News of the Day – January 4th

NASA Hires Theologians To Study Human Reactions To Aliens

Too crazy to be believed? Maybe, but NASA recently hired two dozen theologians at the Center for Theological Inquiry (CTI) in Princeton, New Jersey, to offer religious guidance to people if contact with aliens were ever to occur. Rev. Dr. Andrew Davison, a University of Cambridge religious scholar and one of the 24 theologians on the new project, agreed that if humans were ever to make contact with aliens, it would “be useful to have thought through the implications in advance.” Davison notes that a “large number of people would turn to their religions traditions for guidance” if extraterrestrials were found, and what that means “for the standing and dignity of human life.” Read more about the hires here.

 

Bible Translators Adding 400 Sign Languages To Be Translated

The completion of the first sign language Bible translated from the original languages prompted cheers and celebrations in the fall of 2020. But for the deaf, it’s one down, more than 400 to go. “Still only one sign language of the over 400 has a complete Bible,” said J. R. Bucklew, the founder and former president of the Deaf Bible Society, who now works as director of major gifts at Pioneer Bible Translators. “And still, no other sign language outside of the American Sign Language has a full New Testament. There’s a lot of work ahead of us.” If sign languages were left off that list, the translation alliance would have missed a lot of deaf people throughout the world. Read more about their efforts here.

 

Kenneth Copeland’s 7 Million Dollar Home Is Considered Tax Exempt

Slimy but not illegal. According to an investigative report by the Houston Chronicle, televangelist Kenneth Copeland has avoided paying $150,000 in annual taxes on his $7 million Texas mansion because of a loophole in the state’s tax code. Copeland’s 18,000-square-foot home, which he built in 1999, is considered a parsonage for his church, Eagle Mountain International, in Tarrant County, meaning that the property is exempt from taxation under Texas Tax Code Sec. 11.20. Under state law, Texas parsonages qualify for a tax exemption so long as it only sits on one acre of land. While Copeland’s house fulfills that requirement, he also owns 24 more acres of lakefront property, for which he only pays $3,000 in annual property taxes. Copeland is considered America’s wealthiest pastor as he has a reported net worth of $750 million. Read more about the property here.

 

Good Samaritans Run Into Burning House To Save 80 Year Old

 A Virginia man and an unidentified stranger ran into a burning house in Norfolk, Virginia, and saved an 80-year-old woman. According to Faithwire, the unnamed man was joined by a neighbor, Derrick Vaughan. They are both being called heroes and good Samaritans. The brave rescue reportedly unfolded after the unnamed hero was driving by and noticed flames coming from the home. Rather than continue driving toward his intended destination, the man jumped out of his car and ran toward the house. There he found and rescued an 80 year old woman who was inside. The woman’s son said he’s grateful his mother is OK, and he’s thankful to the brave men who went inside the home to save her before the fire spun even more out of control. Read more about the rescue here.

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