Rick Warren, Jon Meacham and Tim Russert: History, Christianity, and the United States Wednesday, Apr 18 2007 

Here is a great interview with Rick Warren and Jon Meacham done by Tim Russert on Meet the Press. It addresses Christianity in America, in history and in the world today.

MTP Transcript for Dec. 24
Rick Warren, Jon Meacham
Updated: 1:17 p.m. CT Dec 24, 2006
MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Christmas Eve morning: faith in America. Can religion unite the country for the greater good? And what role will God and values play in the 2008 presidential election? With us, the pastor of one of America’s largest churches and author of the best-selling hard-cover book in U.S. history, “The Purpose Driven Life,” Dr. Rick Warren; and the editor of Newsweek magazine and author of “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation,” Jon Meacham. Then, two MEET THE PRESS holiday traditions, our MEET THE PRESS MINUTE from Christmas Day 51 years ago with poet Robert Frost and a special performance by the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quartet.
But first, we are joined by Pastor Rick Warren and Jon Meacham. Welcome both, Merry Christmas.
DR. RICK WARREN: Thank you, Tim. Merry Christmas to you.
MR. RUSSERT: Jon Meacham, let me start with you. Ninety-five percent of Americans say they believe in God. (more…)

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Australia stands up against radical Muslims Monday, Apr 2 2007 

A recently received the following in an email and found it confirmed at Snopes.com :

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. “If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia& lt; /st1:country-region> is not for you”, he said on National Television.

“I’d be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia: one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can’t agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that’s a better option”, Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should “clear off. Basically people who don’t want to be Australians, and who don’t want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off”, he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques.

Quote: “IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.”

“However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the ‘politically correct’ crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia.” “However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.” “This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own life style.”

“This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom”

“We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society .. Learn the language!”

“Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.”

“We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.”

“If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don’t like “A Fair Go”, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.

“This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,

‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.”

“If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.”

Time Magazine’s cover story on the Bible Thursday, Mar 29 2007 

20070402_107.jpgThis weeks Time Magazine features a cover story on teaching the Bible in schools. After all of the controversy and court cases over the past fifty years is the United States going to change it’s mind and put Bibles back into the schools? That is the question Time asked saying, “Should the Holy Book be taught in public schools? Yes. It’s the bedrock of Western culture. And when taught right, it’s even constitutional.” In a well written and fair article David Van Biema makes the case that the Bible should be taught in American schools. He writes:

SIMPLY PUT, THE BIBLE IS THE MOST influential book ever written. Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time, it is the best-selling book of the year every year. (more…)

“The Big Debate” James Dobson and Jim Wallis Tuesday, Mar 20 2007 

In a response to James Dobson’s (along with others) letter to the National Association of Evangelicals addressing the issue of NAE vice president Richard Cizik’s “relentless campaign” on global warming Jim Wallis has “invited Dobson to a debate on the question, ‘What are the great moral issues of our time for evangelical Christians?’ and suggested that a major evangelical Christian university should host it.”

I heard Richard Cizik speak at Gordon College on February 16, 2007. He showed a video called The Great Warming, a film about global warming, its effects, and our need to act to stop it. While I think that he did a fair job of talking about the need for stewardship and creation care, Richard went over the top when he said that there has been no evidence to the contrary of global warming. He did not mention that many respected scientists do not believe in global warming. I believe that we should live responsible lives of stewardship, but telling people lies in order to convince them of your opinion is a terrible way to make your point. I look forward to seeing this debate between Dr. Dobson and Jim Wallis and would love to see it take place at Gordon College.

Indoctrinate U Tuesday, Mar 20 2007 

This is an interview done on Fox News with Evan Coyne Maloney, the creator of a new documentary done on the state of American universities called Indoctrinate U. Here is what they say about themselves on their website:

Speech codes. Censorship. Enforced political conformity. Hostility to diversity of opinion. Sensitivity training. We usually associate such things with the worst excesses of fascism and communism, not with the American universities that nurtured the free speech movement. But American higher education bears a disturbing resemblance to the totalitarian societies that are anathema to our nation’s ideal of liberty. Evan Coyne Maloney’s documentary film, Indoctrinate U, reveals the breathtaking institutional intolerance you won’t read about in the glossy marketing brochures of Harvard, Berkeley, Michigan, Yale, and hundreds of other American colleges and universities.

religious ignorance beyond belief Thursday, Mar 8 2007 

Katie Granju just wrote an article titled “Americans get an ‘F’ in religion.” Here are just a couple of the statistics she states in the article:

Sixty percent of Americans can’t name five of the Ten Commandments, and 50% of high school seniors think Sodom and Gomorrah were married.

The article is based off of the new book Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know –And Doesn’t by Stephen Prothero, chair of the Department of Religion at Boston University.