Just links today. Commentary will return tomorrow.


Religious freedom:

  • China Christian church activist detained | Liu Fenggang, 43, was detained on Oct. 13 in the city of Hangzhou while visiting with leaders of the destroyed churches who had just been released from almost two months in detention (Associated Press)

  • Congress concerned over religious freedoms in Iraq | Conservative Republican lawmakers in Congress worry that the Muslim-dominated country will shed its secular history and officially turn into an Islamic state, complete with a constitution that says Islam is its national religion (Knight Ridder)

  • All they wanted was a simple cross | The structure occupies a portion of St Anthony's Street and is on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's hitlist of illegal religious shrines to be demolished following a recent Bombay High Court order. (New Indian Press)

Pledge of Allegiance:

  • Case involving pledge should be easy for justices to decide | Scalia's recusal likely means that the court's interest in the standing question will wane and that the justices will reach the substantive question of whether having students recite the pledge is unconstitutional (Terry Eastland, The Dallas Morning News)

  • "Under God" | The history of a phrase (James Piereson, The Weekly Standard)

  • One atheist, underwhelmed | Overturning the pledge seems certain to make atheists even less popular than they already are, while distracting attention from the far more troubling entanglements of church and state that have emerged under the Bush administration. (by Chris Mooney, Washington Post)

  • High court must not be pressured | The Supreme Court should affirm the 9th Circuit's decision and hold that it is not for the government to encourage students to express a religious belief. (Erwin Chemerinsky, Hampshire Gazette, Mass.)

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Lt. Gen. Boykin:


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Life ethics:

  • Content of abortion information debated | Law requires offering data before procedure (Houston Chronicle)

  • Abortion vote leaves many in the Senate conflicted | Some Democratic senators, many of them strong advocates of abortion rights, voted for the first federal ban on a specific abortion procedure with some misgivings (The New York Times)

  • The battle for Terri | Even after Terri's Law was passed, Michael Schiavo fought to secure his wife's death. Now that she's still alive, he won't allow her parents to visit her (Wesley J. Smith, The Weekly Standard)

  • Scorning the courts in Florida | The actions of Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida State Legislature in the Terry Schiavo case mock the courts' careful deliberations over her right to die (Editorial, The New York Times)


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Land use:

  • Council threatening to block cathedral's landmark status | Many Council members are objecting to an agreement between officials of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Landmarks Preservation Commission that would allow for the large new buildings to be erected on the 11.3-acre grounds that flank the cathedral (The New York Times)

  • Planning commission votes to allow playground | A neighborhood organization had contended the Redwood Christian School, which is owned by a church, violated the conditions of its original 1980 conditional use permit by installing a playground (The Times-Standard, Eureka, Calif.)

  • Neighbors fight to save church | Developer wants to build condos on Friendship Baptist site (The Washington Post)

Church life:

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Money and business:


Missions and ministry:

  • Christians seek conversions | As cup fever takes hold, some top Christian players are hoping the event can be used to attract new recruits from that other New Zealand religion, rugby (The New Zealand Herald)

  • Revival breaking forth in devastated Kashmir | In places like Doda, a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, Hindus and Muslims are seeking out Christians for prayer (CBN)

Homosexuality and the church:

  • Bishop condemns anti-gay lobby | Publicly defending the choice of Canon Jeffrey John for the first time yesterday, Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, criticized nine diocesan bishops who publicly opposed the decision (The Guardian, London)

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Sex and marriage:

  • Marriage protection week | Marriage, as the union between a man and a woman, has been and remains the bedrock of civilization from the beginning of time. We support the president and his administration's efforts to ensure that it remains so, both for the health of society and for future generations (Editorial, The Washington Times)

  • U.S. marriage trends stabilize in 1990s | More than 54 percent of adult Americans said they were married and less than 10 percent said they were divorced (The Washington Times)

  • Sexual identity hard-wired by genetics, study says | Study discounts the concept that homosexuality and transgender sexuality are a choice, California researchers reported on Monday (Reuters)

Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ:


  • Amazing Grace | Christian quartet Point of Grace brings conference for teen girls to Louisville (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  • Beyoncé's dad colors her words | The father of pop songstress Beyoncé Knowles is mulling a lawsuit against a British newspaper for what he says is a "cut-and-paste job" that paints his daughter as a homophobe (Newsday)

Other religions:

  • Witch gets state grant | A witch has won subsidies from the Norwegian state to run a business of potions, fortune-telling and magic (Reuters)

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Other stories of interest:

  • Virgin Mary appears in New Jersey tree | The piece of wood, whose shape believers say resembles a veiled Virgin Mary with a bowed head, was noticed by passers-by over the weekend on state-owned land alongside a street that residents say is a hangout for illegal drug users (Reuters)

  • Victim's son is given award for forgiving father's murderer | A striking act of forgiveness for a gruesome murder earned Brandon Biggs a $10,000 college scholarship on Wednesday from an equally unlikely group of donors: prisoners on death row (The New York Times)

Related Elsewhere

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