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Monday, July 19, 2004

Religious News Update:

Three items taken from the July 27th edition of the Christian Century.

Baptismal Politics: When author Jimmy Breslin went with a friend to the baptism of an infant in a Catholic church on Long Island, the priest said that this young male would one day bring Christ to the world. And then, speaking directly to the baby, the priest said: "You must go out and stand up against abortions in the name of Christ and your church. You must stand up to these politicians who talk crap about abortions, stand up against this John Kerry who talks crap." Later, Breslin's friend challenged the priest on the propriety of making a statement against a politician during the baptism. "Oh, no, it was proper," the priest said. "We have been ordered that at every liturgical ceremony, we must make a statement against abortion." (The Church That Forgot Christ, Free Press).

Let Us Part in Peace: The evangelical magazine Christianity Today has added its voice to those saying it is time for the mainline denominations to amicably split, presumably over homosexuality. In a July editorial, CT said "a proactive separation involving leadership of both the left and right, would keep anger to a minimum, minimize ugly property disputes and, in a perverse way, demonstrate to the world that Christians can act civilly toward each other even in the midst of profound disagreements. Then each church can get on with its own version of the faith, and, to paraphrase Gamaliel (Acts 5), see if one or both will prosper." With an apparent twinkle in the eye, the unsigned editorial concluded that such a proposed split "is, in the tradition of the mainline, at least an idea worth dialogue and study."

Enemy Within: When Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff served with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam, his commander warned that they faced two enemies--an external one (the Vietcong) and an internal one (what the war could unleash). War, says Resnicoff, is not only a danger to our lives; it is a danger to our humanity. "The problem isn't that we don't have good people in uniform. The problem is that war can turn even the best into different people." True, there are no atheists in foxholes, "but foxholes can breed atheists, when those who see war's nightmares lose all faith..." (Christian Science Monitor, June 28).

And one last bit, just as a bribe for your tolerance:
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