Monday, July 31, 2006

Social Justice: Voting rights as human rights

In 1992 the U.S. ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but a recent UN report points out problems in America. The report points out that America is doing poorly in voting rights for prisoners when compared to other countries, states an article in the New York Times. In fact, it shows that we have the worst record in the free world.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Scams trick Christians into emailing lies

If you forward an email that's really a lie, you bear false witness. Christians are particularly susceptible to scams that pluck the heart strings.
  • "True" inspirational stories
  • Pleas to help sick or dying kids
  • Email petitions dealing with some aspect of religion
  • Tales of abductions

How can you avoid bearing false witness? One way is to check out such allegedly true stories at Truth Miners, a Christian site. They devote a special page to hoaxes.

Don't be duped. If you don't have first-hand knowledge about the story, check out the alleged "facts" before you spread them around.

Climate change squeezes winemakers

The increasing number of extremely hot days could reduce the area in the U.S. that's suitable for growing premium wine grapes by as much as 81 percent by the end of this century, says a National Academy of Sciences study.

Global warming will affect people's jobs and the way we live. But some are still in denial -- like those tobacco company "scientists" claimed that smoking cigarettes didn't cause lung cancer. Right!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Add Spirit to your browser

A web site named "Faith Browser" offers Firefox web browser users a free Bible Verse toolbar and free religious button for the navigation toolbar.

The Bible Verse Toolbar adds one more toolbar row, which I loathe, but if you want the verse and can tolerate the decreased vertical window space, go for it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

View from a burqa

The head covering worn by Moslem women in some countries is the burqa. The wearer's face is hidden from view and she can only see out of small screened openings. One woman journalist shows what it looks like to see through a burqa (Christian Science Monitor).

Monday, July 10, 2006

Tech in Worship or Worshipping Tech?

An article by G. Jeffrey MacDonald today in Christian Science Monitor addresses use of technology in churches. "Backstory: Church of the higher tech ", deals with several good topics. Here are a few:
  • Does use of technology by some churches amount to idolatry?
  • A Barna Group 2000-2005 study of Protestant churches showed that the percentage using large screen projectors has jumped from 39 to 62!
  • Digital images can add emotion to the worship service and heighten the worship experience. Images can stress particular points during a hymn or sermon.
  • Technology makes young adults feel more comfortable in church.
  • Some church experience is even virtual -- virtual church, online prayers.
  • Some churches worship technology, but others are giving it the cold shoulder and may suffer as a result.
Related Barna links:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stewardship: High tech trash pollutes

Many people have an image of the technology industry as a "clean" one. Elizabeth Grossman, author of "High Tech Trash", says it just ain't so:
  • The tech industry dumps pollutants into our groundwater.
  • Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) used on "regular" monitors are the most hazardous components.
  • The U.S. alone tosses out about 250 million computers each year!
ACTION: What can you, a steward of God's earth, do?
  • Re-use. Donate old computers and peripherals when possible.
  • Recycle. Some manufacturers accept returns, but they usually also charge you for shipping. That's an aggravating, but return the stuff when you can. You can already recycle printer cartridges through manufacturers and some vendor stores.
  • Change habits -- use LCD or plasma monitors, for example. As these increase in clarity and decrease in price, it's a very viable option.
  • Encourage companies to offer a recycling policy for old computers, monitors, and the like and to build the price of recycling into the item's cost.

Eyewitnesses to Christian history

A unique web site ,"Eyewitness to History" includes some events and eyewitness quotes related to Christian history. Some links: