Between the Anglican row, the last few days of the presidential campaign, cloning in Britain, spitting in Israel, and a million other stories, the papers are putting out religion stories faster than we can compile them. We've almost caught up, but figured we'd better shovel out what we've found so far. The stories below represent the religion news items from Saturday to Wednesday. Today's items will appear later this afternoon in a separate file. Meanwhile, enjoy.

Anglican Communion's Windsor Report | North American response | African response | Conservative churches leave | Opinion on the Anglican controversy | Australian Anglicanism | Marriage | Homosexuality & religion | Same-sex marriage | Kerry's Mary Cheney comment | Religion & politics | Religion & local politics | Religion & foreign politics | Churches & politics | Kerry & religion | Kerry (not) to be excommunicated? | Bush & religion | Bush's code language | Religion & the Black vote | The Catholic vote | Religion & the Supreme Court | 'Judicial activism' | Church & politics in Zambia | Blasphemy in Britain | Islam | Reagan's daughter sues Salvation Army | Israel | Spitting on Christians | War & terrorism | Catholicism | The Pope | Tony Blair & Catholicism | Closing parishes | Life ethics | Stem cells | California's Prop. 71 stem cell debate | Cloning | Cloning in Britain | Abortion | Abuse | Death penalty | Film | Theater | Books | Education | Church & state | Ten Commandments | Church & state in EU | French headscarves | Church buildings | Church life | Missions & ministry | Human rights | Global missions & human rights | People | Music | Curt Schilling credits God | Theology | Spirituality | Morality | Art | History |

Anglican Communion's Windsor Report:

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  • Report on gay clergy pleads for tolerance | The worldwide Anglican church attempted to stave off disintegration over the issue of homosexuality among the clergy last night with a desperate plea for both sides to express regret and seek ways of coexistence (The Guardian, London)

  • The row over gay clergy | An Anglican report criticised US bishops for ordaining an openly gay canon. A look at the issues behind the row that has divided the Anglican communion (The Guardian, London)

  • Episcopal Church asked to offer 'regrets' | The worldwide Anglican Communion yesterday decided not to discipline the U.S. Episcopal Church for consecrating a homosexual bishop last year and for allowing same-sex "blessings" in some dioceses, instead suggesting the American church "express regrets" for its actions (The Washington Times)

  • Earlier: Defining his role | N.H. bishop awaits report of Anglican commission (The Boston Globe)

  • Anglican panel seeks a halt on gay bishops (The Boston Globe, great photo)

  • Anglicans hover on the brink over gays | The Lambeth Commission document underlines the deep divide over sexuality that threatens to splinter the 77-million-member Anglican Communion (Los Angeles Times)

  • Anglicans chide U.S. church on gay bishop | Compromise report designed to heal a rift that has threatened to tear apart the Anglican Communion (The Washington Post)

  • Anglican coalition leaves church locked in gay-issues battle | At least one local church leader disagreed with the recommendations (Pasadena Star News, Ca.)

  • Women should be bishops, says man tipped to be new Archbishop of York | The Rt Rev John Gladwin, the Bishop of Chelmsford, said that the Church of England's policy of preventing women from becoming bishops was "illogical and untenable" (The Telegraph, London)

  • Anglican gay truce fragile | Anglican Church leaders have reached an uneasy truce in their row over same-sex marriages and the ordination of gay bishops, but differences look sure to resurface when African bishops meet in Nigeria next week (Reuters)

North American response:

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African response:

  • 300 Anglican bishops for confab | No fewer than 300 Anglican bishops across the African continent are expected at the First African Anglican Bishops' Conference scheduled to hold next week at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja (This Day, Lagos, Nigeria)

  • Nigerian Anglican leader blasts report | "Where is the language of rebuke for those who are promoting sexual sins as holy and acceptable behavior? The imbalance is bewildering," says Peter Akinola (Associated Press)

  • African archbishop lashes out at U.S. Episcopal Church liberals | The Anglican primate of Nigeria reacts angrily to a call for reconciliation in the dispute over the Americans' elevation of a gay priest to bishop (Los Angeles Times)

  • Ordination of gay bishops on hold | The Anglican Church has placed a moratorium on the ordination of openly gay bishops - and South Africa has agreed to go along with it (Sunday Times, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Conservative churches leave:

  • Two local parishes break Episcopal-church ties | Saying the Episcopal Church has strayed too far from biblical authority and church teachings, two local parishes are breaking off from the local diocese and aligning themselves with a conservative Anglican bishop in Brazil (Seattle Times)

  • Group quits Episcopal church over gay bishop | A coalition of conservative New England Episcopalians announced yesterday that they are forming four new congregations, including two on Cape Cod, that will not be part of the Episcopal Church USA (The Boston Globe)

  • St. James pastor: No solutions in report | Commission urges the Episcopal Church to express regret for ordaining openly gay man as bishop (Daily Pilot, Newport Beach, Ca.)

