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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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Weblog
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns:
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