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Austin Cline

Newsletter 01-26-05

By January 27, 2005

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News items from the past week include an open letter from a reader to Christianity Today about an article on how secularism is "really" a religion, the nature of Islamic complaints against modernity as compared to conservative evangelical Christian complaints, the lack of "news" at Fox "News," interesting conflicts in the GOP, and more.

Islamist Insurgency Against Modern World
Newt Gingrich believes that America is dealing with an insurgency of radical Muslims against the modern world. It's not so much the West vs. Islam as it is modernity vs. radical Muslims - and many Muslims stand on the side of modernity. He's right, but he doesn't seem to realize that many Christians stand against modernity, too.

That Other Church: Secularism As Religion?
I've written a number of times about secularism, especially when people misunderstand the concept. There are a number of writers on the internet who don't seem to understand the concept, but ignorance is not limited to bloggers. Even writers of respected magazines have trouble.

Bush's Disconnect From Reality
Apparently, Secretary of State Colin Powell was asked by President Bush for his assessment of situation in Iraq and Powell told him: "We're losing." Bush asked him to leave. Now that he is being replaced with Condoleezza Rice, will Bush ever hear any dissenting views? Will he hear anything critical or skeptical?

Anti-Islamic Torture
Yes, it happens

Church & State in Zimbabwe
Interesting situation

Has the Right Hijacked Christianity?
Some think so

Fox News? No Such Thing
No surprise, either

Warnings of Democracy's Collapse
Could it happen?

Class Conflict in the GOP?
Curious debates

Texas Seminaries Seeking Greater Freedom


User Polls:

1) Is Christianity a Religion of Peace?
There are complaints about how some Muslims proclaim Islam as a "religion of peace" even as so many other Muslims advocate war and violence. But what about Christianity? Jesus was supposed to be the "Prince of Peace," but there are many Christians openly and unashamedly advocating war and violence.

2) Should America Care About Being Popular?
America's recent policies on the environment, the Middle East, and other issues has led to a steep decline in American popularity around the world. Is this something that citizens or politicians should be worrying about or is it ultimately irrelevant?

3) Will There Be a Civil War in Israel?
Should Israel pull out of the Gaza Strip, taking Jewish settlers with them? Most people around the world would probably go along with that idea. Even most people in Israel support it. Religious extremists in Israel do not, however, and they encouraging civil disobedience, resistance, and even violence.

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