Yesterday, the American Life League began a $500,000 advertising campaign targeting Catholic bishops who do not refuse Communion to politicians who oppose church teaching in public policy. The campaign follows D.C.'s Cardinal Theodore McCarrick statement saying he is not comfortable denying Communion to John Kerry. The Life League's first ad shows Jesus on the cross and asks McCarrick, "Cardinal McCarrick: Are you comfortable now?"

Such pressure has made nearly every recent Sunday of John Kerry's campaign a spectacle as reporters speculate if Kerry will take Communion. The pressure has also passed beyond Kerry. Following statements by three New Jersey bishops saying that politicians who support abortion should not take Communion, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has decided he will not take Communion. The bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has also supposedly warned Senator Tom Daschle not to call himself a Catholic.

If the Catholic Church does crack down on politicians who support abortion or gay marriage, The Washington Post asks, where will it end?

Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, said her organization believes that all priests and lay Eucharistic ministers who hand out Communion are obligated—with or without instructions from their bishops—to refuse Communion to any federal, state, or local official who is known to disagree with church teaching on abortion, contraception, stem cell research, euthanasia, or in vitro fertilization. 

Other liberal and conservative Catholic groups add issues like gay marriage, war, and the death penalty as reasons to the list of reasons for refusing Communion. Evangelicals seem to support efforts to crack down on wayward Catholic politicians, but how long will that support last if more issues are included? Many evangelicals have supported of the war in Iraq, while the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed a unilateral war.

Once again, framing a religion story in purely political terms removes some of the core issues. Taking Communion in a state of sin (especially if you believe the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ) is a sin against the body and blood of Christ. Paul warns that taking Communion unworthily can cause sickness or death. Wouldn't refusing Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion actually be taking care of their souls and possibly physical health? Most likely, non-Catholic journalists may be skeptical of such reasoning, but it may shed some light on the issue.

The Post story does offer a little help along these lines. "In our teaching, the primary responsibility is on the individual whether to receive Communion after serious reflection on whether they are in the proper state," the cardinal's spokeswoman Susan Gibbs said. However, the story does not follow up. Kerry has said his freedom of conscience, allowed by the church, gives him room to support abortion as a politician. The church teaches, "anyone who is conscious of grave sin should not celebrate or receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession." Consciousness is key however, and Kerry is also responsible to inform himself of church teaching. Bishops have been clear that pro-choice politicians are "not fit" to receive communion.

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In the meantime, a $500,000 ad campaign is an expensive way to confront a brother you believe to be in sin.

More Articles:

Religion & politics:

  • Catholic political dilemma is back | Lucy Killea and John Kerry have much in common. Like Kerry, Killea's a Democratic politician—or used to be. Like Kerry, Killea's also a Roman Catholic. And like Kerry, Killea supports abortion rights. But while the debate continues among Catholic hierarchy over whether Kerry and others like him should be allowed to take Holy Communion, it was a done deal for Killea. In 1989, the late San Diego Bishop Leo Maher barred her from participating in Communion in local parishes. (Union-Tribune, San Diego)

  • Black churches quiet on gay marriage | As the May 17 date approaches when Massachusetts' highest court will permit same-sex marriage, most black denominations have not expressed their views on the controversy. (Religion News Service)

  • `Politics of piety' criticized | Rabbi A. James Rudin, senior interreligious advisor of the American Jewish Committee, said Thursday that the "politics of piety" is emerging in this country, gradually blending religion and politics, and threatening the wall of separation between church and state that has allowed religious diversity to flourish freely. (Hartford Courant)

  • Focus on Family demands records | Focus on the Family is forcing lawmakers who voted against the impeachment of a Denver judge to turn over all their correspondence in the case. (Rocky Mountain News, Col.)

  • Whose God does Bush serve? | The president should stop worshipping the God of political expediency and take a look at the God of love. (Washington Blade, DC)

  • Rites and Wrongs | Why John Kerry should not take communion (Editorial, Wall Street Journal)

  • Christian Zionists to have a referendum of their own | A week after the Likud rejected a referendum on withdrawing unilaterally from the Gaza Strip, Christian Zionists in the United States are planning a referendum of their own. (Jerusalem Post, Israel)

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  • The divine calm of George W. Bush | So Iraq's a mess and half the country hates you. Just keep praying.( Village Voice)

  • Primate raises collusion concerns | The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has criticised the government for failing to tackle the issue of collusion. (BBC)

  • By faith or by force? | The Kingdom of God is apolitical, and can exist alongside the earthy kingdoms. The rule of God over us comes by faith, and individual by individual. There is no forcing of Christianity upon everyone en masse. That has been tried by governments lacking a biblical understanding of the Christian faith, but without success, always causing great harm. (Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, Arizona)

  • America's fundamental sin of abuse | I'd say this kind of religiosity is now the biggest difference between us. It's amazing how many Americans drop into conversation, references to their faith, or ask about yours. Forty-six per cent call themselves born-again. In Canada, an evangelical group claims 12 per cent, but even those are not self-described; they are extrapolated from a dubious poll. The U.S. is a country that has "creationist" theme parks to offset dinosaur theme parks. Seriously. (Rick Salutin, The Globe and Mail, Canada)

Religion & politics in India:

  • Christians have poor representation in civil, police services: ex-union minister | Former Union Minister and sitting Member of Parliament, Mr. Eduardo Faleiro, has underlined the need for Christians to involve themselves in mainstream politics, the media and civil Services. (Deepika, India)

  • India's BJP says set for clear majority | India's ruling Hindu nationalist party says it will return to power with a clear mandate, shrugging off exit polls from four rounds of voting suggesting the mammoth national election will usher in a hung parliament. (Reuters)

  • India prime minister confident in election | Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, flashing a V-for-victory sign, voted in his district Wednesday in parliamentary elections as early exit polls predicted he would be returned to office for another five years with perhaps a less stable government. (Associated Press)


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  • Monks accused of unfair dismissal | Life in prayerful contemplation on a Welsh island may seem far removed from the difficulties of the working world. But members of a Cistercian order face being confronted with the modern legalities of the employment tribunal after their former cook and handyman decided to sue them for unfair dismissal. (The Guardian, UK)

Religious freedom:

  • Tribunal hears man's blasphemy complaint | A Waranga man taking legal action against Channel Seven for the use of the words "Jesus Christ" in a television show attended a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing on Wednesday. (Shepparton News, Australia)

  • ACLU asks La Mesa to halt sectarian prayers at meetings | The American Civil Liberties Union is requesting that the La Mesa City Council end its practice of opening meetings with a sectarian prayer. (San Diego Union Tribune)

  • Fallacious arguments | The Redlands City Council, in opening a door to private groups subsidizing a legal battle to keep the Christian cross in the city seal, may have painted itself into a corner. (Cassie Macduff, Press-Enterprise, Calif.)

  • Second state bans headscarves at schools | Lower Saxony is the second state in Germany officially to ban teachers from wearing headscarves at school. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany)

  • ACLU asks La Mesa to halt sectarian practice | The American Civil Liberties Union is requesting that the La Mesa City Council end its practice of opening meetings with a sectarian prayer. In a letter sent to the council and Mayor Art Madrid yesterday, the ACLU said it could take the issue to court if the council does not stop the practice. (Union-Tribune, San Diego)

  • Teaching assistant in trouble over religion | An Anderson County District 4 teaching assistant says she is on paid leave because of her Christian views. (CarolinaChannel, SC)

  • France tries to soften local style of Islam | Officials there have deported two allegedly radical clerics, leading a Europe-wide crackdown. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Church & state:

  • Council members counter attempt to remove cross | Redlands: Officials seek help in fighting ACLU's push to remove a cross from a city logo. (The Press-Enterprise, Calif.)

  • Churches on thin ice | In addition to delaying money for school children, clubbing the ailing horse industry and adding confusion to Indians, a petition drive to block Oklahoma's new gaming law arguably could endanger tax exemption for major church denominations. (Editorial, Claremore Daily Progress, Oklahoma)

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War & terrorism:

  • Analysis: Bush's religious expressions draw praise and criticism | Coming in the wake of the 2001 attacks on the United States and the nation's pitched battle against radical Islamic terrorism, Bush's frequent expression of his faith and Christian beliefs carries a powerful punch. (Naples Daily News, Florida)

  • Original Sin in Abu Ghraib | I am horrified by the images from Iraq--but not because the evil is unfathomable to me. I see it lurking in my own deep places. (Richard Mouw, Beliefnet)

Christians kill Muslims in Nigeria:

  • Eyewitness: Nigeria's 'town of death' | Felled trees, branches and piles of junk metal lie across the road to Yelwa. (BBC)

  • Christian-Muslim violence in Nigeria | Red Cross says at least 500 killed in attacks on Muslim town (Reuters)

  • Hundreds die in attack on Nigerian village | An attack by a Christian militia against a mainly Muslim town in central Nigeria has left several hundred people dead, according to news agency reports from the area. (New York Times)

  • Hundreds dead and missing | Militants from a predominantly Christian tribe killed at least 500 people in attacks on a mainly Muslim village in central Nigeria, a senior Red Cross official said. (News24, South Africa)

  • Efforts to mediate Nigeria violence stall | Efforts to mediate a standoff between Christians and Muslims after recent attacks that killed at least 500 people stalled on Friday, officials said. (Associated Press)

  • 500 said killed in Nigeria village attack | Militants from a predominantly Christian tribe killed at least 500 people in two attacks on a Muslim town in central Nigeria, a senior Red Cross official said Thursday. (Associated Press)

  • Hundreds missing in Nigerian sectarian clashes | Hundreds of people are dead or missing in a troubled central Nigerian state after mostly Christian fighters from several ethnic groups attacked their Muslim neighbours, according to witnesses. (Financial Times, UK)

  • Hundreds slaughtered in religious fighting | A Nigerian Christian leader said on Thursday the killing of hundreds of Muslims by Christian militia in the town of Yelwa on Sunday was the product of "a state of war" between the two faiths in Africa's most populous nation. (Reuters)

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Religious violence:

  • Two shot in Indonesian riots | Fresh fighting between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia's Maluku islands has left two people dead, say official news reports. (Daily Telegraph, Australia)

Homosexuality and the Methodist church:

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  • Methodists fail to heal rift over gay clergy | Supporters of gay clergy in the United Methodist Church complained bitterly on Wednesday over a refusal by the third-largest U.S. Christian denomination to soften its stance on homosexuality. (Reuters)

  • Methodists divided on homosexuality stand | United Methodist conservatives have won new ways to enforce the church ban on ordaining homosexuals at the denomination's national policy meeting. But observers say those who advocate a broader role for gays and lesbians probably will continue to defy church law, deepening the rift over the issue in the nation's third-largest denomination. (Associated Press)

  • Dean welcomed by congregation | Supporters of gay priest Jeffrey John have this week spoken out in favour of his appointment as Dean of St Albans. (St. Albans Observer, UK)

Church life:


  • Film gives religious kitsch new twist | what would Jesus have done about fashion necklaces made from replicas of the nails driven through his hands and feet during his prolonged and tortured death? (Jacquelyn Mitchard, Houston Chronicle)

  • Riding on popularity of 'Passion,' 'Life of Brian' returns | The distributors for Monty Python's reissued "Life of Brian" (opening today at the Ritz Bourse and Ritz 16/NJ) are billing it as a cultural "antidote" to the massively popular "Passion of the Christ." (Philadelphia Daily News)

