Pope | Protesting half staff flags | Protestant Brittan & the pope | Opinion | George Weigel on the pope | Catholicism | China & Catholicism | Religious freedom & persecution | Conversion | German churchgoers attacked by swordsman | War & terrorism | Warning of Temple Mount attack | Religion & politics | Jim Wallis | Dems. block FDA nomination over morning after pill | Stem cells | Abortion | Col. Gov. vetoes bill to tell rape victims about emergency contraception | Ill. Gov. orders pharmacists to fill birth control prescriptions | Opinion | Life ethics | 'Culture of life' | 'Right to die' | Terri Schiavo | Schiavo memo | Schiavo politics | Schiavo opinion | Church & state | Russia, God, & art | Justice Scalia | Same-sex marriage | Homosexuality & gay rights | AIDS | Gene Robinson says Jesus might have been gay, denies it | Episcopal church | Church life | Missions & ministry | Marriage & family | Religion vs. secularism | Education | King's College | Baylor women win NCAA tourney | Sports | Money & business | Taxes | Pastoral misconduct | Abuse | Books | Theater & film | Television & radio | Music | Charles, Camilla wedding | People | She's Fonda Jesus | Jerry Falwell | Other religions | More articles of interest


  • Bonhoeffer and pope—parallels | Both stressed that discipleship was costly and involved suffering (Uwe Siemon-Netto, UPI)
  • France urged to skip official papal honors | While the death of Pope John Paul II has brought widespread mourning, there has also been pressure on the secular French Republic not to honor him officially (The New York Times)
  • John Paul II won in the East, lost in the West | Where were all these people when the pope was alive? (Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal)
  • Global respects | The pace of the world seemed to slow for the world to mourn a holy man (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)
  • Prayer for Rome | Many new believers don't know much of the struggles of Luther, Calvin, and Knox, but they all know of John Paul II and see him as having championed a social agenda that they largely share (Hugh Hewitt, World)
  • Pope wrote he considered resigning in 2000 | What's in John Paul II's last will and testament (Associated Press)
  • Archbishop of Canterbury to set precedent | He'll be the first serving leader of the Church of England to attend a pontiff's burial (Associated Press)
  • News channels' challenge: How to fill the airtime | "I keep looking to this experience to find some sanctifying grace out of this," says Chris Matthews, covering the Pope's death in Vatican City for MSNBC (The New York Times)
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  • In Russian Church, still an undercurrent of animosity to the Vatican and the pope | Pope John Paul II pope never managed to heal the millennium-long schism between Catholicism and Orthodoxy (The New York Times)
  • Zimbabwe's Mugabe attends pope's funeral | The trip was immediately denounced by one of Mugabe's fiercest human rights critics, Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo (Associated Press)
  • In memory of Pope John Paul II | Dr. Dobson discusses the life and legacy of Pope John Paul II with Albert Mohler, Priests for Life's Frank Pavone, and the Acton Institute's Robert Sirico (Focus on the Family)
  • Castro praises pope for defense of poor | Church officials said it was the first time Castro had been inside the cathedral in decades, with one of the last occasions being his sister's wedding in 1959 (Associated Press)
  • President, First Lady attend church | President Bush attended church at St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House on Sunday, where worshippers remembered Pope John Paul II (Associated Press)

Protesting half staff flags:

  • Flag order spurs controversy | The president's order to fly flags at half- staff in honor of Pope John Paul II is rated appropriate by the ACLU, but schools have received complaints from parents (The Denver Post)
  • Flag shouldn't be lowered for pope, group says | An anti-religion group is denouncing Gov. Jim Doyle's executive order to lower flags to mark the death of Pope John Paul II (The Capital Times, Madison, Wi.)
  • Half-staff flags for pope questioned | A Madison secular organization is protesting Gov. Jim Doyle's order to fly flags at half-staff at public buildings all week to remember Pope John Paul II (Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wi.)
  • Some in France criticize pope observance | Secularists criticized the French government Monday for lowering flags to half-staff out of respect for Pope John Paul II, calling it an attack on the country's century-old separation of church and state (Associated Press)

Protestant Brittan & the pope:

  • Anglicans ponder passing of their identity and power | As the funeral of John Paul II nears, some suggest that the English response to his death has shown that "Protestant England is dead" (The New York Times)
  • The strange death of Protestant England | Who would have thought the death of Rome's supreme pontiff would interfere with the marriage plans of the next Supreme Governor of the Church of England? (Mark Almond, The Guardian, London)
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  • Protestant identity threatened, says Jensen | The decision to postpone the wedding of the Prince of Wales to make way for the funeral of Pope John Paul II is a "strange turn of events" that chimes the demise of a sole Protestant identity in England, says the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen (The Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Last time I looked, Britain wasn't Catholic | Why has this Anglican country gone all Pope-crazy? (Vicki Woods, The Telegraph, London)


  • Criticizing John Paul II | Yet another thing the mainstream press doesn't understand about the Catholic Church (Hugh Hewitt, The Weekly Standard)
  • The pope and hypocrisy | We pay him no tribute if we lower our flags to half-staff and send a grand presidential delegation to his funeral, when at the same time we avert our eyes as villagers are slaughtered and mutilated in the genocide unfolding in Darfur (Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times)
  • How much more can we take? | This is the third pope who's passed away since I became a lapsed Catholic. Time flies when you no longer live your life holding to the beliefs of a church based on fear and real estate (Barry Crimmins, The Boston Phoenix)
  • A papacy of spirit | If John Paul stood for one large thing, it was primacy of the spiritual over the material (E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post)
  • Passing of a worthy pastor | His firm fidelity to God's truth strengthened orthodox belief in almost all religions (John O'Sullivan, The Washington Times)
  • Be not afraid | What Pope John Paul II taught us (Larry Kudlow, National Review Online)
  • Yes, the Pope was gifted. And heroic. But he was no saint | For a Protestant like me, the repeated assumption that John Paul is now in heaven cannot be sustained theologically (Ron Ferguson, The Herald, Glasgow)
  • A model of moral strength | The world, and not just the Catholic world, has lost a leader and a servant like few it has ever seen. Pope John Paul II modeled faith, courage and forgiveness — three qualities I will always associate with this pope (Franklin Graham, USA Today)
  • Cardinal is first-class pope material | Should Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony have flown first-class to Rome? (Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times)
  • How the pope 'defeated Communism' | The pope's role in the end of the communist regime was far less conspiratorial than the rumors, but no less significant -- which is why it might be worth remembering what it was, actually, that he did (Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post)
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  • Above all else, life | Of the many great legacies of Pope John Paul II, the one I prize the most is this: he was instrumental in helping the Catholic Church reach a position of principled opposition to the death penalty - an opposition that brooks no exceptions (Helen Prejean, The New York Times)
  • Pope John Paul appraised as pope, not rock star | The panoramic television coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II has represented him as an athlete, an actor, an enemy of totalitarianism, a world traveler, a polyglot, a pacifist, a penitent and an ecumenist. He has also been described, almost compulsively, as a rock star. What has been harder to divine in all these television images is the pope's identity as a Roman Catholic (Virginia Heffernan, The New York Times)
  • Papal power | John Paul II's other legacy (Christopher Hitchens, Slate)
  • Remembering Wojtyla, shepherd of freedom | Karol Wojtyla's life demonstrated that an unswerving devotion to the truth of Jesus Christ results in a responsible freedom that lifts up all God's children in peace and justice (Chris Seiple, Institute for Global Engagement)

George Weigel on the pope:

  • The heroic papacy | From his ecumenical work to his travels to his saintmaking, John Paul II revitalized the Office of Peter (George Weigel, Beliefnet)
  • Mourning and remembrance | The pope believed that "history" is His-story--the story of God's quest for man (George Weigel, The Wall Street Journal)


  • John Paul II and the Anglicans | There is common ground between the two churches, and for years they have been trying to find ways of showing a more united face (BBC)
  • Real men of God | Holy blasts from the past to invigorate the present (Carol Iannone, National Review Online)
  • Mourning brings Law into public eye | Service Tuesday offered a glimpse of Law's pastoral role as the head of one of Rome's three grand basilicas — and the distance Law has traveled from the harsh spotlight of the priest sex abuse scandal that prompted his resignation as head of the Archdiocese of Boston in December 2002 (The Boston Globe)
  • Cremation gaining acceptance among Roman Catholics | Practice was forbidden until 1969 (USA Today)
  • Parishioners decide to continue vigil at Sudbury church | Parishioners at a Sudbury church, while pleased that the Boston Archdiocese has decided to reopen their church as a chapel and will allow regular Sunday Mass, will continue their round-the-clock occupation until the long-term future of their parish is made more clear (Associated Press)
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  • Cardinal's bad judgment | From Boston, it is difficult to hear Cardinal Bernard Law's voice and not think about promise unfulfilled, ambition derailed, and accountability deferred (Joan Vennochi, The Boston Globe)
  • Catholicism challenged in Brazil | In a region often roiled by economic hardship and violence, many Catholic clergy believe, people are abandoning Catholicism for what they see as more flexible, personable creeds or, worse, a rejection of worship altogether (The Boston Globe)

China & Catholicism:

  • China arrests two elderly Roman Catholic priests | A U.S.-based rights group says Chinese authorities arrested two elderly Roman Catholic priests in the days before the death of Pope John Paul (Voice of America)
  • Beijing tells Vatican not to 'interfere' | China on Tuesday demanded the Vatican stay out of its internal affairs and break off diplomatic relations with Taiwan, reiterating its long-standing conditions for establishing diplomatic relations severed more than 50 years ago (Associated Press)
  • China's divided Catholics unite, if just to mourn | Pope John Paul II's death is a reminder of the division of 12 million Chinese Catholics from the rest of the church (The New York Times)
  • Vatican mulls cutting ties with Taiwan, says bishop | The Vatican is reluctantly ready to cut ties with Taiwan and recognize China if Beijing can guarantee religious freedom, the head of the Hong Kong Roman Catholic diocese said on Tuesday (Reuters)

Religious freedom & persecution:

