Monday, October 15, 2012Download All Stories
Battle against abortion mandate now includes SBC ethics entity
WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention's religious freedom entity has joined the legal battle against the Obama administration's abortion/contraception mandate in the first case to reach a federal appeals court.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief filed Oct. 12 that asked a"(I)t is an issue of religious freedom across the board for all people of faith –- Protestant, Catholic and otherwise."federal appeals court to reverse the dismissal of two lawsuits against the controversial requirement under the 2010 health care law. The brief supports challenges by Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in suburban Chicago, and Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic institution in North Carolina, to the mandate that employers provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs.
–- Richard Land
The ERLC -- and 10 other evangelical organizations -- joined by invitation in a brief filed by Christian Legal Society (CLS) in support of the colleges' appeal on religious liberty grounds to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. More than 35 suits have been brought against the mandate, but the D.C. Circuit is the first appeals court to consider such a challenge. Oral arguments will not be held until after the final briefs are filed in mid-November.
Though resistance to the mandate has been portrayed widely as Catholic in nature, ERLC President Richard Land said the case demonstrates the opposition is much more diverse than one religious body.
"This particular case is vitally important both because of the nature of the appeal concerning a very narrow definition the government is following for religious employers and secondly because of who is involved in the suit," Land said Monday (Oct. 15). "One of the most prestigious evangelical colleges in the world in Wheaton College -- of which Billy Graham is a graduate -– is one of the participants in the suit, which demonstrates this is not 'just' a Catholic issue, but it is an issue of religious freedom across the board for all people of faith -- Protestant, Catholic and otherwise."
The ERLC is not the first Southern Baptist institution to join the court fight. Three Baptist schools -- Louisiana College, Houston Baptist University and East Texas Baptist University -- have filed lawsuits against the mandate. Federal courts have yet to rule in those challenges. Read More
Jason Allen elected as Midwestern's presidentKANSAS CITY, MO. (BP) -- In a 29-2 vote, Jason K. Allen has been elected by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees as the school's fifth president. The vote took place Monday (Oct. 15) during the trustees' bi-annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo. Read More
In Peruvian slum, clean water opens heartsLIMA, Peru (BP) -- "Please, can you help us?"
The woman's plea was the first thing Quentin and Gina Roberts heard as they entered an inner-city slum in Lima, Peru.What they found shocked them.
Lean-to shacks and cracked adobe homes lined a narrow, dirt path in the small community of Rosario de Fatima. There was no water system ... Read More
TRUSTEES: NOBTS to begin 3 online degrees
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- In an effort to make theological education more accessible, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees approved three fully online graduate degrees during their fall meeting Oct. 9. Read More
Dakota Baptists honor retired pastors
RAPID CITY, S.D. (BP) -- The Dakota Baptist Convention honored 11 retired pastors and their wives during its 28th annual meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Rapid City, S.D.
Messengers approved a 2013 budget of $1.2 million, down $35,976 from the previous year. They also made constitutional changes and adopted resolutions on the upcoming national election and a renewed commitment to personal soul-winning.
The theme of the meeting was, "Renewing our Partnership in the Gospel," based o... Read More
Scripture dislodged prof from infant baptismFORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Seminary professor John Yeo wants his students to stand confidently under the authority of Scripture, a stand he made by abandoning the practice of infant baptism. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: 7 functions of state conventions
Columnist John Yeats explains seven main functions of Southern Baptist state conventions, from strengthening churches to shining the light in the public square. Read More
BP Ledger, Oct. 15 edition
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today's BP Ledger includes items from:
California Baptist University
Calif. Baptist students hear proponents for Obama & Romney
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (California Baptist University) -- Nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt and Leslie ... Read More