World News for April 15, 2009
April 15, 2009
- People around the country protesting the government’s perceived out-of-control spending and fiscal irresponsibility are gathering in various places April 15 to hold “tea parties,” a take-off of the BostonTea Party, an event before the American Revolution in which the colonists showed Britain that it was fed up with taxation without representation. Alex Keown, a media specialist with an Illinois GOP county, said, “Irresponsible spending in Washington is going to lead to a $2.3 trillion deficit greater than the Obama administration is predicting, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The government’s answer to the economic crisis is to borrow from foreign sources, spend that money on expanding the government, and pay it off through higher taxes.” Chad Groening of OneNewsNow noted that the mainstream media provided extensive coverage of the protests surrounding California’s ban on same-sex marriage, but appears to be virtually ignoring the grassroots “tea parties” that are drawing huge crowds around the country. Dan Gainor, vice president for business and culture at the Culture and Media Institute, agrees, saying that the media is ignoring the concerns of ordinary Americans about the massive government bailouts, which many people lament as burdening their children down the road.
- It’s not over in Iowa if opponents of the state’s Supreme Court ruling last week can help it. The Court allowed same-sex marriages in the state, generally considered to be a traditional heartland region of the country. “This isn’t over, not even for this year,” said Bryan English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center, which encouraged hundreds of people to meet and pray outside the State Capitol in Des Moines this past week and plans a similar rally this week. “Everyday folks who get up and go to work were shocked at what happened here, and it’s really gotten people activated,” so much so that opponents of the ruling predict political fallout for Democratic leaders, including Gov. Chet Culver if they don’t join the opposition. Also, opponents of the ruling are stepping up pressure on state lawmakers to block the “marriages” through a constitutional amendment. Republican representatives twice, since the ruling, have tried to bring up a constitutional amendment on marriage, but Democrats, who control both chambers, blocked along party lines the efforts on the idea that it would violate House procedures. Also, Democrats turned on the Republicans, accusing them of being more concerned about the ruling that health care issues. All of Iowa’s House faces reelection in 2010, as do some of the senators and Gov. Culver, who is in his first term. Christianity Today reported that Richard Van Heukelum, pastor of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church in Waterloo, Iowa, says that he typically doesn’t tell his congregation which bills to call their congressional representatives about. But he’s making an exception this time. “The Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage has activated us for prayer, and we are encouraging people to exercise their constitutional right to write their Representatives and Senators,” he says. “I just sent out email to the church about a rally at the capitol. Years ago we put in our doctrinal statement a strong statement of biblically defined marriage. We need to make sure we put it in our premarital brochure we hand out, and make it very clear when we are doing membership classes.” Van Heukelum is concerned about the ripple effect this may have on who the church must allow into its ministry, including its K-12 school.
- The Obama presidency has awakened the pro-life movement, says Charmaine Yoest, president and chief executive for Americans United for Life, oldest pro-life organization in the country. “There was a concern that after the president was elected, the pro-life movement would be so demoralized that it would be almost a death blow,” said Yoest, “but, in fact, just the opposite is true.” Yoest cited various evidence, including the 700,000 people who in recent days have signed the group’s petition to stop the Freedom of Choice Act, which Obama says he is going to support and sign into law upon passage in Congress. The Act would invalidate restrictions on abortion nationwide. “A lot of activists are waking up,” said Joy Yearout, political director of the Susan B. Anthony List, whose comments were reported in WorldNetDaily. “For eight years we had President Bush and his veto pen to protect us—and we don’t have that anymore.” Recently a “Red Envelope Project,” which encouraged citizens to send Obama red envelopes symbolizing the empty promise of lives snuffed out through abortion, buried the White House in a flood of nearly 2.5 million envelopes. Also, the American Life League told Politico that financial donations are up 30 percent over last year. And at press time, more than 262,000 people have signed a petition asking University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins to rescind the Catholic university’s invitation to Barack Obama to speak at its May 17 graduation ceremony, due to Obama’s stance on pro-life issues.
- While Catholic Notre Dame has thus far refused to cancel Obama along with giving the president an honorary degree, Arizona State University has declined to do the same. ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler said, “It’s our practice to recognize an individual for his body of work, somebody who’s been in their position a long time. His body of work is yet to come.” Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, which has launched a petition protest against Notre Dame’s plan to honor the president, responded to the ASU news, “If a public university can deny the President an honorary degree, then one would think that a Catholic university could do the same for much more important reasons.”
- Various news sources reported that The Daily Universe, student newspaper of Mormon Brigham Young University, had to pull most of 18,000 of copies from newsstands when it was discovered that a front-page caption misidentified LDS leaders as “apostates” rather than “apostles.” A university spokesperson said that neither the school nor the LDS has sought to punish someone over the flap.
- The state of Georgia has, through its House of Representatives, sought to come to the defense of German homeschoolers who have been persecuted for teaching their own children, states a report in OneNewsNow. The House passed a resolution that calls for Germany to recognize the rights of parents and to allow them to have the final say in their children’s education.
- A shocking report from Barna shows that more and more American Christians do not believe in a real Devil or believe in the Holy Spirit. Rasmussen Reports finds that 88 percent of those polled believe that Jesus Christ actually walked the earth 2,000 years ago, but 79 percent believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead. In Canada, a survey for Canwest News Service and Global National for Easter found that 30 percent of Canadians who believe in God also believe in evolution. Another 23 percent of believers say they agree with ideas put forth by both creationists and evolutionists. Canadian believers in God, according to pollster Ipsos Reid, are down to 71 percent, compared with 84 percent in 2000.
- An increasing number of churches and other Christian groups are using the Internet to bring to unbelievers the gospel story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, notes a storoy in GreenvilleOnline.com.
- Various news sources reported that dozens of cottages were destroyed in a massive fire on Easter Sunday at the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, founded in 1863. The cottages were unoccupied, as the summer season had not begun. Witnesses watched as buildings burned to the ground in minutes. Cause of the inferno has yet to be determined.
- Yahoo! News took note that Israeli Jewish faithful recently participated in a prayer said only once every 28 years. It is the blessing of the sun, the body that returns to the position it was in when the universe was created. The prayer was said to have special significance this year because it coincided with the beginning of the Passover holiday at sundown.