Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.
1. Has former White House reporter Helen Thomas mellowed? From Politico: Many who criticized Thomas at the time of her (anti-Jewish/anti-Israel) remarks say the ensuing months have only made matters worse, claiming that she has embraced her controversial views more fully.
2. Bill would require California history books to include contributions of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans. From The LA Times: Textbooks and history classes in California schools would be required to include the contributions of gays, lesbians and transgender Americans under a proposal given final legislative approval in the Assembly on Tuesday and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.
IMHO: Certainly any contribution of any person should not be deliberately excluded from school texts because of any affiliation (sexual or otherwise) or prejudice. But, to me, such a measure as proposed here politicizes history. It would be a bad idea if the words promoting sexual orientation were replaced with words promoting any specific religion, ethnic group or gender. History should be about truth. Period.
3. Why is religion flourishing in America but declining in Britain? Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writing for The Jerusalem Post: This decline of faith and optimism may account for why Britain – once the most advanced nation on earth, which gave the world parliamentary democracy and inimitable centers of higher learning – is today more famous for exporting reality shows like Big Brother and Project Catwalk. For while religion affirms the infinite dignity of the human person, its absence robs life of its sanctity. Universal exploitation and humiliation for fame and fortune are the inevitable outgrowth.
4. Vatican set to reveal secret historical documents. From The Blaze/AP: The Vatican will be displaying 100 select documents from its Secret Archives at an unprecedented exhibit next year, including previously unpublished papers on its World War II-era pope. The exhibit is the first of its kind and will likely shed light on some important questions surrounding the Church’s involvement and opinions surrounding World War II, the Armenian genocide and other important events and occurrences.
5. How did a fallen NYS Governor Eliot Spitzer get his own CNN show? From MediaLife Magazine: Any politician would have been damaged by the allegations, but Spitzer had built his reputation on fighting crime as the so-called “sheriff of Wall Street,” and so the scandal was particularly devastating. He resigned two days after the initial story appeared in the New York Times. But his story didn’t end there. Just two years later… Spitzer joined CNN as co-host of a nightly news show where, ironically, he now covers the scandals of other politicians.
6. Who is Simon Miller? The latest edition of the Walmart-P&G Family Movie Night series is set to air Saturday, August 6th @ 8:00 PM (ET). I believe these films should be supported by audiences who want to encourage more values-oriented family-friendly programming on television.
Here’s the plot synopsis followed by a preview.
When unassuming geologist Simon Miller (Loren Dean) mysteriously disappears one night, the Miller family is thrown into a desperate search to find him. Simon’s wife Meredith (Robyn Lively) and their two kids, Sarah, 18, and Kevin, 15, frantically search Simon’s office for information. When they find a stash of passports, all with Simon’s picture but each with a different alias, they realize that their father has been keeping more than a few secrets. Who is Simon Miller? And what has he gotten himself – and now his family – into? Not sure they can even trust the dad they thought they knew, the Millers embark on an international mission to get him back. It’s a heart- pounding adventure that tests the limits to which families will fight for each other.
Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11