Baptist Seminary Leader Sparks Furor With "Is Your Baby Gay?": Vatican Condemns Writings of Spanish Theologian - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AP Religion Roundup - March 15, 2007

Baptist Seminary Leader Sparks Furor With "Is Your Baby Gay?": Vatican Condemns Writings of Spanish Theologian

BAPTIST SEMINARY LEADER SPARKS FUROR WITH "IS YOUR BABY GAY?" ARTICLE

NEW YORK (AP) _ The president of a leading Southern Baptist
seminary has sparked a furor over suggestions that a biological
basis for homosexuality may be proven. The Reverend R. Albert
Mohler also says prenatal treatment to reverse gay orientation
would be biblically justified.

The comments have enraged both liberals and conservatives.
Mohler is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Louisville, Kentucky.

Proof of a biological basis for sexual orientation would
challenge the belief of many conservative Christians that
homosexuality is a matter of choice. Gay rights supporters are
upset by his assertion that homosexuality would remain a sin even
if it were biologically based.

VATICAN CONDEMNS WRITINGS OF SPANISH THEOLOGIAN

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ The Vatican is condemning the writings of a
Spanish theologian as "erroneous or dangerous,'' but has taken no
immediate disciplinary action against the priest involved.

It's the first such move under the nearly two-year papacy of
Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger led the Vatican's
crackdown on theologians judged to be perilously straying from
church doctrine.

The Vatican began building its case in 2004 against the writings
of the Reverend Jon Sobrino, a Spanish Jesuit, calling the
procedure "urgent'' because of the wide diffusion of his works in
Latin America. The Vatican has objected to liberation theology,
citing its basis in Marxist analysis of society -- particularly the
idea of class struggle in the promotion of social, political and
economic justice for the poor.

NONPROFIT'S E-CARDS AIM TO LET FRIENDS AND FAMILY SHOW SUPPORT AFTER AN ABORTION

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A nonprofit organization in California has
launched a line of e-cards for women who've had abortions.

The six e-cards are designed to be nonpartisan and encompass a
wide range of responses that a woman might go through after having
the procedure.

One expresses sympathy, saying, "As you grieve, remember that
you are loved.'' Another reassures the recipient that "God will
never leave you or forsake you.''

Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute, says
he hasn't no strong objections to the cards as long as they don't
validate abortion. He says ``if the message is that no matter what
you've done, God loves you -- I don't see how anyone could argue
with that.''

HELP REQUESTED FOR ENDANGERED RELIGION

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ The plight of Mandaeans --
an endangered religious minority in Iraq -- has drawn the attention
of five members of Congress who want the Bush administration to do
more to help them.

They've written a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The four Republicans and one Democrat want appropriate resettlement
programs for Mandaean refugees who have fled to Jordan, Syria,
Yemen and Indonesia. The five House members also want a refugee
resettlement program in the U-S to be expanded to include
Mandaeans.

Mandaeanism (man-DAY'-in-is-im) treats John the Baptist as a
great teacher. Followers engage in baptisms to come in closer
contact with a ``world of light'' that is better than the material
world on Earth. The war in Iraq has threatened the religion's
existence.

There were more than 60-thousand Mandaeans in Iraq in the early
1990s, but only about up to seven thousand now remain.

SOUND:
Myra Lopez, A-P correspondent
Five members of Congress are seeking help for a minority religion
threatened by the war in Iraq. A-P correspondent Myra Lopez has
more.

UNESCO PANEL URGES ISRAEL TO HALT WORK AT JERUSALEM HOLY SITE

PARIS (AP) _ A UNESCO panel has urged Israel to immediately halt
archaeological work on a Jerusalem holy site that has angered
Muslims around the world.

The U-N report says Israel should have sought the advice of
international organizations before it started work last month.

Excavations on a ramp leading up to the disputed holy site
sparked clashes between police and Muslims in Jerusalem last month
and touched off fierce criticism throughout the Muslim world.

Muslims fear the work will harm Islamic shrines on the hilltop
compound, which is known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble
Sanctuary to Muslims, and whose fate is central to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In February, UNESCO concluded that the excavations posed no
threat to the stability of the mount. The panel says work done on
the site was already sufficient to examine the structure of the
ramp, and ``the government of Israel should be asked to stop
immediately the archaeological excavations.''

MASKED ROBBER AT CHURCH MEETING RETURNS TO TALK TO PASTOR

ATHENS, Tenn. (AP) _ A Tennessee minister handed over the money
an armed robber demanded, but got him to agree to come back to the
church the next day. And when Bill Croft showed up, the police were
there to arrest him. He's charged with aggravated robbery.

Police in Athens, Tennessee, say 21 men were meeting in the
church Monday night when confronted by a man carrying a pistol and
wearing a stocking cap mask. The Reverend Mike Womack asked the
intruder how he could help him. The man said he was hungry and
needed money. When Womack asked the man if he would like to talk
about his problems, the bandit asked the pastor if he would be in
the church the next day. Police staked out the church building
early Tuesday afternoon while Womack sent his staff home.

JUDGE: WOMAN CAN SUE ARCHDIOCESE OVER CHURCH CANDLES

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A woman severely burned when her skirt caught
fire while she was praying near a statue of Saint Jude can seek
punitive damages against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Josefina Martin suffered third-degree burns in October of 2005.
She and her husband are suing the archdiocese, the church and the
maker of her skirt, alleging negligence and premises liability.

Court papers quote many church employees as saying as many as
200 candles would be on the ground in front of the statue at any
one time.

MALAYSIAN'S BID TO STOP HER CHILDREN'S ISLAM CONVERSION HEADED FOR MUSLIM COURT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ A Malaysian woman trying to stop
her Muslim husband from converting their children to Islam will
have to take her case before a religious court in Malaysia. News
reports say it would be the first time a non-Muslim will appear
before the Shariah Court, which handles Islamic family matters in
the Southeast Asian nation.

FALLEN TURKEY TO BE HONORED AT CHURCH

WALES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) _ A Michigan church will hold a
moment of silence this Sunday for what the pastor calls a model
member of his congregation -- a wild turkey.

The Reverend James Huff, pastor of Lambs United Methodist
Church, says the turkey regularly attended Sunday services and
greeted people as they arrived.

The turkey died last week after it was hit by a car. Douglas
Bishop, the church's music director, says the bird never missed a
service. He says, ``It was like our mascot.'' The turkey started
hanging around the church last year.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-03-15-07 0231CDT

 

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