  • Film review of 'The Passion of the Christ' | The Passion of The Christ is about a religious figure, but it is not a religious film. It is an interpretation and representation of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, from just after The Last Supper and his betrayal by Judas, to his death on the cross at Golgotha. (Mid-Day Mumbai, India)

  • 'Saved!' tackles faith through teenagers' eyes | To me, "Saved!" is a love note to faith, fairly simple and a little confused. Like the kind someone might have slipped into your locker between classes. (Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Sun-Times)


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  • Another view heard on faith and worry | As an evangelical Christian minister, Rick Warren isn't one to allow for middle ground. He didn't on the point of worry. His view is that if we trust God to control our lives and lead us in the right direction, then there is no room for worry. And if we have time for worry, then we ought to be praying. Neal-Barnett's opinion: When you understand the underlying causes of worry, you understand that someone can have faith and still worry about things. (Knight Ridder Newspapers)

  • The Da Vinci phenomenon | Controversial bestseller has everyone talking about Jesus (The Express-Times, New Jersey)

  • 'Gnostic' texts vs. the New Testament | Elaine Pagels and Ben Witherington III debate whether texts like the Gospel of Thomas are incompatible with traditional Christianity. (Beliefnet)

  • Da Vinci's secret agenda | Last fall, evangelical and Catholic publishers approached writers to produce books rebutting the theology of this puzzling novel. Among the first was Darrell Bock, a well-regarded Bible scholar at Dallas Theological Seminary who has now authored a new book, Breaking the Da Vinci Code. Beliefnet talked recently with Bock about his book. Meanwhile, there are at least 10 other new books debunking the Da Vinci theories. Included in this package are samples from several of them. (Beliefnet)

  • Putting 'Da Vinci' to the test | Panel of scholars at Claremont Graduate University will scrutinize controversial book. (Los Angeles Times)

  • Popularity of Christian titles drives reorganization of Michigan publisher | Because of its double-digit growth, Baker Book House has reorganized, renaming its publishing division Baker Publishing Group while redefining its six divisions and expanding its warehouse. (Associated Press)

Religious violence:

  • Poverty, religion fuel Thailand violence | The government blames the violence on drug traffickers operating under the cover of Islamic ideology. But top security officials suspect Muslim separatists and say the region has all the makings for such a movement -- poverty, historical slights and fundamentalist Islamic mentors. (Associated Press)

  • Catholic zealots leap from audience to break up performance of blasphemous play | Theatregoers at one of Madrid's most venerable arts centres became unwitting witnesses to religious violence last weekend when irate zealots broke up a performance of the play In God we sh** (The Independent, UK)

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  • Standard army and police weapons used in Ambon: NGO | A grassroots reconciliation movement offered on Thursday more facts that could shed light on the true identity of the snipers blamed for fueling fresh violence in Ambon, Maluku, which has so far killed 38 people. (The Jakarta Post, Indonesia)

  • National peacekeeping force needed to prevent new clashes in Ambon | The recent recurrence of bloody Muslim-Christian battles in Ambon indicates that the Malino peace pact, which brought almost all the parties concerned together to agree to truce three years ago, requires additional measures to ensure a durable peace in the region. (The Jakarta Post, Indonesia)

  • Two More Killed in Maluku | Unidentified gunmen traveling in a speedboat have shot dead two Christians and wounded three others in a dawn attack on Buru island, Maluku province, reports said Thursday (Laksamana, Indonesia)


  • Author admires the King James committee | To Adam Nicolson, the 50 scholars behind the King James Version were the 17th-century equivalent of the Manhattan Project: a team of world-class experts that created a "powerful mechanism" that altered the course of history. (The Dallas Morning News)

  • New generation of Bibles borrows from magazines, movies, video games | The cover looks like any other teen magazine: Blurred fingers play an unheard riff on a guitar. Skater dudes, wearing shades, lean on their boards. Inside is the complete New Testament (Knight Ridder Newspapers)


