China charges Ai WeiWei with ‘economic crimes’

JISHOU, HUNAN — The BBC reports that Chinese authorities have confirmed they picked up dissident artist Ai WeiWei and are holding him for “economic crimes,” without providing any other details. Ai, the co-designer of the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium, has had several run-ins with Chinese authorities in the past, who don’t like his persistent questioning of the status quo. They reportedly arrested him Sunday at the Hong Kong airport, where he was planning to take a flight abroad. An exhibit of Ai’s work is at the Tate modern gallery in London. Foreign governments have protested the arrest and detention, but Beijing has basically said, as it always has, “MYOB.” Here’s a quote from the BBC report, so you can see what I mean. “China is a country ruled by law and will act according to law. We hope that the countries concerned will respect China’s decision,” [foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei] said. Since I know nothing about Ai’s supposed “economic crimes,” (a bogus charge, in my view) I can’t say if he broke any applicable laws. As for his dissidence, Ai has apparently been very careful to follow the strict letter of the law, as spelled out in the Chinese ...

Moment of silence ≠ prayer?

JISHOU, HUNAN — A religious nutjob in Southport, Indiana, made a scene during a city council meeting recently, because the meetings no longer start with a spoken prayer. Instead, on the insistence of the new Republican mayor, they open with a moment of silence. So, as soon as the moment of silence started, David Lynch, 70, started praying loudly in the council chambers. When he was told to be quiet, he got louder. Eventually, the chief of police had to drag away him in cuffs. Lynch had earlier told the Indianapolis Star that “a moment of silence is not prayer.” While I doubt that Lynch reads my blog, I will nevertheless quote some Scripture — some of few words in the NT that scholars believe Jesus actually spoke. [5] “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most assuredly, I tell you, they have received their reward. [6] But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father ...
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