Daily Archives: March 2, 2014
His co-workers may have not seen past his beard, but the jury did.
A Muslim American man from Ypsilanti, Mich., has won a nearly $1.2-million jury award after successfully arguing he was harassed, taunted and discriminated against at work because of his religion, race and appearance – most notably, his long scruffy beard.
Ali Aboubaker, 56, a U.S. citizen and Tunisia native with four advanced degrees, was awarded the judgment on Thursday following a two-week jury trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
“We were stunned,” said Aboubaker’s lawyer, Shereef Akeel, who stressed to the jury that his client had several strikes against him.
On New Year’s, [Carrie] Davis picked up a book by Christian writer Jen Hatmaker, “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.”
The book tells Hatmaker’s story as the wife of a pastor to a big church in Austin, Texas, where they were busy loving their fellow well-to-do neighbors as themselves.
Then Hurricane Ike tore through town, and they opened their home to displaced strangers. A 10-year-old boy walked in and yelled, “Dad! This white dude is RICH!” Hatmaker writes.
She hadn’t thought they were.
While passages from the Psalms appeared in all 10 of the most populous countries’ top five searches, they account for three of the top five searches in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. The Old Testament rounded out all five of the top spots in Nigeria and Pakistan, while 1 Cor. 13 was the only New Testament passage to reach the top five in Bangladesh.
Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh rank No. 8, No. 14, and No. 48 respectively on Open Doors’ World Watch List. The Pew Research Center also ranked the most populous countries and their levels of religious hostility.
Bible Gateway and GMI also reported on specific words people in the most populous countries are seeking: “guidance,” “God,” “comfort,” “the word,” “hope,” “strength,” “identity,” “the beginning,” “refuge,” “mercy,” and “love.”
Just three search words””love, hope and strength””overlapped with the list of top 10 topical keywords searched last year.
What makes [The publicity of the Arizona debate and its]… response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender ”” to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.
Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face. The conjugal, male-female view of marriage is too theologically rooted to disappear, but its remaining adherents can be marginalized, set against one other, and encouraged to conform.
I am being descriptive here, rather than self-pitying. Christians had plenty of opportunities ”” thousands of years’ worth ”” to treat gay people with real charity, and far too often chose intolerance. (And still do, in many instances and places.) So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status ”” this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.
But it’s still important for the winning side to recognize its power. We are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we’re not having a negotiation. Instead, all that’s left is the timing of the final victory ”” and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.
O God, heavenly Father, whose every motion towards us springs from thine inexhaustible love: Enable us, we humbly beseech thee, cheerfully to sacrifice ourselves for the well-being of those with whom we have to do, and also to love them with the tender love which thou hast for the world; that so though now we see thee darkly through the veil of our blindness, we with them may presently see thee in the fullness of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
–2 Corinthians 3:7-18
This is simply stunning–take the 2 1/2 minutes to watch it all.
At the moment, Putin is doing very well in Ukraine. Clueless arrogance by both US and EU policymakers gave Putin a heaven-sent opportunity to block a worst-case scenario for Russia in Ukraine last fall. Then-President Yanukovych, a man of the east long associated with Russia, was moving toward signing an Association Agreement with the EU that offered a historic opportunity for a united Ukraine to move firmly west. But both Washington and the EU underestimated Putin’s determination to block that outcome and failed to ensure that Yanukovych went all the way. Putin seized the opportunity and with a combination of official and perhaps unofficial, more personal incentives, was able to keep Yanukovych from finalizing the deal.
Yanukovych’s obvious yielding to Moscow’s blandishments touched off the unrest that would ultimately bring him down and set the current crisis afoot. When pro-European street protesters overthrew Yanukovych, there were plenty of Western analysts (some, unfortunately, working for governments) who drew the comforting but deeply false conclusion that these events represented a triumph of the West. Instead, the revolution (Kiev’s third since 1990), unleashed the chaos that gave Putin his chance for his Crimean gambit. Now Putin seems to be seizing the most important military assets Russia holds in the country and can reasonably hope to increase Russia’s influence throughout the country as a weak government struggles with intractable problems.
[Charles VonRosenberg]…emphasized, however, the need for Christian unity among different denominations and groups who might not agree on all issues but who can still operate as a family with common roots and missions of faith and service.
“The spirit of God moves through history in the direction of unity among God’s people. I believe that principle,” vonRosenberg said. “I pray for our unity, and I encourage you to join me in that belief and prayer.”
On the eve of [Melissa] Skelton’s consecration, I caught up with her for some questions:
Q. How do you explain your strong showing in the vote for bishop?
A. I’ve wondered a lot about this very thing. All that I can imagine is this: it had to do with the fact that I’m a woman and that I’ve had significant experience in developing congregations and assisting them to grow spiritually and numerically.
Q. Since Bishop Ingham was a controversial figure in the 70-million member global Anglican communion, how will you handle his legacy?
A. I intend to listen and learn a lot about what this experience has been like for the diocese ”” the positive parts of this and the more difficult parts. I’m trying to come to this with a real beginner’s mind, not making assumptions about people’s experience. By the way, I’m fully supportive of offering blessings of covenantal relationships between same-sex couples in the Anglican Church.