President Bush has had two chances to install on the Supreme Court a hard-core conservative pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade at the first opportunity. On each occasion he has decided not to go there. In the case of John Roberts, he picked a moderate conservative known primarily as a lawyer’s lawyer, not for his ideological purity.
After the hurricanes, we heard many stories of church groups that loaded up trucks with supplies for destitute people in the Gulf Coast. Some Christians have been responding to long-term issues of poverty by loading up not supply trucks but moving trucks.
At first Job’s friends were in good form on their pastoral visit: sensing the great suffering of their friend, they sat in silence with him for seven days and seven nights. Their mistake was to open their mouths and offer advice.
The enormous ecumenical impact of the Taizé community, with its haunting music and its tradition of silent prayer and meditative chant, is astonishing given that the community never promoted itself. No doubt many American Christians who have made the pilgrimage to Taizé had to suppress their initial disappointment at its unprepossessing buildings and casual presentation.
Controversies over the teaching of evolution are back in the news. President Bush and a prominent Catholic cardinal have lent their support to the teaching of “intelligent design,” a purportedly scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
Mubarak Awad, a Greek Orthodox Catholic influenced by Quakers and Mennonites, could have become the Palestinian Gandhi. After his father was killed by Jewish freedom fighters in 1948, his mother taught her children to turn the other cheek. In 1983 Awad opened the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, with the aim of fomenting mass nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation. His peaceful efforts got him kicked out of the country in 1988. He now teaches nonviolence at American University. He remains optimistic about the prospects of nonviolent resistance in the Middle East, but fears the current conflict between Israel and Gaza is driving more people into the extremist camp (Newsweek, August 11).