  • A Michaelangelo 'Christ' to be exhibited for first time | A statue of Christ said to be sculpted by a young Michaelangelo will be exhibited for the first time in Florence between May and September of this year. (AFP)

  • Carving of Christ goes on show | A small but anatomically perfect wooden Christ on the cross is set to cause a stir in the art world this weekend as it appears in Florence for the first time, billed as a hitherto unknown masterpiece by the city's most famous artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti. (The Guardian, UK)

Faith in China:

  • Onward, Christian soldiers | Chinese missionaries are winning souls across the Middle Kingdom—and plan to spread even farther (Newsweek)

  • Faith sprouts in arid soil of China | These days, signs of religious revival abound in China, perhaps nowhere more than among the country's largest Muslim minority, the Hui. But the limits on Islam and other faiths enforced by the government remain strict and carefully observed. (New York Times)

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Church life:


  • Popular pastor dies of cancer | A cherished and respected member of the North Penn Community lost his bout with cancer Wednesday and quietly passed away after a life of spiritual leadership and service to others. (Lansdale Reporter, Penn.)

  • Evangelical church founder Evan Evans dies | ONE of the founders of Fetcham's first evangelical churches has died at the age of 99. Evan Evans, who helped set up Cannon Court Evangelical Church, passed away late on Sunday April 25, just a few weeks after his 99th birthday. (Surrey Online, UK)

Roy Moore and Ten Commandments:

  • Groups want Riley to reappoint Moore | Conservative religious and political groups called on Gov. Bob Riley Wednesday to appoint Roy Moore to the chief justice's post from which he was ousted last fall for ethics violations. (Birmingham News, Alabama)

  • Ten Commandments not fodder for politics | You can't knock the Ten Commandments, but you can believe in them without politicizing them. (Charlotte Observer, NC)

Missions & ministry:

  • Pastors lead Bible readers | Some say the lessons of religious faith need to be brought home to help children (Bradenton Herald, Florida)

  • Military women focus of simulcast | Beth Moore, a popular Christian writer and teacher, will hold a national satellite TV simulcast May 15 that will include messages for women in the military or those whose husbands are deployed. With men and women deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotbeds, times are tough for military families, and she will address that. (Sun Herald, Miss.)

  • Spreading good word from Harley heaven | Bikers raise funds for rural pastors (Boston Globe)

  • Methamphetamine has become the scourge of Northeast Iowa | Midwest Mission, a non-denominational residential program, residents, users and law officers agree it is everyone's problem (Cresco Times Plain Dealer, Iowa)

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  • These riders are heaven on wheels | Born-again motorcyclists find their faith and fellowship on the road (Boston Globe)

  • Evangelist reveals his battle with hepatitis | The Rev. Casey Treat has spent years teaching his followers that God can help them overcome adversity. The leader of one of the largest evangelical Christian churches in the Northwest is now practicing what he preaches as he battles hepatitis C, which he and his doctors believe he contracted from injecting drugs as a teenager. (Associated Press)

  • Church and state fight to change current law | A local lawmaker and clergyman are aiming to change a state law that prohibits prisoners from drinking wine even if it serves a religious purpose. (Milwaukee Freeman Newspapers, Wisc)

  • Evangelicals & culture | Who is influencing whom when it comes to evangelicals, popular culture, and secular society? (Religion & Ethics Newsweekly)

Southern Baptists propose public school boycott:

  • Baptists propose schools boycott | A resolution proposing Southern Baptists pull their children out of public schools could be considered by the country's largest Protestant denomination during the group's annual meeting next month. (Greensboro News Record, NC)

  • Proposal asks Baptists to quit public schools | A prominent Southern Baptist is asking the national convention to consider a resolution recommending parents remove their children from what he calls ''godless'' and ''anti-Christian'' public schools. (The Tennessean)

  • Church resolution against public schools sought | A prominent Southern Baptist is asking the denomination for a resolution recommending that parents remove their children from the nation's public schools because they are, by law, ''Godless'' and ''anti-Christian.'' (Gwinnett Daily Post, GA)

