—For the second time in two years, President Clinton has vetoed a congressional bill banning partial-birth abortions. Clinton claimed the legislation did not contain safeguards needed for the "rare and tragic circumstances" when the procedure endangers the mother's life. Rep. Charles Canady (R.-Fla.) responded, "How could jamming scissors into the back of a baby's head be required for the 'health of the mother?' " The House had passed the measure by a 296-to-132 margin, but the Senate's vote of 64 to 36 fell three votes short of the necessary two-thirds to override a veto. Proponents vowed to resurrect the issue next year closer to midterm elections.
—Deborah Lyons, 49-year-old wife of beleaguered National Baptist Convention, USA, president Henry Lyons, pleaded guilty October 20 to first-degree arson. She admitted to setting fire to a $700,000 house her husband owned with convicted embezzler Bernice Edwards. Deborah Lyons said she had been "drinking and under stress." Judge W. Douglas Baird placed her on five years' probation, sentenced her to perform 200 hours of community service, and ordered her to undergo an evaluation for alcohol and psychological treatment.
—Charles "Kip" Jordon, executive vice president and publisher of Word Publishing, died October 30 in Dallas of liver failure. Jordon, 52, had been with Word since 1983 and had signed evangelical leaders such as Billy Graham, James Dobson, Max Lucado, and Charles Swindoll to bestseller book contracts.
—The Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville, Virginia, civil liberties organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, has signed on as counsel to Paula Jones in her sexual harassment and sexual discrimination suit against President Clinton. "This case is not about politics," says Rutherford Institute president John W. Whitehead. "Our involvement stems from the fundamental principle that no person—not even the President of the United States—is above the law." Two lawyers for Jones quit the case when she refused to accept an $800,000 settlement because it did not include an explicit apology from Clinton.
—Robert D'Andrea, founder of Christian Television Network (CTV), resigned October 8 after admitting that he had made a secret payment to a secretary with whom he had an affair. CTV owns five stations in Tennessee and Florida, the flagship being WCLF in Largo, Florida.
—The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) has dropped the words unsupervised and impersonal from its official definition of evolution. Notre Dame philosophy professor Alvin Plantinga and religion scholar Huston Smith urged the NABT to make the change, arguing that including the two words displayed a theological judgment about the existence of God that went beyond the boundaries of empirical science.
—Thomas Johnson, 54, is the interim president of George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, following the medical leave of Edward Stevens, who suffered a stroke in June and is undergoing chemotherapy for a brain tumor. Stevens, 57, served as president of the school, which has 2,230 students, for 14 years.
—Mitch Glaser is the new president of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Chosen People Ministries. Glaser will maintain an office in Brooklyn, New York, where the ministry started in 1894.
Copyright © 1997 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
December 8, 1997 Vol. 41, No. 14, Page 63
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