Religion Briefs

By NEMS Daily Journal

Special Easter events
- If your church is planning to celebrate Easter in an unusual way, such as a passion play or drama, please send in pertinent information, along with contacts, to Galen Holley at galen.holley@djournal.com

Washington, D.C.
Spousal benefits in gay marriage dispute
- The Archdiocese of Washington’s social service branch will stop offering benefits to spouses of new employees in a bid to balance the District of Columbia’s new same-sex marriage law with Catholic opposition to homosexuality.
Edward Orzechowski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Washington, informed the group’s 850 employees of the change in a letter on, two days before gay marriage is scheduled to become legal in the city.
Washington’s City Council voted in December to legalize gay marriage over the strenuous objections of the archdiocese, which argued that the bill should have had stronger protections for religious groups that oppose homosexuality.

Group urges renewed attention on Sudan
- Interfaith leaders urged Congress on Tuesday to refocus attention on Sudan as the troubled nation in eastern Africa faces a “critical juncture” after being torn by years of conflict.
As the attention of the public and Congress has been drawn away to other global hotspots, the Interfaith Sudan Working Group hopes U.S. lawmakers will assist Sudan in grappling with an upcoming election, a recent cease-fire agreement with a Darfur rebel group and a referendum on independence for southern Sudan.

Louisiana
Lawmaker wants to allow guns in churches
- BATON ROUGE – A state lawmaker is proposing to allow people who are legally qualified to carry concealed weapons to bring them to houses of worship as long as the pastor or church board approves.
The proposal, filed ahead of the legislative session that opens March 29, is one of 74 House bills that have been filed so far.
State Rep. Henry Burns, a Republican, filed a bill to let a church, temple, mosque or other religious institution authorize “any person issued a valid concealed handgun permit” to carry it into a place of worship.
State law now prohibits concealed weapons in prisons, courthouses, government buildings, the State Capitol, airports and houses of worship.
Burns, who has opposed legislative proposals to allow legally carried concealed weapons on college campuses, said 20 other states have laws that authorize trained and qualified gun owners to bring their guns to religious services.
The bill also gives congregations the authority to hire armed security guards or off-duty police officers.
Religion News Service

question of the week
- Answer for 2-27 question: Elishia, in II Kings 6:6
- Today’s question: Who hid two spies on her roof with stalks of flex in Jericho?
Questions are provided by Claude Wilemon of Booneville. Contact him at wilemonc@bellsouth.net.