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Gingrich: Christians Embattled by Muslims and Secularists; Santorum: JFK Speech Makes Him Sick; Vatican on Infertility; Religious Violence in Nigeria

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GINGRICH

Gingrich: Christians are opposed by radical Islam and secular

leftists

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Newt

Gingrich says American Christians face fierce opposition from

"radical Islamists who want to kill us," and from "secularists

who want to coerce us."

At a Sunday church service, Gingrich said an example of secular

coercion is President Barack Obama's contraceptive coverage

mandate.

He also faulted Obama for apologizing for the burning of Qurans

in Afghanistan, where Americans have been killed in retaliation.

Gingrich told the congregation at First Redeemer Church in

Cumming, Ga., that the books of the Bible written by the apostle

Paul are especially relevant today because they tell Christians how

they should live in a pagan world.

He charged that America's secular left believes with "a

religious fervor" that people are "just randomly gathered

protoplasm" that can be molded by an all-powerful government.

 

 

 

 

SANTORUM

Santorum: JFK's 1960 speech on religion makes him sick

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Rick

Santorum says he strongly disagrees with a speech on religion that

John F. Kennedy made before being elected president in 1960.

Kennedy, who was trying to become the nation's first Roman

Catholic president, told Baptist ministers that he believed "in an

America where the separation of church and state is absolute."

Santorum said he found that idea not just wrong, but sickening.

On ABC's "This Week," he declared, "To say that people of faith

have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw

up."

Santorum insisted the views of all Americans - religious or not

- deserve fair consideration.

If elected, Santorum would become the second Catholic president.

 

 

 

SANTORUM-RELIGIOUS VOTERS

Catholic Santorum benefits from evangelical support

UNDATED (AP) - Rick Santorum's political good fortune in the

Republican presidential primaries has come about in large part

because of his appeal to evangelicals.

A Roman Catholic, he is a beneficiary of more than two decades

of cooperation between conservative Protestants and Catholics who

set aside theological differences for the common cause of the

culture war.

Now running about even with Mitt Romney, Santorum has nearly

doubled his support from white evangelical Republicans.

The high regard extends to Santorum's personal life. His seven

children have been home-schooled, a practice much more common among

conservative American Protestants than Catholics, who have a

network of parochial schools built over centuries.

And Santorum's concerns - he opposes gay marriage and abortion,

and promotes traditional roles for women - contribute to that

evangelical appeal.

 

CHURCH SCHOOL SPACE

Judge gives NYC churches access to public schools

NEW YORK (AP) - A new injunction by a federal judge means

churches can once again worship in New York City schools on Sundays

while their case is appealed.

Judge Loretta Preska had issued a previous injunction barring

enforcement of the city's worship ban, but the city appealed and

the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals had narrowed her injunction to

cover only the Bronx Household of Faith - not the dozens of other

congregations that were worshipping in city schools until this

month.

But on Friday, Preska blocked the city from enforcing its

no-worship policy against any group while the lawsuit continues.

In her latest injunction, Preska wrote, "In this Court's view,

losing one's right to exercise freely and fully his or her

religious beliefs is a greater threat to our democratic society

than a misperceived violation of the Establishment Clause."

The city said it would immediately appeal.

 

CONTRACEPTION-RELIGIOUS ALLIES

Insurance fight shows Catholic-Evangelical ties

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The support shown by evangelical Christian

leaders for Roman Catholics in a dispute with the Obama

administration over birth control would have been hard to imagine a

generation ago.

Contraception was once a wedge between Catholics, who have

historically opposed it, and Protestants, who don't generally

object to most methods of birth control.

But the anger shown by many evangelicals at the rule that would

have forced religious employers to pay for workers' birth control

shows an alliance that's been building for years.

Southern Baptist leaders like Albert Mohler and Richard Land say

the issue is about religious liberty rather than contraception.

Randall Balmer, an expert on religion at Columbia University,

notes that many evangelicals already disapproved of the president

for other reasons.

 

VATICAN-INFERTILITY

Pope: marriage only place `worthy' for conception

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict says infertile couples should

shun artificial procreation.

Benedict spoke Saturday at the end of a three-day Vatican

conference on diagnosing and treating infertility. Reiterating

Vatican teaching, he called marriage the only permissible place to

conceive children.

Benedict also pressed a church ban against artificial

procreation. He said infertile couples should resist resorting to

any method to try to conceive other than sex between husband and

wife.

He said arrogance and the drive for profit seem to dominate the

field of infertility and warned against what he called the

"fascination of artificial procreation technology."

 

NIGERIA-VIOLENCE

Suicide car bomber kills 3 outside Nigeria church

JOS, Nigeria (AP) - A radical Islamist group is claiming

responsibility for the latest deadly attack on a Nigerian church.

A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives outside a major

church in Jos (jahs) Sunday, killing three people and wounding 38.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack on the main

headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nigeria that hit as

worshippers took part in an early morning service. The attack

follows other assaults the Islamist sect has claimed against

Christians in Nigeria's north, widening distrust between the two

main faiths in the multiethnic nation of more than 160 million

people.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack.

 

EGYPT

Islamists dominate in Egypt's upper house vote

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's election committee says the official

results from the vote for parliament's upper house show the Muslim

Brotherhood winning 58 percent of the seats up for grabs.

The commission said Sunday that the ultraconservative Al-Nour

party came in second with a quarter of the seats in the upper

house, known as the Shura Council. That result matches the party's

surprisingly strong showing in the lower house elections.

Liberal parties came in third with a combined total of 12

percent of the seats.

The upper house has no legislative powers and enjoys only a

consultative role. It has 270 seats, two-thirds of which are filled

by elections and the rest are appointed.

Islamists also dominated elections for the People's Assembly,

the more powerful of the two houses of parliament.

 

NYPD INTELLIGENCE-POLITICIANS

NYPD monitoring of Muslims enters mayoral race

NEW YORK (AP) - Potential candidates for Mayor Michael

Bloomberg's office are taking stands on the New York Police

Department's surveillance of Muslim students, ranging from cautious

support to a warning about curtailing civil liberties.

Bloomberg, who leaves office after the 2013 election, has said

that he finds "worrisome" the idea that his successor might

abandon NYPD policies that have kept New Yorkers safe.

The NYPD used undercover officers and informants to infiltrate

Muslim student groups at a dozen colleges in New York City, upstate

New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, documents

obtained by The Associated Press show. The monitoring was part of

the department's anti-terrorism efforts.

 

 

 

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

AP-NY-02-27-12 0325EST

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