  • Two Christians found dead | Police found the bodies of two Christian workers of a non-government organisation in Palsai area on Thursday (The Daily Times, Pakistan)
  • Brazil arrests suspect in nun's death | With Thursday's arrest, five men are accused in the death of the nun, Dorothy Stang, who spent the last 23 years of her life trying to protect the rain forest and peasants from loggers and ranchers in the eastern Amazon state of Para (Associated Press)
  • Hillary backs religious goal in foreign, domestic policy | Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday that protecting the freedom to practice religion throughout the world is one of the most important missions of U.S. foreign and domestic policy (The Washington Times)
  • Protest at Pakistan priest murder | About 200 Pakistani Christians have marched in Peshawar to protest over the murder and mutilation of a priest and his driver (BBC)
  • Protestant pastor, driver killed in Pakistan (Reuters)
  • Guyana probes U.S. missionary killings | Police said Friday that two American missionaries had been found slain at a farm they rented in southwestern Guyana near the border with Brazil (Associated Press)
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  • Where being a Christian leads to prison and torture | When Kim Tae Jin was being interrogated after his forcible repatriation to North Korea from China, he swallowed a nail in the vain hope of receiving medical treatment, rather than return to his prison cell (The Independent, London)
  • Police warn rioting Christians | The police have warned Christians against inciting violence during church services, saying culprits would be prosecuted (The Monitor, Uganda)
  • Faith hate bill dropped to save crime legislation | Plans to outlaw all faith hate crimes were finally dropped today when the Government backed down in order to save its flagship crime legislation from defeat (PA, U.K.)
  • Preserve free speech | What may be most damaging about National Review's act of reference-cleansing is that it helps legitimize CAIR's drive to tar all criticism of Islam as "hate speech" and thus squelch it (Diana West, The Washington Times)


  • Conversion 'attempt' lands Jharkhand school in trouble | A police complaint has been lodged against a Jharkhand missionary school for allegedly attempting to force two tribal students to convert to Christianity - but the school says the boys themselves wanted to convert (IANS, India)
  • Lanka to have 'conscience vote' on religious conversions bill | There will be no party whip on this issue, and members of the ruling party (and presumably the opposition also) will vote according to their individual conscience (Hindustan Times)

German churchgoers attacked by swordsman:

  • One person killed in German sword attack | A man wielding a sword stormed into a Protestant church in southern Germany on Sunday, killing one person and injuring three, including a man whose hand was hacked off, police said (Associated Press)
  • 'Bloodbath' at church in Germany | A man wielding a sword has killed a woman and injured at least three other people during a service at a church in southern Germany (BBC)
  • Woman killed in church sword attack (The Guardian, London)

War & terrorism:

  • Christian youths watch Beirut streets after bombs | A spate of bombings has brought Christian youths onto the streets of east Beirut, checking each night for parked cars from outside the neighborhood and occasionally stopping drivers to ask where they are heading (Reuters)
  • Jury selection to start in Rudolph trial | Court officials have summoned about 500 people for preliminary jury selection in the trial of Eric Rudolph, who is accused in the 1998 bombing of an abortion clinic in which a police officer was killed (Associated Press)
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  • Rwanda marks 11th anniversary of genocide | Rwanda marked the anniversary of the 1994 genocide Thursday with the beginning of a week of mourning for the more than 500,000 people who died in an orgy of killing that remains fresh in the minds of the survivors (Associated Press)
  • Trail of fear left behind by moral crusaders | Left Behind may seem preposterous, but when we encounter similarly insane religious delusions in Muslims we don't laugh (Terry Lane, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Warning of Temple Mount attack:

  • Israeli security warns of attack on Temple Mount | Amos Gilad, a senior Defense Ministry official, did not give specific scenarios but confirmed it could include an attempt to put an Israeli flag on one or both of the mosques at the shrine (Associated Press)
  • Ezra: Mount rally is very problematic | A scenario in which thousands of Jews plan to flood the Temple Mount is highly problematic and the police will not enable them to reach the site, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra said on Thursday (The Jerusalem Post)
  • High alert amid warnings of Temple Mount attack | Shin Bet raises alert amid signs that extremist Jews are planning to attack mosques. (Haaretz, Tel Aviv)

Religion & politics:

  • DeLay says federal judiciary has 'run amok,' adding Congress is partly to blame | "Judicial independence does not equal judicial supremacy," Mr. DeLay said in a videotaped speech delivered to a conservative conference in Washington entitled "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" (The New York Times)
  • The crusaders | Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own image (Rolling Stone)
  • Get the faith outta here! | Religious tyranny is the price for appeasing fundamentalists (Mick Farren, Los Angeles City Beat)
  • Christian minority, women vote slants left | Christian blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans and women of all races tend to heavily support Democrats even though their conservative moral stances may be more in line with Republicans a panel of experts said Wednesday during the second day of Claremont McKenna College's three-day "Religion and the American Presidency' Conference (San Bernardino Sun, Ca.)
  • Same-sex marriage ban leaders eye other causes | Same-sex marriage ban: accomplished. Next up: evolution, abortion and gambling (The Kansas City Star)
  • The backlash paradox | Religion is filling a vacuum left by the failure of state politics to explain, moderate or accommodate the forces of change unleashed in the superconnected and superstimulated world of globalization (Jim Hoagland, The Washington Post)
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  • Kaine has faith in the importance of 'values' | The first radio ad of Virginia's 2005 gubernatorial campaign was about religion (The Washington Post)
  • In the name of values, not politics | I was Danforth's legislative counsel when he was Missouri's senator. I have tremendous regard for him but, speaking as a Jew, I think Danforth's lament does unwarrantable damage — not least of which is to needlessly inflame religious divisions that have only recently begun to be overcome (Jeff Ballabon, Forward)
  • Ethics panel finds conflict with senator's job as physician | For years, Republican Tom Coburn juggled his duties as a House member and a family physician back in Oklahoma, where he delivered dozens of babies annually. But since winning a Senate seat last fall, Coburn has clashed with Senate ethics committee members over whether he could continue to do double duty as a lawmaker and an obstetrician (The Washington Post)
  • Faithful power up with prayer | Officials reaffirm moral stance during annual prayer breakfast (The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, Ca.)
  • Dobson critique | Broadcaster relied on false and misleading statements to bash judges, called for Supreme Court impeachments while hailing himself as "prophetic" (Media Matters)
  • In God do these Libs trust | Onward Christian Soldiers is soon to become the battle hymn of the Liberal Party in NSW (Mike Steketee, The Australian)
  • Religious progressives resist Christian right | Coalition launching campaign to redefine, broaden moral agenda (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Texas Democrats eye religious voters | At a time when Republican politicians have made religion a big part of their formula, Texas Democrats are working to assert their own kind of morality (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Crusading once again | A series of setbacks forced Randall Terry out of the public eye, but the 'family values' champion has returned (Newsday)
  • Fiery priest may seek Haiti's presidency | Mix of praise and condemnation has only fueled beliefs that the pro-Aristide Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste will seek Haiti's presidency in fall elections — a move that could re-ignite tensions with the United States (Associated Press)

