16 January 2010

January snippets

  • It seems some television viewers were disconcerted by Brit Hume's comments shown in this segment below:

    Writing for The New York Times, Ross Douthat thinks that differences amongst religions should be openly discussed and not hushed up as if such conversations were intrinsically subversive of democracy: Let's talk about faith.

  • This finding can hardly be surprising: Eating junk food can lead to depression. Our physical well-being and mental health are so thoroughly interconnected that what we eat will inevitably have ramifications for both. I would add from personal experience that caffeine is no help either.

  • Notes from a Byzantine-rite Calvinist's annual Award for Political Education (APE) goes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for single-handedly bringing prorogation back into the vocabulary of ordinary Canadians. Now if only he could do the same for responsible government.

  • Are faith-based universities intrinsically incompatible with the hallowed principle of academic freedom? The Canadian Association of University Teachers thinks so: CAUT versus Trinity Western. John Stackhouse mounts a somewhat weak defence of BC's Trinity Western University and similar institutions. Read more here: Academic freedom and the faith-based university.

  • Because these sorts of stories are not given the attention they deserve in the mainstream western media, those of us in what might be called the informal media have a special responsibility to alert our own readers to them: Muslims Slaughter Christians in Egypt. Fortunately, Egyptian authorities are doing something about it: Egypt security court to try suspects in Copt killings. While Chuck Colson's charge that Christians in muslim countries are Unprotected and unnoticed may be something of an overstatement, he is right to raise awareness of their plight amongst Christians in this part of the world.

  • Pakistan is another country in which Christians are routinely subjected to violence by members of the muslim majority. How many Christians live in that country? Two decades ago Gene R. Preston wrote: "The most recent census — conducted in 1981 — gave a rough count of 84 million people of whom not quite a million were Christian. The unofficial 1990 estimate is 108 million, with an explosive birthrate of nearly 4 percent. That could soon mean up to 2 million Christians in this land of Islam." Wikipedia gives a figure of "2,800,000 in 2008, or 1.6% of the population." However, Nazir S. Bhatti, President of the Pakistan Christian Congress, asserts that Christians make up fully 13 percent of the population of Pakistan, which the country's government deliberately underestimates for its own purposes.

    jonathan said...

    It's a shame that the question of religion's discuss-ability is, in this context, wedded to the North American obsession with celebrity.

    Dave Deavel said...

    Thanks for keeping the persecution of Christians in our view, David. Touchstone Magazine has a regular feature doing it, but it is a subject largely ignored by many religious publications.


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