Sept. 29-30, 2007, weekend
September 29, 2007
RELIGION DOES GOOD, TOO
A college professor looks at the turmoil in Myanmar, or Burma, and concludes -- in harmony with a column I did recently -- that although religion often gets blamed for being a source of violence, it's also the source of much good. Well put.
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QUITE A FEET -- RELIGIOUS BALLET
Can there be Christian ballet? This story suggests the answer is yes -- and in Mississippi, of all places. Do you suppose they perform to that hymn, "The Lord of the Dance"?
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MORE EFFORTS TO STOP TORTURE
Several times in the last couple of years, both in print and on this blog, I have written about the various ways religious groups around the country are working to oppose torture as an instrument of U.S. government practice or policy.
To follow up on that coverage, I want to link you to the recent testimony given by the Rev. George Hunsinger on behalf of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It was submitted to a closed hearing of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
As Hunsinger says, the issue is not whether torture is an effective way of gathering important information. (He believes it is not.) Rather, the issue is whether torture is ever a moral act.
Hunsinger says torture "violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear." And I think he's right.
There has been a slowly growing campaign to get the American government to stop using torture. Faith communities have been at the forefront of this effort, and I think it's exactly the sort of battle they should be part of.
What's your own faith community, if you have one, doing in this area?
P.S. The other day here on the blog I linked you to a story about an Italian physician who was suggesting that Pope John Paul II's death may have been a mercy killing. For more insight on that question, click here for a good analysis by John L. Allen Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.