Jim Wallis:

  • God's Democrat | The church of Jim Wallis (Katherine Mangu-Ward, The Weekly Standard)
  • Faith that's of the people, by the people, for the people | Faith, said Wallis, the editor of Sojourners Magazine, is not just about abortion and gay marriage. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
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Dems. block FDA nomination over morning after pill:

  • Democrats block nomination over morning-after pill | Two Democrats said that they would hold up a vote on President Bush's nominee until the FDA settled the issue (The New York Times)
  • Contraception debate delays nomination of FDA chief | The nomination of Lester M. Crawford to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration was put on indefinite hold yesterday by two Democratic senators to protest the administration's long delay in deciding whether to allow non-prescription sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B (The Washington Post)

Stem cells:

  • Changes are weighed on stem cells | The director of the National Institutes of Health said that loosening President Bush's restrictions on federal financing for research would benefit science (The New York Times)
  • Romney finds middle ground on stem cells | But GOP reaction still a question (The Boston Globe)
  • His bait and switch | Qualms about the potential for abuse of embryos, and the women who produce them, are not Romney's problem. Believability is (Eileen McNamara, The Boston Globe)


  • U.S. court panel hears Navy abortion case | Government wants wife to reimburse cost of procedure (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
  • Local lawmakers sign anti-abortion pledge | Two Yamhill County lawmakers have signed a petition circulated by several new pro-life groups pledging to vote against any element of the state budget that includes money for abortions (News Register, McMinnville, Ore.)
  • Montana Senate advances measure limiting abortion protesters | Anti-abortion protesters outside health care clinic will have to keep their distance from patients or be accused of a crime, under a bill tentatively approved Monday by the Senate (Associated Press)
  • Teen's abortion prompts lawsuit | A Hamilton County couple is suing Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and six of its employees, accusing them of performing an abortion on the couple's 14-year-old daughter without their consent or knowledge, in violation of Ohio law (The Cincinnati Post)
  • Abortion clinics may face tough limits | Abortion clinics in Florida could face new state regulations that clinic operators say could force some to shut down (The Miami Herald)
  • Abortion-rights advocates rip suggested clinic rules | Bills that state health officials say are needed to make abortion clinics safer are under attack this week by abortion-rights advocates who contend the requirements will drive up the price of an abortion and run some clinics out of business (The Orlando Sentinel)
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  • Leading abortion clinic backs 20-week limit | One of Britain's largest abortion clinics wants to cut the upper limit for terminations to 20 weeks because advances in medical science mean that the babies are "potentially viable" (The Telegraph, London)

Col. Gov. vetoes bill to tell rape victims about emergency contraception:

  • Owens vetoes pill bill | Freedom of religion is cited; measure's supporters outraged (The Denver Post)
  • Owens' wrong call | Veto ensures more abortions, suffering (Daily Camera, Boulder, Co.)
  • Owens' veto, Chaput's voice | Owens' veto let anti-abortionists carry the day over common sense and the responsible practice of medicine (Jim Spencer, The Denver Post)

Ill. Gov. orders pharmacists to fill birth control prescriptions:

