Weekly Roundup

February 07, 2014

Here are a few stories from this week that deserve notice:

* "I am feeling very Olympic today!" The opening ceremonies for the Olympics today kick off two weeks of me cheering as people fly around on ice and snow. And with the return of the Jamaican bobsled team (my favorite event), I will also have to work in lines from Cool Runnings. Due to controversial Russian policies, there has been a lot of talk about protests and politics. However, that is not new. The Washington Post put together a good history of politics and the Olympics.

* Virginia legislators voted to require textbooks in public schools to refer to the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula as the "East Sea" instead of the "Sea of Japan." The legislation prompted lobbying by Koreans and Japanese officials. There is a sizable Korean-American population in Virginia that pushed for a change away from the name that stems from Japan's colonial era, but Japan is a large trading partner with the Commonwealth. Although the change is a good one, the Washington Post rightly noted in an editorial that politicians should not be so involved in dictating details of school textbooks (after all, Texas politicians have shown how politics can make textbooks less factual).

* The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) are partnering together to explain the Baptist presence and witness at the United Nations. As Stephen Reeves, CBF's Associate Coordinator for Partnerships and Advocacy, explained:

Working together, we will live out our call to love our neighbors and show compassionate concern for the least of these in a forum focused on international cooperation.
This is a great development as it should expand the Baptist voice for religious liberty, human rights, and peace.