  • Southern Baptist urges homeschooling | A prominent Southern Baptist is asking the national convention to consider a resolution recommending parents remove their children from what he calls "godless" and "anti-Christian" public schools. (Associated Press)



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  • Oh, brother, BBC sets up in monastery | Four young professionals are being sent to live in a monastery for a new television series, the BBC said yesterday. (Telegraph, UK)

  • 'Jesus Hopped' a quest in faith | For those of us on the outside, prison dramas rarely fail to hold us captive. The clang of metal bars, the powder-keg emotion, the numbing routine, the rock-salty language can get our adrenaline surging like Old Sparky. "Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train" is no exception. (Washington Times)

Australian Anglicans talk about good sex:

  • Church dabbles in good sex | Sex sells. And the most conservative Anglican diocese in the country is hoping it will sell God. The program, Good Sex, features Christian panellists, including "sexologist" Patricia Weerakoon and advertising copywriter Janet Evans talking frankly with invited guests. Interwoven in the commentary, the team tells viewers that God approves of all sorts of hanky panky - as long as it's inside marriage. (Queensland Sunday Mail, Australia)

  • Australian Christians create TV sex show | Australia's Sydney Anglican Media, under the control of the Archbishop Peter Jensen, has created a television show on the Ten Network called Good Sex. (UPI)



  • Preacher preyed on young women in his adoring flock | An evangelical preacher whose charismatic style drew capacity congregations to his church and brought in millions of pounds in donations was convicted yesterday of preying on young women in his flock. (Telegraph, UK)

  • Why ensuring accountability for clergy sexual abuse of children has proved so difficult | It has become evident … that addressing the Catholic Church's problem alone -- difficult as that will be -- will still not be enough. Six thousand victims of Jehovah's Witnesses clergy recently made themselves known. Meanwhile, the Lutheran Church just settled a multi-million-dollar clergy abuse lawsuit. This is a public health, criminal, and civil law crisis of staggering proportions that few have yet if any yet fully comprehend. (FindLaw's Legal Commentary)

  • Charismatic pastor faces jail for sex assaults | An evangelical church leader is facing jail tomorrow after being convicted of being a sex pest. (The Scotsman, UK)

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  • Judge won't toss PA. church abuse lawsuit | A judge Wednesday rejected a Roman Catholic diocese's claim that the constitutional separation of church and state bars it from being sued for allegedly failing to stop sexually abusive priests. (Associated Press)

  • Irish nuns apologize for abusing children | An order of Catholic nuns apologized Wednesday for the physical abuse of children in its care in Ireland. (Associated Press)

  • Pastor jailed for sex attacks | An evangelical church leader has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after being convicted of sex assaults against his loyal followers. (The Sentinel, UK)

Life ethics:

National Day of Prayer:

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  • National Day of Prayer | People from different faiths will come together today in Plano to pray for elected officials and the country. President Bush decreed that May 6 is the 2004 National Day of Prayer. The celebration was first signed into law by Harry Truman in 1952. (McKinney Messenger, Texas)

  • Time for America to get back on its knees | Today is the National Day of Prayer. And the way things are going, it's most likely a good idea. The theme of this year's "day of prayer" is liberty. (Bob G. Stewart, The Marshall Democrat-News, MO)

  • Hundreds gather at churches, public places for National Day of Prayer | Neither overcast skies nor protesters against religion on public property dampened the enthusiasm of several hundred participants in today's National Day of Prayer rally on the steps of City Hall. (San Antonio Express-News)

  • The power of prayer continues | Contrary to critics' view, prayer vital in our world (Orangeburg Times Democrat, SC)

  • Nonbelievers hold own rally | Protest government endorsement of event (York Dispatch, Penn.)

