Ban on human cloning patent fails in Senate
An attempt by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) to ban patents on human clones and human cloning processes failed yesterday when the Senate voted 65-31 to cut off debate on the terrorism insurance bill he'd hoped to add the ban to. "We need to make it clear to the Patent Office that a human embryo created by a cloning process is a person, not a piece of property, not livestock that can be owned, and therefore should not be allowed to be patented," Brownback said in the Senate Monday. "I had hoped we could have had a fair debate and vote on my amendment. Unfortunately, the leadership is trying to prevent my amendment coming to a vote."
The Family Research Council is furious—at the White House. "The vote on the Brownback amendment would likely have been the most significant pro-life vote this session of Congress," president Ken Connor said in his daily Washington Update:
The votes were 'there' to pass the Brownback amendment. White House lobbyists, however, were anxious to avoid a vote on the Brownback amendment and wanted a 'clean' bill. They … assured some senators that family groups would not score the bill. Relying on that misrepresentation, several senators changed their votes. … In the legal arena, material misrepresentations of fact are called 'fraud.' In Washington, such misrepresentations are called 'politics.'
The Family Research Council, Connor made clear, will score the bill. (Why wait? Here's how your senator voted.)
Archbishop of Canterbury criticizes New Westminster vote on same-sex blessings
The New Westminster dicoese's weekend vote approving the blessing of same-sex unions "saddens me deeply," Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said in an letter to conservatives in the Canadian diocese. "I have no doubt that the unity of the Communion is threatened by your Synod's decision," he said. He promised to bring the vote up with other Anglican leaders, though the matter was sure to be a hot topic of conversation anyway. After all, New Westminster was the first Anglican diocese to approve such blessings.
Thirteen conservative Canadian bishops have also registered their "regret" over the vote. "We believe the decision of the Diocese of New Westminster to be in conflict with the moral teaching of Holy Scripture and the tradition of the universal Church," the bishops said in a press release (video also available from the CBC, which also has video of the vote). "It can only cause confusion for a local expression of the Church to purport to bless that which Anglicans globally and nationally have decided they cannot bless."
The Archbishop of Toronto, meanwhile, has registered his support of the vote.
Billy Graham in Cincinnati:
- Billy Graham visits Cincinnati | Could be one of his final major appearances, though he's scheduled for Dallas in October (Associated Press)
- Graham offers hope for peace | Crusade could draw 250,000 (The Cincinnati Post)
- Graham crusade draws few protesters | Fundamentalists complain while gays and Jews stay away (The Kentucky Post)
- Graham won't hawk trinkets | Vendors not allowed at evangelist's stadium events (The Cincinnati Post)
- Billy Graham team gears up for crowd (The Cincinnati Post)
- Munoz spreading word with an Internet chat (The Cincinnati Post)
- Manatee jail inmates find comfort in faith | Not many non-Christian volunteers (Bradenton [Fla.] Herald)
- Faith behind bars | Prison officials say the federal courts have limited their ability to restrict racist inmates and gang members who insist their activities are intertwined with their religion (Des Moines [Iowa] Register)
- Vox populi | The voice of the people reveals why evolution remains controversial (Michael Shermer, Scientific American)
- 15 answers to creationist nonsense | Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up (John Rennie, Scientific American)
Crime and justice:
- Whodunit? Thief does devil's job | Outdoor toilet was lifted from its foundations and taken away on a small truck sometime before Sunday morning's service (Herald Sun, Melbourne, Australia)
- Bishop's assailants to face prosecution | Christian religious activists allegedly attacked Melchite Bishop Gregoire Haddad for his progressive religious beliefs (The Daily Star, Lebanon)
- Family court judge insists girl's religion isn't on trial | Father supports forced treatments (Calgary Herald)
- Media uses kid gloves on mainstream religion | In the wake of stories about Andrea Yates, John Walker Lindh, and, now, the death of a toddler left in a van for seven hours by her family to die in agony from the heat, it's time the press developed a new paradigm for covering the possible fallout of religious beliefs (Alicia Mundy, Editor & Publisher)
Money and business:
- Visual Bible International completes financing | Agreement reached with holders of $4.6 million of company's debt (Press release)
- Churches advised to check bottom line for loans | Lenders recommend research, avoiding 'financial bondage' (Bankrate.com)
- Christian rock fest's bands ride new surge | After years of being dismissed as bland and clumsy, Christian music is booming. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- M2.0 to release CD with Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer (Press release)
- 'Star Wars´ like religion for legions of fans | While some fans focus only on the light-saber battles and special effects, others ponder and debate creator George Lucas' blend of ancient myths, Christianity and Eastern mysticism. (The Washington Times)
Nickelodeon's "My Family Is Different":
- Children, Gay parents and synthetic storms | Without the brouhaha, it's unlikely the earnest and deliberately nonprovocative "My Family Is Different" would have attracted much attention. (The New York Times)
- Don't ask, don't televise | 'Nick News' to Air Show Despite Protest (The Washington Post)
- Nick taking knocks over special on kids of gay parents (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)
- The gay lessons of Linda Ellerbee | My Family is Different" is another tiresome TV show preaching the gospel of diversity, tolerance, and self-esteem (Adam Buckman, New York Post)
- American evangelists put their faith in Israel | International Christian Chamber of Commerce unites participants from 40 countries (Financial Times)
- Apocalyptic omission | There's been a lot of press lately about the pro-Israel coalition between Jewish groups and evangelical Christians. Not mentioned in this coverage, however, is one key reason that these Christians are supportive: Jewish presence in Israel is a precondition for the Second Coming. (On the Media, NPR; also in audio)
- Christian America stands by Jewish nation | Hostility is growing in Europe toward Israel for its tactics against Palestinians, but support for Zionism remains constant in one arena: among America's millions of evangelical Christians (Associated Press)
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