God's Politics

The latest news on forgiveness in the Amish community, congressional scandal, Iraq, the Mideast, North Korea, surveillance, and faith and politics.

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Forgiveness. An Amish Community Grieves for Its Little Ones – “All day they trudged across the dusty farm fields here — white-bearded Amish patriarchs, women in black dresses and white bonnets, strapping young men with cropped hair and tanned arms. They came, too, in their metal-wheeled black buggies, drawn by lathered horses that built clouds of gray dust on the gravel byways, somber but dutiful people on timeless missions of grief.” Amish face grief with forgiveness – “In just about any other community, a deadly school shooting would have brought demands from civic leaders for tighter gun laws and better security, and the victims’ loved ones would have lashed out at the gunman’s family or threatened to sue.”

Congressional scandal. Early Warning on Foley Cited by Former Aide – “A former Congressional aide said Wednesday that Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s’s office knew about reports of “inappropriate behavior” by Representative far earlier than Mr. Hastert’s office has acknowledged.” Ex-Aide to Foley Cites ’03 Warnings – “A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) approached House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s office three years ago, repeatedly imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley’s advances toward teenage male pages, the staff member said.” Onetime Loyal Aide Now Stands to Undermine GOP – “For 20 years, Kirk Fordham was a loyal staffer and strategist — rising from his early days as a Capitol Hill intern to the coveted post of chief of staff to a senior congressman. But Wednesday, amid a scandal that has rattled Capitol Hill and ended the political career of Fordham’s longtime boss, former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), the 39-year-old aide emerged as a central player in a saga that could bring down the same House GOP leadership that he worked so tirelessly to serve.”

Iraq. Attacks in Baghdad Kill 13 U.S. Soldiers in 3 Days – “Thirteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in Baghdad since Monday, the American military reported, registering the highest three-day death toll for U.S. forces in the capital since the start of the war.” Military Hones a New Strategy on Insurgency – “The United States Army and Marines are finishing work on a new counterinsurgency doctrine that draws on the hard-learned lessons from Iraq and makes the welfare and protection of civilians a bedrock element of military strategy.”

Mideast. Rice focuses on small steps to Mideast peace – “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, expressed sympathy for the deepening suffering of Palestinians, but signaled that her efforts toward Mideast peace now focus on a handful of narrow issues.” Palestinian coalition talks fail as Rice arrives for visit – “Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said yesterday that attempts to form a coalition government with the ruling Hamas movement had failed despite a mounting economic and security crisis.”

North Korea. U.S. Warns North Koreans About Nuclear-Weapon Test – “The Bush administration sent a direct message to North Korea on Wednesday, warning it not to set off a nuclear test, and later declared that the United States was “not going to live with” a nuclear-armed North Korea.”

Surveillance. Warrantless surveillance OK during appeal – “The Bush administration can continue its warrantless surveillance program while it appeals a judge’s ruling that the program is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.”

Faith and politics. Dobson rally draws supporters, protesters – “A rally Tuesday in downtown St. Paul touting “traditional family values” drew thousands of attendees — and several hundred protesters.” Voters told to let morals be their guide – “Dobson was in Minnesota, one of three states targeted by his national group to mobilize “values voters,” to urge support for candidates who take a hard line against terrorism, gay marriage and abortion.”

Too much politicking from the pulpit (Christian Science Monitor editorial) – “…the politics-pulpit link is growing stronger in this year’s close and consequential election. Church leaders of differing ideological stripes are stepping up efforts to move more people from the pews to the polls and, by implication – and even by direct endorsement – to certain candidates.”

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