Christian clubs at University of North Carolina still face problems
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is apparently working hard not to be too harsh toward student groups that do not comply with the school's anti-discrimination policy. It has extended its January 31 deadline for groups to turn in their revised charters and bylaws. And, as noted earlier in Weblog, UNC Chancellor James Moeser allowed the campus's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter to require its officers abide by Christian doctrine (though the campus's Queer Network for Change is attempting to get Moeser's decision overturned.)

But while InterVarsity has special dispensation from the school's chancellor, other groups do not.

"For most (groups) they had to change the word 'sex' to 'gender' or things like that [in their charters]," Jon Curtis, assistant director for student activities and organizations, told The Daily Tar Heel, the campus's student newspaper. "But all the groups have to be uniform with the University. We can't make exceptions."

For the group Brotherhood in Christ, it was a pretty easy change—the all-male Christian group had to allow women. "If someone would have wanted to join regardless of sex, we probably would have let them in anyway," Jamaal Edwards said.

But as  result of the edict, the Tar Heel reports, the Episcopal Campus Ministry has removed the word Christian from its purpose statement.

"I am more or less indifferent about the entire change," said the group's Matt Curtis. "The argument recently has been motivated more by politics and legal scare than by a true 'moralistic' and heartfelt cause." Yep, he's an Episcopalian, all right.

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Gen X and youth churches:

  • Ministry in the extreme | Churches spend big to draw youth but say it takes more than that to keep them there (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Christ and a cup of Joe | Welcome to Summit Salt Lake, a Generation X-style church based in the prototypical Generation X hangout: a coffeehouse (The Salt Lake Tribune)

  • The Gen X church | Isle churches take lessons from a California preacher who takes examples of the Gospel from TV and films (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

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  • Stretch limo takes teens to church | Young people in Tonyrefail were driven by limousine to Cymmer Apostolic Church on Sunday night for an evening featuring the lights, beats, smoke machines, computer-generated projections and volume normally associated with the most exciting nightclubs (The Western Mail, Wales)

  • Lo there came a trendy vicar | Rock music, magic tricks, nose studs … Jamie Allen is causing a stir in Wiltshire (The Times, London)

Church life:

Missions and ministry:

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Life ethics:

  • Bill banning 'partial-birth' endorsed | Bill seeks to avoid constitutional challenges that have plagued earlier late-term abortion bills by avoiding any reference to the word abortion. (The Roanoke [Va.] Times)

  • Abortion bill clears Georgia Senate committee | House Democrats say they don't intend to hear controversial legislation that would require a 24-hour waiting period (Savannah Morning News)

  • Teacher apologizes for abortion discussion | Math teacher had students divide the 40 million abortions of the past 30 years by the 45,000-seat capacity of Safeco Field, and do the same with the number of Jews (6 million) who died in the Holocaust (The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Conception misconception | It's not so simple to say when a human embryo becomes a human being (Margaret Wertheim, LA Weekly)

  • The final frontier | Depending on whom you ask, stem-cell research is either a medical godsend or further proof that God is dead (LA Weekly)

Sex and marriage:

  • When forever isn't | Christian divorce attorneys operate in line of fire (Christian Times)

  • Religious leaders back marriage campaign | Britain's religious leaders are to lead a campaign next week to shore up marriage after Cabinet ministers withdrew Government backing and money (The Daily Telegraph, London)

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Sexual ethics:

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  • Also: But what happens when the fun stops? | Seven Days editor Charlene Sweeney accompanied Richard Holloway to the lap-dancing club. She gives a female perspective on the experience … and looks beyond the naked flesh to the darker issues of the sex industry (The Sunday Herald, Glasgow, Scotland)

  • Also: Bishop's bash at the lap dancing girlie bar | Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh, says he wasn't turned on while doing "research" for newspaper article (The Daily Record, Scotland)



European Union:

  • Europe debates whether to admit God to Union | A group of politicians will meet to debate whether or not the European Union's future constitution should include a reference to the divine (The New York Times)

  • Sacred mysteries | How "In God We Trust" got on American currency, and why it's not on the Euro (Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph, London)


  • Parsonsburg church heals after vandalism | Despite the hate messages written on the church walls, pastor Rick Parrott said the incident has had the reverse effect, bringing people in the area closer together (Daily Times, Salisbury, Md.)

  • Man jailed for posing as priest at funeral | Trevor Norkett, 42, had been banned under a Sex Offenders' Order from dressing in religious garments after posing as a clergyman and sexually abusing a nine-year-old boy in 1999 (The Daily Telegraph, London)

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Clergy sex abuse:

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