Setting the agenda for ecumenism
When I was in Croatia this past May I went on a hunt for kulen, a specialty sausage found in a region of Northeast Croatia called Slavonia. You can’t buy kulen in any store, of course. To get it you’ve got to have friends in very high places—in backwater villages of Slavonia where people raise their own pigs and prepare kulen according to recipes passed on in families for generations.
As some friends and I ate a picnic lunch, we fell into a rambling conversation about politics, real estate values in an earthquake zone and the virtues of sauvignon blanc over chardonnay. Then I mentioned offhandedly that perhaps I viewed something or other the way I did because I was a Christian. This revelation did not strike me as a big deal. After all, they had been talking about Buddhist meditation, Sufi parables and personal spiritual rituals.
A kneeling woman does not have far to fall, and by all rights Jesus' insult should have floored her on the spot.
Although Muslim reform may seem like an oxymoron to those who see Islam only through the lens of graphic violence, Muslim reformers have been in the sights of jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda for years. Their increasingly bold public stance has made them the natural enemy of those who seek to squeeze followers of Islam into a tight-fisted sectarianism at war with the entire infidel world.
Some of the CEOs accused of unethical business practices are also “born-again” Christians: Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth, Ken Lay of Enron and Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom. How did they justify actions that are unethical, if not criminal? Robert S. McElvaine (Chicago Tribune, July 17) explains that while Hindus believe in karma—what one does in this life matters for the next life, some Christians believe all you need to do is "accept Jesus and then you can do whatever the hell you want."