Generous Orthodoxy  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cartoon of the week

The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News featured a three-frame cartoon last week by Mike Peters.

Each frame shows Jesus. The caption for the whole thing is "If Jesus returned as Glenn Beck..."

In the first frame, Jesus says, "Don't heal the sick, that's socialism."
Second frame, Jesus says, "Don't shelter the homeless, that's communism."
Final frame, Jesus says, "Don't feed the hungry, that's Nazism."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

All is not lost for the Roman Catholics

The front pages have been filled, the last few days, with fresh news of the horrors of childen sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and--far worse--the systematic cover-up that invariably seems to follow.

It is therefore a cause for thanksgiving that The New York Times has seen fit to print two very favorable and encouraging articles about Roman Catholics. The first is called "Giving Up, but Also Taking On, for Lent." It's about a business executive who is doing volunteer work this Lent at a nonprofit employment agency. The article is full of Christian testimony:

In volunteering four hours a week at a nonprofit employment service called Jubilee Jobs, Mr. Hisle aspired to more than doing good; he aspired, in the spirit of the season, to approach an understanding of Jesus’ mission and sacrifice.
“I’m hoping that somehow or other by helping with a résumé, treating him with respect, showing him we care, that even though he’s had a hard life, maybe things can get better,” Mr. Hisle said after the appointment. “In doing this work, I try to see what we call in our church, ‘Christ in our midst.’ Meaning I believe that God is with us. And that no matter what we do, God loves us.”

The article about Mr. Hisle is well worth reading from beginning to end. Click here:

The news in the other article is probably available in many other sources besides the Times, because it is about some nuns who are supporting Obama's health care plan in spite of their opposition to abortion. However, the Times article includes some good quotes. You gotta love these nuns. Here are some tidbits:

“It is an utter mystery to me” how religious groups that oppose abortion could read the same bill so differently, said Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization that supports the bill. Sister Simone, who described herself as anti-abortion, said she did not believe that the Senate version of the bill would make abortion more widely available. She did not directly criticize the [Roman Catholic] bishops, but said “some people could be motivated by a political loyalty that’s outside of caring for the people who live at the margins of health care in society.”

....Mr. Stupak [Congressman from Michigan] hit back at the nuns on Thursday, saying they did not have much influence. “With all due respect to the nuns, when I deal or am working on right-to-life issues, we don’t call the nuns,” he said on the MSNBC program “Hardball.”

The divide between the nuns and the bishops reflects a larger one nationwide among those who both oppose abortion and believe that the nation’s health care system must be overhauled.
“When I read the Gospel, where is Jesus? He’s healing the lepers,” Sister Simone said. “It’s because of his Gospel mandate to do likewise that we stand up for health care reform.”

As for Mr. Stupak, he is in a fair bit of trouble with nuns for his remarks.

“We have a number of nuns in his district, and they’ve been calling him,” said Sister Regina McKillip, a Dominican nun who lives in Washington. “Who’s been on the ground, in the field? Who knows the struggles people have to deal with? It’s the sisters.”

Here is the link:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World Vision murderously attacked in Pakistan

In case you haven't heard, a truly shocking and terrible attack on the World Vision headquarters in Pakistan has killed five local Pakistani aid workers and wounded many others. This is just so heartbreaking because Pakistan is not a place where it is easy to recruit local people for ministry. It would be heartening for World Vision if donations came in in memory of these workers, who can almost be considered martyrs in the true sense of that term.

click here

Monday, March 01, 2010

God's work in the world raised to the nth power

Don't miss this column by Nicholas Kristof in praise of World Vision. "Evangelicals have become the new internationalists." He quotes Richard Stearns, head of World Vision in the US and author of the new book The Hole in the Gospel:

"In one striking passage, Mr. Stearns quotes the prophet Ezekiel as saying that the great sin of the people of Sodom wasn’t so much that they were promiscuous or gay as that they were 'arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.'” (Ezekiel 16:49.)

Mr. Kristof has been defending the relief work of evangelical organizations (as distinguished from well-meaning but ignorant and inexperienced "rescuers") for years in his column in The New York Times, where disdain for Christianity is more typical.

He writes further:

"Some liberals are pushing to end the longtime practice (it’s a myth that this started with President George W. Bush) of channeling American aid through faith-based organizations. That change would be a catastrophe. In Haiti, more than half of food distributions go through religious groups like World Vision that have indispensable networks on the ground. We mustn’t make Haitians the casualties in our cultural wars.
"A root problem is a liberal snobbishness toward faith-based organizations. Those doing the sneering typically give away far less money than evangelicals. They’re also less likely to spend vacations volunteering at, say, a school or a clinic in Rwanda.
If secular liberals can give up some of their snootiness, and if evangelicals can retire some of their sanctimony, then we all might succeed together in making greater progress against common enemies of humanity, like illiteracy, human trafficking and maternal mortality."

Do read this, and let's support World Vision even more! Here is the link: