Some recent newsflashes
FBI admits to abuses of Patriot Act
"The Bush administration misused its authority and improperly obtained personal information about people in the US on hundreds of occasions, according to a report released by a US Justice Department watchdog.
Robert Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said he was to be held accountable for the abuses, which involved the improper use of so-called national security letters, which allowed the FBI to obtain personal information, including telephone, banking, and e-mail records."
Archbishop Williams meets Archbishop Malango of Central Africa; they should have discussed deposing Bishop Nolbert Kunonga but instead we get platitudes
"This statement, coming in the midst of Williams' silence on the matter of Peter Akinola's support for human rights violations, makes you wonder what a conservative prelate would have to do in order to elicit a public expression of displeasure from the Archbishop of Canterbury." - Jim Naughton, Episcopal Diocese of Washington
EU takes a leap of faith and commits to substantial reductions in CO2 emissions: pray that US and China follow!
"I'm getting the feeling that not only in the US but in the industrialising countries as well, there's growing sensitivity when it comes to realising the importance of these issues. The member states have said 'Yes. We want to go down this road.' We are proud to hoist our colours to the mast [on climate change]." Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
News on Nigerian anti-gay legislation FINALLY makes its way to the mainstream media
"A poisonous piece of legislation is quickly making its way through the Nigerian National Assembly. Billed as an anti-gay-marriage act, it is a far-reaching assault on basic rights of association, assembly and expression. Chillingly, the legislation — proposed last year by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo — has the full and enthusiastic support of the leader of Nigeria’s powerful Anglican church. Unless the international community speaks out quickly and forcefully against the bill, it is almost certain to become law."
For reference, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of Purpose Driven Life, had this to say about Akinola in Time last year:
"Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola captured headlines last year for leading the worldwide revolt of evangelical Anglicans against the ordination of gay bishops in the U.S. by the Episcopal Church. But to caricature his ministry with that one issue would severely underestimate his importance. Akinola personifies the epochal change in the Christian church, namely that the leadership, influence, growth and center of gravity in Christianity is shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern. New African, Asian and Latin American church leaders like Akinola, 61, are bright, biblical, courageous and willing to point out the inconsistencies, weaknesses and theological drift in Western churches.
With nearly 18 million active Anglicans in Nigeria, Akinola's flock dwarfs the mother Church of England's membership. And since he is chairman of the 37 million—member Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, when he speaks, far more than just Anglicans pay attention. Akinola has the strength of a lion, useful in confronting Third World fundamentalism and First World relativism. He has been criticized for recent remarks of frustration that some felt exacerbated Muslim-Christian clashes in his country. But Christians are routinely attacked in parts of Nigeria, and his anger was no more characteristic than Nelson Mandela's apartheid-era statement that "sooner or later this violence is going to spread to whites." I believe he, like Mandela, is a man of peace and his leadership is a model for Christians around the world."
Pastor Warren, you need to see a good neuropsychologist, and if you swing by Michigan I'll introduce you to one. Akinola is not a man of peace. He is nothing at all like Mandela. And as for theological drift, Jesus said to treat one's neighbor as oneself. Akinola is either drifting, theologically, or else he should be thrown in jail for five years.
Mayans to cleanse sacred site after Bush visit to Guatemala
"Mayan leaders will spiritually "cleanse" ancient ruins in Guatemala after a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush, unpopular here because of foreign policies going back to Central America's civil wars.
The leaders said they would hold a spiritual ceremony to restore "peace and harmony" at the Mayan ruins of Iximche after Bush tours the site on Monday.
"No, Mr. Bush, you cannot trample and degrade the memory of our ancestors," said indigenous leader Rodolfo Pocop during a press conference. "This is not your ranch in Texas.""
""We will burn incense, place flowers and water in the area where Mr. Bush has walked to clean out the bad energy," he said."
On one hand, this is a justifiable act of resistance by a colonized people against the colonizers. On the other hand, if they were Christians ... I know I ask for fire and judgment and recommend that people see shrinks and neuropsychiatrists, but I think I shall refrain from comparing them to Satan.