Christian philosophy professor will be new Dutch prime minister
Christian Democrat leader Jan Peter Balkenende "is known for his sharp wit and conservative moral values about which he has written extensively," says The New York Times. And he's about to become the new Dutch prime minister as the Netherlands took a very conservative turn in yesterday's parliamentary elections.

The Washington Post notes that Balkenende "once headed a Christian broadcasting network and has expressed reservations about Holland's drug laws and euthanasia policy." However, notes the Associated Press, Balkenende's reservations won't necessarily translate to reversing those laws. "Although a majority of our party opposed the euthanasia and gay-marriage bills, Balkenende sees it as an irreversible fact," his spokesman, Hans van der Vlies, said.

One practice Balkenende probably will try to change, however, is the sale of marijuana in coffee shops. It's already illegal, but not enforced. "Associates describe Balkenende as a religious family man, but a dedicated worker who habitually makes do with six hours of sleep," says the AP. Christian Democrat official Cees van der Knaap calls him "a walking library."

He sounds great, but one wonders if American Christians will like him. After all, many have noted, he looks just like Harry Potter.

Man accused of shooting priest who allegedly molested him
"New Page In Clergy Scandal," says the Los Angeles Times' headline. But few are saying they're surprised. Dontee Stokes, 26, reportedly went to speak to Maurice Blackwell, a Baltimore priest he'd accused nine years ago of molesting him. Stokes's mother said all he wanted was an apology, but was turned away by Blackwell. Stokes then allegedly shot him three times. Blackwell remains hospitalized in fair condition; Stokes will undergo a mental evaluation, is on suicide watch, and is being held without bail.

"We live every day with the fear that something like this may happen," David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, tells the LA Times. "There is so much pent-up pain that just now is finally beginning to surface."

"Shooting a priest, even one who may be guilty of sex abuse, is an appalling thing," says Rod Dreher in National Review Online. "But another reality, one that hasn't gotten too many headlines, is this: Many victims of abusive priests turn the gun not on their abuser, but on themselves."

More articles

Abuse scandal:

  • Beautiful buildings without a soul | With news accounts that the Catholic Church is turning predatory legal tactics loose on the victims of known priest/rapists, it is nakedly obvious that the church hierarchy has lost sense of its reason for existing. (Tony Blankley, The Washington Times)

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Life ethics:

Foreign policy:

  • Danforth: U.S. should be facilitator in Sudan | Envoy calls civil war unwinnable (The Washington Post)

  • Christians hit theological rift on Mideast policy | As war in the Holy Land rages on, American Christians claim a greater stake in the situation as they strive to understand dynamics behind the news and to take moral stands. But the more informed they get, the more they part company along perennial fault lines of biblical interpretation and the role of politics in faithfulness. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Courts & law:

  • When the High Court welcomes messianic Jews | This Supreme Court's ruling has not only set in motion a wave which will flood Israel with non-Jews who actually think they are Jews, but has opened the flood gates to the proselytizing Christians. (S. Alfassa Marks, Arutz Sheva)

  • Zimbabwe lawyers seek divine intervention | Sternford Moyo, the president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, on Friday urged Christians in the legal profession to seek divine intervention for the restoration of sanity in the country's judicial system (The Daily News, Harare)

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Missions & ministry:

Higher education:

Sexual ethics:


Church life:

  • Sermons need a lift, says Carey | "I am not against traditional forms of expression of the Christian faith, but we have to break into a whole generation and a culture which finds institutional religion mysterious," says archbishop of Canterbury (The Times, London)

  • Church loses the last word | No more, Cardinal Law has decided, should priests allow family members to deliver eulogies any longer than a passing thought. (Brian McGrory, The Boston Globe)

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Defending a heretic:

Eastern Orthodox:


Other stories of interest:

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