Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Around the Horn – A Bit of News that Probably Didn't Make the Papers

Early Retirement – The Right Reverend Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, bishop of Rochester, England, has stepped down from his position nearly a decade before the usual age of retirement. In a public release statement, he announced that he will devote his time to defending people being persecuted for their Christian beliefs inside the United Kingdom. A converted Muslim since age 20, he sees the most immediate threats posed by the incursion of radical Islam into the United Kingdom through emigration, which has now resulted in virtual “no-go” zones of cities and neighborhoods for non-Muslims.

Tough Love in Truth – After recent comments by the Pope regarding abstinence and the spread of AIDS in Africa, Africa's bishops have publicly expressed their support for the Roman Church's position, affirming the Pope. Insisting that condoms are not the solution for fighting AIDS in Africa has drawn a great deal of “bad press” for the Vatican, especially from the Western media. But “Pope Benedict's position on condom use is not new,” Cardianl Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, said. “He was only reaffirming the Church's position.” The best way to fight AIDS is “a responsible moral attitude toward sex...fidelity in marriage, chastity and abstinence....”

Your Turn – Dr. Philip Nitschke, an Australian proponent of Euthanasia (or the act of “mercy killing”) is now promoting the sale of a home-suicide kit. It's release has drawn widespread criticism, and has resulted in an invitation to speak at a debate hosted by the Oxford Union being withdrawn. Nitschke's organization, “Exit International” runs regular workshops advising people on “how” to commit suicide, and he has published a book (now banned in his home country of Australia,) called The Peaceful Pill. According to one study done by Queen Mary University of London, a full one-third of British doctors are in favor of physician-assisted suicide. One opinion article released in response warned that “the right to die” will always and soon become “the duty to die.”

Don't Move There – According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), seven new countries will be added to the list of those who violate religious freedom, stating that Nigeria be listed as a “country of particular concern.” Others added to the “watch list,” include Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajkistan, Turkey and Venezuela. Already on the list but not “of particular concern” were Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt and Indonesia, while Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam received the most negative ratings.

Kill the Baby, Catch the Rapist – In a recent rape case in Argentina, police retained pieces of the newly aborted baby in order to use in comparing DNA with suspects in the case. Interestingly, a lawyer offered to adopt the child, stirring up a great deal of controversy. The mother herself is considered mentally retarded and under the care of her parents, who were the ones responsible for the decision to abort. Although abortions are technically illegal in Argentina, there is an exclusion in the cases of the mentally disabled who are raped.

More next week. (Source: The Fellowship of St. James, www.touchstonemag.com)

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