Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Audio

Michael Harrington

Religion in the News Editor

Most state capitols will honor the true meaning of Christmas this year

Wed, Dec 8, 2021 at 9:29 am

Most state capitols will honor the true meaning of Christmas this year

VERBATIM: At 36 capitol buildings a Nativity scene will be in place for the holiday and another four states are considering one. In fact, the American Nativity Scene organization says it’s provided more than 400 displays for state capitals, city hall buildings and public parks. Courts have generally ruled that a Nativity scene can be set up on public land, so long as it is paired with secular Christmas symbols, and if desired — those of other winter holidays. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

 

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Another transgender athlete is causing an uproar

Tue, Dec 7, 2021 at 9:03 am

Another transgender athlete is causing an uproar

VERBATIM: Lia Thomas is breaking a lot of women’s swimming records for the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, Thomas beat the rest of the field by nearly seven seconds in the 200 yard freestyle at a recent meet — something that’s virtually unheard of at the collegiate level. The problem? Lia Thomas is actually a man and a lot of her actual female competitors are crying foul. Critics are pointing out that Thomas competed as a male for several years and was just average. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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The Church of England tries something new for Christmas

Sun, Dec 5, 2021 at 3:01 pm

The Church of England tries something new for Christmas

VERBATIM: By going back to something old. For the first time ever, Britain’s national church is releasing a song to all the popular streaming platforms. But the tune is hardly new. It’s a choral version of “In The Bleak Midwinter” — a Christmas carol people have been singing since 1906, based on a poem from 1872. Popular young composer Rebecca Dale has reworked the melody a bit. Church officials say they hope the tune reaches many people with the story of Christmas this year. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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Do you know the Christmas story?

Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 9:41 am

Do you know the Christmas story?

VERBATIM: More specifically — could you tell it to someone from memory? That is the question posed to Americans by LifeWay Research and it turns out that only 22% of respondents say YES, they could relate the story of Jesus birth from memory, accurately. Another 31% say they could do it but would probably make mistakes on some of the details. And 17% of Americans say they really couldn’t tell ANY of the Christmas story. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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The two parties have very different views on the afterlife

Wed, Dec 1, 2021 at 9:47 am

The two parties have very different views on the afterlife

VERBATIM: A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds that 74% of Republicans believe there is both a heaven AND a hell and that people will go to one or the other when they die. By contrast, only 50% of Democrats believe these things. At the other end of the spectrum, 25% of Democrats do not believe in any kind of afterlife at all. Researchers say the numbers are not surprising, given the fact that most Republicans identify as Christian while Democrats have the largest number of religiously unaffiliated. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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A Christian legal group is making a list, checking it twice

Sun, Nov 28, 2021 at 12:43 pm

A Christian legal group is making a list, checking it twice

VERBATIM: Liberty Counsel has released it annual Naughty and Nice List — which identifies which major retailers are censoring Christmas in their holiday advertising and which ones are embracing it. Headlining the Naughty List in 2021 are the giant bookseller Barnes and Noble, Target, Walgreens and The Gap. On the Nice List, you will find Wal-mart, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Kohl’s and of course, Hobby Lobby. See the complete list at lc.org. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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Most Americans want religious groups to have access to government cash

Tue, Nov 23, 2021 at 9:37 am

Most Americans want religious groups to have access to government cash

VERBATIM: The Supreme Court has been pretty clear in several recent cases: If taxpayer dollars are being made available to secular charities — churches cannot be excluded. A new poll from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty finds 71% of respondents agree with those decisions. About two-thirds of Americans also believe that governments should partner with religious groups to solve social problems, so long as the programs that result are successful. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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What makes life meaningful?

Mon, Nov 22, 2021 at 9:06 am

What makes life meaningful?

