Baptist Press Archive

Friday, January 11, 2013

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  • Gay marriage battles brewing in at least 6 states this year

    by Michael Foust, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (BP) -- Gay marriage supporters enjoyed landmark victories in 2012 and are hoping for an even bigger win at the U.S. Supreme Court this year, but in the meantime political battles are brewing in at least six states where marriage redefinition bills likely will be considered.

    Significantly, all six have governors who appear supportive of gay marriage. Also, the November elections saw gay marriage supporters increase their strength in the state legislatures.

    Leading the way are Illinois and Rhode Island, where gay marriage bills are being pushed and potentially could pass within weeks. Other states that likely will consider gay marriage bills in 2013 are Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey and Minnesota. Of the six states, all but one -- Minnesota -- have legalized same-sex civil unions, which grant all the legal benefits of marriage, minus the name.

    Nine states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage, while 30 states have constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Last November, voters, for the first time, endorsed gay marriage at the ballot, when Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved it.

    Christ Plante, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage-Rhode Island, says bills in each of the states can be defeated, but it will require voters speaking out. The National Organization for Marriage has played a key role in defending traditional marriage on the state level.

    "In all of these places, the most important thing is: Are voters speaking up?" Plante told Baptist Press. "Are people of faith calling their representatives and their senators in their statehouses and saying, 'Don't redefine marriage.' This is really up to the people. Legislators, in most cases, do in fact listen to their constituency. If a representative gets hundreds of calls on this issue, they will take note. That's particularly what's going to need to happen in Minnesota, Illinois, Delaware and Rhode Island, where we're in a defensive mode."

    In Illinois, a gay marriage bill passed a Senate committee in the final days of the lame duck session but didn't come to a vote in the full chamber before the session ended. But with Democrats having increased their majorities in the state legislature, supporters are hopeful it can pass in the new session, which already has begun. (Democrats control the legislature in all six states where gay marriage is being considered.) Traditionalists are hoping more moderate Democrats from outside of Chicago can help defeat the bill. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn backs gay marriage.

    In Rhode Island, a gay marriage bill is favored to pass the state House, where House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, says it is a priority.

    "We have a huge battle on our hands, with tons of pressure and tons of money coming against us," Plante said.

    Rhode Island is the only New England state where gay marriage isn't legal. Plante hopes the bill can be killed in the Senate, where Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed is a bill opponent. Also opposing the bill is Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Michael J. McCaffrey, whose committee likely will consider the issue. Paiva Weed and McCaffrey are Democrats in a state where the issues don't always follow political lines.

    The Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage has been critical in preventing it from being legalized in Rhode Island in past years, Plante said. Supporters of gay marriage tried but failed to defeat McCaffrey in a primary, Plante said. Read More

  • ANALYSIS: The gay marriage battle isn't lost

    by Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew T. Walker, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- In December, with the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on same-sex marriage, George Will ignored polling data and ballot-box results -- both support marriage as it has always been in America -- to claim on ABC's "This Week" that there is an "emerging consensus" in support of redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships. Will went further: "Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It's old people." Read More

  • Survey: Fewer in U.S. see homosexuality as sin

    by Russ Rankin & Art Toalston, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- The percentage of Americans who believe homosexuality is a sin has fallen in the past year, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

          A November 2012 survey of adults in the United States found 37 percent affirm a belief that homosexual behavior is a sin -- a statistically significant change from a September 2011 LifeWay Research survey asking the same question. At that time, 44 percent answered, "Yes." Read More

  • NFL PLAYOFFS: Texans linebacker Bradie James goes from 'mess' to 'message'

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images, courtesy of Houston Texans
    HOUSTON (BP) -- When Bradie James steps onto the field for the Houston Texans' playoff matchup with New England on Sunday, plenty of his teammates and opponents will be playing for themselves. Read More

  • China's Christians, on social media, undaunted

    by Staff/World Watch Monitor, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    LONDON (BP) -- Chinese Christians are sharing their faith on Weibo, China's giant state-regulated social network -- and some are beginning to challenge censorship by speaking out against religious persecution, according to a report by World Watch Monitor (formerly Compass Direct News). Read More

  • CULTURE DIGEST: 'Transgender' option added to Iowa college application

    by Staff, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- The University of Iowa has become the first public university in the nation to specifically include optional questions about students' sexual orientation and gender identity in their admissions applications.

    Elmhurst College, a private liberal arts school, was the first U.S. institution of higher education to add the option. Now at the University of Iowa, the application offers "transgender" as an option along with "male" and "female," and an optional question asks, "Do yo... Read More

  • CALL TO PRAYER: The Supreme Court weighs in on marriage

    by Frank S. Page, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, sets forth key ways of praying for the Supreme Court's deliberations in two upcoming cases in which the biblical view of marriage in the U.S. is at stake. Read More

  • Escuela Bíblica de Vacaciones 2013 está lista para evangelizar, enseñar y divertir

    Por el personal, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Durante este verano del 2013 los niños disfrutarán de cinco días inolvidables en el Colosal Parque de Diversiones. La Escuela Bíblica de Vacaciones 2013 de LifeWay Español le ofrece a las iglesias y ministerios recursos que le ayudarán a establecer relaciones con los participantes y sus familias. Adicionalmente, todas las divertidas actividades y enseñanzas del Colosal Parque de Diversiones proceden de la Biblia. Usando el lema de un parque de diversiones, los niños preescolares y escolares pasarán un tiempo alegre mientras aprenden de Dios.El texto lema para el Colosal Parque de Diversiones está basado en 2 Timoteo 1.7, "Enfrenta el temor, confía en Dios". Durante cinco días se les enseña a los niños de Dios y la Biblia por medio de historias, juegos, música y actividades. Los niños serán desafiados a enfrentar sus temores y confiar en Dios.

    Luis López, Director de LifeWay Español nos dice, "Nos alegra mucho el poder ofrecerle a las iglesias y ministerio de niños una escuela bíblica de vacaciones como la del Colosal Parque de Diversiones. En los últimos años hemos recibido muchos testimonios de cómo las escuelas bíblicas de vacaciones de LifeWay Español han sido una efectiva herramienta para evangelizar a los niños y sus familias. Este año no es la excepción, en el 2013 estamos seguros que Dios usará el Colosal Parque de Diversiones para impactar vidas para el Reino de Dios."

    El Colosal Parque de Diversiones ya está a la venta en LifeWay.com/español o en su librería cristiana más cercana. Adicionalmente, para ayudar a los líderes de los ministerios de niños, LifeWay Español estará ofreciendo entrenamiento en ciudades selectas en los Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y por medio de su página web de LifeWay Español. Para más información sobre la Escuela Bíblica de Vacaciones 2013, Colosal Parque de Diversiones, por favor visite lifeway.com/ebv. Read More

  • EN PRIMERA PERSONA: La primacía de la oración

    Por Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- El apóstol Pablo instó a Timoteo a establecer la oración como una prioridad principal en su vida y ministerio (1 Tim 2:1). Si nuestras iglesias han de experimentar una renovación espiritual y nuestra nación ha de experimentar un despertar espiritual, los bautistas del sur debemos adoptar esa misma prioridad en nuestras iglesias y en nuestras vidas personales. Read More

  • Líderes religiosos oran por civilidad en D.C.

    Por el personal, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Richard Land, bautista del sur especialista en ética se ha unido a un diverso grupo de líderes religiosos en una iniciativa de oración que llama a un incremento en la civilidad entre los funcionarios gubernamentales. Read More

  • COMPENDIO CULTURA: El show de television 'Las mamás de todos mis bebés' castigado severamente

    Por el personal, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- El Concilio de Padres y la Televisión (PTC por sus siglas en inglés) está entre los muchos que solicitan a la red de cable Oxygen abandonar la producción del proyectado show "All My Babies' Mamas" (Las mamás de todos mis bebés).

    El show, que presenta al rapero afroamericano Carlos "Shawty Lo" Walker y las 10 mujeres con quienes ha procreado 11 hijos, está siendo desarrollado como un especial de una hora para sacarlo al aire esta primavera. Oxygen ha indicado que el show pu... Read More

  • EDITORIAL: Nueve + 1 resoluciones

    Por Luis R. López, posted Friday, January 11, 2013 (5 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- El principio de cada año puede ser propicio para hacer cambios y tomar nuevas resoluciones. Algunos acostumbran a recibir el nuevo año haciendo una nueva lista de metas. En muchos casos, la lista incluye bajar de peso, ahorrar dinero, eliminar un hábito nocivo, viajar, etc. Read More