Monks and friars have long been among the best brewmasters, and the old heart of the Church of England, Canterbury Cathedral, has acknowledged that with the return of a “cathedral brew” to the church, not seen since 1828.
Ohio Schools Get God
From the state that brought you the next four years…The Columbus, Ohio Public Schools Board of Education has altered their policies regarding the role religion may take in public schools. The new rules accomodate religious students in various ways that are mostly personal: allowing religious clothing, permitting students to sit apart from others during a fast, or providing food options for students who can’t eat pork; allowing student prayer during non-class time; and allowing “release time” for recognized religious holidays. Beyond matters of clothing and diet, though, the Board’s decision will also give religious groups use of school facilities, and students will be allowed to distribute religious literature and other materials on campus.
Christ seen in Ghana
Thousands of believers in Ghana’s capital say they’ve seen Christ’s face on the wall of a Catholic Church.
Something Happening Here…
Investigating the Christian blogosphere in the November cover story of the Australian Salvation Army magazine WarCry, Jen Vuk wonders whether Christian bloggers are carrying forward the public debate missing from the mainstream Church (reprinted here with permission). While it’s hard to fathom where Vuk found such an apolitical church, we’re thrilled to see God-bloggers, including the excellent Bene Diction, getting the recognition they deserve. Unfortunately, Vuk’s piece focuses more on the method and novelty of blogging than on the varieties or substance of Christian blogs, and precious little attention is given to either the debates that certainly do exist on God blogs (a comic understatement, to say the least), or to the role religion and faith play on these blogs, both for writers and readers. That’s a missed opportunity for Vuk, because we know Bene Diction has a smart and thoughtful lot to say on both these subjects. Still, we’re glad that the recognition went to such a good site — that can only raise the bar on religion reporting and debate.
The Paranoid Style in American Child-Rearing
The fight’s not over…says, um, Chuck Colson, who doesn’t want Christian conservatives to sit on their laurels now that they’ve won the government. Colson, who last proposed that gay marriage in the United States could mobilize religious fundamentalists and lead to a Talibanized America, isn’t content with being effectively proved right. This is no time for rest, Colson writes. “The kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force One no matter how good the president’s character or great his ability.” It depends on your children, and unless you start now — instructing them in “biblical worldview thinking,” and training them to resist arguments of “‘feelings’ or ‘fairness'” — they could go secular on you in college. Imagine that: the enemy asleep and dreaming, just down the hall.
The World Council of Churches, a body representing 342 Christian groups around the world (of all traditions save Catholicism), released a letter Wednesday, chiding U.S. member churches for depicting a partisan God and for using their churches to influence the presidential election. WCC General Secretary Rev. Samuel Kobia wrote that the whole world had been watching with interest, these past few months, to see how churches would shape “‘a powerful nation’s stance toward the world.'” And this is what they saw: “‘The harsh claims that make most of the headlines, that invoked the judgment of a partisan God, have provoked deep concern around the world. We do not ask whose side God was on in this election. Rather, like Abraham Lincoln when he confronted a divisive war, we seek to be found on God’s side.”
Everybody, Everywhere in His Hands
My brothers and my sisters, the mountains and the rivers, you and me…yup: He’s got the whole world in his hands. (They’re well aware.)