News Bites

Force Failure. In 2001, .37 percent of Australians and 1.5 percent of New Zealanders told census-takers they were following the Star Wars-based "Jedi" faith. Numbers are dropping, though, with the recent film Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, which introduces previously unknown Jedi disciplines, such as the renouncing of worldly attachments, chastity, and neo-Franciscan poverty.

Civil Defense. Indonesia's increased interreligious violence has prompted the Jakarta Christian Communication Forum—made up of Catholics, Protestants, Salvation Army members, and Orthodox—to send peace teams whenever a church, temple, or mosque is threatened. Muslims make up about 88 percent of the population.

Gray Days. California's Gov. Gray Davis is not likely to spare Crips gang-leader-turned-peace-activist Stanley "Tookie" Williams from lethal injection, even though the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the Nobel Peace Prize nominee was a "worthy candidate" to have his death sentence commuted to life without parole.

Snip, Snip. Three Catholic Dominican sisters were arrested in Greeley, Colorado, for destruction of U.S. property when they entered a nuclear missile site to symbolically disarm the weapons with hammers. They wore toxic clean-up suits that said "Disarmament Specialists" on the front and "Citizen Weapons Inspection Team" on the back.

Solidarity Forever. Anthony Mazzocchi, 76, union activist, founder of the Labor Party, and champion of nuclear power whistle-blower Karen Silkwood, died in October at his home in Washington, D.C.

Zero Down. More than one million people—many of them Christians motivated by Bill McKibben's "Hundred Dollar Holiday" program—protested over-consumption by supporting International Buy Nothing Day in November, according to organizers.

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2003
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