The Economist takes the occasion of the Southern
Baptist Convention to examine America’s Christian right, with the usual baleful
prediction that the Christian right is trying to create a theocracy. This kind
of irresponsible reporting is misleading, but Harper’s magazine goes The
Economist one better: The Washington Times wonders if Harper’s “news accounts”
are so numbingly biased in their recent hit pieces about evangelical Christians
that the magazine deserves to fold.
This anti-religious innuendo in the media is
parroted by some politicians (or is it the other way around), and that
intolerance descends in deleterious ways to the larger society. Not only
Christians have noticed the bashing. A new Jewish group has formed to fight
anti-Christian bias in the media and government, seeing in evangelicals
Israel’s best friend in America, Israel’s best friend in the world.
Speaking of evangelicals and Israel, the
nation’s main coalition of evangelical Christian churches is under internal
pressure to adopt a Middle East policy for the first time, while Jewish, Muslim
and Christian leaders in the United States, the Middle East, London and South
America appealed in a “transnational town-hall meeting” this week for religious
moderates and President Bush to stop the conflict between Israelis and
Palestinians. The logic of how that is going to work is escaping me at the
The Christian Alliance for Progress made last
week’s news roundup, and is back in the news this week: the Wall Street Journal
looks at the result of the angry left finding religion. Speaking of which, some
Democrats have started asking for prayers for guidance in their decisions.
There is so much I could say. Let’s just say, God always answers prayers, but
not always in the way we envision. And concerning the recent Supreme Court rulings,
experts warn that houses of worship are now at risk following the eminent
domain ruling, while the Commandments ban at courthouses leads to unique faith displays in other areas.
Around the nation, beginning in
California, the New Urbanism movement, which seeks to integrate
Christian ministry into the fabric of local communities, made the news
as its leaders met in Pasadena. And in San Francisco, the only evangelical Christian church float in
Sunday’s gay pride parade
sported a rainbow cross, disco music and a giant sign
that declared, “Christian & Gay = OK.” There is so much I could
say. While I can see Jesus lovingly ministering to gays and then
telling them, “Go, and sin no more,” I just can’t envision Him on a
float in a gay pride parade.
Colorado, the investigation of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy
in Colorado Springs has been completed. This case has been a lightning rod for
advocates who desire to suppress religious expression, but the Washington Times
notes that stamping out evangelical Christian activity at the Air Force Academy
could not only erode combat will, retention, and enlistments, but also violate
the intent of the First Amendment. In New York, Billy Graham held the final crusade
of his long career, while the pastor of a Staten Island Catholic church made
the news for kicking hundreds of kids out of religious education classes
because their parents aren’t attending Mass.
South Carolina, the town of Great Falls lost its four-year legal battle to keep
the name “Jesus Christ” in its council meeting prayers. The U.S. Supreme Court
declined to hear the Chester County town’s appeal of a lower court decision
that it improperly favored one faith. The decision ended an often contentious
case that pitted the town council against a resident who is a Wiccan high
priestess. ChristianExodus.org has
attracted more than 700 members from across America since the supreme court of
Massachusetts legalized gay marriage last year, and already a half-dozen families have
picked up and transplanted to the Palmetto State. And in Dallas, Texas, a fire has
sadly destroyed the Biblical Arts Center museum.
Next week will focus on International news of
interest to Christians.