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August 27, 2009

What to Watch: S. Korea Considers Banning Missions Work in the Middle East

Here's what we're watching today:

-- In international politics, South Korea is considering restricting Christian missionaries' travel to the Middle East because of potential terrorist attacks. South Korea sends more missionaries than any country but the U.S. In 2007, 23 church volunteers were abducted by the Taliban. The South Korean government negotiated for the group's release after they had killed two men.

-- The Wall Street Journal rounds up the discussion on abortion and health care. Earlier this week, Factcheck.org and Time wrote articles that under the proposed health care legislation, abortion would be federally subsidized.

-- After South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer called for Governor Mark Sanford to resign, he said it would be "heaven on earth," but no. "I very much appreciate the offer. In that light, I mean, in some ways, the proposal is -- is almost a representation of something close to heaven on Earth, because ... it would represent heaven on Earth to take him up on that offer of him taking my spot here for the last 16 months," Alex Koppelman quotes him as saying. After Sanford admitted he had had an affair, he compared himself to David in the Bible.

-- A Kentucky judge ruled that a law stating that the Kentucky's Homeland Security must declare dependence on "Almighty God" is unconstitutional. "Even assuming that most of this nation's citizens have historically depended upon God, by choice, for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now," the judge wrote.

-- And if you aren't tired of Ted Kennedy coverage yet, Catholic News Service notes that he wasn't always pro-choice. In a 1971 letter, he wrote:

"While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life," Kennedy wrote.

"Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized -- the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old. When history looks back at this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception."

Dan Gilgoff also has an interview with his biographer on his Catholicism.

-- On our main site, be sure to check out the review of Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity and a piece by Frank Wolf and Tony Hall, writing that The Fellowship is no theocratic cabal. Last week, we had posted a news article on The Fellowship and accountability.


RE: "...Ted Kennedy...wasn't always pro-choice. In a 1971 letter, he wrote:..."
Well said, Mr. Kennedy. Well said. Too bad we cannot say, "Well done."

South Korea should not limit missionary activity to save lives, and the very thought of doing so is wrong and counter-productive.
Missionaries take their lives into their hands to save the lives of others, and the government has no right to stop them. Preachers of the Gospel of peace are not responsible for the acts of intolerant murderers, and it is counterproductive to suppress the message of God's love in order to sate those who preach hate. Indeed, the proper response to such terrorism is more missionary work, not less. Should we be overcome by evil, or overcome evil with good? This is not a call to drop bombs and punish the enemy, but to send Bible and love them: against such things there is no law, nor should there ever be.
An unjust law, such as this one proposed by the SK government, is no law at all, and all Koreans should resist it.