Clayton Bell dies

Clayton Bell Sr., chairman of the board at Christianity Today International and former senior minister of Dallas's Highland Park Presbyterian Church, passed away this morning at The Cove in Montreat, North Carolina. More information will follow later.

Did Bryant Gumbel call Family Research Council spokesman a naughty word?

Reportedly, after a testy interview with Family Research Council's Bob Knight about homosexuals in the Boy Scouts, Gumbel's The Early Show cut back to Gumbel saying, "what a [expletive] idiot." The story gets minor play in the conservative press, from The Washington Times to Canada's National Post. The Washington Post and New York Daily News take note, too. Never to miss an opportunity for outrage, the American Family Association is calling for CBS to fire Gumbel. For in-depth, indignant coverage, head over to And if you have the RealPlayer, check out the CNSNews's conservative parent organization, the Media Research Center—it has video. But the choppy, one-inch window leaves much to be desired; for all Weblog can tell, Gumbel might be singing "Rubber Duckie."

Next religion in the classroom battle: "In God We Trust"

Defeated after unsuccessful attempts to bring God into the classroom through posting the Ten Commandments or offering a moment of silence, Colorado legislators think they finally found the answer: encourage schools to post the national motto, "In God We Trust." After all, since it's on our money, it can't be unconstitutional, can it? Guess again.

Washington Post takes note of persecution of India's Christians

If you've been keeping track of the plight of India's Christians through Weblog or other means, you won't find anything new in Pamela Constable's article summarizing of the latest attacks. But it is an excellent synopsis of the situation, and well worth forwarding on to those who might not have heard about the recent rash of murders, beatings, and other attacks.

Promise Keepers, no longer a fad, continues quietly

"I think you will find that the people who were in it because it was a fad are fading out," says Texas pastor Rusty L. Davidson. "For the men [for whom] it really made a difference in their lives and are the ones who are committed, they are still going strong." See more on Promise Keepers' continuing presence here.

"Gene Guy" goes to church

Dean Hamer, a molecular biologist at the National Institutes of Health and head of Gene Structure and Regulation at the National Cancer Institute, is working on a book tentatively called The God Gene, about "whether there are genetic underpinnings to religious belief and spirituality." He gives a sneak preview in a diary entry at Slate, where he writes about attending Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Still, he stays very, very vague. "Religion is an instinct," he writes. "It's durable, ubiquitous, and remarkably constant across cultures. There are even some twin studies showing that it's influenced by heredity. But proving that point, and actually finding the genes, is going to take a lot of hard work."

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