This was recently published in Newsweek.
“It was a small detail, a point of comparison buried in the fifth paragraph on the 17th page of a 24-page summary of the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey. But as R. Albert Mohler Jr.-president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest on earth-read over the document after its release in March, he was struck by a single sentence. For a believer like Mohler-a starched, unflinchingly conservative Christian, steeped in the theology of his particular province of the faith, devoted to producing ministers who will preach the inerrancy of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means to eternal life-the central news of the survey was troubling enough: the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Then came the point he could not get out of his mind: while the unaffiliated have historically been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the report said, “this pattern has now changed, and the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified.” As Mohler saw it, the historic foundation of America’s religious culture was cracking.Published in Newsweek
There it was, an old term with new urgency: post-Christian. This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory. To the surprise of liberals who fear the advent of an evangelical theocracy and to the dismay of religious conservatives who long to see their faith more fully expressed in public life, Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population.”
The International Criminals Court issued an arrest warrant for war crimes for the Sudanese President over the last day or so for its bad times in Darfur. Following on from that, the Sudanese government has just announced that it is rescinding all aid work in the Darfur region. I think its safe to say this is not a coincidence, and that they feel the aid workers are perhaps feeding information back that might incriminate their president.
Imagine a place where rather than how much oil a country had determined whether or not the US had interest in you, but how well or unwell humanitarian issues were dealt with by your government. Imagine if the US issued the same kind of ultimatum to Sudan as it did to Iraq in 2003, or to Zimbabwe, or to many other countries in the world with very very poor human rights records. Do you think it would change the behaviour of these countries? Do you think the world would still hate the US?
I’m not for a moment condoning unilateral invasions of other self governing countries, but if an international body that was a little less inept than the UN could agree that certain countries might face enforced removal of their government in the interest of the safety and human rights of the population, these countries might begin to listen, and might begin to find alternative solutions to genocide or oppression. Countries like Sudan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, and Fiji even, could well buck up their ideas.
This of course begs the question, is war okay if human rights are being fought for, or is it never okay, and should we pursue other methods altogether? War has its casualties, but no one can deny that war was necessary against Hitler in WW2, I don’t think Hitler was up to having talks on resolving how Aryans might peacefully conquer Europe. Either way, an interesting idea that I’m sure will never come to fruition. We like our oil too much to be interested in human rights.
Articles related are here: (NZ Herald)
We can all breath a sigh of relief now that George Bush is out of American politics, but this article from the NZ Herald does raise the question of whether or not American politics really works. Lets face it, George was the most stupidest guy you could ever put in charge of the world’s largest economy and superpower. How on earth does he get voted in TWICE?? Almost anyone running would have probably done a better job than him, yet not only did he get voted in the first time, he got voted in a second time. In my own mind, it beggars belief how he got in again. This article discusses the ratings of previous presidents, and unsurprisingly George gets dumped somewhere near the bottom. Maybe Obama should implement a minimum IQ test to qualify to run for office…
“WASHINGTON – Just days after Americans honoured the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the best US president.
Former President George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN.
Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting.
In contrast, Lincoln was ranked in the top three in each of the 10 categories evaluated by participants. Read more…