Pope asks for forgiveness
The big religion story today is Pope John Paul II's "unprecedented" apology. "The church, strengthened by the holiness that she receives from her Lord, kneels before God and begs for forgiveness for past and present sins of her sons," he said in yesterday's homily. Sins mentioned included religious intolerance, persecution of Jews, women, various races, immigrants, the poor, and the unborn. The story makes the front page of almost every newspaper in America, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Houston Chronicle.
David Plotz, Washington bureau chief for the online magazine Slate, takes an admiring look at "America's greatest Christian conservative" but suggests he's "changing as his popularity increases." His criticism of self-righteousness in Christian political action is subsiding, he seems angrier and angrier, "he seems angrier and angrier, and he is more and more willing to wade into politics." Plotz ends his "Assessment" article with this observation: "Through decades of service to the needy, Colson has made himself one of America's greatest Christian leaders. Why would he tarnish that by becoming just another Gary Bauer?"
Another article in Slate tries to explain to its readers the differences among Christians. Though a noble goal, the article is very, very faulty. It says that "faith in charismatic leaders" is a key attribute of fundamentalists, that evangelicals don't believe in biblical inerrancy, that Presbyterians don't believe in being "born again," and lists the Moral Majority as if it's a theological category. Not to mention the fact ...1
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