Starbucks CEO cancels church speech
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks' chief executive has canceled a
high-profile church appearance after an online protest over the
congregation's views on homosexuality.
A Starbucks spokeswoman says Howard Schultz will not appear this
week at The Global Leadership Summit organized by Willow Creek
Community Church near Chicago, but she wouldn't say why.
However, Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels said at the event
Thursday that Schultz withdrew after an online petition claimed the
church was anti-gay and called Schultz' participation unacceptable.
Hybels insisted Willow Creek is not anti-gay, but does expect
its members to follow biblical ethics and reserve sex for marriage
between a man and a woman. Two years ago, Willow Creek cut ties
with Exodus International, which offers to help gays become
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Michele
Bachmann has explained how she understands the biblical teaching
that a wife should submit to her husband.
In Thursday's Fox News debate in Iowa, the Minnesota
congresswoman was reminded that she once said she had studied tax
law out of Christian submission to her husband.
Bachmann was asked if she would submit to her husband if she was
Her response reflected the adjacent biblical admonition to
"submit to one another."
Bachmann said that for them, submission means respect. She said
she respects her husband as a godly man, that he respects her as
his wife and that they "love each other."
Perry's prayer rally may boost presidential prospects
UNDATED (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential prospects
may be boosted by the huge prayer rally he organized last weekend.
Perry read from the Bible and led prayer at the officially
non-partisan event that attracted 30,000 people to Houston's
Reliant Stadium and was broadcast to churches nationwide.
But evangelical voters who play a key role in choosing the
Republican presidential nominee also are being courted by
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former
Sen. Rick Santorum.
Perry's strength may lie in attracting both evangelicals and
secular Republicans impressed by his record of job creation in
rganized last weekend. AP Religion Editor
Steve Coleman reports.
Memorial held for SEAL killed in Afghanistan
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Friends and family are remembering a
Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan during a helicopter crash.
Chief Petty Officer Kevin Houston of West Hyannisport, Mass.,
was honored during a private ceremony Thursday at the Virginia
Beach church he attended.
He was one of 30 service members killed on Saturday during a
mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire. He was 35
and leaves behind a wife and three children.
Hundreds of Navy personnel and Houston's friends poured into
Atlantic Shores Baptist Church for the service. Houston's family
was escorted onto church grounds by dozens of motorcyclists, many
of whom carried American flags.
Houston served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and had been awarded
a Bronze Star medal with Valor.
Judge orders Ark. transit authority to run atheist ads
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that buses in
central Arkansas will have to run advertisements that question the
existence of God, despite worries that vandals might target the
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright issued a preliminary
injunction Thursday in favor of the United Coalition of Reason, a
group of atheists, agnostics and others who question the existence
of God. The coalition wanted to run ads that say, "Are you good
without God? Millions are."
It sued the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and an
advertising agency after the sides couldn't reach an agreement on a
security deposit to pay for potential repairs.
Wright told the coalition it would have to post a $15,000 bond
before its ads could be used due to concerns about vandalism, but
that the ad company could not impose any other conditions.
Vatican, Croats split over monastery
VATICAN CITY (AP) - A dispute over ownership of a monastery in
Croatia has led to unusual strains between the Vatican and Croatia,
a staunchly Catholic bastion in the Balkans.
The Vatican expressed "astonishment" Thursday that Croatian
authorities have refused to go along with a decision by Pope
Benedict XVI that Croatia's Catholic church return the monastery to
a Benedictine community in Italy and pay nearly $9 million in
Croatians fear the pope's decision could open the way to similar
requests by Italians, who ruled over their territory before and
during World War II.
PRIEST ASSAULT-LA CROSSE
Wisconsin priest faces teen sex assault charge
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin priest who earned his
doctorate by researching cases of children abused by clergy has
been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl while he was in
La Crosse for a canon law conference.
A criminal complaint accuses the Rev. David Szatkowski of
groping the 15-year-old girl outside a downtown hotel late Monday
or early Tuesday. The girl told police a drunken man approached her
and her friends, put his arms around her and grabbed her breasts.
One of her friends took a photo of the man using a cellphone.
Police later identified the man as Szatkowski and found him at the
Investigators say Szatkowski told them he had several drinks
during the evening and remembered talking to a group of students
outside the hotel, but he denied assaulting the teen.
Pedophile priest appeals diocese bankruptcy plan
DOVER, Del. (AP) - A pedophile priest is appealing a Delaware
bankruptcy judge's approval of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's
Kenneth J. Martin, identified by the diocese as a child abuser,
filed a notice of appeal Wednesday.
The diocese's bankruptcy plan is based on a $77 million
settlement with nearly 150 alleged victims of child sexual abuse.
The judge only approved the plan after the diocese agreed to
stop providing financial benefits, including pensions, medical
benefits and charity, to Martin and eight other priests identified
by the diocese as pedophiles.
HATE CRIME PLEA
Minneapolis man pleads guilty to assaulting Somali
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to
violating the civil rights of an 83-year-old Somali man after
assaulting him while yelling that he was Muslim and should go back
George Thompson entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in
St. Paul. Court papers say the 64-year-old former employee of the
Transportation Security Administration told the older man he was
going to kill him and chased him into a Minneapolis street on May
The court documents say Thompson's actions were based on the
victim's "actual and perceived religion and national origin." He
was charged under a federal hate crimes act that became law in 2009
and was named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, two well-known
hate crime victims.
Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced later this year.
Judge denies new trial for Islamic charity leader
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a new trial for
the leader of the U.S. branch of an Islamic charity who was
convicted of tax fraud and money smuggling.
Pete Seda (SAY-dah) ran the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic
Foundation in Ashland, Ore., which the government declared a
Prosecutors say he smuggled $150,000 that was intended for
Muslim fighters in Chechnya.
Seda's attorneys had filed motions for a new trial after it was
revealed an FBI agent had failed to disclose payments to informants
in the case.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)