More Trouble at Willow Creek. Willow Creek Community Church recently saw its high-profile pastor Bill Hybels depart in shame over sex abuse allegations. Now comes word that the church paid $3.25 million to settle lawsuits regarding sexual abuse of another kind. A church volunteer sexually abused two disabled children, according to a Chicago Tribune article. Court documents show the church made two payments to victims, while denying any negligence. The abuser pleaded guilty in 2013 and 2014 and is serving a seven-year prison sentence.
Not Gay Enough? DC Comics re-booted the Batwoman character as a lesbian in 2006. Now, the TV network the CW is doing a series on Batwoman. You’d think that move would draw praise from the LGBT community. But no. LGBT activists, for whom too much is never enough, are criticizing the show’s star, Ruby Rose, as not being gay enough. She is a lesbian, but describes herself as “gender fluid.” The #RecastBatwoman efforts on Twitter caused Rose to close down her Twitter account. In July, actress Scarlett Johansson withdrew from a movie about transgenderism after criticism that a transgender actor should take the role.
Sports Betting Grows. In May, the U.S. Supreme court said sports betting could not constitutionally be banned at the federal level. Since then, it has already become legal in Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. It will likely become legal in a dozen other states within the next year. During July alone, in New Jersey alone, gambling outlets took in $40.6 million in sports bets. It was the first full month of gambling in the state, and football season had not even started yet, so that number is sure to grow.
Kofi Annan’s Complicated Legacy. Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, died Saturday in Switzerland at age 80. He served two five-year terms as UN Secretary-General. Annan promoted controversial condom handouts. His reputation was further tarnished for presiding over one of the world’s largest financial fraud schemes, the UN-led Oil for Food program in Iraq, whose billions in contracts benefited – among others — his son Kojo Annan. Annan also told UN peacekeepers in Rwanda to stand down during the genocide that resulted in 800,000 deaths. Yet somehow, he managed to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Go figure.
Church Crackdown in Rwanda. Speaking of Rwanda: A national governance board has closed more than 8,000 churches in Rwanda. The government says the closings are an attempt to make houses of worship safer, and the closings were made because of health considerations. However, a law under consideration in Rwanda would require pastors to have theological training, raising questions regarding whether the government should dictate theology to the country’s churches. Rwanda is nominally 90 percent Christian. It has many large churches, but it also has tens of thousands of small churches, often Pentecostal and charismatic in theology and worship. Rwanda’s president Paul Kigame has publicly questioned the need for so many churches in the country.
Milestones. The great parliamentarian and abolitionist William Wilberforce was born this week (Aug. 24) in 1759.
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