Century Marks

Century Marks

Bulldozer verdict

In 2003 Rachel Corrie, a young American activist, was run over by an Israeli military bulldozer while she was protesting the demolition of Palestinian houses. An Israeli judge ruled last month that Israel bore no responsibility in Corrie’s death; she put herself in danger and could have distanced herself from it, the judge said. Bill Van Esveld of Human Rights Watch responded: “The idea that there can be no fault for killing civilians in a combat operation contradicts Israel’s international legal obligations to spare civilians from harm during armed conflict and to credibly investigate and punish violations by its force.” The Corrie family plans to appeal the verdict to the Israeli Supreme Court (New York Times, August 29).

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).