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Novelty, Nonsense, and Non-Sequiturs

Oh, That's What You Meant

Christianity Today, November 1990), CT commented in an interview with Franky Schaeffer, "Several years ago there was a rumor that you were going to become a Roman Catholic." To which, Schaeffer replied: "I'm not becoming a Roman Catholic. However, I have a great interest in Catholicism, which did not begin theologically but practically."

In World magazine (December 1990), we read, "Franky Schaeffer, filmaker son of...the late Francis Schaeffer has associated himself with Eastern Orthodoxy....Ceremonies for his chrismation (the rite of receiving a believer from non-Orthodox background) were conducted last weekend in a Greek Orthodox parish near his home."

I Think I Would Like an 'X' on My Chest

Amidst perennial Congressional claims to the effect that the budget has been cut back as far as possible, the National Taxpayers Union recently noted that, among other things,

"The Army spent $201,000 to refurbish 13 buildings at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Unfortunately, the buildings had already been earmarked for demolition.

$160,000 was spent by the National Institute of Neuro and Communication Disorder (tax money, of course) to study, in part, whether you can hex opponents during a strength contest by drawing an X on their chests.

$1 million was spent to preserve a Trenton, N.J. sewer as an historical landmark."

Ingrained Explanations

The Soviet literary periodical Literaturnaya gazeta reported:

On Jan. 22 1969, Soviet Army Second Lt. Viktor Ilyin broke through the cordon near the Kremlin's Borovitsky Gates, pulled out two Makarov pistols and began firing at the Chaika limousine that was the second car in a motorcade....According to established court testimony, the General Secretary, Brezhnev, was supposed to be riding in the second car.

The Moscow magazine Smena, ran an article, 'Assassination Attempt,' setting forth everything that happened....In brief, the basic idea of the article is: Ilyin is a sick man. Strictly speaking this is not news to us.

'He was abnormal, of course,' says Aleksei Vasilyevich Melnik, his former Deputy Commanding Officer for Political Education. 'At political education classes, he asked such questions, why did we occupy Czechoslovakia in 1968? Then at the next class he started saying things to the effect that the Young Communist League had outlived its usefulness, or why do we have a one party monopoly in the country?'

Nowadays, anything at all can be said about Czechoslovakia, the Party, or the YCL. But can it be that some adjustments should be made for the times. Could a normal person in fact have asked such questions at political education classes then?"

CT Nearly Steps Out on a Limb

In a review of The Agony of Deceit, Christianity Today (Oct 1990) published photographs of numerous televangelists, including one of Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral, all under the heading, "TV's Spiritual Outlaws."

In response, Bruce Larson, co-pastor of the Crystal Cathedral wrote, "I am appalled at the book review....I want you to know that my long-time friend and current senior pastor, Robert Schuller, in no way deserves to be so labeled. Unlike so many TV evangelists, he is a respected member of a respected denomination and is the pastor of a very wonderfully Christ-centered and biblically based church. The unfortunate layout on the page makes him guilty by association."

Schuller himself responded, "None of the other ministers collected in the photographs...have lived under the eye...of a denomination as old and as historic in its commitment to historic Christianity as I do. Surely that outlaws the label outlaw!"

Not to be outdone, CT editors declared, "We regret that publishing their phrase [the author's of The Agony of Deceit ] and the pictures of other evangelists along with Schuller's may have left the impression that CT believes him to be heterodox."

The Joys of Ecumenical Freedom

Jamie Kellam Dodge is a witch. She also worked for the Salvation Army. Church and State magazine reports that Dodge's employers found this a poor combination and dismissed her, but "Dodge, whose salary was paid entirely from public funds, believed her religious freedom had been violated, and she took her case to federal court." Both sides signed a financial settlement in 1989.

At first, Dodge denied that she was a Wiccan but later admitted it. "'It was awful, Dodge said. 'They [her employers] said they were concerned about me, that I was mentally ill and should call a psychiatrist. They tried to get me to call a Catholic priest for an exorcism....'

'At the time I started I had been attending a Catholic church because I like the ritual and nobody screamed at you from the pulpit....Wiccans don't object to attending different churches....If I wanted to go to a Catholic church or a Methodist church, I could and still be a Wiccan."

Who Said Socialism is Intellectually Bankrupt?

Building upon a century of theoretical insights, the Socialist newsweekly, The Militant, recently recommended in an editorial (Dec. 1990) that, "to combat growing unemployment, we must mount an effort to fight for jobs for all through a worldwide campaign to radically reduce the workweek -- with no reduction in pay. A shorter workweek would immediately open up jobs for millions of workers."


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1-17-96 tew
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