Perry Bush has set himself a daunting task: to tell the story of Mennonite pacifism from World War I through Vietnam. Drastic theological shifts, the expansion of denominational bureaucracies in response to wartime pressures, the experiences of individual draftees: all are part of this complex narrative.
Recent advances for same-sex marriage have raised important issues concerning religious liberty. The four New England states (Con necticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) that recently recognized same-sex marriage have all had to consider how broadly to protect churches, organizations and individuals that object to participating in or facilitating such marriages. A national TV ad against gay marriage sounded alarms about religious liberty and triggered parodies from gay rights groups (and Stephen Colbert).
The theologically conservative Christian Reformed Church, in its first major statement on war in two dozen years, urged its churches to raise moral questions with governments about weapons of mass destruction and preemptive military actions.
PatriceL.Rosner, an associate general secretary with the National Council of Churches for six years, has been elected as the new director for the nine-denomination Churches Uniting in Christ. She will start June 5. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rosner headed the NCC’s education and leadership ministries commission.
Army Sergeant Kevin Benderman, 40, faces a military trial for refusing to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. The trial is scheduled for May 11 at an army base in Georgia. A Tennessean of Southern Baptist background, Bendermanjoined the army in 1987, was honorably discharged in ’91 and reenlisted in 2000.
Officials of the Church of the Brethren say they will follow through on a request from the Selective Service to have “alternative service” programs in place for conscientious objectors if a military draft is reinstated.