Tuesday, June 14, 2005

In the news...

Oprah Winfrey claims Zulu blood...She told 3,200 fans at her Live Your Best Life seminar in Johannesburg: "I went in search of my roots and had my DNA tested and I am a Zulu."
Local historians, however, were disinclined to believe her claim, as there are few records of the Zulus having any connection to the African slave trade. "If there were Zulu people taken as slaves they would have been taken eastwards by Arab traders or Portuguese to their South American colonies," said one.
Even more bizarrely...
A celebrity hairdresser beat up his 62-year-old neighbour during a row over a dead seagull, a court heard yesterday.
Daniel Galvin, 35, whose clients include the Duchess of Cornwall, is said to have repeatedly punched James Hicken in the face, leaving him semi conscious and in agony, after Mr Hicken dumped the bird at his feet.

And on a more religious note...
The British are making provisions to liberalise their law on the religious content of civil weddings:
Couples marrying in register offices may soon be able to celebrate with Bible readings or anthems such as Bread of Heaven under proposals to relax the ban on religion at civil ceremonies.
Civil weddings are currently required to be strictly "secular in nature" and registrars often bar poems and popular songs with only passing religious references.
Ministers believe, however, that the legal restrictions should be eased to allow readings or music that contain an "incidental" reference to a God or deity in "an essentially non-religious context".
Bishops will, however, be even more worried about any changes which could make civil partnerships appear more like religiously authentic marriages, something they insist the ceremonies are not.
A spokesman for the Church of England said: "The Church is not seeking to prevent the use of readings, poems or music simply because they have some religious association.
"But we recognise that the singing of a hymn or prayers, or possibly even readings from the Bible or other sacred books, may give rise to more difficult issues."
There's also an interesting editorial in the Telegraph:
There is a reason why 1 Corinthians 13 ("Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels…") is so popular in modern church weddings. The word "God" does not occur in it. Apart from that passing nod to angels, the verses have no reference to the Christian religion.
This would please certain officious public registrars, who have interpreted the rule banning "religious" content in civil marriage ceremonies to exclude the merest mention of the divine. Forget about Corinthians: even Robbie Williams's song Angels has been blacklisted. This rule now looks likely to change, with the Government considering allowing "an incidental reference to a god or deity" in civil services.

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