Just in case: Virginia state legislators passed a bill preventing employers or insurance companies from placing microchips in humans against their will. Mark L. Cole, sponsor of the bill, was concerned that the devices could someday be the “mark of the beast” mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Says Cole: “My understanding—I’m not a theologian—but there’s a prophecy in the Bible that says you’ll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times. Some people think these computer chips might be that mark” (Examiner, February 14).
Church leaders in Ireland have welcomed an agreement concluded between the two largest political parties in Northern Ireland, which will see the completion of a process of devolving power from the British government.
The Anglican Church of Uganda says it now prefers to see some changes to existing antihomosexuality laws rather than passage of a totally new bill that many international church and secular leaders have condemned.
Only a moment: When New York–based writer Edwidge Danticat was able to contact relatives in Haiti after the earthquake, she learned that one cousin had been killed in the collapse of a four-story building, another had an open gash on her head that was still bleeding, and a third had a broken back and could find no place to have it X-rayed. Crying over the phone, Danticat apologized to a cousin for not being with the family. “Don’t cry,” she said. “That’s life. . . . And life, like death, lasts only yon ti moman” (a little while) (New Yorker, February 1).
The wooden box, not quite big enough to hold a pair of shoes, sits on the reception desk, just inside the Sherwood, Oregon, YMCA. Once a day, Roger Button empties the box, finds a quiet place to sit and prays over the slips of paper he finds inside. He prays for someone’s son struggling with drug addiction; for a friend who needs a job; for more blue, figure-8 rubber exercise bands.