Behind the laws banning religious conversions

The militant Hindu political party won big in India’s recent elections.  Now the party’s vice chairman is calling for a law in Nepal to ban religious conversions. Hindus would just not be allowed, by law, to become Christians.  This is already the case in Muslim countries.

The thought of banning thoughts and inner convictions seems very odd, as if a person could turn off what he or she believes by force of law.  For Christians, especially Protestant Christians, religion is a matter of what a person believes.  Other religions are about what a person is.  If you are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or animist, your religion constitutes your cultural identity.  To change your religion is to reject your family and to commit a kind of treason against your community.  Christianity, on the contrary, is a faith for people of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9), which is first manifested at Pentecost. [Read more...]

A post-mortem of Obama’s foreign policy

British journalist Charles Moore has written a devastating critique of President Obama’s foreign policy.  Read it all, but sample the excerpts after the break. [Read more...]

Denmark requires all churches to do gay weddings

Denmark passed a law requiring all churches to perform same-sex weddings.  Not just the state Lutheran church, all churches.  The news story on the subject has another interesting detail:  The government “church minister” who supervises the state  church and who pushed the law against Christian opposition is an agnostic.  Can you see this happening here, with anti-discrimination laws being applied to churches?  [Read more...]

Nationalists win big in election

The different countries that constitute the European Union held elections on Sunday for the European parliament.  Political parties that oppose the European Union won big, taking over a third of the parliamentary seats.  The winners included anti-immigration parties, traditional conservatives, and even neo-Nazi groups.

How do you account for this apparent rise of nationalism in a supposedly globalist and cosmopolitan era?  What does this mean for the United States?  Do you see any potential problems that this could bring?

[Read more...]

Global poverty is plummeting, but no one believes it

Thirty years ago, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty.  Now only 21% do.  There is lots of other good news about economic progress in the developing world, including declines in child deaths.  But 84% of Americans are unaware of this progress, and 67% think that world-wide poverty has increased.

So says a Barna study, which expresses a concern that Western attitudes are becoming fatalistic–”nothing can be done about it”–which can stymie efforts to address the very real problems of the 21%, even though they may be quite solvable.  Or is the lesson that global economic progress is happening of itself by market forces apart from outside help, especially governmental help?

[Read more...]

US troops deploy in Poland & the Baltics

In a show of force to counter Russian expansionism in the Ukraine, American troops are deploying in the NATO-member nations of Eastern Europe.  Six hundred are now in Poland, and more will arrive in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on Monday.  The units will participate in war games and will be part of a regular rotation. [Read more...]


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