The Republican National Committee sends mailings to West Virginia voters warning that the Bible will be banned if Democrats win in November.
A provision that cleared the House of Representatives last week went under the radar in the rest of the news: the measure would prohibit local, state or federal authorities from requiring any institution or health care professional to provide abortions, pay for them, or make abortion-related referrals, even in cases of rape or medical emergency. A similar “conscience clause” bill was passed into law in Mississippi this July, and across the country, pro-life activists and a group called Pharmacists for Life are encouraging pharmacists to refuse to distribute emergency contraceptives, claiming the pill is a form of abortion. Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, called the move “‘outrageous,’” and said it would only affect “‘poor women in the most extreme circumstances.’”
“‘Buffy’ addresses questions that have always interested Christians: Is there a hell? What will it take for me to go to heaven after I die? Can one individual save the world throuugh self-sacrifice? What will the apocalypse look like?” Ellen Leventry moderates a round-table discussion on pop-tv Gods at Beliefnet.
The Christian Science Monitor’s G. Jeffrey MacDonald takes on an ambitious topic — “What Does ‘Jewishness’ Mean Today” — and finds that, on the 350th anniversary of American Jewry, “today’s challenge is not for Jews to learn the ways of America, but rather for these Americans to learn how to live as Jews.”
Jonah Fisher of the BBC investigates U.S. accusations of religious persecution in Eritrea and the country’s two-year old “registration system” which requires groups to submit information about themseles in order to be allowed to worship. In Eritrea only Catholicism, Islam, Orthodox and Evangelical churches are recognized; members of all other religions, Fisher found, are at risk of harrassment and abuse.
Atlanta Archbishop, John Donoghue, issued a letter yesterday telling Catholics that abortion must outweigh every other issue at the polls, reports Gayle White of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Catholic voters may differ on other election debates, like war or capital punishment, “‘but there’s no debate about abortion,’” wrote Donoghue. His letter follows similar memorandum released this summer by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the controversy that followed the interpretation of one of Ratzinger’s letters, which was construed to conditionally allow support of pro-choice candidates.