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Today's Top Five Stories

1. Winning the non-existent Valentine wars
Did the war over Christmas really exist, or was it purely a fabrication cooked up by activist groups and media outlets? First Things recently argued the former, and ran a compendium (in a less hoity-toity mag like CT, it'd be called a "list,") of "instances in which any reference to Christmas was expunged from the season, frequently with the threat of government force."

But do the Valentine's Day wars really exist? A group of parents in Texas's Katy Independent School District got a judge to issue a restraining order today to make sure that children can pass out Valentine's Day cards with religious themes. The school district, however, says it doesn't understand what the parents' lawsuit is all about, and was never contacted by the parents about the issue. "This restraining order is telling us not to do things we don't do anyway," spokeswoman Kris Taylor told the Houston Chronicle. The Alliance Defense Fund claims, "A memo recently distributed to parents prohibited students from including religious symbols on holiday gifts and cards, including ones related to St. Valentine's Day." Taylor said that any teacher who might have done so in an isolated case was acting contrary to the policies of the board. (Widely supported guidelines on religious holidays in the public schools are available from the First Amendment Center.)

In any case, kids in the district get to give out religious cards today. But did you ever consider what historically accurate religious Valentine's Day cards might look like? Here are some ideas: "I Love Your Martyr Complex." "Baby, I'd Rather Die Than Renounce Our God." "If Love Is Blind, Maybe I Can Cure It." "I May Not Exist, But My Love Is ...

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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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A St. Valentine Martyr Complex
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