  • Pharmacists might defy Blagojevich order to offer 'morning-after pill' | Different pharmacies handle the controversy in different ways (The Dispatch, Moline, Ill.)
  • Right to choose vs. the power to compel | "Pro-choice" groups think pharmacists have no right to choose (Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune)
  • The governor's prescription | The rule neatly sidesteps some perilous moral straits by placing the responsibility for filling the prescription on the pharmacy, not the pharmacist. That is wise (Editorial, Chicago Tribune)
  • Contraceptive Rxs ordered filled | Druggist refusal spurs governor to enter fray (Chicago Tribune)
  • Sell contraceptives, Gov orders druggists (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Bishop lectures Blagojevich on pharmacy rule | Bishop Thomas Paprocki appealed to Blagojevich to rescind his order compelling pharmacists to sell contraceptives, even if they believe the drugs kill the unborn (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Governor dispenses with pharmacists' nonsense | Pharmacists should not be the arbiters of morality for their customers (Editorial, Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Illinois drugstores required to fill birth control prescriptions | Responding to complaints about a Chicago pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Friday issued an executive order requiring drugstores to fill prescriptions for contraceptives (Los Angeles Times)
  • Ill. pharmacies required to fill prescriptions for birth control | Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich (D) issued an emergency rule Friday that requires pharmacies to accept and fill prescriptions for contraceptives without delay, after a growing number of complaints nationwide that some pharmacists are refusing to dispense birth control pills and the "morning-after" pill (The Washington Post)
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  • Illinois pharmacies ordered to provide birth control (The New York Times)
  • Culture war hits local pharmacy | Many druggists across the country refuse to give out morning-after pills. Legislators weigh in (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Related: Colo. governor vetoes rape bill | Requirement of hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraception, would have forced church-backed institutions to violate their own ethics guidelines, says Owens (Associated Press)
  • Opinion:
  • Moralists at the pharmacy | Any pharmacist who cannot dispense medicines lawfully prescribed by a doctor should find another line of work (Editorial, The New York Times)
  • When your conscience goes to work | No one should be forced to sacrifice his beliefs to a job (Crispin Sartwell, Los Angeles Times)
  • Religious oppression at the drugstore | Here's an outrage for you. There's a growing movement among pharmacists and even doctors to refuse to provide legal and necessary health services (Bonnie Erbe, Scripps Howard News Service)
  • Conscience behind the counter | Will female air travelers who carry contraceptives on board eventually be required to carry parachutes, just in case a pilot's conscience finds their presence objectionable? (Jabari Asim, The Washington Post)

Life ethics:

  • "Right to die" | The moral basis of the right to die is the right to good quality life (Editorial, British Medical Journal)
  • Egg donation and morality | It's no surprise that the debate about cloning research has turned a degree or two from focusing on the moral status of the egg to the moral status of the egg donor (Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe)
  • S.C. bill would give rights to fetus "at fertilization" | A fetus would have rights to due process and equal protection under a bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (Associated Press)

'Culture of life':

  • 'Culture of life' is a culture of fear | These same people who claim to be the guardians of life are the first to demand the death penalty for murderers, indiscriminate bombing for Afghanis, Iraqis, and anyone else they don't like, etc., etc. The hypocrisy is so blatant, it hardly seems worth spelling out the details (Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org)
  • Perpetrating a colossal fraud | The so-called "culture of life" would not benefit human life, but cause massive suffering and death (Alex Epstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
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'Right to die':

  • Peers leave options open on right to die | Peers investigating whether terminally ill patients should be given the right to die have put the issue on hold, saying key questions need resolving before there can be further attempts to change the law (The Guardian, London)
  • Peers urge debate on right to die | The House of Lords Select Committee was divided over whether the law should be changed but said any future legislation must make a clear distinction between assisted suicide and euthanasia (BBC)

Terri Schiavo:

  • The Schiavo case's intended and unintended consequences | Will the Rev. Jesse Jackson's appearance in Florida on behalf of the Schindler family broaden the 'culture of life' debate? (Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange.com)
  • GOP's moral agenda doubted | The controversy over Terri Schiavo has raised concerns among many Americans about the moral agenda of the Republican Party and the political power of conservative Christians, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds (USA Today)
  • Schiavo case evolved into huge news story | How did one brain-damaged woman's intensely personal tragedy become a worldwide news story? (Associated Press)
  • Terri Schiavo cremated amid family feud | Terri Schiavo's body was cremated Saturday as disagreements continued between her husband and her parents, who were unable to have their own independent expert observe her autopsy (Associated Press)
  • Some see link in deaths of pope, Schiavo | Vatican was involved in Florida woman controversy (Associated Press)
  • Terri Schiavo's sister mourns her at Mass | Speaking before hundreds of mourners at a funeral Mass planned by her parents, Terri Schiavo's sister said the severely brain damaged woman showed the world perseverance and determination (Associated Press)
  • Schiavo memorial exhorts hundreds to go forward | "We are with you," the Schindlers are told at their memorial service for daughter and sister Terri Schiavo (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)
  • For many, Schiavo's life was an inspiration | A service held Tuesday in St. Petersburg by family and friends of the deceased brain-damaged woman drew crowds -- and emotions (The Miami Herald)
  • Calif. woman charged in Schiavo threat | The federal charge against Dera Marie Jones stems from a posting on an America Online message board: "If she dies I will kill Michael Schiavo and the judge. This for real!" (Associated Press)
  • Prompted by Schiavo case, lawmakers debate end-of-life issues | Senate panel grapples with government role (Chicago Tribune)
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  • Schiavo-inspired bills lose momentum in Congress | While defending their actions to keep the woman alive, lawmakers show little zeal for broader legislation (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

Schiavo memo:

  • Freewheeling aides have shamed Martinez before | The Martinez campaign sent out a support mailer calling opponent Bill McCollum "the new darling of the homosexual extremists" because of his support for the 2000 federal hate-crimes bill, which included protection for homosexuals (The Washington Times)
  • Martinez staff probes memo origin | The office of Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) is investigating whether an aide who resigned this week distributed a memo about the Terri Schiavo case to other Senate offices, and whether any other aides in the senator's office had seen it, his staff said yesterday (The Washington Post)
  • Counsel to GOP senator wrote memo on Schiavo | Martinez aide who cited upside for party resigns (The Washington Post)
  • Earlier: Was the Schiavo memo a fake? | All 55 Republican senators say they have never seen the Terri Schiavo political talking-points memo that Democrats say was circulated among Republicans during the floor debate over whether the federal government should intervene to prolong her life (The Washington Times)
  • Schiavo memo is attributed to Senate aide | Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, said Wednesday that a senior member of his staff had written an unsigned memorandum about the partisan political advantages of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo that became a controversial footnote to the debate over the wisdom and motives of Congress's actions (The New York Times)

