(A Collection of Quotes, Comments, Statistics, and News Items)
"Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving."
Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking.
"Unlike his fellow ex-presidents, he never joined corporate boards or went on the lecture circuit. Instead, with seemingly endless energy and his signature toothy grin, he trudged up mountains to meet with warlords, cajoled dictators into granting more freedoms and found a second career of 'waging peace,' as he calls it."
News story about President Jimmy Carter after the Noble Peace Prize Award
"It's stunning that you would sit there-here's a man who's one of the most deeply religious people, goes around building houses for poor people, goes all over the world on his own time, monitors elections, tries to resolve disputes. I mean, what is it about people getting along that so irritates and aggravates you?"
James Carville in response to Bob Novak's TV trashing of President Jimmy Carter
"Of the 535 members of Congress, only one has a child or grandchild in the Armed Services, that being Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota. The lack of military service among our leader's children indicates the appalling level of insulation between the upper-middle-class elite and the military."
Commentary by Armstrong Williams
"Why isn't Trent Lott using this as an opportunity to discuss the issue of states' rights and limited constitutional government, the very platform on which Thurmond ran? Aren't those ideals still worth defending today?"
Professor Dave Black, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"President George Bush is a United Methodist, but so far he hasn't been attending a church in Washington like some previous presidents. Instead, he worships at military-led services held at the Camp David presidential retreat. President Bush's faith, it's said, shapes his public policies."
Christian Science Monitor, 9/6/02
"In the Civil War, 5 percent of the casualties were civilians. In WW I, 30 percent of the casualties were civilians. In WW II, 60 percent of the casualties were civilians. Have we any reason to believe that in a future war . . . the pattern would be reversed?"
Tony Campolo in Baptists Today.
"Although the Bush administration has seemingly made every argument possible in favor of war against Iraq, one case it hasn't explicitly made is that a first strike against Saddam Hussein would pass moral muster under the traditional Christian 'just war' theory."
William Bole, Religious News Service
"If you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture. These folks don't even mind you referring to the GOP as the party of God. Why else would the new House Majority Leader say that the Almighty is using him to promote a 'biblical worldview' in American politics? So it is a heady time in Washington-a heady time for piety, profits, and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money."
Bill Moyers, PBS
"If we are going to win the Muslim world to Christ, we cannot make stupid statements about their religion and we cannot, in fact, engage in a holy war against them. . . . American Christians have taken off their What Would Jesus Do? bracelets and replaced them with American flags."
"Only 30 percent of TV watchers believed that more Palestinians had died than Israelis (since September 2000, 559 Israelis and 1626 Palestinians have been killed)."
Glasgow University Media Group
"Top CEOs earn 1,000 times the pay of an average worker. Over the past 20 years the income of the top 1 percent of Americans rose 157 percent, that of middle-income families rose 10 percent, and that of people in the bottom fifth fell slightly. Forty-three million Americans lack health insurance."
The Christian Century, 12/2002
"Thirty-four percent of all ninth graders have had sex, a figure that rises to 60 percent by grade 12. However, half of the mothers of sexually active teens aren't aware of it."
University of Minnesota Health Center, Associated Press
"It looks as though we are trying in our denomination to meet year by year and issue by issue to rewrite the Bible. I fear that we are getting to the place where we must read the Book of Baptist [BFM 2000] before we read the Holy Scripture."
Frank Pollard, Southwestern Seminary Chapel Service
"The White House Budget office has revised its deficit numbers again, stating this fiscal year the federal government will run up a deficit of some $150 billion, about $530 per every man, woman, and child. That's $2120 for the family of four who earlier this year received a $1600 tax break."
Eric Munoz in The Oklahoma Observer, 12/2002.
"There were 6.8 million poor families last year, up from 6.4 million in 2000. The poverty rate for families rose to 9.2 percent, from a 26-year low of 8.7 percent in 2000. A family of four was classified as poor if it had income less that $18,104 last year. For an individual the poverty level is $9,039; for a married couple $11,569."
U.S. Census Bureau
"Former Reagan White House aide Oliver North will lead a Caribbean cruise next year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Grenada, lauding an invasion [many] say was unnecessary, especially one that killed 58 people, including 18 Americans. North organized the Iran-Contra scheme in the 1980s that funneled money through secret weapon sales to Iran."
Associated Press, December, 2002.
"This is an important thing for Southern Baptists to do, if for no other reason than that we will have a major translation we can control."
Al Mohler, Southern Seminary President endorsing the SBC Holman Study Bible in opposition to the TNIV Bible
"Clearly it is disappointing that more than 15 years after fuel economy peaked, it is still hovering around an all-time low [20.8 mpg]. The technology is out there. We could be averaging close to 30-40 miles per gallon, and that's with conventional technology."
Senior Analyst David Friedman about 2003 Cars and Trucks
"Teens get hooked on tobacco much faster than researchers previously believed. It took an average of three weeks for girls. Half of the boys were hooked within six months, while it took about two years for adults to become addicted to nicotine."
National Cancer Institute
"What's wrong with a moment of silence? What's wrong is the state imposing it. What's wrong is the legislature wasting time arguing about imposing it. What's wrong is lawmakers never getting a cue from their own rhetoric of 'local control' and state interference. But what's wrong is more than hypocrisy. It's stealth, and the quest by stealthy means to take religion out of the realm of conscience and into the realm of the state."
John Young Editorial in the Waco Tribune-Herald
"From 1994 to 2000, the overall abortion rate in the U.S. fell from 24 abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age to 21. However, abortions during the period rose 25% for women below the poverty line."
Alan Guttmacher Institute
"If terrorism is a new form of war then war is the oldest form of terrorism."
Italian Baptist Union declaration against a preemptive strike in Iraq
"A recent survey reported that 49 percent of Americans think the First Amendment goes 'too far' in protecting certain freedoms."
Report from the Capital, October 22, 2002.