Spiritual news snippets

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The area of Religion and Spirituality generates some fairly provocative and often bizarre news. Here are some recent snippets from the Spiritsphere.
John Frum Day in Vanuatu
Today is the 50th anniversary of the John Frum cargo cult. According to the BBC:

"One of the world's last surviving cargo cults is celebrating its official 50th anniversary on Tanna island in Vanuatu....Speaking in local pidgin, the movement's head, Chief Isaac Wan, said that John Frum was a god who would one day return. He's "our God, our Jesus," he said."

John Frum was, supposedly, a spirit responsible for the United States military dropping off cargo and supplies to this tiny island. As early as 1930 he was reported as appearing to elders and telling them to resist missionaries and to hold on to the island's traditional ways. Natives of the island will wear homemade US military clothes and carry US flags to celebrate.
and in the name of seemingly Grand Contradictions, see the following two articles:
Christian and Muslim groups support anti-gay legislation in Nigeria


Christian and Muslim Women in Africa work together on poverty and social justice activism.

Lutheran pastor asked to step down because he is gay. His congregation refuses to comply.

Pastor Schmeling, of St. John's in Atlanta continues to minister despite the reluctant actions of his denomination. The ELCA is the most liberal of Lutheran church bodies, but it has yet to agree as a denomination whether or not to knowingly ordain actively gay and lesbian clergy. Pastor Schmeling was open about being gay before he was ordained, and was celibate. He now is in a committed relationship. His ministry is thriving; his congregation loves him; the church group tasked with deciding his status could find no legal way to keep him on the rolls, and reluctantly enforced the rules of expulsion, with a statement that they felt the rules were wrong. And his congregation is fighting back.


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