Schiavo politics:

  • After Schiavo, GOP's push on end-of-life issues fades | A week after the battle over Terri Schiavo's life ended in her death, the Republican push in Congress to legislate on end-of-life issues appears to have stalled, at least temporarily (Los Angeles Times)
  • Cheney opposes retribution against Schiavo judges | But he did not criticize House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for declaring that they will "answer for their behavior" (The Washington Post)
  • Post-Schiavo questions await Congress's GOP leaders | Priorities debated as recess ends (The Washington Post)
  • Frist says courts in Schiavo case acted fairly | U.S. Senate Republican leader Bill Frist said on Tuesday that courts had acted fairly in the Terri Schiavo "right-to-die" case, differing sharply from a vow of retribution by his House of Representatives counterpart, Tom DeLay (Reuters)
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Schiavo opinion:

  • Dying sends out loud and clear message of life | I didn't want to compare Pope John Paul II and Terri Schiavo, but I must (John Kass, Chicago Tribune)
  • Stories sway personal choice | Only by giving flesh to the abstractions and getting to the heart of the difficult decisions and consequences individuals face can we convince our culture to deal with these life choices with true compassion (Paul Rogat Loeb, USA Today)
  • Fight for life whenever possible | This is not a religious question. It is a question of civic morality (Stanley Crouch, New York Daily News)
  • Beware of letting the unacceptable become the norm | Terri Schiavo died of forced starvation and dehydration in a nation that keeps telling itself it protects the helpless (John Kass, Chicago Tribune)
  • Activism and the disabled | I am an agnostic, but I would like to believe that we have a soul, a divine spark inside us; and it seems to me that there is nothing more degrading to human dignity, nothing more antilife, than to prolong the physical existence of a body from which that spark is gone (Cathy Young, The Boston Globe)
  • No release from death | The witches' brew concocted by relatives who fall out over compensation payments, by the howls of Christian fundamentalists, and the intervention of opportunist politicians, create the worst conditions for a genuine debate (Editorial, The Guardian, London)
  • Private values and public policy | In our pluralistic and secular society, all faith groups should have a place in public discourse. But they can no longer assume they are the dominant voice, especially when their values collide with civil rights (Ann Perry, The Toronto Star)
  • End of the affair | A pox on all the houses involved in the Schiavo debate (John Leo, US News & World Report)
  • Pro-death politics | The country has just witnessed an interlude of religious hysteria, encouraged and exploited by political quackery. (William Greider, The Nation)
  • Backward Christian soldiers | Maybe, just maybe, the religious right went too far with the Terri Schiavo case (Katha Pollitt, The Nation)
  • When facts collide with beliefs | Once confronted with incontrovertible proof that they were wrong on a claim they stressed so hard, will House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and others rethink their position on Schiavo's fate? Not a chance (Jay Bookman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Schiavo case tests America | In all the three years that I have been reporting from this country, I do not believe there has been a more important moment in its history than this (Justin Webb, BBC)
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  • You too can lose weight and keep it off: The Terri Schiavo success story | There is much to be angry about the indignant, callous manner the right-wing has exploited the plight of this family. They have taken hypocrisy to new levels, and much ink has been spilt on that. But I am disappointed that the progressive community has not seized upon the publicity generated by this tragedy to do more on two very important moral issues (Zeynep Toufe, CommonDreams.org)
  • Terri Schiavo and troubling concerns | I remain troubled about these end-of-life decisions (Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive)
  • Knowing our minds | For many, the Schiavo case hinged on the right of individuals to control their own fates. But when it comes to extraordinary medical decisions and the ordinary business of living — the ideal of individual autonomy is not so simple (Michael Bérubé and Janet Lyon, The Boston Globe)
  • A mystery of body and soul | It isn't only that Schiavo's dilemma has confronted us all with questions about how we will make life-and-death decisions for ourselves or our loved ones. It's that her last days force us to reflect on the very nature of human identity and the value of an individual life (Philip Clayton, The Washington Post)

Church & state:

  • Commissioners clear hurdle for prison | Tom Green County commissioners moved one step closer to building a 620-bed faith-based prison Thursday with the creation of the Concho Valley Community Facilities Corp (Associated Press)
  • Feds are mum on church probe | An attorney for the pastor of First Baptist Church of Cold Spring is sure the FBI and the IRS are continuing their investigation into the church (The Kentucky Post)
  • Church and state: A broken marriage | The really extraordinary thing about the present constitutional establishment of the Church of England is not its absurdity, but that nobody really believes in it any longer (Editorial, The Guardian, London)
  • Religion to have role at Parade of Lights | Christmas season event overturns longstanding policy (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)
  • Religion gains entry to parade | The Downtown Denver Partnership on Monday announced that religious floats - but not anti-religious ones - will be allowed in its 2005 Parade of Lights (The Denver Post)
  • Faith-based jail programs show results in reducing recidivism rate | The general goal of such programs is to use a spiritual foundation to teach practical life skills. These programs typically teach anger management, literacy, music, financial management and Bible study (Rod Thomson, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.)
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Russia, God, & art:

