The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.
Worship of Mary (Jane) focus of new church
The Guardian profiles a new church in Colorado where worship is dedicated to marijuana: yes, the International Church of Cannabis is lighting up its building and welcoming pot-aficionados.
Featuring the stunning artwork of legendary painter Kenny Scharf, the church’s building boasts ping-pong, board games and lots of snacks but not everyone is happy with the co-opting of a church building for the worship of a drug. Dan Pabon, from Colorado’s House of Representatives, says the church “offends both religious beliefs everywhere, as well as the voters’ intent on allowing legalisation of marijuana in Colorado”.
Hillary: politics to preaching?
The Atlantic reports that Hillary Clinton may be considering a run at preaching after her disastrous presidential election loss to Donald Trump. While Clinton occasionally discussed her Methodist faith during the campaign many Americans still doubted her Christianity and many commentators believed her lack of faith outreach to key swing states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania may have cost her dearly.
Bill Shillady, Clinton’s long time pastor and head of the United Methodist City Society, says, “Given her depth of knowledge of the Bible and her experience of caring for people and loving people, she’d make a great pastor.”
Explosive details emerge about ACL attack
The Canberra Times reports on more details emerging from the 2016 car bomb attack on the Australian Christian Lobby’s offices, after a 36-year-old man faced the ACT Magistrates Court over the incident.
ACT Policing previously stated there was no political, religious or ideological motivation behind the attack but it has now been made public that the accused allegedly stated after the attack he was “not a huge fan” of the Australian Christian Lobby or religion due to their views on sexuality and his mobile phone allegedly showed Internet searches for “china lgbtq”, “israel same sex marriage” and “countries with same sex marriage”.
Christians in Iraq face extinction
USA Today reports on the growing crisis facing Christian groups in Iraq who are facing a tough road ahead as they return to their destroyed towns after years of fighting between ISIS and US and Iraqi forces. International efforts are now underway to rebuild these towns so that Christians can return from exile and revive their shattered communities.
While Christian groups from abroad are helping to fund the rebuild the Iraqi government will be required to provide long-term security for a minority that has seen a rapid reduction in numbers due to war and religious-based genocide. Knights of Columbus vice president of communications Andrew Walther says, “Christianity in Iraq is on the brink of extinction. They have gone from 1.5 million people to somewhere south of 200 000.”