By Christy Barritt
Boy Scouts Retain Ban on Gays
After two years of examination, the Boys Scouts of America announced in July that it will not be changing its membership standards to allow openly gay persons to become members, volunteers, or leaders.
A special 11-member committee that included a diversity of perspectives and opinions was formed to evaluate the 102-year-old policy. The committee concluded that the policy “reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA’s members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth.”
The policy has been met with opposition ever since the decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000.
A spokesperson for the executive committee said the decision “remains in the best interest of Scouting.”
States Can’t Sue over Medical Mandate
A lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of seven states and several private organizations concerning the new medical mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been dismissed by a federal judge.
Employers faced a summer deadline to purchase health insurance for workers that would cover sterilization, contraceptives, and possible abortifacient drugs. Many argued that the mandate violates employers’ religious liberties.
U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom said these states failed to prove they face immediate harm once the rule is enacted.
Attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas challenged the bill.
Opponents of the measure are expected to repeal.
Homeless Bible Study Shut Down at McDonald’s
A Bible study group meeting twice a week at a fast food restaurant in New Jersey was told they were no longer welcome.
Bible study leader Dawn Martinez, 33, has held group meetings at a New Jersey McDonald’s for two years. Through these gatherings, she ministered to transients and drug addicts.
Martinez was told by the manager that a customer had complained and they could no longer meet in the restaurant. Martinez asked for a reason and the manager told her people of other faiths were getting offended by the messages presented at the studies.
Martinez plans to meet at a local park until she can find another location.
Race and Religion Remain Strong in Presidential Election
An ABC/Washington Post poll addressed the differences between Americans who believe racial and religious discrimination are non-issues today versus those who feel racism is a factor in selecting our elected leaders.
Sixty-two percent of non-blacks do not see racial discrimination as a predominate issue in their communities. In this group, 59 percent favor Romney while 34 percent support Obama.
Among non-blacks who believe racial discrimination is an issue, Obama is favored over Romney by a margin of 56 to 37 percent. Almost all blacks surveyed said they support President Obama.
Of those surveyed, 31 percent of non-Mormon Americans have an unfavorable view of Mormonism, while 38 percent see the religion in a positive light. Among those with a favorable view, Romney’s support is 54 percent versus only 42 percent among those who have a negative view.
Sixty three percent of those surveyed said a candidate’s religion does not matter significantly in the election.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.