The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 6, 1997 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Monday, October 6, 1997
Page 8
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AB MONDAY. octoegR e, 1997 NATION THE SALINA JOURNAL PROMISE KEEPERS RALLY Can they keep their promise? Movement founder calls for better race relations at church By LAURIE GOODSTEIN The New York Times WASHINGTON — By choosing to convene a religious revival meeting of Christian men Saturday in the nation's political capital, the leaders of the evangelical men's movement Promise Keepers were forced to spend much of the day forswearing any political motivation. The men who attended Saturday's event . say they committed their lives to Jesus, not to the Republican Party, and they say they should be taken at their word. However, this massive mobilization could have political and social repercussions in an era in which conservative evangelical Christians are feeling increasingly vulnerable as the nation becomes more and more religiously and culturally diverse. What will it mean when hundreds of thousands of men go back to their homes, energized by speakers who pumped them up Saturday to "take back our country for Christ?" Skeptics immediately envision a Christian army marching in lock step. But more likely the effect will be be felt household-to- household or man-to-man. These men tend to steer away from political issues; instead, they talk about "relationships," and that is where they will try to make their mark. Most of the attention to Promise Keepers focused on what the group has to say about relationships between the sexes, but at Saturday's event the leadership clearly signaled that what now tops their agenda is relations between the races. At Saturday's rally, Bill McCartney, the former University By The Associated Press Workers break down Sunday morning the main stage of the Promise Keepers rally on The Mall In Washington, D.C. of Colorado football coach who founded Promise Keepers seven years ago, announced what amounted to a deadline for Christian churches to end their own racism. McCartney, who still goes by the nickname "Coach," said his goal was to gather a multiracial rally of Christian men on the steps of every state capitol at noon Jan. 1, 2000, to pronounce the Christian church has eradicated racism within its own ranks. "That's brave rhetoric," said the Rev. Robert Franklin, president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, the largest predominantly African-American seminary in the country. Franklin traveled Saturday to Washington to observe the rally, and said he was impressed at the way black and white men intermingled. In a survey of participants, The Washington Post found one out of seven of the men who attended was black. "But there's so many problems facing the black church," Franklin said, "particularly problems related to poverty alleviation and crime that I think the effort at racial reconciliation will only garner support from the black church if it is linked to problem solving in urban poor black communities. If they get that, I think this could be quite a hopeful development." But, he added, "I haven't seen evidence of it yet." McCartney also directed the men to form closer relationships .with their local churches and their ministers. "Pastors," McCartney said, "you have been working with half a squad. You have been working with mostly women. But that's going to change. These guys are coming back." Six years ago, Promise Keepers drew 4,200 men for its first event in Boulder, Colo. Since then, the group estimates about 2.6 million men have attended 61 stadium rallies. Historians call it one of the fastest-growing religious revivals in American history. TSPACE Shuttle landing delayed by clouds Atlantis is now set to land tonight, reuniting astronaut with family By MARCIA DUNN The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After 144 days away from his family and planet, astronaut Michael Foale's return from Mir was delayed Sunday because of thick clouds that prevented a safe landing by space shuttle Atlantis. NASA waited until the last minute before ordering the seven- member shuttle cre.w to remain in orbit an extra day. Although the weather was good enough for an unmanned rocket to blast off with a communication satellite, the sky was too cloudy for Atlantis to attempt a tricky touchdown in darkness. Earlier in the evening, gusty wind was also a concern. If he returns this evening as now planned, Foale will have spent 145 days in orbit. Foale couldn't wait to see his wife and two young children and to dig into some pizza and pasta. Also on his wish list: beer and "a lot of chocolate." "Ian hasn't been crying for Daddy because he can see my excitement and he knows he's coming home," Rhonda Foale said of their 3-year-old son. Foale's 4 H months aboard Russia's aging space station were of- ten trying and sometimes downright scary. A cargo ship similar to the one launched to Mir from Kazakstan on Sunday plowed into the station in June, one month after Foale arrived. The 40-year-old astrophysicist — whose mission is exceeded on the U.S. side only by Shannon Lu- cld's 188-day Mir tour in 1996 — lost half his science experiments and almost all his personal belongings in the crash. As a result, he's coming home pretty much empty-handed; the charms he took up for his wife and friends are sealed in the ruptured lab. Frequent computer breakdowns also left Mir running on reduced power during Foale's visit. And a too-close-for-comfort satellite briefly forced him and his two Russian companions into their escape capsule in mid-September. "When things get hard, they get easier a little bit later," the ever- cheerful Foale said Saturday. "It's best to take the long view and work hard, steadily, and not let anything affect you too much." Because of Foale's increasingly close calls, some members of Congress and others ( had urged NASA to stop putting astronauts on the IP/a-year-old space station. But NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin discounted the objections and, just one day before Atlantis' Sept. 25 liftoff, cleared Foale's successor, David Wolf, for a four- month stay. Ibe Salina Journal Email: sjclass@sa(journaLcom THE SWEATER TM Lily Of France Gives You The Natural Shape You Want Under Sweaters, Tee's, Everything! A seamless contoured design that's perfect under today's fashions. Available with a front hook, back closure, or front hook with T-back. NEWI Front hook with T-back design In white or sheer. Sizes 34-36 A-B-C. Front hook design in white, sheer or black. Sizes 32-38 A-B, 32-36 C. Back hook design in white, black or sheer. Sizes 32-38 A-B, 32-36 C. For Your Convenience We Accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Carte Blanche, Diner's Club Or Your Dillard's Charge. INTEGRITY, . .QUALITY. . .VALUi, . .W5CQVIR TH* PIFFEWNCU SHOP TQPAY 10 A.M, - 9 P.M. «t

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