Priest Says Poverty Vow Prevents Child Support Payments Portland, Ore. (RNS) A retired Jesuit priest and former Oregon prison chaplain contends that his vow of poverty prevents two men recently identified as his children from collecting back child support. -- by Ashbel Green, of Reuters News Service, as found at the PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly site online, 3.10.07.
Line of Cards Makes Light of Adultery
Put this one in your “You’ve got to be kidding” file. Cathy Gallagher, after working in advertising and marketing for 20 years, has launched a new line of greeting cards aimed at expressing the heartfelt feelings of adulterers, reported the Los Angeles Times. Gallagher said she noticed that many people she knew had been in affairs and no card company had taken advantage of this untapped fragment of human emotion. “I’m not making choices for people,” Gallagher explained. “People make choices. This is an entrepreneurial venture.”
The cards share messages such as, “I can’t imagine my life without you . . . even if I have to share you.” Another card urging the recipient to leave his or her spouse reads “Let’s live our lives together and finally be one…”
Robin Sawyer, a public health professor and human sexuality expert at the University of Maryland said the greeting cards are making light of unacceptable behavior. “She’s just making money out of other people’s misery,” Sawyer said. “I think most of us would agree that infidelity is a negative thing, so we’re now selling cards to celebrate a negative thing.”
Professor Norman Epstein of the University of Maryland agrees that the cards are just adding fuel to the fire. “Maybe, instead of getting a greeting card, they ought to get some therapy,” he said. –from Focus on the Family, 07.20.05.
The Church Of Spongebob
Episcopalians often get tarred as America ‘s most liberal Christian denomination. But there is a more liberal one! (Hint: it’s the one Howard Dean joined after he quit the Episcopal Church in a dispute over a bike trail.)
And it’s nearly as old, too. Episcopalians can trace their history in America back to Jamestown in 1607, but the United Church of Christ’s antecedents date to the Puritans who arrived in New England only a couple decades later.
It’s been a roller coaster of a ride across the centuries for the United Church of Christ, from gun-toting Calvinists to super-PC gay “marriage” proponents. The l.2 million member United Church of Christ (UCC) became the first major Christian denomination in America officially to endorse same-sex nuptials, when its General Synod met from July 1 to July 5 in Atlanta.
While they were at it, the General Synod also targeted Israel for sanctions (forgetting, among so much else, the philo-Semitism of its Puritan forbears) and opposed Israel ‘s new security wall. And for good measure, it opposed privatization of Social Security, opposed President Bush’s 2006 budget proposal, urged the United States to support the International War Crimes Tribunal, and advised Bush to nominate a “moderate” Supreme Court justice.
The UCC didn’t say yes to every proposal, mind you. It rejected a resolution defining marriage as the union of man and woman. And the UCC decided to remain Christian! It voted to affirm its continued belief in Christ and to retain a cross on its official logo.
The UCC attracted major media attention late last year with its controversial television ads featuring bouncers outside a church turning away racial minorities, the disabled, and a same-sex couple. The implication was that the UCC, unlike other churches, was inclusive and tolerant. But despite the UCC’s boasts of inclusiveness, it has lost nearly one million members since 1960. It lost another 30,000 last year alone. The ongoing membership hemorrhage notwithstanding, the UCC’s president recently celebrated his denomination’s “extravagant hospitality” and “evangelical courageÃ¢â‚¬Â¦” –by Mark D. Tooley from his article at The Weekly Standard website The Daily Standard, 07.18.05
Religious Radicals – Mainline churches launch a policy to punish Israel.
“It is the Occupation in its many facets that foments the violence and fuels the conflict [in Israel ],” said a report endorsed by leaders of the Anglican Church in at their meeting in Britain last month. They adopted a resolution there supporting divestment from companies doing business with Israel.
The Anglicans are only the most recent on a list of mainline Protestant churches to endorse a boycott of companies with ties to the Jewish state. The United Church of Christ (UCC) took similar action last month, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) passed a resolution last year.
