Ronald Reagan’s influence on Christian politics in this country will be felt for years to come. The 40th president, who died June 5 at 93 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease, used his acting experience in communicating optimism to the public and also introduced many conservative Christians to real political power.
Last year the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) suffered its biggest single-year loss in communicant members since the reunion of the “northern” and “southern” denominations in 1983. The net decline during 2003 was 46,658 members, leaving the year-end membership at barely above 2.4 million.
The new Catholic bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, has declared that city officials or town clerks who are Catholic and approve gay civil marriages are “involving themselves in cooperation with evil.” Bishop Robert McManus said legalized gay marriages in Massachusetts are “clear and serious violations” of natural law and Catholic teaching.
A pastor in Keene, New Hampshire, has resigned after preaching sermons found on the Internet and consequently confessing to plagiarism. Robert C. Hamm stepped down in April from his post as senior pastor of Keene United Church of Christ.
Hours before President Bush addressed the nation on his plans for a June 30 transfer of power in Iraq, church leaders met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to support a larger role for the international body.