November 20, 2000
Religious leaders from various denominations and church associations met for a press conference this week to introduce “A Christian Declaration on Marriage: a holy union of one man and one women in which they commit with God’s help, to build a loving, life-giving, faithful relationship that will last a lifetime.” The document regrets that “our nation is threatened by a high divorce rate, a rise in cohabitation, a rise in non-marital births, a decline in the marriage rate, and a diminishing interest in and readiness for marrying, especially among young people.” Bishop Kevin Mannoia, President of the National Association of Evangelicals, opened the discussion by asking, “Is the rising divorce rate in America something about which we have common concern and can address together as Christians?” A task force of leaders from the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Association of Evangelicals believe so, and signed the declaration. The declaration says, “Couples, churches, and the whole of society have a stake in the well being of marriages. Each, therefore, has its own obligations to prepare, strengthen, support and restore marriages.” These leaders have made a commitment to marriage, and earnestly encourage churches to strengthen marriage through mentoring and other programs.
Gay and Lesbian Scholarships
Over the past ten years, academic institutions have been awarding scholarships to students based on their sexual orientation or involvement in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender minority community. These scholarships have been designed to promote awareness and diversity. Gayle Ruzicka, President of Eagle Forum in Utah, has opposed this manner of reward. She explains that it does not matter to her “if a homosexual gets a scholarship, but they should not get one for being homosexual.” Many view the scholarships as promoting sexual promiscuity and, therefore, plan to create new scholarships to be awarded to those who remain abstinent before marriage and who support traditional family values.