This week's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, spotlights the complexity of relief efforts in Pakistan, the speculation on the President's religious faith, and the latest in the Proposition 8 saga in California.
3 - Christian aid groups provide help to Pakistan flood victims
Some 20 million people have been adversely affected by severe flooding in the nation of Pakistan. The fact that this is taking place halfway around the world, as well as other factors, have made it difficult for aid organizations to motivate people to get involve in assisting the victims. That's the word from WorldVision, which is attempting to get badly needed supplies to those who have been directly affected, including numerous people who have been left homeless. Here's a report on that organization's efforts.
Southern Baptists have become involved through Baptist Global Response, and the reports are that relief workers are literally risking their lives in aiding the victims. Baptist Press published this report. Prayers are being solicited for the effectiveness of the relief effort, made more complicated by tensions at relief sites, as victims are contending for the limited supplies.
2 - White House attempts to quell confusion over President's faith
On the heels of the President's declaration of support for the proposed mosque/Islamic cultural center near the site of the former World Trade Center in New York City, a new Pew research poll has revealed that a growing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, and a declining number believe that he is a Christian, as he states. 18% of those surveyed indicate they believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim, while just over one-third, 34%, of respondents, said they believe he is a Christian. 43% said they do not know. The White House, meanwhile, has stated that the President is indeed a Christian. I have posted this CBN report on my Meeting House Facebook page.
What the results of this survey mean is unclear, although Obama's intentional outreach to the Muslim world, from his speech in Cairo last year to his hosting a Ramadan gathering at the White House last week, is causing people to perhaps believe that he has embraced the faith which apparently influenced his early upbringing. Franklin Graham entered the debate by telling CNN's John King that he does not believe Obama is a Muslim and takes the President at his word when he says he is a Christian...here's a link to the CNN story.
While the debate continues over Obama's personal faith, one can look at his policies and pronouncements and come to the conclusion that he is reticent to deal with Islamic fundamentalism from a spiritual perspective. Terrorists are taking the lives of innocent victims in the name of Islam, and there does seem to be a hesitance on the part of the Administration to proclaim that and deal with it accordingly.
1 - No same-sex marriages in Cali...yet!
The controversy over Proposition 8 in California entered another chapter this week. Federal district judge Vaughn Walker had struck down the constitutional amendment in California that defined marriage as one man and one woman, and his ruling was due to go into effect this past Wednesday. Well, on Tuesday, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed the order on hold, granting a stay pending a December hearing on the matter. It looks as if the next issue will be the eligibility of proponents of Proposition 8 to defend the amendment, since the Governor and Attorney General of the state, who would be the likely parties to defend it, support same-sex marriage and will not go to court against it. Here's a report on this week's activities from The Christian Post.
So, here we had this week a moment of sanity in what has become a circus of activity surrounding this one California judge, who used questionable evidence to try to justify two gay men or two women raising children, and who was slapped on the hand when he attempted to try to put the "trial" on TV - a trial which has been referred to as being unnecessary.
Appeals court rules roadside crosses unconstitutional, Alliance Defense Fund to appeal