News Briefs

No public funds for Baptist pharmacy school, a Christian UK couple barred from being foster parents, and the SBC goes greener.
  • A Kentucky judge has ruled that University of the Cumberlands cannot receive state money for a pharmacy school. The state legislature voted in April 2006 to grant the Southern Baptist–affiliated school $12 million in public funds, but a homosexual rights group and several state legislators sued to stop the disbursement. Franklin County Circuit Court judge Roger Crittenden found that the state legislature's appropriation of the funds violated the state constitution's prohibition against use of public funds for "any church, sectarian, or denominational school."
  • A Christian couple in the U.K. has been barred from serving as foster parents because they will not tell children that homosexuality is acceptable. Eunice and John Johns, who have four children of their own, have cared for 18 foster children over the past 12 years. The government council in Derby declared them unfit because of a British law that precludes from public service anyone who discriminates based on sexual orientation. John said he didn't "understand why sexuality is an issue when we are talking about boys and girls under the age of 10."
  • A new Southern Baptist initiative is calling members to more actively preach and practice creation care. The launching document of the Environment and Climate Initiative, signed by a number of notable leaders, including Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, calls past SBC statements "too timid." Organized by Jonathan Merritt, a seminary student and the 25-year-old son of former SBC president James Merritt, the initiative did not gain the support of the SBC's main public policy arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The commission cited disagreement among Southern Baptists on climate change as its reason for declining endorsement.
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