American missionary murdered in Sidon, Lebanon
Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary Bonnie Weatherall, 31, was found murdered this morning at the denomination's health clinic in Sidon, a port city in southern Lebanon. As the Washington state native was opening the clinic at 8 a.m. (midnight EST), an unidentified man knocked on the door, then shot her in the head three times with a 7 mm pistol.

Sami Dagher, director of the Unity Center that houses the clinic and provides aid and medical care to Lebanese and Palestinian refugees, said a motive is still unknown. There have been no threats against the clinic or its workers, but the Associated Press (which has a rather gory video of the aftermath) reports, "Local Muslim clerics have criticized the Unity Center in the past, accusing it of preaching Christianity and trying to indoctrinate Sidon's youth in favor of Christianity."

Reuters notes that "the area where the shooting occurred is a hotbed for Muslim fundamentalist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Lebanese radical Islamists."

An unnamed police official told the AP, "This was apparently an act committed by a person filled with anti-American feelings in the generally hostile climate toward the U.S., which people here reproach for its desire to carry out a war against Iraq, and for supporting Israel."

But Weatherall's friends and family see it a bit differently. "Bonnie died because she loved the people of Sidon," Sami Dagher told reporters.

In a statement on the C&MA website, the victim's British husband, Gary Weatherall, made a similar statement. "My wife died because of her love for the church and because she loved helping the people of Sidon and Lebanon," he said.

"She loved her work," Asa Bjork, a Swedish friend, told Reuters. "She helped pregnant women. She went with some of them to their deliveries to support them, and she talked to them and helped them. She was happy, full of life, and enjoyed helping people who were not so privileged in life."

Chicago woman killed, allegedly for trying to help man out of homosexuality
Mary Stachowicz, 51, was strangled, stabbed, and beaten last Wednesday, then hidden in an apartment's crawlspace for three days. Why? Because, according to Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Nancy Galassini, she tried to persuade 19-year-old Nicholas Gutierrez to come out of homosexuality.

"Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?" she reportedly asked Gutierrez just before he flew into a rage and killed her. The two worked together at a Chicago funeral home, and Stachowicz had reportedly just come back from a Mass.

Article continues below

"Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, 'God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life,'" friend and neighbor Mary Coleman told the Chicago Tribune. "That's how Mary did things."

Homosexual activist group Soulforce says it was sorry to hear about the murder, but reiterated its stance against what it calls "spiritual violence against sexual minorities"—under which it includes the kinds of efforts Stachowicz was making. "God loves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people just the way they are," Soulforce spokeswoman Laura Montgomery Rutt told "The Bible is clear that homosexuality is not a sickness and not a sin."

More articles


Creating life:

  • Scientists planning to make new form of life | If the experiment works, the microscopic man-made cell will begin feeding and dividing to create a population of cells unlike any previously known to exist (The Washington Post)

  • Also: Scientist to attempt creation of living cell | The Department of Energy has given a $3 million award to Dr. J. Craig Venter of the Institute for Genomic Research to develop the best possible approximation to an artificial living cell (The New York Times)

What Would Jesus Drive

  • God drives in mysterious ways | Still the question remains for the Bible Belt's auto owners—what would Jesus drive? (Stefano Hatfield, The Guardian, London)

  • Clergy hope drivers heed a call to fuel efficiency | Simply driving a car may be a sin—if the vehicle guzzles more gas and coughs up more pollutants than necessary (Detroit Free Press)

  • Religion has little, if any, place in market for automobiles | The next, potentially troublesome, campaign in the guerrilla war being waged against Detroit (but not Japanese or German) SUVs by interest groups—so far unsuccessful in changing public policy—wants to make SUV ownership a moral issue. There are so many nubs to this one it's hard to know where to start. (Daniel Howes, The Detroit News)

Article continues below

Politics and law:

Archbishop Milingo:

Sexual ethics:

Church life:

  • Study finds steady fall in benevolence | Americans have given less and less of their disposable income to religious charity since the 1960s and now spend more on church buildings and staff and less on helping the needy, a new study shows (The Washington Times)

Article continues below

Related Elsewhere

Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to

What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

November 20 | 19 | 18
November 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11
November 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4
November 1 | October 31 | 30 | 29 | 28
October 25 | 24 | 23 | 22 | 21
October 18 | 17 | 16 | 15 | 14
October 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7
October 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | September 30
September 27 | 26 | 25 | 24 | 23