The Common Good
May-June 2003

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, Kate Bowman | May-June 2003

Healing Hope. Family members of Sept. 11 victims traveled on a peace
mission to Iraq in January.

Healing Hope. Family members of Sept. 11 victims traveled on a peace mission to Iraq in January. "My hope is that all people will come to realize that loss of more human life will not solve the problems of the world," said Kathleen Tinley, whose uncle died at the World Trade Center.

Dial-A-Devil. Kentucky Mountain Bible College asked its local telephone company to replace its "apocalyptic" prefix: 666. The college, which wanted to avoid "any confusion or the appearance of evil," according to school official Tom Lorimer, was given a new prefix in February.

NY, NY. The New York City Council passed a resolution in March opposing unilateral military action against Iraq. More than 100 U.S. cities have adopted such resolutions.

Hale Picketers. Taking part in protests and demonstrations can be good for your physical and mental health, say psychologists at Britain's University of Sussex. "The take-home message from this research therefore might be that people should get more involved in campaigns, struggles, and social movements," said researcher John Drury, "not only in the wider interest of social change but also for their own personal good."

Faith First. The colleagues of three Southern Baptist medical missionaries murdered in Yemen said that, as Christians, they forgive the murderer. Islamic militant Abed Abdul Razak Kamel killed Martha Myers, William Koehn, and Kathleen Gariety in December.

Walkout for Peace. Several thousand high school and middle school students across the country walked out of their classes in a protest against war with Iraq. "I think it's really important that we're doing something about [the war] rather than sitting in class talking about it," said one eighth grader.

Reel to Real. The Man Without A Past, a film by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, won the 2002 Templeton Award for artistic merit and for its spiritual and social message. Actor Markku Peltola plays the victim of a mugging that leaves him with amnesia, and Kati Outinen is the Salvation Army worker who helps him recover.

Faux Food. Britain is considering forcing biotech companies to use "DNA bar coding" on genetically modified organisms, according to New Scientist magazine. Britain's National Institute of Agricultural Botany has patented a tagging technique that would make it easier for regulators to trace GM food or crops contaminated by GM strains.

Pope Prod. A St. Louis, Missouri family wrote to Pope John Paul II in February urging him to travel to Baghdad to put his own body on the line for peace. "We've been taking our children to prayer vigils and peace rallies," said Carol Leslie, "but we wanted to do more."

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