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.
More on Johnny Cash:
- A tribute to the legacy of Johnny Cash in word and song | Mr. Cash was depicted as a man of genius but also of many contradictions, of unending compassion and of tremendous Christian faith (The New York Times)
- Man in Black brought rebel's spirit to music | Legend: He attracted fans of country and rock with an earthy, poignant and honest approach to his craft (Baltimore Sun)
- Farewell to the man in black (The Orlando Sentinel)
- Black was cool again | With a career that spanned 47 years, Cash found new, younger fans in the 1990s (The Charlotte Observer)
- Seattle visits fed legend of the Man in Black | Johnny Cash helped attract the biggest indoor crowd in area history when he visited in 1976 to sing at a Billy Graham crusade in the Kingdome (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
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)
- 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)
- ACLU: No appeal in plaque case | The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented a Chester County atheists' group in a Ten Commandments lawsuit against the Chester County commissioners, has announced that its attorneys won't appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court (Daily Local News, West Chester, Pa.)
- Also: Plaque decision pleases many | Chester County residents remain supportive of the religious document's place in the courthouse and community (Daily Local News, West Chester, Pa.)
- Also: Full past coverage of Chester County case (Daily Local News)
- Church-state dispute hits home | Suit over Ten Commandments at Texas Capitol may reach Supreme Court (Houston Chronicle)
- Ten Commandments judge brings cause to Houston | Top jurist pledges to take monument issue to the nation (Houston Chronicle)
- Polk rock's historic codes could become its salvation | Defy the Ten Commandments, written by the finger of God, and incur his wrath. Surround the Judeo-Christian tenets with other pieces of history, and perhaps the masses will spare theirs (The Orlando Sentinel)
- Could Missouri have Ten Commandments problem? | That's what some conservatives say (Hannibal Courier-Post)
- They've fallen off the top 10 list | Read closely: The Ten Commandments reflect a primitive worldview (Alan Dershowitz, Los Angeles Times)
- 10 Commandments: A thin wall divides state from church | Debate was not about religion or religious values. It was about religious symbols. God wasn't the issue; rather, it was a 4-foot-high, 5,280-pound block of granite (Ira Youdovin, Chicago Tribune)
- The Ten Commandments and American law | Why some Christians' claims to legal hegemony are not consistent with the historical record (Marci Hamilton, Findlaw.com)
Missions and evangelism:
- Redefined evangelism favors gentler approach of nonbelievers | Phil Wyman is one of a growing group of evangelicals who say that in many cases, the old methods of proselytizing aren't working (The Dallas Morning News)
- Rumors about religion battled | Six Tri-City churches are among scores conducting Alpha courses (The Argus, Fremont, Calif.)
- Reaching out through friendship | Young Life, which began in 1940, involves teens around the world gathering in Christian ministry, spreading the word and inviting their friends to join the fun and learn about Jesus Christ (Naples Daily News, Fla.)
- Missionary returns home after release in Lebanon | "I'm as good as dead if I go back there," says Bruce Balfour (Canadian Press)
- Kenneth Mulholland dies at 65 | Spent 23 years helping students at Columbia International University learn how to spread the Christian gospel around the world (The State, Columbia, S.C.)
- Board reverses Chapman's parole | Inmate pays dearly for delaying parole for Promise Keepers (Associated Press)
- Remembering the patron saint of the jungle | The people of the jungle called Father Rudolfo Toigo "padre" with a lot of affection and reverence (Los Angeles Times)
- The Buddha of suburbia | The Dalai Lama's American religion (The Boston Globe)
- Is Buddhism good for your health? | Researchers are making the case that Eastern-style meditation is good not just for your emotional well-being but also for your physical state (The New York Times Magazine)
- Nature moves in on pagans' festival | Spiritual mirth outlasts rain showers (The Washington Post)
- 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)
- Placing a price tag on sexual abuse by priests | Just how much should you pay someone who has suffered psychological scars from sexual abuse? (The New York Times)
- Archbishop greets victims of priest abuse | Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, wading into a small knot of protesters after Mass on Sunday, said more needs to be done to heal the wounds of the church's priest sexual abuse scandal (Associated Press)
- Diocese is cautious in addressing dismissals | A year after a national edict pledged openness in cases of abuse, the Diocese of Buffalo is circumspect in how much it is revealing (The Buffalo News)
- Mount Carmel pastor accused | Diocese places Msgr. Daniel Murray, who denies sexual abuse charges, on leave (Daily Pilot, Newport Beach, Calif.)
- Tuscon diocese sells downtown headquarters | Sale follows deal to settle lawsuits over sexual abuse (The Arizona Daily Star)
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)
- A golden papal handshake? | What to do in the emergency case of a pope so incapacitated he could not carry out his duties? And how to make such an emergency much more unlikely? (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)
- Ripple from priests' celibacy letter continues, most recently in Illinois | Aftershocks in the nation and abroad, but not yet upheavals (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
- Faithful flock to see relic | Almost 2,000 line up for view of piece of cloak worn by saint (The Dallas Morning News)
- A frail Pope meets Slovak twins in an antiabortion gesture | Girls were introduced today as symbols to show that healthy, joyful people might develop from fetuses with defects. (The New York Times)
- An exhausted Pope finishes visit to Slovakia (The New York Times)
- Ailing Pope ends trip amid concern it may be his last | John Paul II is unable to complete a speech or sermon on his four-day visit to Slovakia (Los Angeles Times)
- The globe-trotter Pope | The Church of Rome is the world's oldest surviving international organisation, the Vatican the world's smallest sovereign state (BBC)
- James Patrick Shannon dies at 82 | Former bishop took liberal stances that angered Vatican (Los Angeles Times)
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