The first nation to allow euthanasia is getting ready to release new guidelines that will expand the rules allowing doctors to end the life of terminally ill newborns. According to the Associated Press, "Under the protocol, euthanasia would be permissible when a child is terminally ill with no prospect of recovery and suffering great pain, when two sets of doctors agree the situation is hopeless, and when parents give their consent."

"The governing conservative Christian Democrat party—which fought legalization when it was in the opposition—will embrace the guidelines."

To prevent abuse, the government is establishing a commission to determine whether the criteria have been met in each situation. The commission will refer to prosecutors those cases that have not met the new guidelines.

"I admire the Dutch desire for openness in addressing what is an incredibly difficult issue, but I categorically do not endorse ending people's lives with the argument that it's alleviating their suffering," American ethicist and pediatrician Dr. Chris Feudtner of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia told the AP. Euthanasia is "prone to abuse" he said. "If you allow it to occur, it will occur in cases where it is not ethical, period."

In the U.S., Jack Kevorian yesterday told MSNBC that if paroled, "I will not perform that act again when I get out. What I'll do is what I should have done earlier, is pursue this from a legal standpoint by campaigning to get the laws changed."

More articles

Schwarzenegger vetoes gay marriage bill:

  • Schwarzenegger vetoes gay marriage bill | Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger followed through Thursday on his promise to veto a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, leaving the issue up to voters or judges who will likely face the volatile issue in the next year. (Associated Press)
  • Schwarzenegger vetoes Calif. gay marriage bill | California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a widely expected move vetoed a bill on Thursday that would have allowed gay couples to marry. (Reuters)
  • Schwarzenegger vetoes bill allowing same-sex marriage | California voters' 2000 decision cited (The Washington Post)
  • Gov. vetoes same-sex marriage bill | Schwarzenegger rejects 52 bills, including ones to raise the minimum wage and give residents access to cheaper prescriptions in Canada. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Schwarzenegger axes gay marriage | California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill passed by state legislators which would have allowed gay couples to marry. (BBC)
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  • Gay-nuptial foes hire Calif. consulting firm | Petition efforts raise eyebrows (The Boston Globe)

Conn. to offer civil unions this weekend:

  • Conn. to offer civil unions on Oct. 1 | Connecticut joins Vermont on Saturday as the only states offering same-sex civil unions, but the day may pass with only a few raised glasses of champagne as the first gay couples exchange vows. (Associated Press)
  • Legal battles loom in US gay marriage debate | Connecticut legalizes gay civil unions on Saturday, the latest U.S. state to grant legal rights to gay couples, but experts say legal and political battles loom elsewhere as other states confront the intensely divisive issue and consider similar laws. (Reuters)

Religion & homosexuality:

  • HK govt challenges ruling on under 21 gay sex | The Hong Kong government on Friday appealed a court ruling last month that a law which prohibits sex between consenting males below 21 was a violation of human rights. (Reuters)
  • Arizona group sues SLC over benefits | 'Imitation marriage': Second lawsuit says Rocky's executive order violates Utah law (Salt Lake Tribune)

John Roberts:

  • New leader, tough issues for court in transition | The Supreme Court that opens its new term on Monday will be a court in transition, but it will be, indisputably, the Roberts Court. (The New York Times)
  • Here comes John Roberts, there goes Roe v. Wade | Supporters of abortion rights prepare for the worst as chief justice wins confirmation (Village Voice)

Religion & politics:

  • Religious leaders rally for endangered species | Local officials denounce roll-back in Congress (Concord Monitor, NH)
  • Reclaiming religion from the right | Religious activist outlines path for new national dialogue (Harvard University Gazette)
  • Local Jewish leaders steer clear of 'Bless Israel' event | The leader of an upcoming "Bless Israel" conference is promoting it as a multidenominational event, but local Jewish leaders say they want no part of it. (Star-Banner, Fla.)

In Europe:

  • How Buddha went to the mountain | A row over the display of religious symbols in public places in Italy was re-ignited yesterday after a statue of Buddha was erected on one of the highest peaks in the Alps. (Daily Telegraph, UK)
  • Charity did not break law in giving information about late abortions | A leading British provider of abortions did not break the law when it told women who wanted late terminations about a clinic in Spain that would perform them, a report by Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer for England, concluded last week. (British Medical Journal)
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  • 19 women rescued from 'brothel' | Nineteen women who detectives believe were tricked into working as sex slaves have been removed from a massage parlour in Birmingham. (BBC)

Intelligent Design trial:

  • Witness: Teaching wasn't discussed | A school board changed its biology curriculum to include a reference to "intelligent design" without consulting teachers or community members, a witness testified yesterday in a trial over whether the idea has a place in public schools. (Associated Press)
  • Ex-official: Board broke with curriculum policy | Witness testifies was called an 'atheist' for evolution-only stance (Post-Gazette, Pittsburg)
  • The Buckingham school: No civil liberties allowed | Essentially, the democratic process as practiced by the Dover Area School Board consists of people yelling at each other, insulting their constituency and then approving changes to the biology curriculum without giving the public any explanation, which is how they adopted the now-infamous "intelligent design" curriculum in October 2004. (Mike Argento, York Daily Record, Pa.)
  • 'Shocked' by religious remarks | Julie Smith said she was stunned by the question posed by her teenage daughter in late 2004. Her daughter came home from school and asked her mom why she supports the theory of evolution, saying it was "a lie." "What kind of Christian are you, anyway?" her daughter asked. (York Dispatch, Pa.)


