Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:34

Top 10 Topics of 2013

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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It’s time once again to present my leading topics from the previous year, highlighted on The Meeting House on Faith Radio.  Here are my “Top 10 Topics of 2013” impacting the Christian community.  

 

10 – Transitions in leadership regarding international religious freedom

There is concern about the freedom of people worldwide to practice their faith.  On the international front, changes in leadership in positions of influence took place:  Suzan Johnson Cook resigned as the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom and Dr. Robert George, co-author of the Manhattan Declaration, was elected chairman of the U.S. Council on International Religious Freedom.

 

 

9 – Middle East unrest: Transition in Egypt, civil war in Syria

Two key nations in the Middle East experienced significant unrest during 2013.  In Egypt, Coptic Christians were part of a coalition forcing President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood out of power.  Meanwhile, in Syria, the civil war raged on.  Christians in both nations faced uncertainty and fear.

 

 

8 – IRS places conservative and religious organizations under increased scrutiny

Reports surfaced about the Internal Revenue Service placing certain groups, especially those with a conservative point of view, under increased scrutiny when they applied for non-profit status.   A number of Christian organizations were subjected to delays and extensive questioning.

 

 

7 – Gosnell trial raises awareness about brutality of abortion

The murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell raised awareness of the brutality of abortion.  Information revealed at the trial can serve to remind us this activity is part of an entire abortion industry that is devoted to taking the lives of pre-born children.  Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison in the murder of three babies.  

 

 

6 – Concerns over religious freedom in the military

There has been significant attention regarding religious rights for those serving in the U.S. military.  There were reports of service men and women being reprimanded for expressing their religious views, the removal of religious images from military bases, training materials reflecting a bias toward Christians, and other troubling signs.  The Defense Department attempted to define appropriate ways for men and women in uniform to express their faith. 

 

 

5 – Boy Scouts vote to accept openly gay members, Trail Life USA is formed

A leadership group of the Boy Scouts of America voted to change the organization’s long-standing policy and admit openly gay boys as members.  As an alternative, Trail Life USA, a character-based organization for boys based on Christian values, was formed.

 

 

4 – My Hope America with Billy Graham spreads gospel

An evangelistic outreach that had been implemented in some 57 countries by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was brought to America with My Hope America With Billy Graham, which involved Christians inviting people into their homes to watch a video message and hear a personal testimony.   Reportedly, around 25,000 churches were represented in the effort.

 

 

3 – Pope Benedict resigns, Pope Francis chosen as successor

Pope Benedict announced his resignation, and in a swift vote, an Argentinian priest was selected as the successor and chose the name Pope Francis I.   His overall tone and approach could be described as compassionate, with a strong commitment to traditional Catholic doctrine, even though some of his comments may have been misrepresented by the media.

 

 

2 –  Affordable Care Act launches with problematic implementation, funding of abortion, and more lawsuits relative to contraception mandate

The Affordable Care Act launched, and in addition to website issues and policy cancellations, pro-life organizations noted that the funding of abortion was still present in the Act.  The mandate for employers to provide free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans continued to face court challenges.  The Alliance Defending Freedom reported a year-end scorecard:  non-profit religious entities received temporary relief by an 18-1 margin; the score in favor of for-profit companies was 35-6.  The U.S. Supreme Court indicated it would hear two cases involving companies filing suit against the mandate.

 

 

1 – Supreme Court strikes down part of DOMA, lets district court ruling against Prop. 8 stand, without ruling on constitutionality

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, allowing Federal benefits for same-sex couples who were “married” in states where such unions were legal.  In the case of California’s marriage amendment, Proposition 8, the high court stated that those attempting to defend the law were ineligible to do so.  A lower Federal court ruling against Prop. 8, in a suit brought by two gay couples in California, was upheld.  The Supreme Court did not use the case to declare that there was a constitutional right to gay marriage.  

 

This is a purely personal ranking of important stories and represents some relevant content on The Meeting House during the previous year.   It is important to be aware of these topics and trends, so that we can craft a credible and Biblical response.

 

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 10 February 2014 15:35
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