Billy goes to Louisville
You can read the Chicago Tribune's front-page article on Billy Graham's weekend crusade in Louisville, Kentucky, but you can't see the 7.5-by-5.5-inch image that takes up most of the space above the fold: Graham being kissed by two of the members of Christian band dc Talk. Oh well; there are more pictures from the crusade available from the Associated Press. (And speaking of demonstrations of love between rock musicians and famous older men, did you hear that Sen. Jesse Helms attended a U2 concert last Thursday? Bono even sent a thank-you note.)

There's not a lot of earth-shattering news from the crusade itself: Franklin Graham told the Tribune, "I look out at the audience, and I think this may be the last time I'll see him like this," but with Graham's recent failing health, that's not a real shocker. No, for the most part it was all part of the same story; as usual, the crusade broke attendance records, as usual there was a night of special emphasis on youth, as usual Graham used rock lyrics, humor, fancy technologies, and simple words to get his point across, and as usual both Christians and non-Christians showed up and both groups rushed forward to dedicate their lives to Jesus. But sometimes the old, old stories are the really good ones—the ones that change lives. (Graham, by the way, has another crusade scheduled for October in Fresno, California. But if you can't get enough of the evangelist who founded Christianity Today, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will be offering streaming video of the Louisville crusade over the Internet starting Thursday.)

Bush will add "stricter controls" on funds to get his faith-based initiative through
Money going to faith-based organizations under the president's plan "must be spent on social services, not worship services," Bush will tell a meeting of mayors today. The Washington Post reports,

The administration wants new language specifying that direct government grants must go to a separate account from private funds, officials said. Bush also wants faith-based groups to have the same accountability requirements, including self-audits, as other government contractors. And they want an individual who objects to the religious component of a program—for example, a prayer service in a homeless shelter —to be able to skip it and still get the social services.

That's all a little unclear. That last agenda item sounds like what the Bush administration has been saying all along—these groups must have a secular alternative available in the community or provide for individuals to opt-out of the religious aspects. But is the White House now saying that all religious organizations receiving federal funds must provide opt-outs? It's unclear.

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Also, the Post reports, "The administration's efforts over the past three weeks constitute a rare admission by White House officials that they had mishandled one of Bush's signature initiatives."

In better news, however, civil rights activist Rosa Parks is campaigning for the initiative.

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