Daily Links 10 December 2004

Serbian Orthodox Church Sues
The Bishop of Serbia’s Orthodox Church has brought a lawsuit against England, France, Germany and Italy, for failing to protect Orthodox churches and religious monuments from Albanian attacks since Nato troops took control of Kosovo in 1999.
Church-State Divisions in Canada
Paul Matthews, of Maisonneuve, gives a editorial-round-up after Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is constitutional (the ruling guaranteed religious institutions’ right to refuse to perform gay marriages), and finds that Canada may be more like America, in terms of culture-war division, than it would like to admit. Canada’s “Bix Six” newspapers have all featured commentary from traditionalists angry at the ruling, with one paper excluding any pro-gay-marriage viewpoints from its op-ed page altogether. Matthews writes that only The Globe argued the inevitability of the ruling: “‘Marriage has not been a strictly religious matter for years. It is now simply a set of privileges granted to those whose unions are socially approved by society…To those worried about preserving the word’s meaning, wake-up: it lost its sanctity the second it was open, in the civil sphere, to heterosexual couples who had no intention of working with a religious community on their path to matrimony.'”
So Many Slights, So Little Time
‘Tis the season for hysterical op-eds, like Deborah Simmons’ Christ-our-of-Christmas lament inThe Washington Times. It’s a popular opinion-page topic this holiday season, but one almost uniformly argued by hacks like Simmons, who blends misinformation (Christmas carols werenot banned in the Chicago public school she mentions) with fear-mongering (the word “holiday” may soon be banned too), and fashions a list of hot-button conservative issues into a cause-and-effect history lesson (removing school prayer leads to Roe v. Wade leads to Target barring the Salvation Army).

Meanwhile, in “So We’re Oppressed?,” Linda Campbell, of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is puzzled that her fellow Christians are so easily offended. Beyond offense though, Campbell wonders at the sense of persecution that led the Catholic League to call for “religion-friendly” business decals, indentifying stores where Christians are welcome. Mentioning a handful of the countries where Christians are routinely harassed, detained or worse by their governments, Campbell suggests, “‘Perhaps instead of imagining oppression, we should envision solutions.'”

Corpus Christi

A Scottish Christian group, Christian Voice, has urged police in the town of Fife to prosecute a student theatre company, Zuloo, for blasphemy for producing an American play that depicts Jesus and his followers as practicing homosexuals. The play, Corpus Christi, is “a modern retelling of the Gospels,” located in the Texan town of the title, and it also sparked strong protests in the U.S. when it opened in 1997. The last British imprisonment for blasphemy took place in 1922, when a man was sentenced to nine months’ hard labor for comparing Jesus to a circus clown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *