1) From CNN:

If you turn to the Bible — Isaiah Chapter 35, Verse 8 — you will see a passage that in part says, “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.”

Now, is it possible that this “highway” mentioned in Chapter 35 is actually Interstate 35 that runs through six U.S. states, from southern Texas to northern Minnesota? Some Christians have faith that is indeed the case.

It was with that interesting belief in mind that we decided to head to Texas, the southernmost state in the I-35 corridor, to do a story about a prayer campaign called “Light the Highway.”

Churchgoers in all six states recently finished 35 days of praying alongside Interstate 35, but the prayers are still continuing.

Some of the faithful believe that in order to fulfill the prophecy of I-35 being the “holy” highway, it needs some intensive prayer first. So we watched as about 25 fervent and enthusiastic Christians prayed on the the interstate’s shoulder in Dallas.

They chanted loudly and vibrantly, making many people in the neighborhood wonder what was going on. They prayed that adult businesses along the corridor would “see the light” and perhaps close down.

2) From Jpost:

Israel’s identity as a Jewish state discriminates against non-Jews, the Holy Land’s top Roman Catholic clergyman said in a pre-Christmas address on Wednesday.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, centre, the top Roman Catholic clergy in the Holy Land.
Photo: AP [file]
“If there’s a state of one religion, other religions are naturally discriminated against,” Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah told reporters at the annual press conference he holds in Jerusalem before the Christian holiday.

In his address, which he read in Arabic and English, Sabbah said Israel should abandon its Jewish character in favor of a “political, normal state for Christians, Muslims and Jews.”

“This land cannot be exclusive for anyone,” he said.

With his statements Wednesday, Sabbah, a longtime advocate of the Palestinian cause, waded into a debate that has marred the fledgling peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel has defined itself as the homeland of the Jewish people since it was established in 1948. The Palestinians, however, refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying that would mean Palestinian refugees who lost their homes after Israel’s creation would not have the right to return.

Hmmn…guess he has never heard of the state known as the Vatican.

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  • In the Vatican, residents as well as visitors are subject to the same civil law. Plus every resident of the Vatican is a religious adherent of the faith that determines the Vatican’s administrative hierarchy (based on Ancient Roman law). Should non-Jewish Israelis feel (justice as a subjective feeling) that they are being treated unfairly by the state based on religious adherence going by that state’s objective laws, then one should ask, “What makes them feel so?” and “Is Israel a religious state?” I’m not convinced that Sabbah is the right man for his position as with his background, he lacks somewhat desired neutrality, but then again, he’s the legitimate representative of a religious minority in that state.

  • I understand that the pontiff was originally a position within the Roman priesthood, but in what other ways is the Vatican’s administrative hierarchy based on ancient Roman law? Just curious…

    As far as the Rodney King of Jerusalem – sorry, I mean Sabbah – is concerned, he can have a Vatican-style sovereignty over a non-Eastern Orthodox church in the Christian Quarter, so far as I’m concerned. Do any exist? Oh… too bad. Now I see his quandry.

  • montana, they based their administrative structure on Ancient Roman laws that existed for clubs that people founded to pursue common interests. My books on those topics are all in German, otherwise I’d give you a reference, but if you happen to come across one, take a look into a Codex Iuris Canonici; it might be an edition with commentaries. It’s usually published in Latin and the language of the country it’s published in. There’s a Christian minority (consisting out of more than forty different denominations) in Israel. There even is a (I think it’s Armenian Orthodox) monastery built on the roof of the ‘Church of the Holy Sepulchre’. I just wonder, because so far I’ve never heard of any substantial evidence, whether non-Jews are being discriminated against in Israel based on Israeli law (other than the issue of civil weddings). If they feel discriminated against by members of the executive (police, administration etc.), then one should look into the individual cases. As I said above, justice is a subjective feeling; I’ve read about Jewish Americans claiming they’d been treated unfairly by Israeli police on account of being American. Most forgot to mention they’d been into or associated with people that were into illicit substances. There are always two sides to a story.

  • In Israel, residents as well as visitors are subject to the same civil law as well…Muffti’s point was that the Vatican is an explicit catholic state (albeit a very small one) but that mere fact doesn’t entail that it is discriminatory.

  • Muffti should also consider that the Vatican’s a (electoral) monarchy, the countries Shy Guy listed mostly are monarchies, dictatorships or theocracies, but Israel is a democracy. BTW, since I know Muffti likes language, the Vatican’s the only state that not only in statistics but also in reality’s got a literacy level of 100% (small wonder since to pursue a career at the Roman Curia, you’re expected to be fluent in at least five languages). What’s Muffti doing online anyway? Shouldn’t he be on vacation?

  • My simpleminded view on this Jewish-state debate is that Israel’s a Jewish state because a whole bunch of Jews live there. Kinda like Lithuania is a Lithuanian state because lots of Lithuanians live there.