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c. 1998 Religion News Service

Planned Parenthood opponent adds Disney to boycott list

(RNS) A group that protests Planned Parenthood has added the Walt Disney Co. to its list of companies that should be boycotted for supporting the family planning organization.”We have documented that the Disney Corporation has given money to Planned Parenthood,”said Patricia Bainbridge, executive director of Life Decisions International in Washington, D.C.

Bainbridge said the information came from a Disney annual report. Bainbridge’s group did not learn how much Disney gives to Planned Parenthood, but she said that was not her concern.”We don’t really care the amount,”Bainbridge told Religion News Service.”Any amount given to Planned Parenthood tends to give legitimacy to that organization.” Life Decisions was founded in 1992 and opposes Planned Parenthood’s provision of abortion services and distribution of birth control methods.

Bainbridge said her organization alerted Disney that it was going to be added to its boycott list of more than 60 corporations, but did not get a response. A Disney spokesman did not immediately return phone calls from RNS.

Will Dodson, a member of Life Decisions’ board of directors and the director of public policy for the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said this information gives additional motivation to boycott Disney. The Southern Baptist Convention called for a boycott of Disney at its annual meeting last June, in part because of what critics view as its support of homosexuals through programming and the extension of medical benefits to partners of gay employees.”Now we see that Disney is not just a company that ideologically embraces such (internal) policies,”said Dodson.”It also funds those organizations that would destroy the basic fabric of society. This is one of the most compelling reasons to date for concerned citizens to exercise their freedom to choose not to support a corporation which is increasingly engaged in promoting an agenda which is contrary to traditional values.” Despite the boycott, Walt Disney Co. continues to thrive financially. The company had record fourth-quarter earnings, with a net income that rose 18 percent to $755 million, the Associated Press reported.

Survey shows one in four Southern Baptist teens consider suicide

(RNS) A survey of Southern Baptist teens shows that while 93 percent pray daily and weekly, about one-fourth said they have considered committing suicide.”It’s shocking to know that some of the same kids who think about killing themselves may pray either daily or weekly,”said Clyde Hall, manager of the Baptist Sunday School Board’s youth discipleship section.

The survey also showed that three-fourths of those teens have trouble controlling their tempers and almost half cheat on tests. But, according to the results, 83 percent do not take drugs and 78 percent don’t drink, reported Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The survey of 2,501 youth was taken at 1997 summer youth conferences. Ninety-five percent of those responding to the survey claimed to be Christians; 55 percent were girls and 45 percent were boys.

Hall, who commissioned the survey, said a random sample of 500 was analyzed from the total number of youth surveyed. He said the findings can only be projected to those who participated in the survey and not to all Southern Baptist teens.

The survey found that 25 percent of high school students, compared to 18 percent of junior high students, said they contemplated suicide.”I think older youth are feeling and reacting to stress brought on by school, the strong desire of their parents to see them succeed, pressure to excel, meet standards and just trying to please and be the best,”said Hall.

Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they cheat on tests”sometimes,”while 48 percent said they do not.”I think the pressure to succeed at school is part of the reason they cheat on tests and have trouble with their tempers,”Hall said.”You can tell by looking at the percentage who pray and who don’t drink or take drugs that they are basically good kids. There’s just so much going on in their lives.” The survey also found that 64 percent read their Bibles daily or weekly, 51 percent said they rarely tell people about Jesus, and 79 percent said they might or would date a non-Christian.

Among the other findings:

Seventy-four percent of the youth said sex before marriage is wrong, a 6 percent increase over the 68 percent who said so in a 1994 survey. Three percent said sex before marriage is”OK”if the people love each other; 11 percent said they were unsure and 1 percent did not answer the question.

Seventy-one percent said they lie to their parents; 28 percent said they do not; and 1 percent did not answer. Of those who said they lie to their parents, 56 percent said they”seldom”lie and 32 percent said they occasionally do so.

Amnesty International condemns attack on Sri Lankan Buddhist temple (RNS) Amnesty International condemned Tuesday (Jan. 27) last weekend’s bloody attack on the”Temple of the Tooth,”Buddhism’s holiest shrine in Sri Lanka.

The attack was allegedly carried out by Tamil Tiger separatist rebels when a truck bomb killed at least 16 and wounded 23.”The deliberate killings of civilians by armed opposition groups are human rights abuses which cannot be tolerated under any circumstances,”the London-based group said in a statement released in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

The group said it was concerned that the rebel group, formally called the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam, flouted the principles set out in international humanitarian standards that govern the conduct of hostilities, Reuters reported.”According to this principle, armed forces of all sides to a conflict must at all times distinguish between civilians and military targets and must not target civilians,”Amnesty said.

The Tamil rebels have been fighting for 14 years for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka’s north and east.

The shrine houses what is believed to be a tooth of the Buddha. Most of those killed were pilgrims who had come to visit the temple.

Clinton nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

(RNS) President Clinton has been nominated for the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of world peace and his promotion of democracy.”Throughout his presidency he has been a guarantor and friend of peace,”said the nominators _ three members of Norway’s right-wing Party of Progress, one of the largest blocs in the Norwegian Parliament.

Members of national legislatures are among those with the right to nominate candidates for the Nobel prize, which is announced in Oslo, usually in mid-October.

In nominating Clinton, the three lawmakers cited Clinton’s role in helping to end the war in the former Yugoslavia and for standing up to”despots who want to repress human rights and democracy’s rules of play.” One of the lawmakers told the Associated Press that the decision to nominate Clinton was made in December, before he became embroiled in the current sex scandal swirling around the White House.

Quote of the day: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman

(RNS )”I was a blob. I laid on the couch in front of the TV doing nothing. … I think it had something to do with the vodka bottle sitting next to me. I was off dope, but I was a mess. … I never believed in God until this. I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I’ve started taking on some spiritualism.” _ Southern rocker Gregg Allman, who had a string of hits with the Allman Brothers Band during the early 1970s, in an Associated Press interview on his transformation at age 50 and the release of his new CD”Searching for Simplicity”by Gregg Allman and Friends.

END RNS

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