Sep 20, 2005
Almost everyone engaged in the search for Christian unity has at some point received important impulses from the Taizé community. And whoever speaks of Taizé is bound to speak of Roger Schutz (1915-2005), whose intuitions and initiatives turned the community into a focus and center of the ecumenical movement.
Philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that it is always wrong to treat a person or a people purely as a means to an end. According to Kant, to say nothing of common moral sense, human beings are subjects and as such should never to be treated as mere instruments or objects. And yet it seems that the U.S. is rather transparently using the people of Iraq as a means to the end of keeping the battle with the Osamas of the world off of our shores.
More than 100 organizations have urged President Bush to “stand firm on legislation and policies” to ensure that groups receiving certain federal funds provide written proof that they oppose prostitution. The letter to Bush criticizes unnamed groups that demonstrate lenience toward prostitution by, for example, providing condoms to prostitutes or conducting AIDS education programs.
President Bush has tapped Laurence Francis Rooney III, a successful Oklahoma businessman and top Republican fundraiser, as his next ambassador to the Vatican. Rooney, an active Catholic, is the chief executive officer of Rooney Holdings, a multibillion-dollar building and construction company. He is most widely known for the major fundraising role he played during Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. Rooney will replace Ambassador Jim Nicholson, who resigned to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
On my last Sunday in Duke Chapel, after I’d preached to a full church and received a standing ovation after my sermon, a sophomore came up to me and said, “Thanks for abandoning us. What am I supposed to do for spiritual guidance now?”
I told him that God was calling me to a new ministry in Alabama and that whoever replaced me would be great.
“Say,” the student continued, “are you going to be doing much preaching in your new job?”
“Sure will,” I reassured him. “I’ll be preaching two or three times every Sunday.”
Many of you may be asking why a former politician is giving a Bible lecture to an assembly of highly qualified Christian leaders. My only credential is experience. I began teaching Bible lessons as a young midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, and have continued this practice for the past 62 years—now as a deacon at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.
Like many John Le Carré novels, The Constant Gardener boasts a gripping, intricately plotted narrative that makes it ideal for the movies. In the years since the Berlin Wall tumbled and the Soviet Union collapsed, the master of the cold war espionage thriller has turned his attention to thorny moral issues in other parts of the world.
Carpetbaggers: Christian Exodus is a movement of politically active believers who wish to establish a government that operates on biblical principles—as they interpret them. The group has its eye on several counties in South Carolina (it is mum about which ones), and hopes members move there and take over the city councils, school boards and sheriffs’ offices. The long-term goal? A takeover of the whole state. (Los Angeles Times, August 28).
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