Delegates at the most recent national meeting of the United Church of Christ (UCC) agreed overwhelmingly July 4 to strike the term “heavenly Father” from the denomination’s constitutional definition of the local church. By a vote of 613 to 161, the delegates voted to change language in Article V of the church’s bylaws (see page 3) from describing a local church as composed of persons who believe in “God as heavenly Father” to those who believe in “the triune God” — thereby relieving UCC members of the responsibility of acknowledging God as masculine.
A federal appeals court has ordered the U.S. government to stop immediately stop enforcing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on homosexuals serving in the military. The three-judge panel from San Francisco’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since Congress has already repealed the policy, a move that came last December, and the Pentagon is actively preparing for an influx of homosexual personnel into the nation’s armed forces, there is no longer a reason to continue with the stay the court had earlier placed on a lower court ruling overturning the ban.
In an effort to bring nonbelievers together and increase the visibility of atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation displayed “Good without God” billboards across the nation. Unfortunately for the organization, one of the billboards was placed on church property in Ohio prompting complaints from the church's pastor and ultimately, the removal of the billboard.
Homosexual activists and sympathizers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) want their agency’s “gay” awareness training to be expanded government wide, according to a report in the Washington Times. Officials at the USDA have asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which supervises policies for federal employees, to mandate that all departments of the federal government implement its sensitivity training, according to a USDA internal newsletter.