The Adventist Review shares the following world news from Religion News Service as a service to readers. Opinions expressed in these reports do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Review or the Seventh-day Adventist Church. -- Editors
Conservatives Christians Say
Healthcare System ‘is Working'
onservative Christian groups on August 26 ramped up opposition to health care reform, saying the current system "has problems" but "it is working."
Members of the newly formed Freedom Federation, comprised of some of the largest conservative religious groups in the country, say they oppose taxpayer-supported abortion, rationed health care for the elderly and government control of personal health decisions.
Mathew Staver, who heads the legal group Liberty Counsel and is dean at Liberty University's law school, said the group agrees on certain core values. "We value the sanctity of life," Staver said at a press conference. "Without that, we are nothing at all."
On abortion, Federation members said they are concerned that although the word "abortion" does not appear in the draft bills, it will be paid for by the government under the proposed reform. "When the government pays for abortion, the numbers of abortions increase," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.
The Freedom Federation said they would only be satisfied if the reform bills explicitly state that abortion is not a form of health care and would not be paid for with taxpayer funds. Wright also quoted bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, a White House adviser and brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, as having said "It would not be discrimination to ration care for the elderly."
"The idea that my life is worth more than someone else's is inconceivable," said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in suburban Maryland and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition.
Although an estimated 45 million Americans lack health insurance, federation backers said they support the current system. "There may be problems," Jackson said, "but it is working."
Wright agreed, saying, "America does offer the best health care in the world."
The Freedom Federation includes, among others, the American Family Association, the Church of God in Christ, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council Action, Liberty University and the Traditional Values Coalition.
Poll: Six in 10 U.S. Catholics Ambivalent About Latin Mass
Two years after Pope Benedict XVI eased restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass, more than six in 10 American Catholics have no opinion on the return of the traditional liturgy, according to a new survey.
In 2007, Benedict told priests to work with local parishioners when there is a "stable group" interested in the Latin Mass, which is celebrated in Latin by a priest facing away from the congregation. The Mass dates to the 16th century but fell out of use after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Benedict said the move was intended to promote "reconciliation" with Catholics disaffected by the contemporary version of the liturgy and to encourage greater "reverence" during worship.
According to Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, one in four U.S. Catholics favors having the Latin Mass as a liturgical option, 12 percent oppose it, and 63 percent have "no opinion."
Only one in 10 U.S. Catholics--about 5.7 individuals--said they would attend a Latin Mass if it was convenient and close by, according to CARA. Apathy was most prevalent among Catholics born after 1982 – 78 percent said they have no opinion Benedict bringing back the Latin Mass.
In 1985, a Gallup Poll cited by CARA found that only 25 percent of adult Catholics had no opinion on the Latin Mass--35 percent favored it, 40 percent opposed it. "It appears that the wider availability of the Latin Mass may have come too late to appeal to the majority of Catholics today who have no memory or experience of this older form of the liturgy," CARA wrote.
Zondervan to Update NIV Bible
The copyright holder of the New International Version of the Bible said September 1 it plans to release an updated version of the popular translation in 2011.
"As time passes and English changes, the NIV we have at present is becoming increasingly dated," said Keith Danby, CEO of Biblica, the copyright holder and translation sponsor of the NIV. "If we want a Bible that English speakers around the world can understand, we have to listen to, and respect, the vocabulary they are using today."
The NIV was created by the Committee on Biblical Translation, which began its work in 1965. Published by Zondervan, it has more than 300 million copies in print worldwide. Previous versions of the NIV were published in 1978 and 1984. A decade later, an updated version known as the TNIV, or Today's New International Version, divided the evangelical community over its use of gender-inclusive language.
Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation, said in a news conference that the new edition will include a "complete review of every gender-related change since the publication of the 1984
He added that he is sure there will be pressure on translators to include or exclude certain language. "We recognize that not everyone will be happy with all the decisions that we make," he said.
Zondervan President and CEO Moe Girkins said she hopes the new version's publication, timed to the 400th anniversary of the King James Version, will boost interest and sales. "We want to extend the reach of the English Bible and we believe that this update will meet the needs of a broader audience," said Girkins, who expects publication of previous versions of the NIV, including the TNIV, will be phased out after the publication of the new edition.
Pat Robertson Recovering From Heart Surgery
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is recovering from a 10-hour heart procedure, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced.
Robertson, 79, underwent heart surgery on August 19 at a Pinehurst, North Carolina, hospital to treat atrial fibrillation, a condition that includes shortness of breath and weakness. Doctors successfully removed an abnormal appendage to his heart during the procedure.
The ministry announced August 31 that Robertson had "returned home" after the procedure. "Only the prayers of thousands of believing people kept me on this earth," said Robertson, who expects to return to a full schedule within weeks.
Robertson's son, Gordon Robertson, is the chief executive officer of the Virginia Beach, Va.-based network but the elder Robertson continues to make appearances on "The 700 Club" program, which he founded. In April, Robertson announced he would retire as president of Regent University, the school he founded in Virginia Beach, next year. He intends to continue as chancellor.