  • Bush addresses evangelicals on prayer day | An annual address by President Bush marking the National Day of Prayer was broadcast Thursday night over several Christian television and radio networks as part of an evangelical concert, transmitting his message to a pivotal political constituency around the country. (New York Times)

  • County residents gather for first breakfast on National Day of Prayer | Joining Christians around the country Tuesday many Ravalli County residents prayed for the nation, and its families. (Hamilton Ravalli Republic, MT)

  • Miss-Lou residents for Day of Prayer, ask God to bless community, churches, homes | In Natchez, about 40 people gathered Thursday on the sidewalk in front of City Hall to call on God to unify the Miss-Lou and to revive it, both economically and spiritually. (Natchez Democrat, MS)

  • Community joins to pray | When the doctor shakes his head - pray. When a tornado hits - pray. When the budget can't be balanced - pray. That's what the Rev. Daryll H. Coleman told the filled room at Thursday's Annual Prayer Breakfast in Jackson. (Jackson Sun, Tenn.)

  • Residents unite with day of prayer | More than 30 people gathered around the flagpole at Wisconsin Rapids City Hall on Thursday to observe the National Day of Prayer. (Daily Tribune, Wisc.)

  • Locals gather in prayer | The National Day of Prayer drew nearly 150 people to a Thursday noon prayer rally in the parking lot of the Master's Christian Center. (Clovis News-Journal, New Mexico)

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  • Prayer in motion | "We share a unity in you that cannot be broken," the Rev. Greg Gallaher, a pastor at Centenary United Methodist Church, said as about 25 Christians made the "Church Row Prayer Walk" along Tates Creek Road last night in observance of the National Day of Prayer. (Lexington Herald Leader, KY.)

  • Locals get together for day of prayer | Heads were bowed and eyes were closed Thursday at Edgewater Community Center, as about 30 residents joined multitudes of similar groups around the nation in prayer. (Daytona Beach News-Journal, Florida)

  • Vallejoans answer national call to prayer | As President Bush reached out to evangelical Christians in a National Day of Prayer ceremony Thursday morning, a few dozen Vallejoans gathered to pray for the city. (Times-Herald, Calif.)

  • Capitol is site of national prayer-day event | The devoted turn out to hold hands, pray and enjoy gospel music. (Salem Statesman Journal, Ore.)

  • Inclusion is the tone of prayer breakfast | Mayor Bob Jackson expanded the traditionally Christian event to include clergy and educators from six different faiths. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida)

  • Bush celebrates prayer with Christian broadcasts | An annual address by President George W. Bush marking the National Day of Prayer was broadcast Thursday night over several Christian television and radio networks as part of an evangelical concert, transmitting his message to a pivotal political constituency around the country. (New York Times News Service)

  • Faithful unite for nation in peril | Hundreds gather at Capitol to observe annual Day of Prayer (Rocky Mountain News, Col.)

  • More than one hundred gather for Day of Prayer | More than 120 people gathered on the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday for prayer and song as part of the 53rd National Day of Prayer celebrated nationwide. (Reno Gazette-Journal)

  • Area takes part in prayer event | Every day should include prayer, Pastor Patrick Medeiros said. But Thursday was special. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY)

  • Bush marks prayer day with speech | Religious and political leaders marked the annual National Day of Prayer on Thursday with programs on Capitol Hill, at the White House and across the nation in settings such as government buildings, parks and shopping malls. (Religion News Service)

  • 53rd National Day of Prayer draws a local crowd | McCrory joined two dozen other like-minded Christians in a National Guard Armory classroom to participate in the National Day of Prayer. The Solid Rock Cafe in Waynesboro and The Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad meeting room held similar events, all sponsored by New Life Ministries. (Staunton News Leader, VA)

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  • National Day of Prayer | Observers call for blessings on country (The Amarillo Globe-News, Texas)

  • Our Father ' Calls for unity, peace, renewal mark Day of Prayer | The shofar sounded, voices rang and heads humbly bowed as hundreds across Jackson and George counties took part in local observances of the National Day of Prayer. (The Mississippi Press)

