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Southern Religion

Need one another

From Texas comes the Spiritual Samurai to remind us that in these hard and getting harder times:

Those of us who are called have all be socialized some way into the ways we think and act. If only we could bring an empty slate to the Lord, but we cannot. Besides, We are called not for our strengths or talents or connections. We are called because of what God wishes to do through us. Fame or failure matter not for they both can bring God glory. We need be careful to always remember this.

He goes on to write about how Christians occur in communities of people who care about, need and support one another:

Jesus gave us a secret sign for times like these. He said they (the world) will know we His followers by the way we love one another. He was talking about our clan, our community, which is for us the Church (the presence of Jesus). Relational theology must be included in relational evangelism. We must look to need one another (not in the bureaucratic manner of the past, but through networks of trust that are also relational in nature).

Agree or not, the entire entry is here. And worth the visit.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Help, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Need one another

Trample freedom of speech but not sexual predators?

How ironic for Richard Land to mourn the death of the unconstitutional, technologically ineffective Child Online Protection Act without having raised his voice for a pedophilia database to help protect young Baptists from clerical sexual predators.

Land is head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He decried the high court’s decision on Jan. 22 as follows:

Unfortunately, our Supreme Court has concluded that an adult’s supposed ‘right’ to see anything he wants to see trumps society’s obligation to protect children from exposure to such spiritual toxic waste. Untold human suffering will be the result of this stupefyingly wrong decision.

As if parents were unable to take measures to protect their children.

It would be irrationally optimistic to expect Land and other COPA supporters to note that it:

  • Would have imposed serious burdens on constitutionally-protected speech — anything conceivably “harmful to minors.” That standard proved impossible to effectively define.
  • Would have failed to prevent children from seeing inappropriate material originating from outside of the US, or available by means other than the World Wide Web.
  • Did not represent the least restrictive means of regulating speech. Parental supervision assisted by individually applied filters appear to be that.

A study commissioned by 49 state attorneys general, and released on January 14, noted that parents set their household standards and are the true enforcers of them. As a result:

Parents and caregivers should: educate themselves about the Internet and the ways in which their children use it, as well as about technology in general; explore and evaluate the effectiveness of available technological tools for their particular child and their family context, and adopt those tools as may be appropriate; be engaged and involved in their children’s Internet use; be conscious of the common risks youth face to help their children understand and navigate the technologies; be attentive to at-risk minors in their community and in their children’s peer group; and recognize when they need to seek help from others.

May we turn now to dealing with the large number of Baptist clerical sexual predators?

Last year the SBC failed to implement an obvious solution that would help, thus earning itself sixth place on Time Magazine’s Top 10 Underreported News Stories of 2008:

Facing calls to curb child sex abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors.

Certainly the SBC cares enough about children to implement a solution that would actually help remedy a devastatingly destructive problem which burns like a wildfire through its midst?

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Law, Politics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois tapped to head faith-based initiatives

From the New York Times:

President Obama plans to name Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal pastor and political strategist who handled religious outreach for the Obama campaign, to direct a revamped office of faith-based initiatives, according to religious leaders who have been informed about the choice.

He was the religious affairs director for the Barack Obama campaign.”

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion | , , | 1 Comment

Praise Darwin billboards

From the Madison (Wisc.) Capital Times

The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is unveiling a new billboard in Madison and two other cities to honor Charles Darwin as his 200th birthday approaches.

“Praise Darwin,” reads the upper portion of the billboard, in biblical script, while the second line reads, “Evolve Beyond Belief.”

The organization also plans to put up billboards in Dayton, Tenn., and Dover, Penn., in time for Darwin’s Feb. 12 birthday. Dayton was the site of the infamous 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial,” while Dover is the small Pennsylvania town where an attempt by the local school board to promote “intelligent design” as a competing theory to Darwin’s theory of evolution was tossed out by U.S. District Judge John Jones after a trial in 2005 that lasted 40 days and 40 nights.

Read the entire story here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , | Comments Off on Praise Darwin billboards

Saudis Imprison Blogger Who Is Christian Human Rights Advocate

From Compass Direct News:

Five months after the daughter of a member of Saudi Arabia’s religious police [Fatima Al-Mutairi] was killed for writing online about her faith in Christ, Saudi authorities have reportedly arrested a 28-year-old Christian man for describing his conversion and criticizing the kingdom’s judiciary on his Web site.

. . .

On his web site, which Saudi authorities have blocked, [Hamoud] Bin Saleh wrote that his journey to Christ began after witnessing the public beheading of three Pakistanis convicted of drug charges. Shaken, he began an extensive study of Islamic history and law, as well as Saudi justice. He became disillusioned with sharia (Islamic law) and dismayed that kingdom authorities only prosecuted poor Saudis and foreigners.

Read the rest here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Law, Religion | , , , , , | Comments Off on Saudis Imprison Blogger Who Is Christian Human Rights Advocate

Economic stimulus includes faith-based initiatives

From Religion Clause:

Among the many items in the proposed economic stimulus bill, HR 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is a provision for funding of $100 million for grants to faith-based organization through the Compassion Capital Fund [at pg. 141 of bill].

Read it all here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | , , , | Comments Off on Economic stimulus includes faith-based initiatives

Judge tells Christian woman ‘I would kill you’

Egyptian judge, according to WordNet Daily, said:

A woman arrested at the Cairo airport because her identity card described her as a Christian has been threatened for her faith by the judge in her case, according to a new report.

. . .

The decision to grant her bail came Saturday in the hearing before Hashem after Makkar told the judge about her new Christian faith and her abandonment of Islam.

Tawfiq told Compass Direct “the judge then said, ‘I want to talk with Martha alone,’ so we all left the room, and he said to her, ‘Nobody changes from Muslim to Christian – you are a Muslim.’

Read it all here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Religion | , , , , , | Comments Off on Judge tells Christian woman ‘I would kill you’

Graphic: The religious affiliations of U.S. presidents

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life offers us a nice graphic of the religious affiliation of U.S. presidents here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , | Comments Off on Graphic: The religious affiliations of U.S. presidents

Robert Coles on the inner lives of children

Psychiastrist Robert Coles “spent his career exploring the inner lives of children,” says National Public Radio’s Speaking of Faith. “They can teach us about living honestly, searchingly and courageously if we let them.”

Choose your audio download format and be enlightened here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Religion, Science | , , , , | Comments Off on Robert Coles on the inner lives of children

Roll Over Lenin: Russian Church Elects New Patriarch

Konstantin Petrenko writes:

The new [Orthodox Church] Patriarch [of Moscow and All Russia] is considered a modernist, but his support for freedom of religion is spotty, and Russia’s fledgling gay rights movement will not find an ally in Kirill I.

The rest is here.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Religion | | Comments Off on Roll Over Lenin: Russian Church Elects New Patriarch