Court: Day of Prayer unconstitutional
A U.S. district judge in Wisconsin ruled in April that the National Day of Prayer, authorized by federal statute in 1952, is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Responding to a suit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Judge Barbara Crabb said the statute "goes beyond mere acknowledgment of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in … an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context." President Obama observed the event anyway on May 6, and the U.S. Justice Department said it would appeal the ruling.
McAllister's HopeLine cuts ties with Exodus
Dawson McAllister's popular teen advice radio program said it would no longer refer callers to Exodus International after an online campaign against the ex-gay ministry. Clear Channel Communications, the syndicator of Dawson McAllister Live, told the show to treat its listeners "in a manner consistent with our corporate commitments to diversity." Exodus president Alan Chambers called the ministry's decision "troubling" and a "bitter" irony; it was McAllister's message at a 1991 youth conference that led then-high-school senior Chambers to seek counseling with an Exodus affiliate.
States restrict abortion procedures
Nebraska and Oklahoma recently passed laws that will restrict some kinds of abortions if upheld. The governor of Nebraska signed into law a bill that bans abortions 20 weeks after conception on the new legal argument that the fetus feels pain at that development stage. The law takes effect in October but will likely face a court challenge. The Oklahoma legislature, meanwhile, overrode two governor vetoes and passed five bills related to abortion. The state ...