Canada's Chosen People Ministries loses appeal
Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal of a Federal Court ruling prohibiting Chosen People Ministries from using a stylized menorah as its "official mark" in the country.

The Canadian Jewish Congress had argued that the messianic Jewish organization cannot use any image of a menorah because it is a Christian group, and such use is "scandalous, offensive to Canadians, and deceptive."

"The Federal Court of Appeal's decision upholding the ruling of Justice Blais reinforces CJC's efforts to prevent so-called Hebrew-Christian groups from misappropriating hallowed symbols of the Jewish people for their own exclusive use," CJC national president Keith Landy said in a press release.

The court's oral decision doesn't seem to be on its website, and so far the only press coverage is from Jewish media who clearly side with the CJC. Chosen People Ministries isn't quoted in the stories and doesn't have a statement about the ruling on its website. (Unlike our other articles, Weblog doesn't include original reporting. If CPM posts a response, we'll link to it.)

Still, The Western Jewish Bulletin notes that CPM has applied for trademark status for its menorah symbol. The battle that apparently ended at the Federal Court of Appeal was over whether CPM could use its menorah as an "official mark," which offers more legal protection than a trademark. The CJC is opposing that move, too, so this fight still isn't over.

Pat Robertson's Regent University gets Saved by the Bell
Weblog doesn't usually highlight higher-education appointments and promotions very often, but this one is worth noting. Regent University, the Virginia Beach school launched by broadcaster Pat Robertson, has appointed a new dean for its School of Communication and the Arts: Peter Engel. If you don't know Engel, you probably know his work: His show Saved by the Bell is a television classic, syndicated in more than 85 countries, and launched the careers of Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue), Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls), and Dustin Diamond (um, he's pretty much only done Saved by the Bell, but everybody loves him as that show's character Samuel "Screech" Powers).

"I am most proud of the fact that we were able to touch so many children around the world with the morality tales of Saved by the Bell," Engel says in a Regent press release announcing his appointment.

Engel's final television project, a reality TV show called Last Comic Standing, is airing on NBC this summer. That network used to cram its Saturday mornings with Engel's creations, including California Dreams, City Guys, and Hang Time (which now airs on ABC Family).

Article continues below

The Regent press release doesn't mention any academic credentials for Engel, and Weblog is sure that some Christian media critics will be debating whether the delightfully cheesy Saved by the Bell should be a model for the future Christian television creators of America. But if he's half as good a dean as Mr. Belding was a principal at Bayside High School, he'll do just fine in his new job.

More articles


  • Teachers live in faith for pupils who don't | Christian Schools Australia students don't have to be Christians, but teachers and staff do (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Vouchers no threat to schools, says state rep | D.C. Parental Choice Incentive Act of 2003 would provide taxpayer-funded private school tuition grants of up to $7,500 a year to D.C. families earning up to 180 percent of the poverty level, or about $27,500 for a family of three (The Washington Post)

  • Patterson top pick to lead seminary | Conservative Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson is the first choice of a search committee to become the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the chairman of the board of trustees confirmed Thursday (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

Article continues below
  • Also: Seminary in Wake Forest could lose its president | Paige Patterson has been president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest for more than a decade, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports he's now the leading candidate for a similar post in Texas (News14, N.C.)

  • Principal buffeted by religion, sports issue | The boy was strong, smart, and fast as greased lighting. A football coach's dream come true. But Matt Stanfill, a Seventh-day Adventist high school student who joined the local public high school team in 1978, never played in a varsity game (The Oregonian)

Life ethics:

Sexual ethics:

  • Archbishops urge gay bishop to stand down | But Archbishop of Cape Town lends support (The Times, London)

  • Also: Church faces schism over gay bishop | The archbishop's statement settles nothing (Sam Jones, The Guardian, London)

  • Also: Church leaders warn of gay split | Thirty-five church leaders urged openly gay Canon Jeffrey John to withdraw his acceptance of the position when they met in Oxford on Wednesday night (BBC)

  • The Third World way | It cannot be pleasing to progressive Anglicans and Catholics (Francis X. Rocca, The American Prowler\)

  • The one and the many | Organized Christianity began as a religion for women and slaves. It looks set fair to end, at least in the Western world, as a religion for homosexuals. The only thing that might turn the tide would be a determined missionary effort by the diocese of Nigeria (John Derbyshire, National Review Online)

Article continues below


  • Advertisements for the Vatican, art included | Some 350 objects, the largest collection from these museums ever to tour North America, are currently on view in "St. Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes," at the Houston Museum of Natural Science through July 27 (The New York Times)

  • Vatican puts museum collection online | Site allows visitors to take a virtual reality tour of some of the dozen museums and galleries that make up the Vatican collection, zooming in on a frescoed panel in the Raphael Rooms or viewing Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel with a three-dimensional video (Associated Press)

  • Cast aside at the cathedral | Termites and the administrators of Washington National Cathedral are about to destroy a priceless link to the past: the workshops of the cathedral's stone carvers (The Washington Post)

Harry Potter:

  • Harry Potter, culture warrior | Conservative Christians should not fulminate over J.K. Rowling's creation, but embrace her books' core messages (Jerry Bowyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • Deconstructing Rowling | J.K. Rowling is an Inkling, says John Granger's fine book, The Hidden Key to Harry Potter (Dave Kopel, National Review Online)


Walking for God:

Other stories of interest:

  • James and the giant reach | Combine science, politics, religion, and the Israeli antiquities market. Hit blend. (Jeremy Lott, The American Prowler)

  • Saintly beauty pageant is thanks to God | An Italian priest on Sunday prepared to celebrate his parish's patron saint by presiding over a beauty pageant to choose the town's candidate for the upcoming Miss Italy competition (Reuters)

Article continues below

Related Elsewhere

Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to

What is Weblog?

Check out Books & Culture's weblog, Content & Context.

See our past Weblog updates:

June 25 | 24 | 23
June 20 | 19 | 18 | 17 | 16
June 13 | 12 | 11 | 9
June 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2
May 29 | 28 | 27
May 23 | 22 | 21 | 20 | 19
May 15 | 14 | 13 | 12
and more, back to November 1999