The State Department's socially conscious Catholic

by Maureen Fiedler

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This week on Interfaith Voices, I discovered that a socially conscious Catholic is the State Department’s point person on Human Trafficking. He is Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, who freely talks about his youth: sewing doves on burlap for peace marches and growing up with those 1970’s guitar masses.

He is fluent in Vatican II teaching, and passionate about ending contemporary slavery, usually called “human trafficking.” I was grateful that someone like him holds that office.

But the lead interview this week is also stellar. Joseph Grieboski of the Institute for Religion and Public Policy offers an incisive analysis of the repression of Christianity in China. Turns out, the government even edits the Bible to take out some of those pesky passages where the “meek will inherit the earth” and the mighty are tossed down from their thrones!

Grieboski linked religious repression to the Chinese business climate, which he believes can be affected adversely by a continuation of current policies. It’s the first time I’ve heard anyone tie those two realities together.

Finally, you can hear about the Internet community that believes the beginning of the end of the world will come shortly: May 21 to be exact.

That day, believers will be “raptured” into heaven and everyone else will be left to suffer for 5 months until the world really does end on Oct. 21. All this is based on “calculations” done by biblical literalists. But then, is there anything on your calendar for May 22?

You can listen here.

In case you missed it, last week’s discussion of the moral and religious dimensions of the killing of Osama bin Laden raises questions heard in few other places. Guests are the noted Islamic scholar Dr. Akbar Ahmed and Religion News Service editor Kevin Eckstrom.

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