Senate bans partial-birth abortion
Is there an echo in here? Weblog's headline on March 13 proclaimed that the Senate banned partial-birth abortion. Now all the papers find it big news that they've done it again. (And again and again, actually.)

The bill passed yesterday was slightly different than it was back in March (that earlier version had language supporting the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision), but the comments are so overwhelmingly the same that Weblog could almost cut and paste the text from that March 13 posting. Prolifers support the bill because it bans a barbaric practice that might as well be called infanticide rather than abortion. Abortion rights supporters, on the other hand, say the ban is just a ruse—an effort to destroy Roe v. Wade.

Here's what makes this story different: yesterday's vote was the last step in Congress. From here it goes to President Bush's desk to become law. And then it's off to the courts. Um. Again. Anyone dizzy yet?

Still, if you're interested in the news, here's the coverage from the Associated Press, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the Los Angeles Times (which, in a separate story, says the ban is unlikely to take effect—a very premature conclusion).

Terri Schiavo's murder thwarted
Yesterday's partial-birth abortion ban vote wasn't the only big news for prolifers yesterday. With a quick vote from the Florida legislature and an order from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, mentally disabled Florida woman Terri Schiavo is being fed again, despite her legal husband's efforts to starve her to death.

"It's restored my belief in God," her father told the Associated Press. Here are some of the major stories:

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Anglican crisis:

  • Robinson: Only God will keep me from post | "God and I have been about this for quite a while now and I would be really surprised if God were to want me to stop now," says gay bishop-elect (Associated Press)

  • Episcopal official will return to post | A month after announcing his resignation as assistant to Episcopal Bishop John Howe, the Rev. Ernest Bennett has reversed his decision, citing assurances that the Diocese of Central Florida will not split from the troubled denomination (The Orlando Sentinel)

  • Board votes to reinstate diocese funds | Payment coming if funds available, church says (The Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Oh.)

  • Australian Anglicans to debate "repent" call for pro-gay colleagues | In a statement, the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney said it would discuss a motion on the "future shape of ministry", which also commends Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen for speaking out against the moves (AFP)

  • Activist expects Episcopal schism | Churches may switch bishops, conservative leader says (The Washington Post)

  • Anglican bishop denounces gay colleagues | The cleric maintained that even animals do not mate with the same sex, wondering why a church "which is evangelical, orthodox, Bible-based, liturgical and charismatic would go against the Holy Bible" (Vanguard, Lagos, Nigeria)

  • Anglican discord lamented | Former archbishop shares message at Charleston church (Charleston Post Courier, SC)

  • Some fear 'civil war,' others hold out hope for unity | The rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Collierville has been thinking nonstop for weeks about the likely split of the Episcopal Church, USA, over the issue of homosexuality. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

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Lt. Gen William Boykin (news):

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Lt. Gen William Boykin (opinion):

  • And he's head of intelligence? | This is surely the first time a conservative evangelical has argued that Bill Clinton's election was caused by divine intervention (Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek)

  • The general who roared | Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who has called the war on terrorism a "Christian battle" and disparaged Muslims, should be dismissed from his post (Editorial, The New York Times)

  • Wrong and divisive | Some comments also raise questions about Gen. Boykin's fitness to oversee military intelligence, questions of religious bigotry aside (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  • A war against terror, not religions | Recently, on different sides of the globe, an American general and a Malaysian prime minister matched each other's ignorance in speeches blaming religion for political conflicts (Editorial, The San Diego Union-Tribune)

  • Boykin vs Bin Ladin | The dark reality of American administration's evangelical agenda occasionally cuts through the public relations gloss (Editorial, The Daily Times, Pakistan)

  • Gen. Boykin's fighting spirit | I am inclined to believe that he is splendidly fit for such combat, and I thank God that we have such a man as Gen. Boykin in our midst (Tony Blankley, The Washington Times)

  • The general in his pulpit | There's more than a hint of anti-Christian bigotry at work here (John Podhoretz, New York Post)

  • Playing into the radicals' hands | Boykin comes across as a 21st century version of the European crusaders (Bonnie Erbe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

  • Warring with God | In the 21st century, exclusivist religion, no matter how "mainstream" and no matter how muted the anathemas that follow from its absolutes, is a sure way to religious war (James Carroll, The Boston Globe)

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  • Anti-Islam remarks show a closed mind | Beyond the question of Boykin's fitness to serve, his remarks show that the crucial culture gap over faith is not between those who are religious and those who aren't, but between those who are 100-percent convinced their religion is the only way to salvation and those who are willing to live with a little less certainty (Robert Jensen, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Gen. Boykin: Will he become Bush's Bartman? | Osama bin Laden has said he is engaged in a holy war with the U.S. For the general who is now charged with finding him, the feeling is mutual—and the general is not making any secret of it (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune)

  • Whose god is 'real' and 'bigger'? | There is no excuse for using his public position and visibility to spread hatred and disinformation about a great religion (Ehsan Ahrari, Asia Times)

  • Both in U.S. and Muslim world, we must control those who cultivate hatred | The Bush administration won't win support for continuous and misdirected warfare among the more informed U.S. public. Bush must continue to rely on support from less informed, more radical factions within his own religion of Christianity. (Adam Pollock, Citizen-Times, Asheville, N.C.)


YWCA fires Patricia Ireland:

Bible ban in Calgary hospitals:

  • Christians won't relish Bible removal | Some people, espousing tolerance for all, plan on being intolerant to most by removing Bibles from hospital rooms (Licia Corbella, Calgary Sun)

  • Gideons, begone! Calgary hospitals may banish the Bible | If the policy is approved, Gideon Bible, a bedside staple provided by Gideons International, will be removed from all hospital rooms in the city and the Calgary Health Region will ban all distribution and display of any printed religious materials in hospitals (CanWest News Service)

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Pastors protest, praise Mormons:


  • Digging out the truth of Exodus | Trenches could be the first physical evidence for the Bible story of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt (U.S. News & World Report)

  • Is this where Jesus bathed? | A shopkeeper running a small souvenir business in Nazareth has made a sensational discovery that could dramatically rewrite the history of Christianity (The Guardian, London)

10 Commandments and the Pledge

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Pope John Paul II

  • Working for the Pope | For Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the Pope is also the boss, an employer who can summon him with a telephone call (BBC)

  • Could this be the next pope? | An Italian makes the early running in a race that dare not speak its name (Time Europe)

  • John Paul II: The Superpope | Twenty-five years ago he was the action man Pope - an athlete, a skier and a tireless missionary for the Roman Catholic Church. Now he is the wheelchair Pope, barely able to speak, too frail to move. But while the flesh is weak, he rules with a will of iron (John Wilkins, The Independent, London)

  • Pope John Paul II installs new cardinals | His health failing, Pope John Paul II added 30 names to the list of his possible successors Tuesday, installing a diverse collection of cardinals in a consistory some say may be his last (Associated Press)

  • Pope elevates 31 to Vatican's College of Cardinals (Reuters)

  • Pope wraps up 25th anniversary week | Presided over a final Mass with his new cardinals but again struggling to deliver his prayers (Associated Press)

  • Cardinals now must ponder the unspoken | Two things are true in the papal race: It is next to impossible to predict with certainty who will emerge as the next pope, and the best candidate is he who does not appear to be one (Los Angeles Times)

  • Pope installs 31 new cardinals | Ailing John Paul completes group that will choose his successor (The Washington Post)

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Mother Teresa

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