National

Scouts’ vote may diminish numbers, Bapt. leaders say

July 29 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

The Boy Scouts of America’s executive board has voted to lift the Scouts’ national ban on gay adult leaders and employees – a move Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd said may hasten the exodus of Southern Baptists from Scouting. The BSA executive board approved the policy change by a 79-percent majority.

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Tax-exemption: Where do churches stand?

July 28 2015 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

Mark Oppeheimer, religion columnist for The New York Times, wrote the words that many churches in America have feared for some time now: “It is time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt status.” A bill, HB 229, to modify the tax-exempt status definition is currently before the North Carolina Senate Committee ...

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Obama admin to ‘review’ Planned Parenthood, CMP

July 27 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

The Obama administration has agreed to “review all the information” surrounding two videos that show Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of baby parts obtained through abortion. The administration also said it will not agree to defund America’s largest abortion provider. Meanwhile, two Southern Baptists have offered theological perspectives criticizing Planned Parenthood.

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Planned Parenthood media coverage critiqued

July 24 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

The mainstream media’s coverage of two undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of baby parts obtained through abortion has been criticized by some Christians as generally minimal and slanted. A July 21 News Busters article criticized the three national broadcast television news programs for devoting only 9 minutes ...

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U.S.-Iran prisoner swaps challenged

July 23 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Though America’s release of four Iranian prisoners in 2012-13 was viewed by some as reciprocation for Iran’s release of three American hikers, a Wall Street Journal report suggests the prisoner releases were also related to a private series of negotiations that paved the way for this month’s nuclear agreement.

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Ky. county clerk prays, denies same-sex marriages

July 23 2015 by Mike Wynn, USA Today Network

Rowan County’s clerk Kim Davis prayed and fasted over her decision to refuse marriage licenses for same-sex couples, she testified in federal court, and she said believes she is upholding her oath under the Constitution. U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning expects to release a decision around Aug. 11.

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Moore to interview presidential candidates at rally

July 23 2015 by David Gibson, Religion News Service

Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, will interview Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush in Nashville, Tenn., next month in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,000 evangelical pastors and leaders. Moore will also interview GOP rival Sen. Marco Rubio by video.

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New video shows PPFA doctor negotiating prices

July 22 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

A second undercover video released July 21 by the Center for Medical Progress appears to show a Planned Parenthood doctor negotiating the price of baby parts obtained through abortion and discussing the possibility of varying abortion procedures to harvest intact organs.

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SCOTUS ruling rekindles death penalty debate

July 22 2015 by David Roach, Baptist Press

A Supreme Court ruling that Oklahoma’s method of lethal injection does not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” has rekindled discussion of capital punishment among evangelicals and the high court’s nine justices. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled June 29 that Oklahoma may use the sedative midazolam …

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Bill waives visa fees for stalled adoptions

July 22 2015 by Abby Reese, WORLD News Service

Steven and Alyssa Sieb have been waiting three years to adopt a child from Ethiopia. For couples like the Siebs, waiting can be expensive. On July 14, the Senate approved legislation for the Adoptive Families Relief Act which would allow the U.S. State Department to waive visa renewal fees ...

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