BOYKIN & ABU GHRAIB | "PASSION" OVERSEAS | CHRISTIAN MUSIC PIRACY | MEMORIAL DIAMONDS | PRAYER DAY | CONNERY'S JEWISH CHARACTER | DENVER DOCTOR HAMMERS HINDUS | SPIRITED CAMPAIGNER | BARBARA'S BABY BLUES
Lt. Gen. Boykin's Torture Techniques
Lt. Gen. William Boykin, a top Pentagon intelligence officer, is alreadyunder scrutiny for anti-Islamic remarks he made in a speech last year.On Tuesday a Senate panel was told that the evangelical Christian general briefed acivilian military officials last summer on techniques that might be usedto make Iraqi detainees talk.
In October, President Bush publicly criticized Boykin after the general claimed he told a Muslim, "I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol." In the same speech, Boykin said terrorists had attacked the United States because it is "a Christian nation." Boykin's remarks spurred a Pentagon review, but he did not lose his post.
Several investigations have been launched into who, if anyone, orderedthe abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, and what the Pentagon knew when. ButMuslim critics immediately pointed to Boykin's alleged involvement asevidence of a disregard for the prisoners' humanity. "It definitelycontributes to a climate in which these young MPs apparently felt it was... OK to abuse Muslim and Arab men like this," Hussein Ibish,communications director for the Arab American Anti-DiscriminationCommittee, told Reuters. The connection to Boykin, critics say, will also fuel Muslim suspicions that the atrocities, and the war, are a Christian campaignagainst Islam.
Remember That Movie?
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" continues to pull in cash at the box office (total gross from American theaters is up to more than $368 million as of May 9). But now that the movie has been out on U.S. screens for 11 weeks, the major money influx comes from overseas theaters. Gibson has already sold more than $212 million in tickets outside the U.S. Box Office Mojo tracks the performance of "The Passion" on overseas screens. Not surprisingly, Italy leads the way, with $24,263,182 in ticket sales as of April 25. Other big "Passion"-watching countries include Brazil, France, Mexico, the U.K., Spain, and South Korea. The website doesn't yet list any box office revenues for the movie in the Arab world.
Teenage Christian Music Pirates
It's hard to imagine young evangelicals browsing gospel, worship and contemporary Christian music and asking themselves, "What Would Jesus Steal?" Or is it? According to a recent survey by the Gospel Music Association, 77 percent of born-again Christian teens have pirated Christian tunes, either by illegally burning CDs, downloading music files or sharing uploaded music with their friends.
The GMA commissioned The Barna Group to conduct the study, GMA president John W. Styll said, because Christian music sales (down 5 percent last year) have been hurt by piracy. "We went into this study wanting to learn more about our young consumers and how their faith intersects with this vital issue," he said. "We were somewhat surprised to find out that it does not."
The study, which surveyed 1,488 Christian and non-Christian teenagers, revealed that the two groups pirate music at roughly the same rate (77 percent and 81 percent). Only 10 percent of Christian teens believe it is morally wrong to copy CDs. The GMA announced its findings in a press release headlined: "Christian Teens Take the Moral High Ground on Music Piracy...Not!"
"[The survey] furthers our resolve that we, meaning the industry, parents and spiritual leaders," Styll said, "need to do a better job educating the hearts and minds of young people to the basic principle, 'thou shalt not steal.'"