United Methodist–related McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, has decided to discontinue calling its athletic teams “Indians” in keeping not only with the denomination’s two-year-old policy against using racially demeaning names and mascots but also with a National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibition of such team names and symbols in postseason tournament competition.
Australian opposition lawmaker Kevin Rudd has triggered a national debate by criticizing the growing influence of conservative Christian groups in Australian politics. But the nation’s health minister argued that the government does not cater to a bloc of religious voters.
Real money: By one estimate, the war in Iraq may eventually cost the United States $2 trillion. Which raises the question: how else could we have used this money? According to Nicholas D. Kristof (New York Times, October 24), it is four times the amount of money needed to stabilize the Social Security system for the next 75 years, and it is four times the amount needed to provide health care insurance for all uninsured Americans for the next decade. Every minute we stay in Iraq costs another $380,000.
Massachusetts Episcopalians will seek authorization from their denomination to use the church’s official marriage rites in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Delegates in the diocese favored that step, 324 to 43, at a late October convention in Boston.