  • Christian Academe vs. Christians in Academe | What is the difference between Christians in higher education and Christian higher education? (Kenneth G. Elzinga, Inside Higher Ed)
  • Character education | On Sept. 20, Noah Riner, student body president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., gave a speech welcoming incoming freshmen. He emphasized the importance of character, citing the example of Jesus Christ, who "gave His life for our sin." The next day, the Student Assembly's vice president for student life resigned, calling Mr. Riner's speech "reprehensible and an abuse of power." (The Washington Times)
  • St. Andrew's parents split over ending of short story | Library group hears more complaints about such themes (Austin American-Statesman)
  • Rock Hill may use Bible textbook | School board member to research 'The Bible and Its Influence,' released last week (Associated Press)
  • North Carolina Christians allege elementary school promoted New Age beliefs | Called2Action, an activist Christian group, says stress-reduction classes at a Raleigh elementary school promote "New Age" beliefs, providing school-sponsored religious activity barred by the Constitution. (Associated Press)
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Life ethics:

  • Dutch set to expand euthanasia guidelines | The Dutch government intends to expand its current euthanasia policy, setting guidelines for when doctors may end the lives of terminally ill newborns with the parents' consent. (Associated Press)
  • The debate on stem cells is far from over | As a result of that informed debate, laws were passed governing embryo research with a three-year sunset clause that expires this year. Reproductive cloning was outlawed. But the use for stem cell research of spare IVF embryos, which would have otherwise been destroyed, was permitted. The law provided a temporary fix, but the scientific, moral and ethical debates are far from over. (The Age, Australia)

War & terrorism:

  • US governor stands by mosque wiretapping comments | Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, mulling a White House bid in 2008, on Thursday stood by his comments in favor of wiretapping mosques after religious leaders stepped up demands for him to take them back. (Reuters)
  • In Turkey, a clash of nationalism and history | Exhibit marking anniversary of Istanbul pogrom breaks taboos and kindles anger (The Washington Post)
  • Anglican bishop says lay leadership in Iraq is missing, presumed killed | The entire lay leadership of the Anglican church in Baghdad has been missing for two weeks and was believed killed while driving from Jordan to Baghdad through the country's insurgent-infested Anbar province, a senior church official said Thursday. (Associated Press)


  • EOC Holy Synod denounces attempted violence at Demera celebration | The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) has strongly denounced the attempted violence amidst Demera celebrations on September 26, dubbing the act as unreligious and unethical. (The Ethiopian Herald, Addis Ababa)
  • Christian action committee meeting: Christians condemn mob attack in Chungi | The mob attack on Christians in Chungi Amer Sidhu on September 10 has been condemned by members of the Punjab Assembly, councillors, lawyers and representatives of churches and Christian organisations in a meeting organised by the Christian Action Committee for the incident, on Thursday. (Daily Times, Pakistan)

India may exclude Christians from minority list:

  • Mann opposes RSS' bid to redefine minorities | The attempt of RSS chief K S Sudarshan to "redefine" minorities by stating that only Parsis and Jews were minorities has stirred up a hornet's nest. (Sify, India)
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  • 'RSS looking to Hinduise Sikhs, Christians' | The attempt of RSS Chief Sudarshan to "redefine" minorities by stating that only Parsis and Jews were minorities has stirred a hornets nest. (Press Trust of India)

Marriage & family:

  • Marriage on the rocks as fewer say I do | Marriage is in terminal decline, Government figures showed yesterday. Within 25 years nearly half of all men in their mid-forties and more than a third of women will not have walked up the aisle. (Daily Telegraph, UK)
  • Infertile laws | In this secular country, where more than 12 million orphaned children wait endlessly for a family, the mind boggles that Indian laws prescribe the screening of adoptive parents on the basis of their religion. (Editorial, Hindustan Times, India)


  • Catholic Church marks 40 years in relations with non-Christians | The Roman Catholic Church began commemorations Sunday to mark the 40th anniversary of a landmark Vatican document on relations with non-Christians, with Vatican officials stressing the need for religious dialogue to bring world peace. (Associated Press)
  • Americans plan Rome trip over ban on gay priests | Responding to reports that the Vatican may be close to releasing a directive to exclude most gay candidates from entering the priesthood, leaders of Roman Catholic men's religious orders in the United States are planning to travel to Rome to voice their objections in person. (The New York Times)
  • Westborough priest pulled from the altar | Bulletin raps call for gay union ban (The Boston Globe)
  • A priest's leadership | After vandals smeared swastikas on the door of the Adams Street synagogue in 1997, the Rev. Walter Cuenin got 300 people out of the pews at Sunday Mass and marched them up the street to show his support for his Jewish neighbors. Now he is gone, forced out by Archbishop Sean O'Malley on trivial accusations of financial impropriety. (Editorial, The Boston Globe)
  • Priest sacrificed on altar of arrogance | The Boston hierarchy, insulated from accountability by its absolute control, summarily sacked the Rev. Walter Cuenin, pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Church. (J. Charles Mokriski, Boston Herald)

Church life:

  • Nigerian warns of split from British church | Rift between Anglicans over homosexuality could be mended, archbishop says (The Washington Post)
  • Jewish group rips S. Baptist Convention | A leading Jewish organization is condemning the Southern Baptist Convention for using a group of "messianic" Jews _ people who have already converted to Christianity _ in its evangelism. (Associated Press)
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  • Religion news in brief | Six conservative Episcopal parishes have filed a federal lawsuit claiming their civil rights were violated by the local bishop, the church's national leader and others in a dispute that stemmed from the election of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. (Associated Press)
  • Religion today | On the recruitment poster, a young Roman Catholic priest in full cassock stands before a black backdrop gripping a cross in one hand and a rosary in the other. A halo of light surrounds him, but his expression is far from angelic. He stares grimly at the ground, his eyes obscured by dark sunglasses. The poster is a takeoff on ads for the movie "The Matrix" and was developed by a youth minister in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to send a message about enrolling in seminary: Priests, like the Keanu Reeves character in the film, fight for good in a tough world. (Associated Press)
  • It's time to answer men's questions about heaven | Let's stop beating around the bushes, and instead tackle the issues that male Christians really want answered. If we expect men to put down strong, deep roots and stretch to new heights with every drop of blood, sweat and testosterone, we need to answer these five questions: (Doug Mendenhall, The Huntsville Times, Ala.)

Missions & ministry:

  • Alpha courses register explosive growth in churches | A short course that teaches the basics of Christianity is experiencing explosive growth in Johnson County and the rest of the United States in the short time since it was introduced in 1995. (Johnson County Sun, Kan.)
  • Mt. Lebanon prayer group celebrates its 50 years | They came from as far away as Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mt. Lebanon Wednesday Morning Prayer Group, which has been a major influence in the lives of Christians in the South Hills since the 1950s. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • GEM intensifies gospel literature efforts | A local Christian organization, the Graphics Evangelistic Ministries, Inc. (GEM), has stepped up its community outreach activities around the country aimed at winning more souls to Christ. (The Analyst, Monrovia)
  • Mixing God and beer | Bishop Paul Loverde inaugurates a new Theology on Tap series at Whitlow's (Arlington Connection, Va.)
  • Program reaching out to women in prison | Through the prison ministry of Kairos, folks like Sister Henrietta Hibbs are unlocking the hearts and minds of inmates shut off from society. (Clarksdale Press Register, Miss.)
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  • Klansman goes from hate to love | How do you go from being the imperial wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to preaching about love? You have to fall off your horse, said Johnny Lee Clary, who made the transformation. (Charlotte Observer)
  • Reeling in the faithful | Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott, morning hosts for 104.7/The Fish, felt out of place on the Centennial Olympic Park stage last week at a gospel benefit for Hurricane Katrina victims. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


  • Irish bookmaker blasted over 'Last Supper' advert | Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was fending off the wrath of Christians in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Ireland on Friday over an advert depicting Jesus and the Apostles gambling at the Last Supper. (Reuters)
  • Church, state vie over casinos | Rep. Jim Simpson of Pass Christian couldn't believe the e-mails he received from some self-proclaimed Christians this week attempting to lobby against casinos rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. "I've gotten more than half a dozen from people who said, 'I prayed for the destruction of Katrina. This is God's wrath,'" said Simpson. (Biloxi Sun Herald, Miss.)


  • These days, the Good Book is often not a book | In the beginning was the Word. And the Word became digital. (The Dallas Morning News)
  • St. Jerome gave remarkable gifts to a maturing Christianity | Many families have an odd relative who is both brilliant and just a tad off. St. Jerome is Christianity's peculiar uncle. (Steve Gushee, Palm Beach Post)
  • New rites of passage | During the 16th century, almost by trial and error, the people of Europe and, later, in what would become the United States of America, had begun to create a civilisation that was without precedent in world history (Karen Armstrong, Australian, Australia)

Music & film:

  • Bob Dylan continues his religious odyssey | The re-animator of folk music. The poet of rock 'n' roll. The nasally voice of a generation. The private Jew turned public Christian turned public Jew turned who knows what? Bob Dylan remains an enigma, particularly when it comes to faith. (Connecticut Jewish Ledger)
  • Hollywood on bended knee to believers | At some of the largest and most influential Christian churches in the country, the lights dim and congregants watch a sneak preview of a new movie - about golf. Walt Disney is marketing "The Greatest Game Ever Played" to faith-based groups, even though the film, about Francis Ouimet's improbable win in the 1913 U.S. Open, isn't overtly religious. (Associated Press)

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September 8 | 2 | 1 | August 31 | 30
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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