A blogger at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America pointed out that some lines of Paul-Gordon Chandler's article on events in Egypt are unusually close to lines in a February 19 article in the New York Times—and charges that Chandler lifted them from the Times. However, reporters often make use of the frequent informal e-mail updates from Cairo that Chandler sends to friends and churches—which is what appears to have happened in this case. Says Chandler, an Anglican priest in Cairo: "We are happy to help all those trying to get information out."
Mar 23, 2011
More than two dozen Houston-area churches sponsored a "Bring Your Gay Teen to Church Day." Organized by the Houston Clergy Council, the event was a response to an area teenager's suicide after years of being bullied. Meanwhile, megachurch pastor Joel Osteen of Houston told CNN that he believes homosexuality is a sin. Osteen acknowledged that some gays attend his church but said he doesn't preach on the subject (Houston Chronicle, February 19).
Mar 22, 2011
Brandon Davies, a star on Brigham Young University's nationally ranked basketball team, was suspended for the remainder of the season because he violated the Mormon-run school's honor code which prohibits premarital sex. BYU, ranked third at the time, had been expected to gain a top seed in the annual NCAA tournament. Davies was allowed to remain in school while his situation was reviewed by the Honor Code Office. According to a source close to the program, Davies was "extremely remorseful, heartbroken," but has accepted the school's punishment (Salt Lake Tribune, March 3).
Mar 21, 2011
Marilyn Chandler McEntyre agrees with Kenneth Burke's observation that literature is "equipment for living." McEntyre, a literature professor, calls herself a gleaner, a collector of phrases and sentences from literature that have helped her to gain perspective, direction, healing or to laugh, reclaim her deepest desires and remember her deepest purposes. The skill of good reading, she says, is not just to notice what one is reading but also to allow one's self to be addressed by it, "to take it personally," she says. Even with secular texts the Holy Spirit can "enable us to receive whatever gift is there for our growth and our use" (Books & Culture, March/April).
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).