Must Read Monday: Compassion International in India, Russian Interference, and moreDecember 12, 2016
Compassion: 145,000 Children Could Lose Sponsorship by Christmas— Christianity Today
When India implemented new regulations governing foreign Non-governmental Organizations, it constricted how funds could enter the country. Despite months of work from interested organizations and lobbying by certain members of the United States government, India has not lifted the regulations, and as a result, 145,000 children served by Compassion will be without critical aid. This situation brings to the fore how the US conducts our foreign policy. India is called the most “populous” democracy in the world and our ally in the region while at the same time, has instituted policies (like this one) serious human rights consequences. Should we be asking more of our government in working India?
Many Americans are exhausted of talking about the election. We are two weeks into December, and inauguration day is five weeks away. Now, the CIA says there was overwhelming evidence Russia acted to influence the US election. Here is the problem from our view: Americans do not know who to trust at this juncture. The CIA has limited credibility just like those in political power. Will the truth ever be known? Maybe. But if the national security of America matters to you and if the integrity of our election process matters to you then this story has to matter.
The location of this bombing is considered the spiritual center of Egyptian Christianity. The victims were members of our family. These are people with whom we will inherit eternity and we have a spiritual and moral obligation to mourn their deaths and to speak up for the plight of others. If you’re not familiar with Coptic Christianity that’s because not only do we have a myopically American worldview but we have an almost exclusively Western view of the Christian faith. We have talked here before about the ancient Assyrian Christians. Well, the Coptic Orthodox Christians of Egypt have been worshipping Christ for equally as long. This the church that is 2000 years old. This is the church of Athanasius. This is the church abandoned by Western Christians when the Arab armies arrived in the 7th century under the banner of Islam.
What was once a Christian nation is now dominated by Islam. Imagine an apartment complex of 1,000 Muslim families and one Christian family. No surprise that they are relentlessly, constantly, daily bullied. And yes, persecuted.
My friend, who is Coptic, says, “nobody really cares for them. They are the forgotten community of the Middle East. What the world saw yesterday is the evil audacious treatment of Christians in Egypt. This the price of living in Egypt and being a Christian.”
We discussed this tope further today on The Reconnect.
Ohio’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill poses Kasich’s first test in Trump era– USATODAY/The Cincinnati Enquirer
Ohio legislature passed legislation prohibiting abortion once a heartbeat is evident, typically around six weeks, instead of using the current standard of “viability” at 24 weeks established by the Supreme Court. Governor John Kasich must decide whether or not to sign the bill into law, which would likely provoke a constitutional challenge. Supporters of the heartbeat bill argue this is the time to try and challenge current abortion law because of the incoming Trump Administration and potential for friendlier SCOTUS nominees.
Evangelicals, your attacks on ‘the media’ are getting dangerous– Washington Post
Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a Washington Post reporter and Christian. She writes in an open letter to Evangelicals why we should be the most concerned about the “post-truth” era of fake and false news. She was our guest on Friday to discuss this: listen here.
The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus– Nicholas Kristoff, NYT
NYT Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff writes on behalf of liberal academia: The weakest argument against intellectual diversity is that conservatives or evangelicals have nothing to add to the conversation. “The idea that conservative ideas are dumb is so preposterous that you have to live in an echo chamber to think of it,” Sunstein told me.” He goes on to list some of the Christian leaders, thinkers, scientists and decisionmakers who are making important contributions to the nation and world.
We need more of these conversations. As Kristoff also writes, “Whatever our politics, inhabiting a bubble makes us more shrill.” While there is work to be done on the side of secular or liberal academia, Christians should not be passive. We are called to take the initiative, to step into the conversation, rather than shirk back.
One of our most memorable conversations on this topic is with Biola University President Barry Corley. In the last year, Biola University faced legislative efforts to put religious higher education institutions out of business in California. He made a persuasive argument as to why it is so important for Christians to take the initiative in these hard discussions.