Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Few Links

I want to link to a few articles I read recently, for those who may be interested. The Daily Telegraph has an article on Christianity in China. Here are some highlights:

"Buddhism and Taoism claim most worshippers but the state-sanctioned churches count up to 35 million followers. More significant are the underground or 'house' churches, which are said to have 80 or even 100 million members....House churches which go along with the authority and theology of the official organisations are often left alone. But many reject the party's control over Christian practice and doctrine, and these are seen as a threat. After all, 80 million members would mean there are now more Christians than Communists in China. Few believe that many of the party's 70 million members keep the faith burning any more. This year the Politburo made it easier for churches to register, but at the same time launched a wave of persecution of those which refused....Mr Xun, the beauty salon evangelist, has never been in trouble. But perhaps by coincidence, a week after he fired an anti-Christian employee, there was a police raid. It turned out the salon's acupuncture service lacked a proper licence. Mr Xun received a heavy fine, which he could not pay, and he was forced to hand over the running of the business to others. He wonders whether it was acupuncture that upset the authorities, or the Gospel."

And here's an article on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' conservative Catholic church and his conservative Catholic background.

Newsweek has an article on the pro-choice movement reconsidering its approach toward abortion. The story mentions George Lakoff, a Berkeley linguist who has been advising pro-choice advocates:

"In one of his more controversial suggestions, he advised the activists to reclaim the 'life' issue by blaming Republicans for high U.S. infant-mortality rates and mercury pollution that can cause birth defects. 'Basically what I'm saying is that conservatives are killing babies,' he says."

That's not a particularly convincing argument. It's not particularly consistent either.