State-Sponsored Church

I know this happened two days ago, but I’ve been wondering if I should say just a bit about it:

President George W. Bush visited a state-sponsored Christian church this morning to nudge China on religious freedom — the first stop on a whirlwind visit where he is likely to face difficulty getting his hosts to change their ways on fair trade or human rights.

A bit farther down in the article we have this:

The church itself is one of five officially recognized Protestant churches in Beijing. There are Catholic churches as well, although the Chinese bar them from having close ties to the Vatican.

What does it take to be a church officially recognized by the Communist government of China? What are the practical and theological implications of being state-sponsored? And how many unregistered (ie, underground and persecuted) churches are there?

I suppose I could Google for an answer, but I haven’t yet.

What’s There to Say?

Here’s an AP story that captures my attention, although I suspect it won’t be for long:

A 16-year-old boy accused of killing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent has escaped from a juvenile prison for the fifth time in three years รขโ‚ฌโ€ just as he promised, an official said Saturday.

Herlan Colindres, a street gang member implicated in 16 other killings….

He’s only sixteen and he’s already accused of murder?

Sixteen of them?

That makes at least sixteen dead tragedies and at least one living one.

What else is there to say?

To feel?

To do?

Borderline Parallel

The Miami Herald’s headline for the story is interesting (Remember Berlin Wall? Now, think Mexico) yet deeply flawed as an historical parallel.

My recollection of the Berlin Wall is at least three-fold:

  1. It was an intra-national wall.
  2. It was built by the government whose people were “voting with their feet.”
  3. It was there to keep people in.

So when should anyone think of the Berlin Wall when a US-Mexico border fence is discussed?

  1. When the thinker believes the US-Mexico national distinction should not exist. In said case, the thinker would see the fence as an intra-national fence rather than an inter-national fence.
  2. When the thinker believes the fence is to be built by Mexico to keep its oppressed people from choosing freedom in the US.
  3. When the thinker believes the purpose of the fence is to keep people in the United States.

In my view, the parallel the Miami Herald expounds is borderline at best.

If you haven’t yet, at least scan the article/editorial. Notice the words and expressions that serve to plant and foster and anti-fence bias.

Oh, and why should a conservative Anabaptist care about the issue?

Good question. ๐Ÿ™‚

They’re Children?!

Have you ever heard of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement?

I would say that extinction and movement have a way of being mutually exclusive. If the members truly are for voluntary extinction, how can they possibly be part of any movement?!

Nevertheless, consider what UPI has to report:

Make no mistake about it, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement isn’t anti-child, it’s more like anti-human.

The VHE is dedicated to phasing out the human race in the interest of the health of the Earth, founder Les Knight told Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

Not very dedicated, I would say.

But please continue reading….

With 16,000 people born per hour and a current global population of 6.5 billion, there are already more than enough people on the planet, Knight said.

Not that I believe Mr. Knight should voluntarily extinctivize himself, but what’s he doing here then?

Oh, perhaps you’re wondering about the headline for my post.

Knight, who had a vasectomy at age 25, emphasizes VHE likes kids and says many of its members are parents as well as children.

Many of its members are children. Good deal. They were all born, albeit involuntarily. I don’t find that particularly unique — ever since Adam and Eve, all humans have been children.

Oh wait. I get it now. Membership in this organization is comprised of adults and non-adults.

Am I mocking Mr. Knight and the organization? Perhaps, though I really don’t mean to.

I hope Mr. Knight finds a better purpose for living.

God’s purpose.

Got (God’s) Love?

Noordin Mohamad Top (maybe)

The Star (Malaysia) offers this AP story:

A video found in the hide-out of one of Asia’s most wanted militants shows a masked man threatening attacks against the United States, Britain and Australia.

Police suspect the man in the video could be Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohamad Top, considered a key leader of the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Noordin has been accused of direct involvement in at least four deadly bombings in Indonesia, including the 2002 and 2005 suicide attacks on the resort island of Bali that together killed 222 people, many of them foreign tourists.

OK, Christians. How do you pray for a man like this? Or would we even consider praying for him?

You could even right-click the image (in Windows XP anyway) and select to have it be your wallpaper. As a reminder, you know.

I’m sure this man has lots of hate directed toward him. What he needs is God’s love directed toward him.

Yeah, I know. Easier written than done.

Above all, love God!

since November 9, 2005