  • Gay bishop causes Episcopalian split | A coalition of conservative New England Episcopalians has split from the national church, forming four new congregations in part because of last year's consecration of a gay bishop (Associated Press)

  • Episcopal right disappointed by report | Panel failed to give American conservatives what they sought Monday: punishment for church leaders and quick recognition for the network of dissenting congregations (Associated Press)

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  • The literal-minded are triumphing | Anglicanism will be straitjacketed by fundamentalists if the Windsor report is adopted (John Spong, The Times, London)

  • The church should value tolerance over its own unity | Williams should impose diversity on the Anglican Communion (Editorial, The Independent, London)

  • Don't ask, don't tell | Anglicans debate an issue of the broader Church (Editorial, The Times, London)

  • A debate that lacks Christian charity | The Windsor Report, which may be the last, best, hope for the unity of the Anglican communion, has a gloomy, almost elegaic tone, as if in their hearts the authors realise that the task is beyond them (Stephen Bates, The Guardian, London)

  • Divisions still remain | Dr Robin Eames, charged with averting schism in the Anglican Communion, has come up with a new liturgical gesture. The primates and churches who have split the communion are to apologise to one another - but with their fingers crossed (Editorial, The Guardian, London)

  • The Windsor Report -- A failure of nerve | In the end, it may be the final nail in the Anglican coffin. (Albert Mohler Jr, Baptist Press)

Australian Anglicanism:

  • Brother upsets Jensen by calling fellow evangelicals 'old women' | The outspoken Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen has incurred the wrath of his Archbishop brother, and sparked another unholy Anglican row of global proportions after he labelled his fellow right-wing evangelicals a "bunch of old women" (The Australian)

  • Defiant Jensen stands by Bible 'truths' | "We have many differences of opinion amongst us, and that's good and that's healthy," the controversial Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen, told the congregation in St Andrew's Cathedral yesterday (The Australian)

  • Dean Phillip Jensen challenges media inaccuracies | "I did not call Rowan Williams a prostitute; I did not refer to him by name or by title" (Phillip Jensen)

  • Sorry, says Jensen, but Anglicans are at war | Anglicans were engaged in spiritual warfare in which it was right to call sin, heresy and corruption what it was, the Anglican Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen, said (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Jensen claims media got it wrong on prostitution comments | The Anglican Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen, said yesterday he had been "grossly misrepresented" by media reports claiming he had called the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a theological prostitute (The Canberra Times, Australia)

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  • Jensen renews warning | The rift in Australia's Anglican church has deepened, with Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen repeating his contentious warning that the church faces extinction without urgent action (The Daily Telegraph, Australia)

  • Anglicans demand apology from US | The Sydney Anglican diocese yesterday backed away from its radical proposal to let church elders preside over Holy Communion in the face of strident opposition from Australian Anglicans and the worldwide church (The Sydney Morning Herald)


  • Thousands rally on the Mall to protest same-sex marriage | Thousands of people, many of them evangelical Christians, gathered on the Mall yesterday for a three-hour rally to protest same-sex marriage and defend what they call "biblical, traditional marriage." (The Washington Post)

  • Rally against gay marriage draws thousands to capital | Tens of thousands of conservative Christians gathered on the Mall here Friday for a demonstration against same-sex marriage that doubled as a rally to turn out conservative Christian voters on Election Day (The New York Times)

  • Bishop invites faithful to Mall to pray and fast | An "America for Jesus" rally slated for Friday aims to attract 40,000 to 50,000 evangelical Christians to fast and pray for 18 hours on the Mall (The Washington Times)

  • A marriage-minded protest | Thousands join a rally against gay unions. Conservatives hope the issue will drive more religious voters to the polls, benefiting Bush (Los Angeles Times)

  • The straight and narrow | Thousands of anti-wedding vows at D.C. rally (The Village Voice)

  • I wed thee …. and thee …. and thee | It's no longer conjecture that the marriage debate now includes recognizing polygamy (Kay S. Hymowitz, The Wall Street Journal)

Homosexuality & religion:

  • Mormon church voices view on gay marriage | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement opposing gay marriage on Tuesday, two weeks before Utah voters decide a proposed constitutional amendment on the question (Associated Press)

  • A shout rings out | They celebrate their faith yet have trouble finding congregations that won't judge them. So African American gay Christians are joining together and speaking up (Los Angeles Times)

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Same-sex marriage:

  • Voters legislating in 32 states | Much attention has focused on the 11 state ballot questions addressing same-sex "marriage" that will be considered by voters on Nov. 2 (The Washington Times)

  • Same-sex marriage debate in battleground Ohio | Ohio's proposed same-sex marriage ban may affect election outcome (

  • Officials to fight ACLU lawsuit | A group of Maryland lawmakers yesterday said they will file an appeal to oppose an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that aims to force Baltimore and four counties to accept same-sex "marriages." (The Washington Times)

  • Gay marriage plays quiet role in elections | Candidates on both sides say most voters are placing other issues higher on their priority list, such as taxes and the economy (Associated Press)

  • Gay marriage issue motivates conservatives | A year after the Massachusetts supreme court gave gays the right to marry, the issue of same-sex marriage has added an unpredictable element to races both for the presidency and for Congress (Associated Press)

  • Gay marriage is a key issue despite candidates' stances | It is the newest, and most potent, of the litmus-test issues (The Boston Globe)

  • Irish lawmakers to review rights for gays | An all-party committee of lawmakers plans to meet next week to discuss the need to modernize Ireland's family law — including, its members confirm, the possibility of granting gay couples rights similar to those enjoyed by married heterosexual couples (Associated Press)

  • Playing with evolutionary fire | In the name of evolution, the campaign for gay marriage openly mocks the religious heritage of Western civilization. It ignores the hard-won lessons of history. And it rejects the techniques of scientific inquiry, relying primarily on sentiment to make its case (Allan Carlson, The Family in America)

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  • Gay rights leader quits Bloomberg panel | Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, cited the administration's legal challenge to a law passed by the City Council requiring that companies doing business with the city offer equal benefits to the domestic partners of their employees (The New York Times)

  • A quest to discriminate | Amending the federal and state constitutions is the wrong solution to an ill-defined problem. (Peter J. Gomes, The Boston Globe)

  • Why marriage can't be left to states | Courts can no longer be counted on to uphold the settled understanding of the national definition (Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe)

Kerry's Mary Cheney comment:

  • Singling out Mary Cheney wrong, most say | 2 in 3 polled find Kerry's comment 'inappropriate' (The Washington Post)

  • No Kerry apology for Cheney remark | Sen. John Kerry's campaign said yesterday that the presidential candidate will not apologize for bringing Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter into the last debate, insisting that he meant it as a compliment and denying that it has hurt the Democrat's ability to gain ground in post-debate polls (The Washington Times)

  • What everybody doesn't know about Mary Cheney | The conundrum for the liberal-hearted, stereotypical homo voter is this: She likes being Republican. She is a lesbian Republican (Hank Stuever, The Washington Post)

  • The Mary Cheney flap: a gaffe vs. ignorance | How can Bush not know that we do not choose our sexual orientation? (Richard Cohen, The Washington Post)

  • The lowest blow | The sleazier purpose of the Kerry-Edwards spotlight on Mary Cheney is to confuse and dismay Bush supporters who believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, to suggest that Bush is as "soft on same-sex" as Kerry is, and thereby to reduce a Bush core constituency's eagerness to go to the polls (William Safire, The New York Times)

  • So Mary's gay? | Was it correct for John Kerry to make references to Mary Cheney as a lesbian? (William F. Buckley Jr.)

  • Kerry's gay ploy backfires | He was crying Mary to send a message to presumably homophobic Christian voters: Just in case you hadn't heard, the vice president harbors a practicing lesbian in the bosom of his family (Zev Chafets, New York Daily News)

  • Play it straight | The best spin for the Democrats is that they're using Mary Cheney to paint their opponents as hypocrites (William B. Rubenstein, The New York Times)

  • 'Fair game' | Does John Kerry really think the American people will believe that he singled out Mary Cheney because he "was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue?" (William Kristol, The Weekly Standard)

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  • Outrage that rings false | The response from the Cheneys and the Bush campaign has been blatantly political (Hilary Rosen, The Washington Post)

Religion & politics:

  • Faith against reason | The US election has exposed a growing conflict between two world views. Can they co-exist in one country? (Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian, London)

  • Angry gay 'sinners' oppose Bush and Christian right | American gays, branded sinners by the Christian right, are waging an all-out battle to eject President George W. Bush from power in the November 2 poll (AFP)

  • Making room for God in America's election | Political yard signs scattered throughout Southeast Missouri tout names of Republican and Democratic candidates alike, but amid those advertisements are reminders to "Acknowledge our God" and "Vote Pro-Life" or "Elect Jesus King" (Southeast Missourian)

  • Where Bush and Kerry stand on the issues | Abortion, death penalty, gay rights, and other issues (Associated Press)

  • Cardinal blasts attempt to silence church | A top Vatican cardinal on Monday assailed what he called attempts to silence the Roman Catholic Church on issues of gender and marriage, blaming "powerful cultural, economic and political lobbies" (Associated Press)

  • Despite differences, white and black evangelicals create hope | I would have given anything for George W. Bush and John Kerry to listen in on the conversation I had last week with several black and white evangelicals (William McKenzie, The Dallas Morning News)

  • Liberal Christians mobilize to react to religious right | The efforts of conservative Christians to mobilize voters against same-sex marriage and abortion and in support of President Bush have stirred a growing backlash among more liberal believers (The New York Times)

  • Faith without fealty | It's time to free religion from party politics (E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post)

  • Virginia race turns fiercely personal | Socas on Wolf: "He is a deep religious conservative. He legislates his faith" (The Washington Post)

  • Gore charges Bush with prewar deceit | "While I have no doubt that his religious belief is genuine … ," Gore said, "most of the president's frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible" (The Washington Post)

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Religion & local politics:

Religion & foreign politics:

  • Church leaders canvas for Zim intervention | Southern African church leaders are canvassing proposals to coax regional governments into addressing the deepening political and socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe and ensuring that credible elections are held next year (Sunday Tribune, South Africa)

  • Jesus' people have spoken | Political parties ignore the Christian vote at their peril - as the ALP found out this election (Gerard Henderson, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Churches & politics:

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Kerry & religion:

  • Matter of faith haunts Kerry | He had shied from the subject for much of the year, but in the last debate, John Kerry turned to words of his faith, simple and direct (Newsday)

  • Kerry cites Catholic-vote record | Sen. John Kerry urged Catholic voters Monday to look at his entire record in public office, and not just his position on abortion rights, before deciding whom to vote for on Election Day (The Denver Post)

  • Kerry's "Catholic" calculations | His contorted political theology (Rich Lowry, National Review Online)

  • Catholic ads criticize Kerry on abortion | Letter is signed by 38 Catholics (Associated Press, second item)

  • Letter supports anti-Kerry bid over abortion | A canon lawyer seeking to have Senator John Kerry excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church because of his support for abortion rights said on Monday that he had ammunition in the form of a letter issued at the request of a senior Vatican official (The New York Times)

  • Kerry blends faith, politics in Ohio campaigning | Counters attacks on his stands on abortion, gay marriage, embryonic stem-cell research (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • What is a Catholic Democrat to do? | Senator John Kerry has tried to hold his own with Mr. Bush in the godliness department, often quoting James (2:14-26) — "faith without deeds is dead," — in a churchly rebuke to the president (The New York Times)

  • Vote and be damned | Conservative bishops and conservative Republicans are working hard to spread the gospel that anyone who supports the Catholic candidate and onetime Boston altar boy who carries a rosary and a Bible with him on the trail is aligned with the forces of evil (Maureen Dowd, The New York Times)

  • Kerry invokes God to appeal to the faithful | Democratic Party leaders have determined that he can't win the 2004 presidential race unless he convinces uncommitted voters that faith informs his politics (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Faith increasingly part of Kerry's campaign | From the pulpit to the pastures, Kerry is increasingly spreading a more spiritual message and visiting local churches, as he did the past two days in Ohio, to expound on the political lessons of the Bible's James and Saint Paul (The Washington Post)

Kerry (not) to be excommunicated?

  • Lawyer buoyed on Kerry 'heresy' | A Catholic canon lawyer who filed heresy charges against Sen. John Kerry in June says he has received an unofficial green light from the Vatican to press his case for the Democratic presidential nominee's excommunication over his pro-choice stance on abortion (The Washington Times)

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Bush & religion:

  • 'Without a Doubt': Faith and Bush's policies | Alex Chadwick talks with Ron Suskind, author of this week's New York Times Magazine cover story "Without a Doubt," which details how President Bush's religious faith shapes the decision-making and world-view of his administration (Day to Day, NPR)

  • Blood-drenched visions of the end of time fire Christian and Islamic fundamentalists alike | It comes as no news that Bush is a fundamentalist Christian, nor that he sees himself and his America as God's agents on earth (Adam Nicolson, The Telegraph, London)

  • What Bush believes | George W. Bush's foreign policy was defined by Sept. 11, not by his faith (Paul Kengor, The New York Times)

  • Without a doubt | What makes Bush's presidency so radical — even to some Republicans — is his preternatural, faith-infused certainty in uncertain times (Ron Suskind, The New York Times Magazine)

  • As God is his witness | Bush is no devout evangelical. In fact, he may not be a Christian at all (Ayelish McGarvey, The American Prospect)

  • Bush plays God card | What did you make of all the God talk — 14 references to the Almighty in 90 minutes — in the final debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry? (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star)

  • A faith-based presidency is what we have | From the first day Bush entered office and reimposed the Reagan-era gag rule, Bush has promoted a far-right Christian agenda (Lenore Skenazy, New York Daily News)

  • Evangelicals endeavor to redeem the vote | President Bush's re-election campaign is getting a boost from powerful Christian groups, which are enlisting entertainers such as actor Jim Caviezel of "The Passion of the Christ" to cajole millions of evangelicals into voting (The Washington Times)

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  • Faith-based, but broad ideals | Bush-bashing, it seems, has morphed into antireligious bigotry (Joseph Loconte, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • What God wants | Frank Rich cited me quoting President Bush as saying '"God wants me to be president.'' Unfortunately, he truncated the president's statement (Richard Land, The New York Times, second item)

  • Jewish voters, reliably Democratic, rethink Bush | The president's support for Israel and his response to Sept. 11 may be striking a chord (Los Angeles Times)

  • Questions of faith not 'true' or 'false' | With thinly disguised code phrases like "vote for righteousness," conservative Christian leaders seek to re-elect George Bush and to bend the will of evangelical Christianity to the right (Brett Miller, News-Leader, Springfield, Mo.)

Bush's code language:

  • Speaking in the tongue of evangelicals | The potential double meaning of Bush's Dred Scott reference rekindled speculation among critics that he communicates with his conservative Christian base with a dog-whistle of code words and symbols, deliberately incomprehensible to secular liberals (The New York Times)

  • Roe = Dred | Bush's language may be confused, but those who follow the anti-choice movement know that he knew exactly what he was saying (Katha Pollitt, The Nation)

Religion & the Black vote:

  • Black clergy campaigning | A coalition of Phila. churches mobilizes congregations for get-out-the vote effort (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Poll: Bush doubles support among blacks | Bush gains more support than in 2000 from those age 50 and older and those who consider themselves Christian conservatives (Associated Press)

  • Democrats hope pulpit's power draws blacks | hope the power of the pulpit will buttress support among blacks, a key voting bloc that must turn out heavily for presidential candidate John Kerry to win the White House (Associated Press)

  • Poll gauges blacks' take on Kerry | African American adults overwhelmingly prefer Sen. John F. Kerry over President Bush in the Nov. 2 election, but support the Democratic candidate less strongly than they favored Al Gore in 2000, according to a poll released Tuesday (Los Angeles Times)

  • Kerry tries to shore up black vote | Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry has spent part of the past three Sundays at predominantly black churches in Florida and Ohio, as a new poll shows President Bush doing twice as well among black Americans as he did in 2000 (The Washington Times)

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  • October surprise | This year's October surprise will be a critical mass of the black, Christian community standing up for biblical concepts of righteousness and justice. These courageous black voters will attempt a risky, but important strategy (Harry R. Jackson Jr., The Washington Times)

  • Black clergy campaigning | A coalition of Phila. churches mobilizes congregations for get-out-the vote effort (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Catholic vote:

Religion & the Supreme Court:

  • Ginsburg celebrates role of Jewish faith | Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday celebrated the role religion plays in her work as judge, noting that a "demand for justice runs throughout the Jewish tradition" (Associated Press)

  • Imagining America if George Bush chose the Supreme Court | Abortion might be a crime in most states. Gay people could be thrown in prison for having sex in their homes. States might be free to become mini-theocracies, endorsing Christianity and using tax money to help spread the gospel. The Constitution might no longer protect inmates from being brutalized by prison guards. Family and medical leave and environmental protections could disappear (Adam Cohen, The New York Times)

