By Christy Barritt
Ebola Outbreak Could Hit 1.4 Million by 2015
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that between 550,000 and 1.4 million people could be infected by Ebola by January if the disease isn’t contained.
The World Health Organization confirmed 5,800 cases as of the end of September, which has led to 2,800 deaths in five West African countries so far. Health experts agree that the numbers are highly underreported.
According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reporter, if conditions continue without scale-up of interventions, the cases will continue to double approximately every 20 days. Findings also indicate that the epidemic can be controlled. In October experimental drugs that can treat the virus were being tested in West Africa for the first time.
Teen Heads to Court to Defend Right to Say “Under God” in Pledge
A New Jersey teen and her family are undergoing a legal battle with an atheist group seeking to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
High school senior Samantha Jones and her family filed an official response to a lawsuit brought on by the American Humanist Association.
In April, the AHA filed a lawsuit in New Jersey on behalf of a family that objected to their child attending a school where the pledge was said including “under God.”
Jones is being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an organization that’s defended “under God” in the pledge before.
Jones said in a statement, “If anyone wants to remain silent, that is their right. But it is not their right to silence me. When I stand up, put my hand over my heart, and say the Pledge of Allegiance, I am recognizing that my rights come from God, not from the government.”
This phrase has been the subject of multiple lawsuits over the past several years.
Faith-Based Media Venture Inked for Burnett, Downey
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. recently acquired a 55 percent stake in the production companies owned by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The couple will now oversee a new faith and family division of the United Artists Media Group.
Burnett and Downey were the executive producers behind the Emmy-nominated series The
Their new ventures will include a faith-based TV channel. The channel’s programming will include a variety of original new content, premium film and television titles, Christian music videos, sermons from worldwide religious leaders, and user-created, short-form, faith-based videos.
“When Mark and I created LightWorkers Media, our mission was to bring faith and family entertainment to a large audience and now this endeavor will allow us even greater growth and success as the faith/family division of UA Media Group,” said Downey.
More Americans Want Religion in Politics
A new poll from the Pew Research Center has revealed that an increasing number of Americans would like to see more religion with their politics.
The number of people who want churches and other houses of worship to express their views on social and political issues is up 6 percentage points, from 43 percent to 49 percent, since the 2010 mid-term elections. A growing number of Americans (32 percent) think churches should endorse candidates for political office. Also of note is that those who think there has been “too little” expression of faith from political leaders is up from 37 percent to 41 percent.
The study revealed a greater gap between religiously affiliated people and the growing number of people who are not affiliated with any religion. Those who identify with religion are supportive of churches speaking up about political issues, where as the “nones” frequently oppose religion in politics.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.
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