But there is little evidence that the leaders of these churches are representing the sentiments of their members. The Presbyterian action provoked outrage from the church’s rank and file, as well as bipartisan condemnation in Congress. The church has yet to actually divest any funds, and its horrified congregants might still reverse the decreeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ –by Eugene Kontorovich, from The Wall Street Journal, Editorial page, 07.22.05
Who wont inheritÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “The two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. –1 Corinthians 6:9-20
The result of leaving out God?
“Modern Europe lacks a first-order purpose. That lack discloses itself in the London explosions. Europe is full of second-order purposes: enjoyment, economic security and vacations. What does Europe exist to affirm? It’s doubtful if Europeans know any more. Not Christian transcendence. In most of Europe , Christian practice barely exists. The famous, now dormant, European Union constitution lacked any acknowledgement of the historical fact of the continent’s Christian past. … The bishop of London , Richard Chartres, preaching at St. Paul ‘s Cathedral the day after Bloody Thursday, recoiled from attacking Islam as a religion. He probed more deeply. He saw ‘a spiritual vacuum’ into which ‘false religion’ had intruded itself — a religion, heedless of God, ‘awesomely powerful and destructive.’ The strayed or departed Christians of Europe — of Britain — might on such a reading reproach themselves for creating an opening for the murderous radicals of Islam to reach through and plant their explosives. The evil purposes of murderous bombers are just the present problem. Evil itself is the original and enduring problem — one that, as Europe for centuries maintained and preached, reflects humanity’s willing breach of its relationship with God. Is it back, now, at last, to first principles for Europe ? Is there, indeed, a shred of a choice?” –Bill Murchison, as quoted at www.federalist.com Brief 05-29, 07.18.05.
Debunking the siren song of ‘safe ***’
When it comes to drug abuse, underage drinking and smoking, recent years have seen the arrival of much-needed media campaigns and school programs designed to let kids know flat out: Do not engage. Of course, we still have much to do to curb the use of illicit drugs, but at least most adults are committed to telling kids the behavior is unacceptable. So why should this rule not apply when it comes to teen sex?
Suddenly, the adults who were so quick, so adamant about condemning drugs, drinking and smoking begin to stammer and look at the floor. Sure, its not good for teens to be having sex, these adults will allow, but cmon — theyre going to do it anyway. So, they say, lets tell the kids not to do it. But lets also give them some condoms and other birth-control devices and tell them how to use them. You know, just in case.
To be consistent, then, we should also give kids clean syringes, low-tar cigarettes and tips on avoiding hangovers. But we dont, do we? And why? Because we know perfectly well that it would undermine our message that the behavior in question is unsafe — no ifs, ands or buts. Why should it be any different when it comes to teen sex? –by Rebecca Hagelin, 07.22.05 from her article at www.townhall.com
Churches get thumbs-up at theaters
The “Grand Theater” of the AMC Union Station 9 is typically the place where moviegoers gather to see the latest blockbusters and feast on popcorn or hot dogs. But on Sunday mornings, the theater becomes a place of worship for National Community Church, a local 900-member nondenominational congregation, where its parishioners pray, listen to sermons and receive Holy CommunionÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
National Community is one of several churches in the DC area that are turning neighborhood movie theaters into makeshift sanctuaries on Sundays. –by Keyonna Summers and Amy Doolittle, from their article appearing in The Washington Times, 07.18.05.
Victim ordered to wed rapist
BOMBAY — Hard-line Islamic clerics in a northern Indian village have declared that a woman’s 10-year-old marriage was nullified when her father-in-law raped her — and ordered the mother of five to marry the rapist. The fatwa, or religious edict, was issued by Darool Uloom Deoband, South Asia ‘s most powerful Islamic theological school known for promoting a radical brand of Islam that is said to have inspired the Taliban in Afghanistan . The decision has outraged both Muslim and Hindu leaders and prompted a fierce debate that has dominated the front pages of national newspapers across India .
The fatwa ordered Imrana Ilahi, 28, to separate from her husband and treat him as her son because she had sex with his father. “She had a physical relationship with her father-in-law, and it nullifies her marriage,” said Mohammad Masood Madani, a cleric at the theological school. He said it made no difference whether the sex was consensual or forced. The village council then decreed that Mrs. Ilahi would have to marry her father-in-law. –by Shaikh Azizur Rahman from an article in The Washington Times 07.19.05
Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson