Left Behind lawsuit dismissed
A federal judge has dismissed Left Behind coauthor Tim LaHaye's lawsuit against Cloud Ten Pictures, which created film versions of the first two books in the popular series, the film company says in a press release.
"Obviously the Federal Court has vindicated Cloud Ten," says Cloud Ten president Edwin Ng. "We are extremely pleased with the result and continue to look forward to making future Left Behind films, television programming and films based on the Left Behind: The Kid's Series."
LaHaye sued Cloud Ten and Namesake Entertainment in July 1999, saying the companies breached their contract by making a film of lower quality than promised. According to Publishers Weekly, he had promised to drop the suit if Cloud Ten released the rights to the children's series. The company is currently developing Left Behind: The Series, which will air only in Canada.
Worldwide Church of God settles, will allow Armstrong books to be published
In another book-related lawsuit, the Worldwide Church of God has settled its legal battle with the Philadelphia Church of God over works written by the group's founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.
The Worldwide Church of God (WCG) has repudiated Armstrong's teachings and has joined the National Association of Evangelicals, but splinter groups like the Philadelphia Church of God, which broke away when the WCG began becoming more orthodox, fought to keep the WCG from suppressing the works.
Joseph Tkach Jr., pastor general of the WCG, had said it was the church's "Christian duty [to keep the book out of print] because we believe Mr. Armstrong's doctrinal errors are better left out of circulation."
But WCG chief financial officer Bernard Schnippert told the Pasadena Star News today that it would be "financially imprudent" not to accept a $3 million settlement offer from the Philadelphia Church of God for control of the copyrights to 19 of Armstrong's books.
"We came to an end where we received a considerable sum of money and the other party received a number of works that are out of date and inaccurate according to most of the Christian world," he said. He had earlier told the Star News that the church's income dropped from $170 million before the split to $25 million this year.
Some are upset with the decision. "They're willing, in effect, to support what they condemn," said Reginald Killingley. "To permit the perpetuation and promotion of heresy for the sake of money."
War with Iraq:
- Archbishop backs troops in Gulf | Rowan Williams has previously condemned attacking Iraq (BBC)
- Also: Onward Christian soldiers? | Rowan Williams is wrong to tone down his opposition to this war (Giles Fraser, The Guardian, London)
- Churches united in their condemnation of war | Conservative Anglicans, too (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Catholic and Anglican primates join in condemnation and prayer | Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, described the war in Iraq as "wrong and evil" (The Guardian, London)
- Public supports war despite church leaders | Have these religious leaders forgotten how Milosevic was driven from power? (Bob Thomas, Daily Journal, Kankakee, Ill.)
- Religious aggression? | Counselors, politicians, and war (William F. Buckley, National Review Online)
- The perception of a crusade | For many Muslims, getting rid of Saddam takes a back seat to the issue of religion (KCBD, Lubbock, Tex.)
- Allied troops bypass holy sites | The troops passed by Abraham's birthplace of Ur and the heart of ancient Sumer, whose poetry told of a creation and flood like that in the book of Genesis (The Washington Times)
- For some, first taste of combat | "This is a place of the Bible," said Pfc. Benjamin Putnam "This is where many wars were fought." (The Baltimore Sun)
Prayer and services in a time of war:
- Mother prays for POW son's safe return | 'Strong faith' helps pass worried hours (The Washington Post)
- An arsenal of prayer at Pentagon | Some staffers have turned to worship for comfort, way to support war effort (The Baltimore Sun)
- Iraq POWs and relatives rely on God | Faith will see them through war ordeal, they say (Charisma News Service)
- Church leaders pray for war's end | There was no opposition to the Iraq war among religious leaders across the township who are responding to the war in different ways, with prayer the common element (Mt. Olive [N.J.] Chronicle)
- Believers place hopes for peace in God's hands | In Carolinas, faithful turn to Web sites, prayer and each other (The Charlotte Observer)
- Chaplains offer blessings, prayers for troops | Some Catholic chaplains' views conflict with Vatican's and bishops' (The Denver Post)
- In prayers, Kansas town shows unity | They came by the hundreds in this small town to a Methodist church, where an organ played somberly and softly, to pray for the safe return of one of their own (The New York Times)
- Churches keeping light on 24 hours | For some area congregations, the U.S.-led war in Iraq has meant the return of something not seen in decades: a church that never locks its doors (The Washington Post)
- Spiritual leaders struggle to address fear, uncertainty of times | Excerpts from sermons and speeches that religious and nonreligious leaders prepared for their congregations and groups throughout the Bay Area (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Christians spill blood in protest | A Dominican priest and a member of the Catholic Worker movement spilt what they claim to be their own blood, in the form of a cross on the floor of the office of the US Consul-General (XtraMSN, New Zealand)
- Also: Bishop apologizes for bloody protest | Bishop Dunn said the act was offensive and he offered to pay for any cleaning costs (The New Zealand Herald)
- Also: Cross of blood on US carpet (New Zealand Herald)
- Catholic Church rallies Filipinos against war | The largest demonstrations have been marked by prayer more than protest (Asia Times)
- Parishioners stage neighborhood protest in Englewood | St. Sabina's Pfleger: 'God is not an American' (WMAQ, Chicago)
Iraq war aid and relief:
- Aid groups gearing up for Iraq emergency | World Vision among those ready to go in (Scripps Howard News Service)
- Aid agencies poised to offer relief | United by compassion, diverse groups focus on serving the devastated (The Dallas Morning News)
- Abortion for raped 9-year-old touches off angry debate among Nicaraguans | The government human rights prosecutor urged an abortion; the country's family minister opposed it (Associated Press)
