Century Marks

Century Marks

Peace wanted

Gershon Baskin says that the common view among Israelis is that Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel and that Palestinians want to kill Israelis and take their land—and so there is no hope for peace. Baskin, who spends a great deal of time in the West Bank, including the volatile city of Hebron, sees a different reality. He is treated with respect as an Israeli Jew. “I cross borders, go beyond walls, break down barriers and refuse to allow fear of ‘the other’ to turn into hatred,” he said. One Palestinian security official told Baskin that the problem is that Palestinians no longer have contact with Israelis, owing to the separation wall. Baskin believes that both Israelis and Palestinians want peace, in spite of the sense of hopelessness (Jerusalem Post, September 11).

The nonevent

Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has said he’s canceling a presidential forum with President Obama and Mitt Romney because he doesn’t think they can have a civil conversation. It appears that neither candidate had agreed to participate and that such an event was never scheduled. Warren held a forum with both candidates in the 2008 campaign (TNR.com, August 23).

Election night worship

A grassroots movement is encouraging churches to do something together on election night to signify and embody their oneness in Christ: gather at church to hold communion around the Lord’s Table. Called Election Day Communion, this effort aims to build unity in Christ in spite of theological, political and denominational differences (electiondaycommunion.org).

Commandments 2.0

Adam Copeland has reframed the Ten Com­mandments to speak to the moral challenges of technology we use in our everyday life. The first commandment is: “You shall have no other gods, so don’t treat your cell phone like one.” The third is: “Honor the Sabbath day; give the gadgets a rest.” The fifth states: “You shall not kill, so of course you shall use the Internet for peace.” The seventh: “Steal neither goods nor time from yourself and others.” Technology is a gift, says Copeland, but a problematic and challenging one. Some families have a designated technology basket where cell phones and music players are placed during meals and other family times so as not to be distracted by them (Word & World, Summer).

Long-term care

Russell Dohner, 87, has been practicing medicine in the small town of Rushville, Illinois, for nearly 60 years. He refuses to quit, even though he is stooped and increasingly frail. And he still charges just $5 for each visit—or nothing at all if patients can’t afford that meager amount. People remember his kindnesses. One woman recalls how Dohner came to her house and sat by her sister’s crib all night when she suffered from seizures. Dohner’s nurse is 85 and his receptionist 84 (Chicago Tribune, August 26).