Baptist Press Archive

Monday, December 16, 2013

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  • Polygamy ban in Utah declared unconstitutional by fed. judge

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    SALT LAKE CITY (BP) -- A federal court has struck down a vital section of Utah's anti-polygamy law,

    "[W]hen marriage is elastic enough to mean anything, in due time it comes to mean nothing."

    –- Russell D. Moore

    lending credence to arguments by defenders of marriage that the reshaping of the institution would not end with legalizing same-sex unions.

    Clark Waddoups, a judge in the U.S. District Court of Utah, invalidated a portion of the state law that prohibits bigamy, essentially decriminalizing polygamy in the process. In a 91-page opinion released Dec. 13, the federal judge ruled as unconstitutional a section prohibiting a married person from cohabiting with someone who is not his or her spouse.

    In effect, Waddoups legalized polygamy as it is practiced in Utah primarily by members of fundamentalist spinoffs of the Mormon religion. Such polygamous households typically do not have multiple marriage licenses but treat all relationships between a man and the women with whom he lives as marriages. Waddoups ruled the cohabitation section of Utah's anti-polygamy law violated the free religious exercise clause of the United States Constitution's First Amendment and the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.

    The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Kody Brown and his four wives, who are featured in the television reality show "Sister Wives" on TLC. Brown and only one of his wives have a marriage license. They are members of the Apostolic United Brethren, which believes polygamy is "a core religious practice," according to Waddoups' opinion.

    Defenders of the biblical and historic view of marriage said the decision undermines the institution and provides more evidence that its redefinition will be more expansive than just incorporating same-sex relationships.

    "Sadly, when marriage is elastic enough to mean anything, in due time it comes to mean nothing," Russell D. Moore said in a statement released Dec. 14. Moore is president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

    "This is what happens when marriage becomes about the emotional and sexual wants of adults, divorced from the needs of children for a mother and a father committed to each other for life," Moore said. "Polygamy was outlawed in this country because it was demonstrated, again and again, to hurt women and children."

    R. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a Monday (Dec. 16) blog post, "In one sense, the decision was almost inevitable, given the trajectory of both the culture and the federal courts. On the other hand, the sheer shock of the decision serves as an alarm: marriage is being utterly redefined before our eyes, and in the span of a single generation.

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  • Auburn homecoming queen shows God's 'light'

    by Julie Payne/The Alabama Baptist, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    AUBURN, Ala. (BP) -- Auburn University 2013 homecoming queen Molly Anne Dutton,

    Photo courtesy of Molly Anne Dutton
    adopted as an infant after her birth mother was given an ultimatum to abort her, is using her platform to promote the light of God.

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  • 'Resilient' Cuban churches surprise IMB leader

    by Will Stuart, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    HAVANA, Cuba (BP) -- The recent storm took everyone by surprise.

    Photo by Wilson Hunter/IMB
    It turned streets in Havana, Cuba, into rivers, lifting manhole covers on water bubbling from drainage pipes unable to contain the surge racing to the sea. In Vueltas, 180 miles to the east, rural roads turned to mush, making it impossible to travel from surrounding villages into the city for the constitution of nine new churches. Read More

  • Darwinists perplexed by DNA found in Spain

    by By Julie Borg/WORLD News Service, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- The discovery of DNA evidence in a cave in Spain is incongruent with current theories of human evolution, according to a report based on interviews with believers in Darwinian evolution in The New York Times.

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  • BP Ledger, Dec. 16 edition

    by Staff, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    Today's BP Ledger contains items from:

    Ouachita Baptist University

    World Congress of Families

    Judson College

    Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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  • FIRST-PERSON: At Christmas, give what matters

    by Judy Woodward Bates, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    Columnist Judy Woodward Bates urges people to forgo giving useless items to people whose needs already are met and instead give to those who could really use the help. Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: The villain of Christmas?

    by Michael J. Brooks, posted Monday, December 16, 2013 (4 years ago)

    The innkeeper in Bethlehem -- was he a villain or a hero? Professor and bivocational pastor Michael J. Brooks offers his opinion. Read More