VERBATIM: The Pew Research Center has been asking that question to people in countries all around the globe. The most popular response — chose by 38% of respondents — is family. That’s what most say gives their lives meaning. On the other hand, only TWO percent of people who answered the Pew poll mentioned faith as the thing that gives their life meaning. In the United States, faith came in fifth place overall. It was not mentioned in the top 5 in ANY other country surveyed. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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Another lawsuit over transgenderism

Sun, Nov 21, 2021 at 10:12 am

Another lawsuit over transgenderism

VERBATIM: This time in New Hampshire, a student at Exeter high says he was suspended briefly for stating that “there are only two genders” in a text conversation he had off school grounds. The teenager is being represented by Cornerstone Action, which argues that the school over stepped its bounds by leveling a punishment and violated the Constitution. As transgenderism is promoted by more schools, lawsuits of various sorts are cropping up. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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A mixed report on religious liberty in Egypt

Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 9:22 am

A mixed report on religious liberty in Egypt

VERBATIM: It comes from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and it finds that improvements are being made. It’s getting a little easier for Christians to receive permits to build churches and significant religious sites are being restored by the Egyptian government. However, the Commission points out that Egyptian officials “Continue to enforce blasphemy laws and have kept in place the prolonged pre-trial detention and indictment of Coptic Christian activists.” Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

 

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A Virginia county is asking some personal questions

Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 9:31 am

A Virginia county is asking some personal questions

VERBATIM: In a move that is sure to upset a lot of parents, Fairfax County schools will be quizzing children as young as 12 about their sexual behaviors. WJLA-TV has gotten ahold of the questionaire and says it includes such queries as “how many people have you had sexual intercourse with?” And “do you identify as male, female or transgender?” It’s unclear just why the school system is asking such probing questions or how the data will be used. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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The Biden administration wants to rescind another Trump-era rule

Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 9:29 am

The Biden administration wants to rescind another Trump-era rule

VERBATIM: This one protects Christian business that contract with the federal government. President Trump issued an order that exempts such firms from complying with Obama-era hiring requirements that favor homosexuals. The Biden administration says it wants to kill that exemption and is taking comments on the plan up to December 9th through the Labor Department. Mr. Biden has vowed to be a friend to the LGBT community and he seems to be trying to make good on that promise. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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A warning about religious liberty

Tue, Nov 9, 2021 at 8:55 am

A warning about religious liberty

VERBATIM: The government’s chief advisor on the question spiritual freedom around the world says things are getting bad in India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is urging the State Department to those four to its list of Countries of Particular Concern. The Commission says Christians and other religious minorities are being persecuted in each of those places, with India suffering a sharp spike in attacks on non-Hindus. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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The Red Kettles are coming

Tue, Nov 9, 2021 at 8:54 am

The Red Kettles are coming

VERBATIM: Depending on where you live in the U.S., you may soon be hearing that jingling bell outside a local store. The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas campaign is getting underway early again this year, with a lot of people in need after 18 months of pandemic restrictions and general economic uncertainty. The Red Kettles were the brainchild of Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee who got the ball rolling in 1891 to provide Christmas cheer for poor people in San Francisco. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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Another snapshot of Millennials

Sun, Nov 7, 2021 at 9:41 am

Another snapshot of Millennials

VERBATIM: This one comes from Arizona Christian University and it is — as they always seem to be — distressing. Only about one-third of young adults say they believe in God, defined as “the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect and just creator of the universe who still rules the universe today.” 39% of Millennials identify as LGBT. 75% say all religious faiths are of equal value. And a majority of America’s youngest adults do not believe there is such a thing as absolute, moral truth. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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Americans are split on transgender people and bathrooms

Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 9:24 am

Americans are split on transgender people and bathrooms

VERBATIM: According to a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, 47% of respondents think all people individuals should be required to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender at birth. 53% say it doesn’t matter what bathroom they use. Amongst religious people, 72% of White Evangelical Protestants, 55% of White Mainline Protestants and 50% of White Catholics agree that transgender people should NOT be able to use whatever restroom they wish. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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A new snapshot of religious faith in America

Sun, Oct 3, 2021 at 11:41 am

A new snapshot of religious faith in America

VERBATIM: It comes from the Pew Research Center and it reveals that the U.S. remains — as it has since its founding — a predominantly Protestant nation. 40% of adult respondents to the poll describe themselves as Protestants, versus 21% who are Catholics. Members of other faith groups make up nine percent, while those who identify as atheists, agnostics and followers of no particular religion now make up 29% of the population — the most ever recorded. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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A fact-checker disappoints atheists

Fri, Oct 1, 2021 at 6:42 am

A fact-checker disappoints atheists. SRN’s Michael Harrington reports.

Groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation are calling for an end to the tax-exempt status of churches, claiming that Americans would pay much less to the government if houses of worship were paying more. But PolitiFact has looked into that claim and has issued a fact-check stating that it is FALSE. It quotes the Tax Foundation as saying that “stripping churches of their tax-exempt status would only add 0.06% to the federal revenue.” Michael Harrington, SRN News.

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A warning from a Methodist official

Fri, Oct 1, 2021 at 6:40 am

A warning from a Methodist official. SRN’s Michael Harrington reports.

274,000 dollars has been stolen from First United Methodist Church of Mason City, Iowa and Laurie Haller, who heads the state UMC Conference, says other congregations need to take a lesson. In a statement to the churches Haller says ““I encourage you to review your procedures for counting offerings, accounting for donations, authorizing expenditures, reconciling accounts, and financial reporting. Review your safeguards against embezzlement and fraud.” The Mason City thief has been caught and is going to jail. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

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A new report on persecution of Christians around the globe

Fri, Oct 1, 2021 at 6:39 am

A new report on persecution of Christians around the globe. SRN’s Michael Harrington reports.

The exhaustive survey comes from the Pew Research Center and it is the classic” good news-bad news” story. The GOOD news is that levels of social hostility toward Christians DECLINED in 2019 – the last year for which all the data is in. That means your neighbor is LESS likely to mistreat you because of your faith. The BAD news is that GOVERNMENT persecution of Christians is at all-time high levels and in some cases actually got worse in 2019. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

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A victory for parents in Virginia

Tue, Sep 28, 2021 at 10:09 am

A victory for parents in Virginia

VERBATIM: Fairfax County officials say they are removing two books from school libraries, including an illustrated memoir that contains explicit illustrations of sexual encounters involving children — this after a parent expressed concern about them at a school board meeting. As she quoted from explicit passages in the book, a school board member interrupted her and chastised her for using explicit language. Both books were widely available throughout high school libraries in the county. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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The Values Voter Summit is getting a make-over

Sun, Sep 26, 2021 at 10:28 am

The Values Voter Summit is getting a make-over

VERBATIM: For one thing, the name is being changed. The Family Research Council and FRC Action says their flagship event will now be called the “Pray Vote Stand Summit”. FRC President Tony Perkins says “The summit is focused on equipping and encouraging Christians to live out their faith with boldness and courage in such a way that it impacts EVERY aspect of our society.” The event is set for October 6-thru-8 outside Washington DC. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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A lot more kids are in Christian schools these days

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 8:52 am

A lot more kids are in Christian schools these days

VERBATIM: A new report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools find about 1.4 million students have left the public schools for charter and private schools over the past year. Many of those children are now attending Christian institutions. The pandemic is what caused the shake-up last year with a lot of parents seriously considering their educational choices for the first time. Homeschooling is also becoming more popular. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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The Values Voter Summit is getting a make-over

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 8:51 am

The Values Voter Summit is getting a make-over

VERBATIM: For one thing, the name is being changed. The Family Research Council and FRC Action says their flagship event will now be called the “Pray Vote Stand Summit”. FRC President Tony Perkins says “The summit is focused on equipping and encouraging Christians to live out their faith with boldness and courage in such a way that it impacts EVERY aspect of our society.” The event is set for October 6-thru-8 outside Washington DC. Michael Harrington, SRN News.

 

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Editorial Cartoons

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Steve Breen
Sat, Dec 4, 2021

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