Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders 08.15


In bed early. The students at Davidson College in North Carolina will be eating more pizza, or burgers-but not more "chikin." The school announced this week that it will suspend Chick-fil-A meals at its "After Midnight" events until students later decide about doing business with the fast-food chain. Statements by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy in support of the biblical family are the reason for the decision. The Davidson College Union Board, a group of students that organizes College Union activities, usually serves Chick-fil-A sandwiches about once or twice a year at its monthly "After Midnight" events, which have taken place since 2001 and offer students free food and entertainment until 2 a.m. If you don't remember your college offering free food and entertainment until 2 a.m., that's probably because you didn't go to a school that costs more than $52,000 a year to attend (including tuition, room, and-until now-Chick-fil-A sandwiches). The school has Presbyterian roots, but now has only a tenuous relationship to the PCUSA, by far the most liberal of the various Presbyterian denominations. Davidson made news in 2005 when it dropped its requirement that faculty members be Christians. Today the school's "statement of purpose" says only that faculty members must "respect the purpose of the college," whatever that now means.

A "leading light" gone. Nellie Gray, who called "one of the leading lights of the pro-life movement in the United States," died earlier this week. She was 88. Gray founded the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the largest annual pro-life event in the country. Gray was a lawyer and former federal employee who devoted herself full-time to the pro-life movement after the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The first March for Life was held in 1974, on the first anniversary of the ruling. According to the Associated Press, "Despite the January date, it's consistently one of the largest protests of the year in Washington and leading anti-abortion politicians frequently address the crowd." Feisty to the end, at this year's march, she referred to abortion as genocide and the Roe v. Wade decision as "an evil imposed upon our country."

Ashamed of gay pride. More than 120 pro-family and pro-life leaders from 11 countries signed a letter initiated by the World Congress of Families (download a PDF), protesting the U.S. Embassy's participation in the Prague "Gay Pride" parade on Aug. 18. According to a statement released by the World Congress of Families, the letter notes that the Obama administration has made promoting gay rights-including same-sex "marriage"-a foreign policy priority. It also observes the irony of those who complain ceaselessly about "cultural imperialism," trying to force the worldviews of the American left on societies with traditional values. It further comments that "the United Nations has never affirmed homosexual marriage or rights" and that the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically says, "Men and women … have a right to marry and found a family." Family is described as "the natural and fundamental group unit of society" and, as such, "is entitled to protection by society and the state." Signers include Paige Patterson (president, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and former president, Southern Baptist Convention), Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse (Concerned Women for America,) Father Frank Pavone (president, Priests for Life), Mike Huckabee (former governor of Arkansas), and Rabbi Yehuda Levin (spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, representing more than 1,200 Orthodox rabbis in the United States and Canada).

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Black church split? Religion News Service (RNS) is reporting that some-though not many-black churches are splitting with Barack Obama on same-sex "marriage." "President Obama's support for gay marriage, followed quickly by the NAACP's, has put some black clergy in a bind," according to RNS. The clergy are "torn between their political loyalties and their religious beliefs." In one of the most telling-and perhaps the saddest-statements I've seen in a while, Andra Gillespie of Emory University said, "You've got to balance religious convictions with all of your other interests, your racial interests, your economic interests." The article goes on to report, "Most blacks still prioritize their rights as African-Americans and economic issues over social issues, she said." But not all black clergy are going along. "I would hope that the president would become wise, come to his senses, and know that he has made a mistake," said the Rev. William Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, at a National Press Club news conference. He is leading an effort of African-American pastors to ask Obama to "repudiate his assertion that gay marriage is a civil right."

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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