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A day for reflection in a day of craziness
This has to be one of the busiest religion news days in a very long time. Several major religion stories are all happening at once:

  • The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today that Washington State may deny scholarships to students studying theology, even if the scholarship could be applied to the study of any other subject.

  • The Passion of The Christ opens today.

  • The ACLU yesterday sued the New York branch of the Salvation Army, a Christian denomination, saying that its requirement that workers agree "to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ" is unconstitutional religious discrimination.

  • President Bush yesterday called for a federal marriage amendment, citing marriage's "cultural, religious, and natural roots."

And that's just the major stories. Weblog's daily effort to harvest religious news in the mainstream media is simply overwhelming today; there's just too much going on.

But today is not just a day of significant religious news. It's also Ash Wednesday: a day that's significant for many Christians, including a reportedly increasingly number of free church evangelicals. See, for example, this meditation by Keri Wyatt Kent, who attends Willow Creek Community Church. (After all, far more people will be observing Ash Wednesday today than will view The Passion of The Christ.)

Weblog still plans to compile a news-heavy posting today, and it's certain to contain much discouraging news for many readers who feel the culture just keeps slipping further down its slope. What a good day to take a moment to contemplate our own personal sinfulness and our own complicity in society's problems—and to join with millions of other Christians in penitence.

While you're waiting, then, check out some helpful articles ...

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February 2004

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