- Broad ban on cloning becomes Arkansas law | Supporters say they hope the action will encourage the two U.S. senators from the state to favor similar legislation in Congress (The Washington Times)
- Anti-abortion phone company raises funds | Christian Coalition of America and several other pro-family lobbies are raising money by encouraging members to sign up with an anti-abortion phone company that gives its profits to the groups (Associated Press)
- A new baby debate | As pro-lifers adopt embryos, critics raise questions (Newsweek)
Persecution and violence:
- ZANU-PF will not listen to the voice of God | That a bishop from the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe among many other men working for God's people has already fallen victim to this regime's no-nonsense police force should have told the Christian delegation from South Africa that this is not a place where dialogue is included as part of any diplomatic initiative (Marko Phiri, The Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe)
- Christian Muslim violence in the Philippines | There's been a series of attacks targetting Christians in Mindanao (Radio Australia)
- Another front | Genocidal Jihad in the Sudan (John Eibner, National Review Online)
Supreme Court hears Texas sodomy case:
- Supreme court seems set to reverse a sodomy law | The court seems likely to overturn a Texas law that forbids sexual practices between same-sex couples that the state deems lawful when performed by a man and a woman (The New York Times)
- Justices engage in debate over equal rights for gays (Los Angeles Times)
- Justices hear challenge to Texas sodomy law (The Washington Post)
- Court hears challenge to Texas sodomy ban (UPI)
- Same-sex case pits precedents | It would be hard to imagine the Romer majority straying far from this landmark in any eventual decision in the Texas case. (UPI)
Film, TV, and radio:
- Mad Mel versus Hollywood and the Vatican | Beyond his bluff acting style and his chiselled good looks, Gibson is a rare bird: an actor who thinks about profound issues (The Times, London)
- 'Gods and Generals' a painful disappointment at box office | Ron Maxwell blames anti-Christian critics (WorldNetDaily.com)
- 'Veggie Tales' soup it up with silly humor | There's no sure recipe for making biblically based entertainment, well, entertaining (Palm Beach Post)
- Trinity Broadcasting Network told to be more considerate of neighbors | Residents' complaints trigger new, but temporary, restrictions on religious network (Los Angeles Times)
- Radio station seeks international voices | Students seeking an alternative radio station can now tune into a Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese speaking Christian station online (The University Daily Kansan)
- 'Jesus' video coming this spring to mailboxes in Roanoke Valley | Despite a tepid early response to the idea, organizers never lost faith that they could raise the necessary funds, said an official (The Roanoke [Va.] Times)
Missions and ministry:
- Students join Bono's AIDS efforts | Three months after U2's Bono and his gang of humanitarians visited Wheaton College to raise consciousness about AIDS in Africa, students and alumni are continuing to heed his call to action (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Canoes for Christ | Project Pure Light blends ministry with ocean (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
- 'Faith is a touchy-feely thing' | Once a traveling evangelist, David Forrest is now pastor of Trinity Pentecostal Church in LaSalle. He's a storyteller who loves to make people laugh, but his preaching can sometimes make them cry (The Montreal Gazette)
- College crusader condemns students | George "Jed" Smock uses a "Saturday Night Live" approach to his preaching method, he said (The State Hornet, California State University)
- Chaplains vital link for prisoners | Prison chaplains can play a vital role in helping to reduce reoffending by forming a link between jail and the outside world for inmates, a conference in Birmingham heard yesterday (Birmingham Post, U.K.)
- Putting biblical principles to work | Job-searching, soul-searching go together in this ministry for the unemployed (The Dallas Morning News)
- Brazil's Lula appeals to pope on hunger | "For us it will always be of fundamental importance to continue counting on the support, the participation and the critical conscience of the Church … in ending an unjust society model … that contradicts the elementary beginnings of humanism and of Christianity," president wrote (UPI)
- X-treme faith | Skateboards, rock bands, street festivals—religious groups woo the MTV generation (The Miami Herald)
- Residents fear 'covenant' | Reverend wants to turn old school into treatment center for ex-prisoners (Mansfield [Oh.] News-Journal)
Clergy sex abuse:
- Bishops to play no role in sex abuse inquiries | The recommendation is included in a draft document outlining new national protocols for handling clergy sex abuse expected to be released by the church's national Child Protection Committee in July (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Priest, church seek post-controversy life | The new priest at St. Peter's, which formed from an acrimonious split at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook last year, is poised to help move the upstart congregation beyond the controversy that led to its founding (The Birmingham News)
- Sexual misconduct allegations brought against deceased pastor | Adult woman filed the allegations with the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America before pastor was diagnosed with disease (East Central Minnesota Post Review)
- Judge lays into priest pedophile | "You took her spiritual life away," says Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Albert Tomei (New York Post)
- Sex abuse bill sent to floor of Minnesota Senate| Would allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers as long as six years after discovering the link between the abuse and the injury it caused (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
- California Senate panel OKs bill to extend priest case deadline | The measure would allow more time to file charges as court settles dispute with diocese (Los Angeles Times)
- Church services reach out to gays | Three Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations in Pittsburgh host services intended to welcome "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians to worship" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Redemption key to church defense | Religious freedom argument has been raised throughout the country, with varying results (The Boston Globe)
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