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God's Politics

the latest news on the Christian Coalition, Pope Benedict, slavery, arms trafficking, Lebanon, Israel-Palestine, the Iraq Study Group, and the NYPD shooting

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Christian Coalition. Christian Coalition president-elect quits over agenda qualms “The Rev. Joel Hunter … said he quit as president-elect of the group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson because he realized he would be unable to broaden the organization’s agenda beyond opposing abortion and gay marriage. He hoped to include issues such as easing poverty and saving the environment.”

Pope Benedict. Pope on delicate Turkish mission There are therefore three quite separate aspects to the Pope’s visit to Turkey: his official visit to the secular Turkish state; his ongoing unofficial, at times acrimonious, dialogue with the world of Islam; and his formal visit to the headquarters of the Orthodox Church.

Slavery. Evangelicals fought the good fight against slavery – and they still do “Anyone familiar with the history of social justice knows that evangelicals, as well as others of different faiths, have led many of the causes that progressives today claim as their turf.”

Arms Trafficking. Weapon Of Mass Destruction. “The AK-47 has become the world’s most prolific and effective combat weapon, a device so cheap and simple that it can be bought in many countries for less than the cost of a live chicken. Depicted on the flag and currency of several countries, waved by guerrillas and rebels everywhere, the AK is responsible for about a quarter-million deaths every year.”

Lebanon. In Lebanon, a crisis for Christians “Gemayel was the latest victim in a sporadic campaign of assassinations and bombings that has shaken Lebanon over the past two years. All the bomb attacks have occurred in Christian neighborhoods and all but two of the assassination attempts have targeted Christian figures, both politicians and journalists. But instead of uniting the historically divisive community, the killings and heightened sectarian tension has polarized the Christians even further.”

Israel-Palestine. Olmert: Palestinians Stand at Crossroads “Israel would also ease the checkpoints across the West Bank, improve border terminals in Gaza, release the frozen money to the Palestinians and help develop a plan to rehabilitate their crippled economy, he said. In exchange, Olmert said Palestinians would have to renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to live in peace and security and give up their demands to allow refugees from the 1948 Mideast War to return to their homes in what is now Israel.” Israeli Leader Offers Incentives to Palestinians “There was little new in Mr. Olmert’s speech. But the timing was important, because both Mr. Olmert and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, are eager to bolster their own political positions, begin a serious dialogue and stop a bloody cycle of violence.”

Iraq Study Group. Panel to Weigh Overture by U.S. to Iran and Syria “A draft report on strategies for Iraq, which will be debated here by a bipartisan commission beginning Monday, urges an aggressive regional diplomatic initiative that includes direct talks with Iran and Syria but sets no timetables for a military withdrawal, according to officials who have seen all or parts of the document.”

NYPD Shooting. 50 Shots Fired, and the Experts Offer a Theory “Just what happened on Saturday is still being investigated. Police experts, however, suggested in interviews yesterday that contagious shooting played a role in a fatal police shooting in Queens Saturday morning. According to the police account, five officers fired 50 shots at a bridegroom who, leaving his bachelor party at a strip club, twice drove his car into a minivan carrying plainclothes police officers investigating the club.”

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