An Illinois governor has signed a law that will mean members of fundamentalist group Westboro Baptist Church, known for its protests of military funerals, will have to stay away further from services.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s decree, signed Sunday at the Executive Mansion, pushes funeral protesters an additional 100 feet to 300 feet away, and bans them from the area entirely 30 minutes before and after funeral services.
The bill expands Quinn’s “Let Them Rest In Peace Act,” proposed in 2005, which former Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed in 2006. more >>
Southern Baptist leader Richard Land chided presidential candidate Herman Cain for disregarding the constitutional rights of U.S. Muslims during a Monday C-SPAN interview. He reminded Cain that as a Christian and an African American, he should have a special interest in the enforcement of the constitution in all communities, not just approving ones.
Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed the businessman turned presidential candidate in a Monday broadcast saying, "Don't throw out the baby with the bath, Mr. Cain."
Last week, Cain told reporters that the plan to build the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tenn., is "an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion." He sided with community members who have protested the center saying the center is "another way to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws." more >>
Prominent theologian R. Albert Mohler, Jr., laid out seven purposes for God giving mankind the law, arguing that counter to popular belief, the law is an expression of God’s love.
Without the law, humans cannot know what is sin and we would “celebrate it and wallow in it and dive into the deep end of the pool,” said Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., at the 2011 Resolved Conference on Monday evening.
The law shows that God loves mankind because the commandments tell us what is good for us. It also is proof that God has not abandoned humans because of our sinfulness, preached the Southern Baptist leader to some 3,200 college-aged students. more >>
A prominent conservative evangelical who was recently criticized for saying evangelicals need to repent of homophobia was extended an empathy card from an unlikely source this week.
Brian McLaren, who is considered an emergent pastor and whose teachings are rejected by evangelicals, released an open letter to Dr. Albert Mohler on Wednesday, lamenting the ridicule Mohler received from Christians.
"I wanted to express my sadness at the way your recent comments about repenting of homophobia were attacked and ridiculed by one of your fellow conservative Christians," McLaren wrote. more >>
Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright met with a coalition of leaders from LGBT groups who wanted the Convention to apologize for what they described as the harm the SBC has caused by their teaching on homosexuality.
Wright, who is the pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., listened to them on Wednesday during the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., but stood firm on the Scripture.
A nine-person coalition, including representatives of Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Faith in America and Truth Wins Out, protested outside the convention hall and after requesting to deliver 10,000 signed petitions to Wright, he sat down at a roundtable with four of them. more >>
Southern Baptist messengers voted on seven resolutions at their annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., expressing support for undocumented immigrants, calling on President Obama to defend the federal marriage law, and agreeing to civil public discourse. Most were adopted without debate.
One resolution, titled “On Immigration and the Gospel,” raised a number of concerns among the messengers though.
It called upon Southern Baptist churches “to be the presence of Christ, in both proclamation and ministry, to all persons, regardless of country of origin or immigration status.” It also resolved to ask governing authorities “to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country.” more >>