  • Thousands in Toledo turn out to pray on official national day | Prayers abounded in Toledo yesterday as area Christians participated in a number of activities in observance of the National Day of Prayer. (Toledo Blade)

  • A day to pause for prayer | Observance: The Vietnam Memorial in Westminster was among the sites to participate in the National Day of Prayer. (Baltimore Sun)

  • Faithful bow heads, turn hearts to God | Events in Charlotte include gatherings uptown, in SouthPark (Charlotte Observer, NC)

  • Day of prayer focuses on tolerance, truth | Christians can be tolerant people who respect another's religious beliefs without accepting those claims as truth. In an era of postmodernism, America needs to reclaim its godly values and freedoms, says syndicated newspaper columnist and author David Limbaugh. (Southeast Missourian)

  • Prayer and protest | Neither an overcast sky nor protesters against religion on public property dampened the enthusiasm of several hundred participants in the National Day of Prayer rally on the steps of City Hall on Thursday. (Express-News, San Antonio)

  • Flock of 1,100 finds plenty to pray for | A diverse crowd of more than 1,100 Christians celebrated their common faith and freedom to pray by gathering Thursday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. (The Wichita Eagle)

  • Some at prayer day say they would have welcomed LDS | Thursday morning's National Day of Prayer Task Force service drew twice as many attendees as last year's service, but none belonging to the LDS Church. (Deseret Morning News)

  • In God, er, the GOP we trust? | I went to a prayer breakfast on the National Day of Prayer so I could fall on my knees. Instead, I almost fell off my chair. (Nick Coleman, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

  • Moultrie prays for America | Moultrie residents joined seven pastors and the nation to pray for the country Thursday at Lewis Hill Auditorium on the Courthouse Square. The gathering was to celebrate the National Day of Prayer service, held the first Thursday of May each year. (Moultrie Observer, Georgia)

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More articles:

  • The Dalai Lama comes to Parliament Hill | The April 21-24 visit of the Dalai Lama to Ottawa, was a carefully-choreographed mixture of politics, religion and diplomacy. (Canadian Christianity)

  • Anti-gay gathering tonight | Two local ministries are sponsoring an anti-gay conference tonight at 7 at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center. (Henderson Daily Dispatch, NC)

  • Vandalized statue replaced in Columbia County | Parishioners at a Catholic church in Columbia County are excited about their brand new statue of the Virgin Mary. It was donated to the congregation after their old statue was badly damaged by vandals. (WNEP, Penn.)

  • Teens search high, low for modest prom dress | Though particularly exasperating for girls with religious concerns or conservative tastes, the dilemma of decency in prom fashions is one all parents can understand. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Editorial: Kudos to Incarnate Word | Words matter. That's the powerful lesson the University of the Incarnate Word has offered with its admirable decision to change the name of its mascot from Crusaders. (San Antonio Express)

  • Cross a sign for barn owners | For 60 years, Meinecke, 83, has lived at 1695 S. Portsmouth in Buena Vista Township and never knew there was a cross cut out of the boards near the peak of each gable end of the barn. The Maltese cross, about a foot square, marks German Lutheran territory, the stranger told her. (The Saginaw News, Michigan)

  • Quaker's crusade riles fellow nudists | Florida Naturist Park residents say Bill Martin has laid siege to their community with demands for fees. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida)

  • Darwin-free fun for creationists | Kent Hovind, the minister who opened the park in 2001, said his aim was to spread the message of creationism through a fixture of mainstream America — the theme park — instead of pleading its case at academic conferences and in courtrooms. (New York Times)

  • Church groups turn to prayerful play | Skating rinks, bowling alleys are backdrops for active worship (Washington Post)

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April 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12
April 8 | 7 | 5
April 2 | 1 | March 31 | 30 | 29

and more, back to November 1999

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.
Previous Weblog Columns: