Church-State Separation Groups Take Issue With Iowa Governor’s Bible Reading Proclamation

born-again-bible-pd-701x381DES MOINES, Iowa — Three church-state separation groups are expressing objection to a proclamation issued by the governor of Iowa that urges residents to participate in a statewide Bible reading marathon.

In April, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation at the state capitol urging participation in a 99 county Bible reading marathon scheduled for June 30 through July 3. The Iowa Prayer Caucus, the National Governor’s Prayer Team and the United States Prayer Council organized the event.

“Whereas all Scripture is essential to prepare us to be the people God wants us to be and to accomplish the purpose for which he created us,” the proclamation reads in part, “and whereas, America, being founded upon biblical principles and Judeo-Christian ethics, as taught in the Bible, paid tribute to the Bible for its important influence upon the development of our nation by many of our great national leaders such as President Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson…”  Continue reading…

In historic visit to Hiroshima, Obama calls on the world to morally evolve

obamaPresident Obama came face to face with the horror of nuclear war Friday in a somber visit to Hiroshima, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to tour the site of the atomic bombing 71 years ago that killed tens of thousands in an instant and ushered in the nuclear age.

In a sweeping address that reflected on the obligations of humankind, Obama wrestled with the inherent contradiction that centuries of technical advancement have both made it easier to bind people together and given them the capacity for the carnage seen in this city. And he confronted the cold reality that his own goal of a world without nuclear firepower remains frustratingly out of reach.  Continue reading…

Pope Francis meets with Singapore’s president at the Vatican

pope_francis_meets_president_tony_tan_keng_yam_at_the_vatican_may_28_2016_credit_mary_shovlain_cnaOn Saturday, Pope Francis met with the president of the Republic of Singapore, marking 35 years of diplomatic relations between the Southeast Asian country and the Holy See, and the first ever state visit by a Singaporean president to a Pope.

During the visit, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and the pontiff addressed topics relating to “the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue for the promotion of human rights, stability, justice and peace in south-east Asia,” according to a statement by the Holy See press office.  Continue reading…