While visiting Istanbul this summer, an American pastor stopped to look an outdoor display of photos depicting American soldiers’ abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The pastor noticed that a Turkish man viewing this gallery of atrocities was getting visibly agitated.
Talk about unity amid diversity in the church can seem hollow, especially as people confront deeply controversial issues. The gossip in the halls of denominational assemblies recently has been about possible schisms over the issue of homosexuality. Fragmentation, not unity, seems the experience of our times.
How do you marginalize religion and trivialize moral argument? Ron Reagan, son of the former president, offered a textbook example in his speech in July to the Democratic National Convention in which he called for more expansive research using embryonic stem cells.
What the 9/11 Commission accomplished is a minor miracle in this era of partisan politics. Operating on the premise that it is better to fix the problem than to fix the blame, the bipartisan panel issued a unanimous report analyzing the failure of the U.S. to prevent the 9/11 attacks and recommending steps to forestall future acts of terrorism.
After bandaging a stranger’s wounds, the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ famous parable instructs the innkeeper to provide whatever further care is needed—he will foot the bill. Such an action, Jesus tells us, defines what it is to be a neighbor.
If the nations of the world are to keep their pledge to combat climate change, vast amounts of fossil fuel—oil, coal, and even natural gas—must be left in the ground and sea, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. Over 90 percent of U.S. and Australian coal and almost all Canadian tar sands must remain unused, and none of the oil or gas in the Arctic can be used—if the global temperature rise is to be less than two degrees centigrade, as nations have agreed. In the modeling done by this study, the Middle East must keep underground an amount equivalent to Saudi Arabia’s entire reserves (Guardian, January 7).