In a familiar routine, mainline Presbyterians at their biennial General Assembly voted 373-323 to lift a ban on partnered gay clergy, sending the proposed change for the fourth time in nearly a dozen years to the denomination’s 173 regional presbyteries for ratification.
I was perilously close to becoming an agnostic—at least about certain statistics. Specifically, I really didn’t know the data on Christians in China, and for a while I was not sure if anyone did. Only now, perhaps, do we have the glimmerings of an answer to one of the most pressing questions in global religion: just how many Chinese Christians are there?
Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill allowing people to carry concealed handguns to church, his office announced on July 6. The law does away with earlier provisions that banned concealed weapons inside churches, synagogues and other houses of worship.
Committee members displayed "mutual forbearance toward one another"
Aug 03, 2010
As Presbyterians opened their eight-day General Assembly on the Fourth of July weekend, they faced a bitter debate over a report on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It appeared to some leading participants that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) would reenact a bruising version of Mideast confrontations “within its own body, so divided were we on all sides.”
Dr. Paul Farmer, an infectious disease specialist known for his work in Haiti, has been to Liberia and planned to go back again in the fight against Ebola. According to Farmer, the outbreak of Ebola is a symptom of a very poor and weak health-care system in the three West African countries where it is spreading. In Liberia there is one physician per 100,000 people, compared to 240 in the United States. The president of Liberia points out that the Dallas Cowboys stadium uses more electricity each year than her whole country. Vaccines and drugs don’t exist because Ebola’s victims are poor and—so far—not very numerous (London Review of Books, October 23).