+Gene bails out — Listening-'challenged'

Apr 30, 2008 by

What has happened to the crusading zeal for moral highground associated with the Listening Process?  Somehow it has evaporated into thin air. Certain people deserve to be ‘listened to’ while others on the opposite side obviously do not.  And in fact, the very environments they inhabit appear almost contaminated, if you read the article below.  All this is sadly amusing.  Gene is happy to insist on quite a different moral imperative when it suits. If only he could be consistent!  However, as with his views on the creeds, I guess ‘it all depends’ — Hat-tip:  StandFirm Robinson backs out of symposium on ‘ex-gays’ Gay bishop denounces reparative therapy; APA disavows event By CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade | Apr 30, 12:30 PM A controversial symposium to address the relationship between religion and homosexuality is causing consternation among some psychiatrists and some gays, who argue that holding such a dialogue will legitimize homophobic views.  Controversy surrounding the event prompted a gay religious figure who was scheduled to speak at the event to cancel. Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop by the Episcopal Church, had planned to voice his opinion at the forum, but has since pulled out.   Robinson said he canceled his plans to attend because he came to believe that making an appearance at the event would validate the concept that sexual orientation can be changed. “Conservatives, particularly Focus on the Family, were going to use this event to draw credibility to the so-called reparative therapy movement,” Robinson told the Blade. “It became clear to me in the last couple of weeks that just my showing up and letting this event happen … lends credibility to that so-called...

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Chinese-Christians Are Paying a High Price for the Olympics

Apr 16, 2008 by

John W. Whitehead, Rutherford Institute, 14 April 2008 Hat-tip:  David Virtue  (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/868306/posts  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3993857.stm — for additional examples:  The ABC, where are you?!)  The world is finally seeing China for what it is: a totalitarian dictatorship. It’s widely known that China has been rounding up and persecuting First Amendment advocates. These Chinese dissidents who use the Internet and demonstrations to protest what China has been doing often disappear or are sent to re-education camps. Little, however, is said about China’s religious persecution, especially of Christians. Yet it is on par with, if not worse than, the harsh and oppressive treatment of demonstrators in Tibet that has received widespread news coverage and caused public outrage. And it’s been happening for years. Nevertheless, the 2008 Olympic Games were awarded to China in July 2001, with the expectation that the Games would act as a catalyst for the improvement of human rights in China and cause China to change its image. And over the past seven years, China has invested huge amounts of time and resources in preparing for the Olympics in order to make a good impression on the world. Unfortunately, these preparations have included the "religious repression, torture, sexual abuse and arbitrary detention" of many religious individuals, particularly Chinese Christians. Although China is officially an atheist country, the Chinese constitution declares that citizens shall enjoy freedom of religious belief with one stipulation: that so-called freedom can only be exercised within the walls of state churches. What this merging of church and state means is that the government dictates religion. True Christians, however, don’t want that. Thus, a growing underground house church movement has sprung up, numbering between 50-100 million Christian Protestants. This, of course, has been labeled illegal by the Chinese government. Consequently, Chinese authorities routinely swoop into home churches, dragging worshippers out in the streets in some instances and beating them. Some have even been killed. These efforts to squelch the growing home church movement have been ramped up in anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games. The China Aid Association has reported that many house church pastors in Beijing have been "visited" and "requested" to leave the city before the games. Others have been arrested, beaten and tortured. The following incidents paint a grim picture of what Chinese Christians have been subjected to in order that China might discourage the growing home church movement and present a united front for the upcoming Olympics: In April 2007, Liu Huiwen, a Chinese Christian, was arrested for distributing "Christian literature" to Muslims in the Gansu province. Huiwen was reportedly severely beaten before his arrest and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Pastor Cai Zhuohua was imprisoned for three years for "illegally printing" Christian literature. He was tortured with a cattle prod, held in a cold and cramped cell with 27 other prisoners and forced to make soccer balls for 10-12 hours a day for the Olympic Games. Yianan Zhang, a Chinese Christian church leader, was sentenced to two years of "reeducation through labor" for "subverting the national...

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