THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn
Members of the House Executive Committee will vote today on whether to send the same-sex marriage bill SB 10, officially known as the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”, to a vote on the House floor. Approval by a majority of the House members would be the final step before Gov. Pat Quinn signs the law, making Illinois the tenth state to allow same-sex marriages.
The committee action today culminates two busy weeks in which the State Senate passed the legislation Valentine’s Day by a vote of 34 to 21, with two Senators voting present. Opponents of same-sex marriage, including some from IBSA churches, were present during the Senate vote, and later at a marriage rally and “lobby day” at the Capitol.
“This is important for me today simply because it’s God’s will as Scripture tells us that marriage consists of one man and one woman,” said Don Full, pastor of Havana Southern Baptist Church. “I’m here to support that part of my faith and the doctrine that God has established for the home.”
Christian leaders are discussing their next steps before the House vote, and have expressed doubts that the religious liberties of churches will be protected, should Illinois legalize same-sex marriage. Some say the marriage bill could result in a “chilling effect” as churches seek to do effective ministry in their communities.
Check back here this evening for an update from the House Executive Committee hearing, or go to IBSA.org for the latest news.
Reported by Lisa Sergent
Tebow cancels FBC Dallas appearance
NFL quarterback and outspoken Christian Tim Tebow withdrew from an April speaking engagement at First Baptist Church, Dallas, after some media outlets expressed outrage that he would speak at the church pastored by Robert Jeffress, who has made controversial comments about other religions and homosexuality.
Tebow faced immediate backlash from some Christian leaders, but Boyce College (Ky.) professor Denny Burk urged people to give him the benefit of the doubt. “…I don’t think this move should be interpreted as an expression of support for gay rights or some liberalized distortion of Christianity,” Burk wrote on his blog. “I have a hunch that he’s probably just trying not to get entangled in the culture war.” Burk also defended Jeffress’ views as “not the innovation of a single pastor but are the established consensus of the Christian Church.” Read more at BPNews.net.
Warren advocates liberty for all
California pastor Rick Warren said American Christians should repent for no supporting the religious freedom of people of other faiths, during a recent forum hosted by Georgetown University. “Seventy-five percent of our world lives in societies in which there is no religious liberty,” Warren said, adding that freedom is religious doesn’t just concern worship, but the practice of beliefs and values, and the freedom to convert. Read more at BPNews.net.
Christians at the movies
Evangelicals go to the movies more often than the average American adult, according to a new Barna survey. Respondents identifying as evangelical reported seeing 2.7 movies at the theater in 2012, one more movie than the national average. Their top five movies of 2012: The Avengers, The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, The Hobbit, and Les Miserables. Go to Barna.com for more.