compassion International 94 - 91%

15. CRISTA Ministries 83 - 95%

Source: Forbes

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Will Smith on Scientology and Religion

Actor Will Smith in an interview with Newsweek:

"For me I'm certain about my relationship with the model of perfection of human life that's laid out with the life of Jesus Christ. So I'm at home and not fearful when I sit in a mosque or a synagogue or a Buddhist temple, the same way that I'm home in the Church of Scientology.
I like anywhere people are searching for the truth, and I respect their path and I'm intrigued by their path. I think when you are certain in and of what you believe in, you can open your mind to seeing the ways of others. I'm not bothered when someone says "Allah" because they're talking about God—we are talking about the same person. I was in India recently and my hotel was near the Taj Mahal. Five times a day there would be a call for prayer, and it was the most beautiful thing. I was lying in my bed thinking, no matter what your religion is, it would be great to have that reminder five times a day to remember your Lord and savior.

(So you a not a Scientologist?) No, but when people are afraid of religion they have to go back and get in touch with the Good Book. Fear of other religions means you're questioning your own understanding, and that's just not where I am.

(You were raised Baptist, right?) Yes, but I grew up in a neighborhood with all religions, and so I'm very used to studying and being around different faiths. So whatever religion does that— Jewish, Muslim, Scientology—it's cool because the end result is the same."

Bible Used in Robbery

Police in Tacoma, Washington are looking for a man that robbed a bank this morning using a Bible. He handed the Bible to the teller and told her to open to a specific page. That’s where he had written a note demanding money or he threatened to shoot her. He told her that he would pay her back later and left.

The Princess Diana Bible

A pro-gay "translation" of Scripture called The Princess Diana Bible is coming out soon. It’s being put together by New Mexico filmmaker Max Mitchell, who runs Revision Studios. His last film, Horror In The Wind, told the story of a scientific formula that turned the world gay. The regular Bible gets replaced with a Princess Diana Bible. Mitchell liked the idea so much, he decided to create a real Princess Diana Bible. He named it after Diana for her “good deeds”. The company’s press release claims the “gay Bible is divinely inspired.” It says Adam and Eve were both women and that homosexual relationships were commonplace during Biblical times but heterosexuality was considered sinful.

Column on Gay Rights Leads to Firing

A college administrator at Ohio’s University of Toledo is suing the school because she fired over a column she wrote in the local newspaper about gay rights. Crystal Dixon says the administration has no right to try to control her expression of personal opinions outside the school. Dixon argued in the piece for the Toledo Free Press that gay marriage could not be compared to the civil rights movement because homosexuality is a choice. She wrote, “I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman.. There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God's divine order." Dixon held the position of associate vice president for human resources. Dixon is being represented by the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a Christian law firm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Atheists to Sue Homeland Security

A group called American Atheists plans to file a lawsuit this morning against the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. That’s because state law requires the agency to stress "dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth." Ten non-religious Kentuckians have joined the suit. State Representative Tom Riner added a requirement to credit God for Kentucky's protection in the 2006 homeland security legislation. Riner is a Southern Baptist minister.

Atheist Placard

There is a holiday tree on display at Washington’s state Capitol in Olympia along with a Nativity scene. And now there is a atheist placard. It was put there by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and says: ""At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." A metal plaque will be added to the display when it comes in.

Monday, December 1, 2008

100's of Thousands Stolen from Baptists

The Southern Baptist Convention had decided not to press charges against a man who allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for earthquake relief - and now has done it again. According to the Mobile Press-Register, The SBC’s International Mission Board won a judgment of more than $359,000 against Benton Gray Harvey for criminal embezzlement in 2005. Harvey was a financial accountant for a Baptist outpost in Istanbul. Police say Harvey and a partner scammed hundreds of thousands more by selling fake insurance policies to people in Alabama for homes that most insurance companies don't want to cover because they are susceptible to damage by hurricanes. He was working for the Starfish Insurance Agency in Gulf Shores, Alabama but has apparently fled the country.

Lutheran Cutbacks

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is making cutbacks at its publishing arm. Augsburg Fortress will shutting down nine bookstores by April and eliminating more than 50 jobs.

What if Starbucks Marketed like the Church?

Richard Reising is a former marketing exec-turned church consultant. He's created this video for a blog called Beyond Relevance. It considers what would happen if Starbucks was like a Protestant church.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

High School Ethics

A survey of the ethics among high schoolers:

Have you stolen something in the last year?
From a store: 30%
From a parent or relative: 23%
From a friend: 20%

Have you cheated on a test in the last year?
Once: 64% (60% in 2006)
Twice or more: 38% (35% in 2006)

Have you used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment?
Yes: 36% (33% in 2004)

Have you sometimes lied to save money?
Yes: 42%

Are you satisfied with your own personal ethics and character?
Yes: 93%

Would you agree with the statement: "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know."
Yes: 77%

Source: The Josephson Institute

Pledge Pastor Dies

The man who’s sermon led to Under God being added to the Pledge of Allegiance has died. George M. Docherty was pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1954 when President Eisenhower visited. Docherty urged that the pledge to the flag be amended to add the two words used by Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address. He died of a heart ailment at his Pennsylvania home at the age of 97.