Friday, August 15, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Friday, August 15th.
A Swedish wrestler, upset with the refereeing of his match, tossed away his bronze medal on the podium at the Beijing Olympics yesterday.
Currently, after a prolongued scuffle and lengthy foot-chase, Canada finally has its first medal.
This is the Current.
As Olympic visitors arrive in Beijing, they are swamped with glossy pamphlets extolling the virtues of the city. One of them lists a number of temples, mosques and churches. What the pamphlet does not say is that they are all government-sanctioned places of worship. But many Chinese Christians don't want anything to do with the official churches. They think the church leaders are government pawns. So they gather together clandestinely to pray in apartments known as "House Churches."
In this house church, Bibles and hymnbooks are kept under lock and key. Its members have been under police surveillance since the Olympics began. And they risk being thrown in jail every time they gather. But this week they still managed to sneak away to sing and pray together. And they invited the CBC's David Gutnick to come along. David Gutnick is currently in Beijing covering the Olympics.
Listen to Part One:
This weekend, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will appear at the same event for the first time since each of them became his party's presumed Presidential nominee. What's lured them together is an opportunity to court white Evangelical Christian voters, specifically, a civil forum at the sprawling Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. The event is being organized by Rick Warren, the mega-church's minister who rose to fame as the author of The Purpose Driven Life. For both campaigns, there's a lot at stake.
Nearly one in four Americans identify themselves as Evangelical Christians. In the last Presidential election, nearly 80 per cent of them voted for George Bush. But these days, their commitment to the Republican Party seems to be slipping. According to the latest polls, just 61 per cent say they'll vote for John McCain. And there appear to be small but growing pockets of evangelicals either flirting with Barack Obama or supporting him outright.
Elena Yee is one of them. She's an administrator at the Evangelical Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. She's also a life-long Republican. But this year, she's supporting Obama.
For some perspective on how evangelicals are aligning themselves for this fall's Presidential election, Steven Waldman joined the conversation. He's the founder and editor of Beliefnet.com. He writes frequently about the intersection of politics and faith. Steve Waldman joined us from New York City.
Listen to Part Two: