It's a slow news day, so just links today.

Same-sex marriage in Oregon:

Same-sex marriage and related issues elsewhere:

Marriage and family:

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Boston's Catholic archdiocese sells land to Boston College:

The Passion:

  • 'Passion' not likely to play on TV | Despite being the year's biggest box-office blockbuster so far, "The Passion of the Christ" seems unlikely to find a home on the four biggest broadcast networks (Associated Press

  • Von Trier's vision as cruel as Gibson's | The Passion and Dogville are almost mirror images of each other aesthetically (Ed Siegel, The Boston Globe)

  • 'The Passion' and the betrayal of the masses | The one unintended moral of The Passion of the Christ seems to be that salvation is not attainable. As a political documentary, it's that liberation isn't possible (Charles Onyango-Obbo, The East African, Nairobi)


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Prayer calls in Michigan town:


  • A Texas bid to shift school finances to 'sin taxes' | Gov. Rick Perry wants to cut property taxes, expand legal gambling and raise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and topless bars (The New York Times)

  • Bush: 'We're changing the world' | This president indeed may be driven by a religious zeal that is beginning to reveal itself and is reminiscent of the eight crusades between 1095 and 1270 (Pat Murphy, Idaho Mountain Express, Sun Valley)

  • Catholics, conscience, and confusion | Kerry has been heard to say that the Second Vatican Council allows for "freedom of conscience" on abortion and same-sex marriage. I am not a theologian, but I feel safe in saying that the church has never permitted its faithful "choice" in these matters. If this were the case, what difference would there be between Catholicism and NARAL? (Christine M. Flowers, Philadelphia Daily News)

  • The new saintliness | Reaffirm your Catholicism by renewing your vows to "choice" and hitting the abortion industry up for campaign donations (George Neumayr, The American Spectator)

  • On Ten Commandments bill, Christian Right has it wrong | Roy has come to personify a revisionist view of American history - one that, if it gains wide currency, threatens to erode the culture, and constitutional principle, of religious pluralism in the U.S. (Frederick Clarkson, The Christian Science Monitor)

  • For some clergy, legal abortion is a basic right | March for Women's Lives will include clergy—and clergy will be counterdemonstrating, too (Chicago Tribune)

International politics:

  • Catholic moral confusion | In the face of Islam's infatuation with terror and religious imperialism—perhaps the biggest threat to Western civilization since World War II—Catholic prelates seem afflicted with a severe case of moral confusion, as recent statements demonstrate (Joseph D'Hippolito, The Jerusalem Post)

  • Rights panel's repute at stake | Anti-American resentment and new African unity may combine to sabotage a pending condemnation of human rights abuses in Sudan, according to diplomats who say the failure to pass a strong resolution will cripple the reputation of the once-influential U.N. rights watchdog (The Washington Times)

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  • New entrants bring their faith to the EU | When 10 new countries enter the European Union on May 1, millions of Christians will bring their faith with them, hoping the prosperity membership will bring will not lead to secularization (AFP)

  • Churches challenge London mayor | "Faith, Work and City" is a report which focuses with Christian eyes on areas of mayoral responsibility like transport, law and order and the built environment, with the aim of influencing mayoral policy in the next term (This Is Local London)

  • Liberals have a clever plan to demonize Conservatives | Harper also needs to fend off the perception that religious political activists are pushing a moral agenda on the Conservatives on issues such as abortion and gay rights (L. Ian MacDonald , The Montreal Gazette)

  • Also: Conservatives are a 'big tent' party | Liberal pollsters were reportedly asking Ontarians last week if they were "more or less likely to vote for the Conservative/Alliance if you knew they had been taken over by evangelical Christians" (Editorial, National Post, Canada)


  • Keeping discrimination out of the workplace | The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations and The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations came into force on December 1 and 2 2003, making it unlawful to discriminate against workers because of their sexual orientation, religion or belief (The Journal, Newcastle, England)

  • Censorship in arts 'healthy,' Boone says | A healthy society needs censorship to survive, 1950s musical icon Pat Boone said yesterday. He added that he would welcome strong content restrictions governing movies and other artistic works (The Washington Times)


  • Police probe gay raid on Christians | Police are reviewing several videotapes of a Christian meeting that was stormed by gay protesters (Calgary Sun)

  • Related: Video of the incident (Western Standard Blog)

  • Vandals destroy church windows | Vandals who smashed precious stained glass windows at St Columba's church in Stirling have caused around £10,000 worth of damage (Stirling Observer, Scotland)

  • Kaiser inquest moves to city | The Inquest into the death of Catholic priest Fr John Antony Kaiser has moved to Nairobi and is now being heard by a new magistrate (The East African Standard, Nairobi)

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  • Priest kills 3 in road accident | Ndola district police chief Mukuka Chewe described location as a dangerous spot where many people had been robbed by thieves barricading the road and attacking motorists when they slowed down (The Times of Zambia)

  • Man arrested over illegal arms in Poso regency | A farmer with illegal firearms and bullets in his possession was arrested on Tuesday by police who were tracking down gunmen blamed for renewed attacks in Poso regency, Central Sulawesi (The Jakarta Post)

  • Man sought in burglary spree | Thefts have occurred at eight homes, a church and area businesses (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

  • Peru cardinal upset by Alzamora probe | Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani's ultraconservative views and cozy relationship with fugitive ex-President Alberto Fujimori have frequently helped snare him in Peru's tangled web of political intrigues. But even his adversaries were surprised when he indignantly announced recently that he had been subpoenaed to testify in an investigation into the alleged murder of his predecessor, Monsignor Augusto Vargas Alzamora — at the hands of Fujimori's now-jailed spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos (Associated Press)


  • Court order delays Mahony deposition | A judge's ruling halts proceedings in sex abuse case. Lawyers were also worried about security (Los Angeles Times)

  • Priest guilty of abuse is sued by 2nd teen | A Catholic priest who was convicted in November of sexually abusing a boy in 1995 was accused in a civil suit Tuesday of abusing a second teenager four years ago (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mo.)

Rowan Williams on Iraq war's political fallout:

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  • Profile: Archbishop of Canterbury | Dr Rowan Williams has presided over a turbulent time for the church and a testing time for the UK since his appointment at the end of 2002 (BBC)

Louisiana suit on religion in schools:

  • Parents sue over religion in school | David and Sandra McBride claim that Superintendent Kenneth Kruithof and Stockwell Place Principal Tim Thompson have not heeded their repeated pleas to discontinue religious-oriented activities at the school and at school-related functions (Shreveport Times, La.)

  • More complaints surface on religion in school | At least one other family has approached the ACLU with concerns about religious expression at Bossier's Stockwell Place Elementary School, lawyer Clay Walker said after news of a lawsuit was made public Wednesday (Shreveport Times, La.)

  • Church–state line blurred in Bossier | The courts may ultimately decide whether Bossier Parish schools crossed the line separating church and state at Stockwell Elementary, but the fact that a lawsuit was brought at all indicates the line is at least blurred (Editorial, Shreveport Times, La.)

  • Silencing faith | For years, the ACLU and its allies have wielded the misleading "separation" metaphor to intimidate school officials and parents and censor people of faith (Mike Johnson, Shreveport Times, La.)

  • Document: Bossier Parish School Board lawsuit (via Shreveport Times, La.)


  • Lodi Academy principal takes job in Egypt | "When I go there, I want to run it as a Christian school without offending the Islamic religion," said Samir Berbawy (Lodi News-Sentinel, Ca.)

  • Two candidates back study of creationism in schools | Republican gubernatorial candidates Tom Keating and Ken Miller believe creationism should be taught in public schools, while the other four major political party candidates for the office disagree (Billings Gazette, Mont.)

  • The Bible college that leads to the White House | The campus is immaculate, everyone is clean-cut and cheerful. But just what are they teaching at Patrick Henry College? And why do so many students end up working for George Bush? (The Independent, London)

Bible and Jesus:

  • Southern Baptist publishing house produces new Bible translation | Dozens of translations and interpretations of the Bible fill bookshelves, but general editor Edwin Blum and others said there's something different about this one, which is being promoted as the first major English-language translation in more than 30 years (Religion News Service)

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Church life:

  • Anglicanism's new holy warriors | The fundamentalist Diocese of Sydney - and its outposts abroad - can now be seen as the Church of England's militant tendency (Mary Ann Sieghart, The Times, London)

  • 'Inclusionism' deemed heresy | A popular black preacher has been found guilty of the "heresy of inclusionism" after a year-long debate among his fellow bishops on whether non-Christians can be admitted to heaven (The Washington Times)

  • Neighbors agree on expansion for church | Some Arlington Heights residents and a Birchman Street church reached an agreement Monday night that will let the church grow while protecting homes in the neighborhood, participants said (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

Other stories of interest:

  • Holy boldness | The big success of Evangelical Christianity (Colleen Carroll Campbell, National Review Online)

  • Display of crosses raises questions | A group of Bradley University students say they are offended by the use of religious symbols in a display on campus. They say it misrepresents the cultural and religious diversity on Bradley's campus (WEEK, Peoria, Ill.)

  • Holy rollers | The hottest trend in new music: Christian pop. (World News Now, ABC)

  • Youth shelter scrambles to find money | Downtown short-term housing for homeless youth scrambles to replace state and federal money (Duluth News-Tribune, Minn.)

  • William H. Weiblen dies at 85 | He was the former president of Wartburg Theological Seminary (Miller Press, S.D.)

  • Related: Bio page for William H. Weiblen (Wartburg Theological Seminary)

  • Quarterback attests to faith, persistence | Kurt Warner didn't talk about his Super Bowl ring, his 14,447 yards or his 102 touchdowns. That wasn't what drew a crowd of 1,200 people to the eighth annual spring fund-raising banquet for Foothills Community Christian School (Great Falls Tribune, Mont.)

  • Revival sends message -- 'There's power in prayer' | The power of faith was evident in joyful shouts, hand-clapping songs and uproarious laughter at New Hope, on the first night of a weeklong revival by the city's predominantly black Baptist churches (The Grand Rapids Press, Mi.)

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  • Melbourne biologist now elite papal adviser | Melbourne biologist Suzanne Cory, director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, has been elected to the scientific council that advises the Pope (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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