Focus on the Family can sue over rejected ads, court says
In 2001, a Florida bus company refused to post advertisements for a Focus on the Family conference on homosexuality called "Love Won Out." Focus sued, but the case was thrown out.

Now it's back in, thanks to a decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (the same court that Focus on the Family founder James Dobson castigated for its decision against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his Ten Commandments monument).

"This is a great victory—not just for us, but for the Constitution," Focus vice president Tom Minnery says in a press release. "With the many examples of judicial tyranny we routinely see across the country, it is nice to be involved in a case in which a court upholds the integrity of the First Amendment."

Smallville's passion play
It's not news that Superman and Jesus have a lot in common. Both were sent to Earth by their fathers, grew up in the backcountry, lived in relative obscurity until their 30s, died to save the world, rose from the dead, and were tempted to use their power to satisfy their own immediate desires. There's a lot more that can be said about this, including thoughts about what Superman's Kryptonian name, Kal-El, means in Hebrew, the iconography of Superman, and the use of religion in the comic books themselves. But that's not news.

What is news is that at least one part of the Superman world is consciously drawing the connections between Clark and Jesus.

"It's the Christ story for an American audience, with a lot of action," Smallville producer Alfred Gough told USA Today last week.

So does this mean we should chalk up one more show among the many this season delving into overt spiritual messages? The show's season premiere is Wednesday, October 1, on WB.

More television news:

  • Hey, God, it's me, Joan | 'Joan of Arcadia' offers a two-for-one deal: a clever teen soap and a cop drama. Can CBS take one back? (Newsweek)

  • Bakker has new show, old theme | On "The New Jim Bakker Show," the TV evangelist sits beside his perky wife, pleads for money, occasionally cries and closes the show with "God loves you. He really does." (Ken Garfield, The Charlotte Observer)

  • Gee, Davey, you're making a comeback | It took Mountain Dew to wake up the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (The Dallas Morning News)

Yesterday's Weblog included links to several newspaper remembrances of Johnny Cash. But the paper of record on the legendary singer was accidentally deleted. Anyone even slightly interested in Cash should check out The Tennessean, which today also includes coverage of Cash's funeral.

Article continues below

More on Johnny Cash:

More articles

Politics and law:

  • God help the Democrats | The Democrats cannot afford to be perceived as the party of irreligion or as inhospitable to committed persons of faith (John H. Bunzel, Los Angeles Times)

  • Bush touts faith-based plan in Houston | Visiting a community center in a converted southwest side Kmart, President Bush on Friday passionately defended his proposals for federally supported faith-based programs that have run into stiff resistance in Congress (Houston Chronicle)

  • Pay attention to these trends | The theologies and practices of faithful people often drive political trends (William McKenzie, The Dallas Morning News)

  • 'Who would Jesus tax?' | Don't confuse religion in politics with the right wing—think of the abolitionist, labor, and civil rights movements (Jonathan Zimmerman, The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Should God be in public square? | The founders held that all men are created equal, but that all beliefs are not (Gregory A. Thornbury, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis)

  • Cross ruling a victory for our country | The recent ruling by a Kentucky federal court in favor of a Logan County woman who was fired from her job for wearing a cross is a victory not only for her, but for thousands of Americans who wish to silently express their religious faith in the workplace (Editorial, Bowling Green Daily News, Ky.)

  • Catholic Church tells rebels to leave | The Blantyre Archdiocese of the Catholic Church said on Monday people who do not agree with the church's sermons on politics, justice, and peace are free to leave the church and stop calling themselves Catholics (The Nation, Blantyre, Malawi)

Article continues below
  • France says no to Christianity in Constitution | "France is a lay state and as such she does not have a habit of calling for insertions of a religious nature into constitutional texts", the French President told reporters (EU Observer)

Ten Commandments:

Missions and evangelism:

Article continues below

Other religions:

The Passion:

  • Scholars back charges against Gibson | A confidential study by Catholic and Jewish academics of a script for Mel Gibson's Jesus film finds anti-Semitic overtones (The Globe and Mail, Toronto)

  • Vatican official praises 'Passion' clips | U.S. Archbishop John P. Foley of the church's social-communications office said he hoped to show the film in the Vatican and said he doubted whether criticisms of the film were valid (Associated Press)

  • Give Mel a chance | People are free to accept or reject this story that the New Testament tells and they have been doing so for over 2,000 years (Liz Smith, New York Post)

  • Sacred mysteries: Representing Jesus | When the Lord Chamberlain censored all theatrical productions, as he did until 1966, it was prohibited to represent Jesus on stage (Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph, London)


  • Former youth pastor pleads guilty to child rape | Herman Glenn Jr originally faced 11 counts of child rape and child molestation involving boys under his care at the Bethel Christian Assembly, a nondenominational church now called the Church for All Nations (The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.)

  • Abuse charges test faith of small Va. community | Following a week of troublesome news, many believe their faith is being tested in the sleepy town of Pembroke (Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.V.)

  • The wages of sin | The archbishop of Boston gets his $85 million deal done (Newsweek)

Article continues below

John Geoghan's murder:

  • Out for him: Inmate: Guard bullied Geoghan | A correction officer at MCI-Concord waged a "campaign" to move former priest John J. Geoghan to supermax security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility because of its "violent prison environment," an inmate said (The Boston Herald)

  • Geoghan bore guards' abuse, inmate wrote | In a letter written to a lawyer seven months before defrocked priest John J. Geoghan was strangled in a cell, an inmate said that he had seen guards abuse Geoghan in Concord state prison and that he had written to top state corrections officials about the abuse of Geoghan and other inmates (The Boston Globe)

  • Inside prison, outside the law | John Geoghan's murder raises troubling issues of inmate 'justice' - and society's indifference (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Letter apologizes for pedophile priest's murder | letter of apology, purportedly from Joseph Druce, who is accused of killing defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan in prison last month, has been sent to a Massachusetts newspaper (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:

September 15
September 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8
September 5 | 4 | 3 | 2
August 29 | 28 | 27 | 26 | 25
August 22 | 21 | 20 | 19 | 18
August 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11
August 8 | 7b | 7a | 6 | 5 | 4
and more, back to November 1999