Thursday, June 28, 2012Download All Stories
Supreme Court upholds health care law, disappointing pro-lifers
WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, dealing a disheartening setback to pro-life and religious liberty advocates who fervently oppose the controversial measure."We will never allow this Administration, or any other, to tell us that we have to provide abortive drugs like morning-after pills."With Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote in a 5-4 opinion, the high court Thursday (June 28) announced its support for what critics often label "Obamacare." Four associate justices -- Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito -- said in a dissenting opinion they would have struck down the entire law.
-- O.S. Hawkins
Writing for the majority, Roberts said the "individual mandate," which requires almost all Americans to buy health insurance, is a valid exercise by Congress of its power to tax. Although Congress does not have the power under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to require the purchase of health insurance, it does have the authority to tax those who do not have such coverage, the court said.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- in combination with subsequent federal rules -- not only has elicited widespread opposition because of the "individual mandate" but because of other provisions, such as its federal subsidies for abortion, an abortion/contraceptive mandate that critics say violates religious liberty and a requirement that insurance plans in state exchanges not disclose their abortion coverage until people are enrolled.
The abortion-contraceptive mandate, which requires all plans to cover contraceptives and sterilizations as preventive services without cost to employees, has been in the spotlight of criticism since a federal rule to that effect was announced in January. The mandate includes coverage of contraceptives that can cause abortions of tiny embryos. The rule regarding that mandate has a religious exemption critics find woefully inadequate and has elicited ardent opposition from church groups and religious freedom advocates. Read More
Q&A: Why pro-lifers oppose the health care lawWASHINGTON (BP) -- When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law, it left untouched sections of the law that have concerned members of the pro-life and religious liberty communities for months. Read More
Friends, foes of health care ruling react"The court's decision is alarming and deeply wrong."WASHINGTON (BP) -- Advocates and opponents of the 2010 health care law had plenty to say about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision affirming the measure's constitutionality. Read More
-- Steven Aden, Alliance Defense Fund
Colo. fires, Fla. floods stir DR preparations
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- As monster wildfires rage in Colorado and other Western states while Hurricane Debby leaves massive flooding behind in north Florida, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders are busy mapping responses in both parts of the country. Read More
Entity heads address messenger questions
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Messengers had opportunities to ask questions of the presidents of Southern Baptist entities during those entities' annual reports to the convention in New Orleans.
Following are accounts of questions posed by messengers on the convention floor and responses by entity presidents. Not all entity presidents were asked questions.
INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD
Ron Wilson, a messenger from Wynnbrook Baptist Church in Columbus, Ga., asked two questions at the close of ... Read More
'Bible storying' is key to reaching 2/3 of world
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to reach two-thirds of the world's population who "learn through stories or music, drama or poetry."
"If you hand them a book to read, they either can't read it or they won't read it," IMB worker Annette Hall said of chronological Bible storying's impact in addressing WMU's Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting June 17-18 in New Orleans.
Hall, who has worked for nearly 40 years with North African and Middle Eastern p... Read More
Trafficking: 'Tricked, Trapped, Traded'
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Sandy Wisdom-Martin didn't realize what she was getting into when she stepped through the doorway of the Diamond Cabaret, a strip club in the St. Louis area.
It was 10 years ago, during Southern Baptists' evangelistic Crossover outreach that precedes each year's Southern Baptist Convention.
Wisdom-Martin was part of a Crossover team working to share Jesus with exotic dancers, a job "way outside" her comfort zone. The goal was simple: free these women from the exploi... Read More
Laos native receives WMU's O'Brien award
[IMG=32945@right@200]NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Laos native Mycie Vue of Brooklyn Park, Minn., has been named as this year's recipient of the Dellanna West O'Brien Award for Women's Leadership Development by WMU and the WMU Foundation.
With the encouragement of her pastor, Vue, a member of First Hmong Baptist Church in St. Paul, discovered WMU in 1993 when she sought a way she and other women could serve God.
Quickly seeing the value of Woman's Missionary Union to bring missions education and... Read More
Students 'prayer'-cache across New Orleans
[IMG=32946@right@200]NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Students used GPS-enabled devices to "prayer"-cache from downtown New Orleans to the French Quarter and across the city as part of youth activities during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
The prayer thrust was based on "geocaching," a modern-day treasure hunting game in which players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches. Participants follow coordinates, leading them to explore their cities in a unique way.
Connecting ... Read More
BIBLE STUDY: Sunday, July 1, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies for Life curriculum.
Bible Passage: John 16:5-15
How does a lack of faith in Christ lead to other sins... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: Fred Luter & the SBC's moral arc
The election of New Orleans pastor Fred Luter Jr., reflects how the Southern Baptist Convention, as Richard Land describes it, "has now gone from being virtually an all-white domination as late as 1970 to being one of the most ethnically diverse denominations." Read More