An Islamic publication in England has “called Muslims to attend the Mass to convert Catholics and ‘tell the Pope in no uncertain terms what Muslims think of his evil slanders against the last Prophet of God and his message’,” reports Matthew Archbold in Is the Pope in Danger?
Early Victorian England was A Nation of Coffee Drinkers, among other interesting facts from the just republished Annual Abstract of Statistics of 1840, reports the Daily Telegraph. Among the other facts: “ Back in 1840, the Government collected a mere £47.5 million in taxes, just £1.78 for every person in Britain, and the majority of this money was raised not from personal taxation but from excise duties. This . . . would be worth a mere £93 in today’s money, using the retail prices inflator, or £1,020 using the average earnings index.”
Michael Kinsley argues in What pro-lifers are missing in the stem-cell debate that “If embryos are human beings, it’s not OK to kill them for their stem cells just because you were going to kill them, or knowingly let them die, anyway. The better point—the killer point, if you’ll pardon the expression—is that if embryos are human beings, the routine practices of fertility clinics are far worse—both in numbers and in criminal intent—than stem-cell research.” This he thinks an argument for embryonic stem cell research.
Our friend and contributor Gerald Russello asks Will Europe Admit Being Christian? and suggests that it, through its courts, might not.
On the other hand, NPR reports that Chinese Turn To Religion To Fill A Spiritual Vacuum. “In the country’s first major survey on religious beliefs, conducted in 2006, 31.4 percent of about 4,500 people questioned described themselves as religious. That amounts to more than 300 million religious believers, an astonishing number in an officially atheist country, and three times higher than the last official estimate, which had largely remained unchanged for years.”
Update: Forgot this one: Thanks to parents naming their children after characters from the Twilight series, ”Cullen, the surname of the hit film’s vampire hero, played by heartthrob Robert Pattinson, was the fastest rising boy’s name for 2009.” David Goldman is (see six stories below) moaning in pain.