By Tom Strode, Baptist Press WASHINGTON (BP) - The fate of multiple abortion clinics awaits the consideration of the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court will have the opportunity to decide this term, which opened Oct. 5, whether state governments may enact rules that result in shutting down most abortion clinics or even the only one remaining in the state. In addition to abortion, the justices also will consider such issues as the death penalty and affirmative action in their term, which will conclude early next summer. The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will review rulings by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on abortion regulations enacted by Mississippi and Texas, but the uncertainty is expected to end soon. The high court is likely to make a decision about whether to accept appeals of the lower-court decisions during its conference Nov. 6, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told Baptist Press he is praying the justices will accept the cases and issue "a judgment consistent with life and human dignity." "The Supreme Court has an opportunity to defend the rights of millions … [Read more...]
By Tom Strode, Baptist Press WASHINGTON (BP) - California's newly enacted assisted suicide law is an affront to human dignity and the practice of medicine, Southern Baptist ethicists say. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act into law Oct. 5, making California the fourth state with legalized, physician-assisted suicide. The measure enables a person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness to request a prescribed drug to end his or her life. Southern Baptist ethics leader Russell Moore called Brown's enactment of the bill "a moral injustice." "The value of human life doesn't rise and fall depending on the quality of that life," said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in written comments for Baptist Press. "Legal assisted suicide is a blight upon any culture's conscience, and its emergence in California should ignite us to work for justice and human dignity everywhere." C. Ben Mitchell, another Southern Baptist ethicist, said assisted suicide "is grotesque, especially in the age of effective pain management and palliative care." "If the fears of patients are not adequately addressed, of course they are going to despair, but if pain is well-managed and their fears … [Read more...]
By Gregory Tomlin, Christian Examiner CAPE TOWN (Christian Examiner) – The Dutch Reformed Church (NGK) in South Africa has voted to recognize same-sex marriages and open the way for homosexual ministers to marry their partners. Previously, the church had acknowledged that some ministers were, in fact, homosexuals, but it demanded that they remain celibate. In 2006, South Africa became the fifth nation – and the only nation in Africa – to allow same-sex marriage. According to E News Channel Africa, the measure allowing same-sex marriage in the church and the marriage of homosexual ministers passed by a significant majority – 64 percent. To read the rest of this story, click here.