An Iranian-American journalist convicted of espionage by Iran’s Rev olutionary Court and sentenced to eight years in prison has become an unwitting figure in the tensions between the United States and the Middle Eastern nation.
Living with contradiction: As a youth Garret Keizer was troubled with contradictions in Paul's letters. He raised the issue with his pastor, who pointed out a contradiction that Keizer hadn’t noticed: in Galatians 6 Paul says both that we are to bear one another’s burdens and that we are to bear our own burdens. But Keizer now doesn’t think this is a contradiction. We need both imperatives, Keizer says—self-reliance and social responsibility. “The trick is to get them to kiss” (Harper’s, April).
The Alliance of Baptists applauded President Obama for loosening restrictions on Americans’ travel to Cuba and called for more U.S. policy reform during the progressive group’s April 17-19 convocation in Charlotte, North Carolina.
An Episcopal priest who professed two years ago that she was also a practicing Muslim has been defrocked by the Episcopal Church.
Rhode Island bishop Geralyn Wolf informed Ann Holmes Redding, who lives in Seattle, of the decision April 1. Although she lives outside the diocese, Redding was ordained in Rhode Island and had remained under Wolf’s authority.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America both have slashed their 2009 budgets, cutting programs and laying off scores of personnel as denominations continue to suffer from the recession.