  • Judges, nominations and Roe v. Wade | Excerpts from the Schumer- Mills- O'Grady debate (The New York Times)

  • Justices' choices surprise some court-watchers | High court was expected by many to avoid disputes over Ten Commandments displays, prisoners' religious rights (Tony Mauro, First Amendment Center)

'Judicial activism':

Church & politics in Zambia:

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  • Church looks to Zambia's future with hope | Predominance of politics at the expense of national development has ruined Zambia, the three Church mother bodies have observed (The Post, Zambia)

  • SDA church has given me comfort—Chiluba | Former president Frederick Chiluba has said he was first comforted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church when government made embarrassing allegations against him (The Post, Zambia)

Blasphemy in Britain:

  • Blasphemy law to be scrapped | Britain's ancient laws of blasphemy and blasphemous libel are likely to be repealed under proposals being considered by the home secretary, David Blunkett (The Guardian, London)

  • Medieval law has had its day | Medieval blasphemy laws are set for repeal after a long history of provoking outrage among free thinkers (Alan Travis, The Guardian, London)


Reagan's daughter sues Salvation Army:

  • In dispute, Patti Davis sues Salvation Army | Patti Davis, an author and the daughter of President Ronald Reagan, has filed a lawsuit against the Salvation Army accusing it of backing out of a speaking agreement because it objects to her support for embryonic stem cell research (The New York Times)

  • Reagan daughter sues charity in stem cell row | Author Patti Davis, the daughter of the late President Ronald Reagan, has sued the Salvation Army for breach of contract, saying the religious group reneged on a $15,000 speaking engagement because she supports stem cell research (Reuters)

  • Patti Davis sues Salvation Army over talk | Patti Davis, daughter of the late President Ronald Reagan, has filed a lawsuit charging that the Salvation Army canceled her speech planned for one of their events because she supports stem cell research (Associated Press)


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Spitting on Christians:

War & terrorism:

  • Muslim peacekeepers for Iraq nixed | Bush said no to plan to send Muslim peacekeepers to Iraq to help UN organize elections (Newsday)

  • Is religion the enemy of peace? | Actually, the surest restraint on the fanaticism that leads to war is religion based in altruism (Rob Asghar, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  • More than third of U.S. Muslims see war on Islam | More than one-third of American Muslims believe that the U.S. war on terrorism is really a war on Islam, according to survey information released yesterday by researchers at Georgetown University (The Washington Times)

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  • Parishioners drop lawsuit | Several dozen parishioners of Our Lady of Victory Church in Paris have dropped a two-year-old defamation lawsuit against the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler (The Paris News, Tex.)

  • Births must keep up with immigrants, cardinal tells Catholics | Cardinal Keith O'Brien has said that Catholics must have more children or face seeing their faith eclipsed by the religions of immigrants (The Scotsman)

  • Vatican is alarmed by political trend in Europe | Policies in many countries contradict church doctrine (The Washington Post)

  • Bishops seek to Net faithful | Roman Catholic bishops in Italy have begun a major media offensive in an attempt to regain lost ground among the country's faithful (UPI)

  • Now on Vatican Radio: Commenting cardinals | First, there was the "Hand of God" goal that propelled Argentina to the 1986 World Cup. Now, there's the voice of Vatican Radio, featuring cardinals commentating on the state of Italian soccer (Associated Press)

  • Correction | Oops. Spain's Roman Catholic Church doesn't support domestic violence after all. Sorry about that. (The New York Times, third item)

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  • Priest defends himself | A Roman Catholic priest who has refused Cardinal Edward Egan's demand that he leave his parish stepped out last night to defend himself before about 450 mostly supportive, frustrated parishioners (The Journal News, White Plains, N.Y.)

  • Stitching, fabric, and the tapestry of a New Jersey convent's faith | The sisters of the Community of St. John Baptist, who live in a rambling century-old castle of vaulted ceilings and walkways, catacombs stretched out beneath, see stitching as part of their ministry, fabric as their faith (The New York Times)

  • The Vatican's cardinal sin | Here we go again. Every few years, it seems, a new controversy erupts when Pope John Paul II acts to confer sainthood on yet another historical figure tainted by anti-Semitism. (Michael Freund, The Jerusalem Post)

  • McCarrick steps out for a beer | The archbishop of the Washington, D.C. Roman Catholic diocese does the Theology on Tap program about twice a year (WJLA, D.C.)

The Pope:

  • Red Army choir performs for Pope | Pope John Paul II has marked his 26th year as head of the Roman Catholic Church by attending a concert given by Russia's Red Army choir (BBC)

  • Pope thanks well-wishers on anniversary | John Paul marked the anniversary of his Oct. 16, 1978, election with morning Mass on Saturday in his private chapel (Associated Press)

Tony Blair & Catholicism:

  • The British still fear a popish plot | If Tony Blair confessed to Methodism no one would care, but Catholicism is different (Cristina Odone, The Times, London)

  • Blair denies Catholic switch | Tony Blair denied yesterday that he wanted to become a Roman Catholic and insisted he did not know why a Buckinghamshire priest was spreading rumours of his thoughts about conversion (The Telegraph, London)

  • Prayer and politics | Blair, Roman Catholicism and the post of prime minister (Editorial, The Times, London)

Closing parishes:

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  • Reviewing parish closures | The reprieves granted over the weekend to two parishes slated for closure by the Archdiocese of Boston establish two important facts: The recently appointed review committee has clout, and Archbishop Sean O'Malley has an open mind (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

Life ethics:

  • New court battles over right to life for handicapped children | The right to life for handicapped children is to be tested in the High Court again in a battle over why doctors allegedly tried to end the life of an 11-year-old girl (The Times, London)

  • FDA weighs morning-after pill for teens | Some see easy access to emergency contraception as a way to drastically reduce teen pregnancy, already on the decline since the early 1990s. Others worry that its long-term effects on young women are unknown or argue that the drug, also known as the "morning after pill," encourages teens to have sex (Associated Press)

  • Here's a question for you: whose life is it anyway? | In 80 years' time - and possibly sooner - the views of Dr Lee and Ms Furedi will seem as barbaric and bizarre as the advocacy of slavery and forcible sterilisation seems to us today (Dominic Lawson, The Telegraph, London)

Stem cells:

  • Kerry would back stem cell work | The Democratic candidate for the US presidency, John Kerry, has said he will make stem cell research a top priority if he wins the election (BBC)

  • Stem cell division | In this razor-thin election, the arcane subject of embryonic-stem-cell research has rallied lawmakers, scientists, patients, celebrities—and the candidates. The issue may cause some voters to swing (Newsweek)

  • Dems lure moderate GOP on stem cell issue | Candidates who frame the issue as one of science and medicine could find a receptive audience among voters uncomfortable with religious-tinged efforts to place limits on scientific research, according to analysts (Associated Press)

  • Inflating hopes | The vice presidential nominee told us, if elected president, John Kerry would enable the lame to walk. It was as if he were talking about Mr. Kerry having supernatural powers (Jay Ambrose, The Washington Times)

  • No clear lines in stem cell research | Embryonic stem cell research is creating this election year's oddest political bedfellows, redrawing the usual dividing lines (San Jose Mercury News)

California's Prop. 71 stem cell debate:

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  • A cloning compromise that works | There is no scientific reason to link reproductive and therapeutic cloning (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  • Stop the cloning madness | No! This is the answer that the review board at Harvard and Provost Steven Hyman must give to Harvard scientists who now want a go-ahead for human therapeutic cloning (James L. Sherley, The Boston Globe)

  • U.N. to debate ban on human cloning | An emotional U.N. debate on stem-cell research resumes tomorrow after a year's cooling-off period, with nations as divided as ever over whether a ban on the reproductive cloning of humans should extend to medical research (The Washington Times)

Cloning in Britain:

  • British team takes first step to cloning human embryos | As the United Nations discusses a ban on all such research today - one that the UK would never sign and ratify even if it was agreed - a team in Newcastle upon Tyne has conducted experiments that mark the start of its human cloning effort (The Telegraph, London)

  • Bush aide condemns stem cell work | Leon Kass, the chairman of the influential President's Council on Bioethics, said Tony Blair's stance on stem cell research was wrong and called for a worldwide ban on therapeutic cloning (The Telegraph, London)

  • British cloning is morally wrong, says Bush adviser | George Bush's chief adviser on medical ethics accused Britain yesterday of crossing a "moral boundary" by allowing the cloning of human embryos (The Independent, London)

  • Bush aide attacks Britain for liberal law on cloning (The Times, London, sub. req'd.)

  • Cloning ban divides Britain and US | Britain and America are squaring off against each other for a crucial debate at the United Nations this week which could result in a controversial international convention to ban stem cell research using cloned human embryos (The Independent, London)

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  • Reverence for all life | For many American Christians, the reverence for life argument begins and ends with abortion (David Cook, The Chattanoogan, Tenn.)

  • Abortion foes to pay legal fees | The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from abortion opponents in Southern California who were ordered to pay legal fees to Planned Parenthood after they unsuccessfully sued the family-planning group to require it to declare a link between abortion and breast cancer (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • ACLU fights prison abortion roadblock | The Maricopa County sheriff says he should not have to transport pregnant inmates to abortion clinics, a policy that has drawn a court challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union (Associated Press)

  • Pro-life? Look at the fruits | Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed (Glen Harold Stassen, Sojourners)

  • Group says Daschle not anti-abortion | Senator's campaign highlights anti-abortion votes (Rapid City Journal, S.D.)

  • Chief medical officer ordered to investigate illegal abortions | John Reid, the Health Secretary, has ordered the Chief Medical Officer to investigate the British Pregnancy Advisory Service over its role in helping hundreds of women obtain illegal late abortions in Spain (The Telegraph, London)

  • Mother's court battle to stop secret abortions | A mother of two schoolgirls has mounted a High Court action to stop doctors carrying out abortions on them without her knowledge (The Times, London)


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Death penalty:



  • Hollywood haunts, taunts "Hell House" | Nine years after Pentecostal preacher Keenan Roberts debuted his controversial haunted house of sin known as "Hell House" in Arvada, it has come to this: A lampoon played not just for comedy but, its hip Hollywood producers hope, to challenge religious fundamentalism and send a message opposite to the original version's intent (The Denver Post)

  • Translating Flaubert, in the gospel tradition | Bernice Johnson Reagon continues to defy boundaries with her adaptation of "The Temptation of St. Anthony" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (The New York Times)


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  • The sin of pride | A new generation of gay and lesbian students is challenging homophobic policies at religious colleges (Mother Jones)

  • College says phony donor was rewarded with papal blessing | A convicted swindler at the center of a fraudulent $112 million gift to Saint Mary's College hoodwinked the small Catholic college's officials to the point that they arranged a papal blessing for him as a token of their appreciation (The New York Times)

  • Bible suggested reading at Chinese schools | Middle schools in communist China's financial hub of Shanghai will recommend students spend their spare time reading kung fu novels and the Bible, a policy which has some parents worried, a newspaper said on Tuesday (Reuters)

  • Wider openings for Boy Scouts | Three years after the federal government ordered public schools to keep their doors open to the Boy Scouts of America, the US Department of Education is poised to revisit its rules regarding "patriotic youth groups" - a move likely to grant the Boy Scouts even more access rights (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Judge rules against Virginia school system in religious-bricks case | Federal court says officials engaged in 'impermissible viewpoint discrimination' by removing bricks engraved with crosses from high school walkway (Associated Press)

Church & state:

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Ten Commandments:

  • Ten Commandments: Religious message or civics lesson? | Though Supreme Court may finally set guidelines for government displays of the religious codes, the controversy won't end (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)

  • Ten | Why the commandments make for such messy law (Rod Smolla, Slate)

Church & state in EU:

  • Translating faith into Spanish | It makes all the political sense in the world: take your wedge issues — abortion, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research — and aim them at a population whose membership in the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian churches exceeds 90% (Time)

  • Vatican condemns EU 'inquisition' | A senior Vatican cardinal says there is an anti-Catholic "inquisition" in Europe, evidenced in the controversy over the remarks of Rocco Buttiglione (BBC)

  • 'Arrogant lobbyists trying to silence Church' | A "nasty new Inquisition" and "a prejudice against everything that is Christian" is spreading across Europe, a senior cardinal said yesterday as he rallied to the defence of Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's embattled new EU commissioner (The Times, London)

French headscarves:

  • First students expelled over French law | Two Muslim girls who refused to remove their head scarves in class have been expelled from their schools, and two more risked the same fate Wednesday as officials began taking action against those who defy a new French law banning conspicuous religious symbols from public schools (Associated Press)

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  • Sikhs test French religious garb ban | Sikhs must respect a new French law banning conspicuous religious signs from public schools, the education minister said Tuesday, as three students who refused to remove their turbans took their case to court (The Washington Post)

  • Sikhs in court over religious ban | Three Sikh boys in France have gone to court after being excluded from school under a law banning conspicuous religious symbols and clothing (BBC)

Church buildings:

Church life:

  • Churches installing cell phone jammers | It was the reporters who noticed first. Unable to call their editors while covering the weddings of the rich and famous, they asked the priest why their cell phones never worked at Sacred Heart. His reply: Israeli counterintelligence (Associated Press)

  • Opening church doors to 'strangers among us' | 'The growth of immigrant evangelicals and Pentecostals may be a little scary to some' (Tony Carnes, Newsday)

  • A protest of prayers directed at decision to close Wilkinsburg church | Just as Nia Community Lutheran Church seemed to be catching momentum, the Lutheran church's governing body voted in September to disband the ministry -- and to sell the building (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • With parishioners in the pews, car thieves see opportunity | The District's car thieves are going to church, brazenly seeking opportunities wherever they can find them -- often trolling parking lots on Sunday mornings to target the vehicles of worshipers attending services (The Washington Post)

  • Sunday Halloween irks some in Bible Belt | Across the Bible Belt this Halloween, some little ghosts and goblins might get shooed away by the neighbors — and some youngsters will not be allowed to go trick-or-treating at all — because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year (Associated Press)

  • Assemblies of God fires minister | The Rev. Deon Lett, formerly of Suncoast Cathedral, founded another church and took supporters with him (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

  • Orombi sued for breach of duty | Two officials of Masindi District Local Government have sued the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, for alleged breach of duty (The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)

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Missions & ministry:

  • Crouch flouts Christian tradition | It galls me that Crouch unashamedly implores poor people to contribute to an empire that has averaged surpluses of $60 million a year since 1997 (Dana Parsons, Los Angeles Times)

  • Of God and greenbacks | When a Billy Graham Crusade comes to town, you don't just need faith in your heart when you attend, you also need a full wallet (Tim Adams, The Guardian, London)

  • Council to consider effects of Humanity | Backers of a low-income housing project behind Home Depot will again try to persuade city officials (Daily Pilot, Newport Beach, Ca.)

  • Bridging the abyss | Few places challenge one's faith in God more than hospitals, particularly those wards where the suffering is greatest (Sam Allis, The Boston Globe)

  • People fear churches not God | Many people are valuing their churches more than their God these days, pastors who met for the Foundation for the Christian Revival Ministries [FOCREM] convention last week agreed (Malawi Standard)

Human rights:

  • Law allows grants, aid to North Koreans | President Bush signed a law yesterday that paves the way for providing humanitarian aid to North Koreans and making refugees from the Stalinist state eligible for asylum in the United States (AFP)

  • Life sentence for burning Koran | A court in Lahore found Mehdi Hassan, 36, guilty under Pakistani laws covering offences against Islam, the prophet Mohammed or the Koran. The defendant had denied the charge, which can carry the death penalty, saying the case had arisen from a property dispute (BBC)

  • Women win rights by relying on Koran | Women's rights advocates have won sweeping reforms of marriage and divorce laws in Morocco and Egypt by basing their arguments on an unlikely source — the Koran (The Washington Times)

  • How did Darfur happen? | The closer you get to the tragedy in western Sudan, the more complicated it appears. Tracing the path of a long-simmering conflict as it turned into the world's biggest humanitarian crisis (The New York Times Magazine)

  • Ex-inmate's suit offers view into sexual slavery in prisons | Federal appeals court ruling, the first to acknowledge the equal protection rights of homosexuals abused in prison, said the evidence in the case was "horrific" (The New York Times)

  • Churches attacked in Zanzibar as tensions rise | Masked men torched a Roman Catholic church in Zanzibar over the weekend, the third such attack in a week in the predominantly Muslim Indian Ocean archipelago, a church leader said on Monday (Mail & Guardian, South Africa)

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Global missions & human rights:

  • China to ease policies on religions, NGOs | China plans to allow more autonomy to religious groups and curb arbitrary state interference in their activities, a Religious Affairs Bureau official says (UPI)

  • Aid worker refuses to give up on Afghan people | Kabul is perhaps not the most likely place to find a group of Quakers (The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon)

  • Tribals reconverted | In a major reconversion drive by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), as many as 336 tribals of 80 families in 11 villages under Sundargarh district of Orissa were reconverted to Hinduism at a special function in Baridia on Sunday (The Hindu, India)

  • Under the radar, HIV worsens | The epidemic is sinking on the public health agenda despite 40,000 cases diagnosed a year (Los Angeles Times)

  • Lebanon Chaldeans back Iraq coreligionists | Lebanon's Chaldean Catholic community Monday condemned attacks on Iraqi Christian churches in Baghdad two days ago, saying they were designed to intimidate (UPI)


  • Chilean Cardinal Fresno dies at 90 | He played a key role in efforts to restore democracy in Chile during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet (Associated Press)

  • Poland honors priest slain in 1984 | Poles lit candles and laid flowers Tuesday at the grave of pro-Solidarity priest Jerzy Popieluszko, abducted and killed by the communist secret police 20 years ago in a murder described in parliament as "one of the last acts of terror" by the former regime (Associated Press)

  • Preachers play it straight at the seaside | Evangelical preachers from across Britain are descending on Bournemouth today to commemorate the late Harry Hammond, an anti-gay preacher who was convicted of a public order offence (The Times, London)

  • Pilgrims flock to honor idiot savant saint | Pilgrims from across the Americas descend on the village of El Espinazo each October to visit the tomb of El Nino Fidencio, an eerie man-child figure famed for his playful cures and folk wisdom dispensed in a shrill contralto during the 1920s and 1930s (Reuters)

  • The Lord and the law | When he's not in church, you can find this newly ordained Episcopal priest at his law office (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)


  • The gospel according to the Rev. Al Green | After more than a decade singing religious songs, the legend returns to soul music with no regrets (The Boston Globe)

  • Conference on religious music to kick off today | The International Conference on Religious Music 2004 brings in scholars from the USA, the UK, Germany, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and China, and Taiwanese representatives of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and folk religions (Taiwan News)

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  • Guy's sexual healing | The openly Christian singer has not only spoken publicly about his faith, but he managed something seemingly impossible: he made Christianity seem cool again among the young mainstream fans who adore his music (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Curt Schilling credits God:


  • Weighing teachings on gluttony | In an era in which reports about the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight saturate the media, should spiritual leaders remind their flocks that religions deem gluttony not just unhealthy, but sinful? (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  • Own the prayer, feel the power | The spirit itself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Christopher Howse, The Telegraph, London)

  • The power of reconciliation | How Bill Bright and I made up (Jim Wallis, Sojourners)


  • Joan of Arcadia: Talking back to God | "God is a personal opinion, and only that," says star Amber Tamblyn (Beliefnet)

  • Bewitching the pitch in Tanzania | After a spate of recent scandals, Tanzania's football authorities are trying to clamp down on the use of witchcraft (BBC)

  • Hysteria in the Highlands | Allegations of witchcraft have unleashed an awful vengeance that threatens law and order in Papua New Guinea (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Is God in our genes? | A provocative study asks whether religion is a product of evolution. Inside a quest for the roots of faith (Time Canada)


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  • Religion, fashion often at odds | Religions' teachings about female modesty have deep and authoritative roots (Associated Press)

  • Shield kids from TV, says Zuma | The man driving the country's moral regeneration movement gently chided the religious community on Tuesday for not doing enough to challenge the portrayal of violence and sex on television and in newspapers (Sunday Times, South Africa)


  • Albrecht Durer, draftsman of doom | The eight-footed, four-eared, two-tongued Monstrous Pig of Landser didn't live long, but as Durer engraved it he imagined that piglet of evil omen as a grown-up. He knew what it meant: The Antichrist is near. (The Washington Post)

  • Left good. Right bad. It's called art | A conservative hero in a movie? That'll be the day (Andrew Klavan, Los Angeles Times)

  • God and man at Stanford | The gift Stanford University turned down wasn't a check; it was a 22-foot-high sculpture of an upside-down church, its steeple slammed into the ground, called "Device to Root Out Evil" (The New York Times)


  • Hidden in a British Museum basement: the lost Ark looted by colonial raiders | The tablets - or tabots - are sacred objects in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the most important of the 500 or so priceless Magdala treasures, looted by Britain from Ethiopia in 1868 and now held in this country (The Independent, London)

  • Federal bill would pay for California missions | Rich in history and treasured by tourists, schoolchildren and parishioners alike, California's 21 Spanish missions are nevertheless in peril (Fox News)

  • Evolution and religion can coexist, scientists say | Joel Primack has a long and distinguished career as an astrophysicist. A University of California, Santa Cruz, professor, he co-developed the cold dark matter theory that seeks to explain the formation and structure of the universe. He also believes in God (National Geographic News)

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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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