  • God, art, and irony | The Russian government has just finished prosecuting what amounts to a blasphemy case (Will Englund, The Baltimore Sun)
  • 'Offensive' art | The Russian constitution guarantees freedom of expression and religion and forbids censorship -- none of which dissuaded prosecutors from demanding that museum administrators be held criminally accountable for its artwork (Editorial, The Washington Post)

Justice Scalia:

  • Scalia bashes contemporary notion of acceptable religion | In a cautionary tale to the educated, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia warned the legal profession not to write off "traditional Christians" (Shreveport Times, La.)
  • Scalia: Law shouldn't write off Christians | The legal profession shouldn't write off traditional Christians as "simple minded," Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told fellow Catholics, and he urged a blend of reason and faith (Associated Press)

Same-sex marriage:

  • Ripples spread as states vote on same-sex marriage | Kansas joined 17 other states this week with a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Same-sex marriage foes set broader agenda | Conservatives target abortion, evolution, adoptions by gays (Lawrence Journal-World, Kan.)
  • Conn. Senate approves civil unions bill | The state Senate has approved a landmark bill that would make Connecticut the first state to recognize civil unions between same-sex couples without being pressured by the courts (Associated Press)
  • Kansas voters approve gay marriage ban | Kansans overwhelmingly voted to add a ban on gay marriage and civil unions to their state constitution, but supporters and opponents predicted court battles over the amendment (Associated Press)
  • Christian leaders ponder next moves | After successfully promoting the marriage amendment, conservatives consider abortion, gambling and evolution as targets for action (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)
  • New England holds out on gay marriage ban | Vermont's civil unions and Massachusetts' legalized gay marriages are seen by ban supporters as the threat that's helping their cause. Advocates for gay marriage also see those examples as a plus, by proving that fears gay marriage will somehow destroy society's social fabric are unfounded (Associated Press)
  • Gay marriage targeted in bill | House proposal would ban state from recognizing same-sex unions (Houston Chronicle)
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  • More Americans oppose gay 'marriage,' poll finds | Public opposition to "marriages" between homosexuals is at an all-time high, according to a poll released yesterday (The Washington Times)
  • Calif. court upholds domestic partner law | A California law granting domestic partners nearly identical legal rights as married couples does not conflict with a voter-approved ban on gay marriage, a state appeals court ruled (Associated Press)
  • Connecticut closer to approving civil unions | Democratic majority driving state measure (The Washington Post)
  • Court denies challenge to domestic partners law | An appellate panel rules that a new state statute extending rights does not constitute same-sex marriage or violate Proposition 22 (Los Angeles Times)
  • Amendment's passage brings a perilous shift | Sure, we're religious people. But this seems like a fearful, worry-induced move, especially for a place where faith supposedly reigns (Mark McCormick, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)
  • Gay couples file suit after Michigan denies benefits | State attorney general says passage of constitutional amendment means gay and lesbian state workers should be ineligible for health benefits for their partners in future contracts (The New York Times)

Homosexuality & gay rights:

  • Is Philly the birthplace of gay rights? | 1965 demonstration came four years before the Stonewall Riots in New York City (Associated Press)
  • Md. approves bills extending rights to gay people | One measure would allow domestic partners to make medical decisions for each other, and the other would add offenses motivated by sexual orientation to the state's hate crimes law (The Washington Post)
  • ACLU files suit over gay t-shirt ban | LaStaysha Myers, 15, said she was sent home twice from Webb City High. She is heterosexual but wore shirts with handwritten phrases including "I support the gay rights!" (Associated Press)
  • God's velvet rope | It's been all fire and brimstone since a priest at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores turned a lesbian couple away from his congregation (Metro Times, Detroit)
  • Gay civil rights bill derailed in Washington Senate | Two conservative Democrats helped Senate Republicans derail the latest attempt by the Legislature to pass a gay civil rights bill, sending it to a hostile committee where it is likely to die (Associated Press)
  • It's unchristian to oppose gay rights | It is time that Michael Heath and the Christian Civic League of Maine live up to their organization's name and stop using their professed Christianity as a weapon of hate (Todd Ricker, Portland Press Herald, Me.)
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  • ELCA to debate on sexuality | After years of study and a task force report, local Lutherans will begin this weekend what's expected to be heated public debate about sexuality issues (The Forum, Fargo, N.D.)
  • Child access for lesbian ex-lover | A lesbian has won a "breakthrough" legal battle over access to the two children of her former lover, who is the biological mother of the girls (BBC)
  • Lesbian ex-lover wins parental rights | A lesbian who was helping to bring up two little girls before she split up with their biological mother has won the right to share parental responsibility for them (The Guardian, London)


  • Bono leading campaign to fight AIDS | Brad Pitt is among the A-list celebrities featured in new public service announcements for a campaign led by U2 singer Bono to fight poverty and AIDS (Associated Press)
  • AIDS fighters face a resistant form of apathy | Condom distribution isn't working in New York's gay bars (The New York Times)
  • God and the fight against AIDS | Do evangelical Christian groups have a role to play in fighting the AIDS epidemic? Maybe they do, but at the moment they are engaged in an unseemly battle with secular AIDS organizations over US government contracts that could derail what little progress there has been in combating the epidemic (Helen Epstein, New York Review of Books)

Gene Robinson says Jesus might have been gay, denies it:

  • Bishop denies saying Jesus possibly gay | The first openly gay Episcopal bishop said Tuesday he is being falsely accused of suggesting Jesus might have been homosexual (Associated Press)
  • Earlier: Jesus might have been homosexual, says the first openly gay bishop (The Telegraph, London)
  • N.H. bishop's gay Jesus 'comments' spur uproar | The war of words continued yesterday between the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and a blogger accusing him of implying that Jesus may have been gay (Boston Herald)

Episcopal church:

  • Gay bishop presides over final service at N.H. church | Financial troubles, split over leader leave few in parish (Associated Press)
  • Episcopalians told to suffer for beliefs | Leaders in the Episcopal Church and its parent body, the 70 million-member Anglican Communion, told nearly 1,600 Episcopalians in Woodbridge, Va., yesterday to prepare to suffer for their beliefs and perhaps even be ejected from their denomination (The Washington Times)
  • Welsh archbishop warns Anglicans of credibility problem | The Anglican Church risks losing credibility if it cannot conduct a debate on human sexuality in a "civilised way", the Archbishop of Wales has warned (PA, U.K.)
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Church life:

  • Ringing the praises | A German church is selling Christian ring-tones for mobile phones to raise money for the restoration of its organ (Church Times, U.K.)
  • A new church? Not in their backyard | New churches in rural and suburban areas are prompting opposition from homeowners in increasing numbers (The New York Times)
  • Church plan to expand concerns Eastgate neighbors | A Tacoma church looking to expand into Bellevue's Eastgate neighborhood has gone back to the drawing board for some architectural tweaking (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
  • Reviving a church in poor condition | What does an Episcopal church in Brooklyn have in common with the Great Wall of China? (The New York Times)
  • Making churches man-friendly | Why do 13 million more women than men attend church services every week? (The Washington Post)
  • In Mexico, Catholic Church's influence wanes as evangelism grows | The Roman Catholic Church continues to be so influential in Mexico that it rivals the federal government for impact on people's lives, yet in many corners of the country, it is fast losing ground to Protestant churches (The Washington Post)
  • With groups' help, the disabled carve out a place at the altar | Activists and churches work to build accessibility and encourage greater participation (The Washington Post)
  • 'Porn Weekend' hopes to start discussion | The whole point of "Porn Weekend" at Westwinds Church was to get people talking about pornography -- and on that level it certainly succeeded (The Jackson Citizen Patriot, Mi.)
  • Claim that Jamaica has most churches worldwide a myth? | The popular view that Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other country has proven difficult to substantiate, as is the actual number of denominations, congregations, church members and affiliates islandwide (The Jamaica Observer)
  • Earlier: The island of too many churches | Jamaica's fractured fellowship is on the mend (Christianity Today, October 4, 1999)
  • Irenaios and Qorei hold talks | Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei held talks yesterday with the beleaguered Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, who pledged to cooperate with any probe into charges that the Patriarchate sold land to Jewish investors (AFP)

Missions & ministry:

  • Food banks in Appalachia try diet fare | A surplus of diet food for the overweight has been a boon for the hungry in Appalachia. Once hot and trendy, low-carb Atkins diet foods that never got sold are being shipped to food banks (Associated Press)
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  • Hunger-based lines lengthen at the faith-based soup kitchens | Soup kitchen administrators across the country are currently eying governments' trilevel budget season and wincing at all the politicians' economizing vows (Francis X. Clines, The New York Times)
  • Pastor believes Bo Bice 'anointed' as an entertainer | Bike Fest might not strike you as the most reverent event, but the Rev. Donny Acton may beg to differ (The Birmingham News, Ala.)
  • Religion Today: No man is an island, but some congregants live on them | Nurturing those year-round island communities that have survived harsh weather, isolation and economic change has been the focus of Northeast Harbor on the Maine Sea Coast Mission, a nondenominational Christian ministry that turns 100 years old this July (Associated Press)
  • Christian ties may bind US troops to South Korea | With the Cold War over, South Korea may again be on the front lines of another war - a new front line in Christendom's regional struggle - this time on the Korean Peninsula (Asia Times)
  • Quake forges friendships that transcend religion | Christians take in Muslims (The Washington Post)
  • Religious leaders to gather against violence | Friends recall slaying victim (The Boston Globe)
  • DA may open home to sex offenders | He isn't eager to do it, but no one else is stepping up, he says (Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.)
  • Promise Keepers planning stadium event after years of declining attendance | "We're at a crossroads," says co-founder Dave Wardell (Associated Press)
  • Christian body decides on change of name | The Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland is the new name and face of the organisation formerly known as ECONI (Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland) (The Belfast Telegraph)

Marriage & family:

  • May divorce be with you - but don't be surprised when it sends you broke | "Til death do us part" are increasingly optimistic words for a bride and groom to utter and, in the event of a divorce, it is the bride who will suffer most financially (The Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Marriage is greater than the sum of its parts | Maybe it isn't their wonderful qualities that make us cling to those we've chosen to marry; perhaps it's the marriage that makes us see those wonderful qualities (William Raspberry, The Washington Post)

Religion vs. secularism:

  • Future of the past | Orthodox faiths are not accustomed to interreligious cooperation -- there is no God but their own, after all -- but in the threat of secularism, they find themselves with a common enemy and a range of common hatreds (Harold Meyerson, The Washington Post)
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  • Royal wedding bells toll death of Protestantism: Anglican Archbishop of Sydney | Sydney Anglicans have been the worst offenders in distancing themselves from other Protestants and that needs to change if 'our common enemy'—secular humanism—is to be defeated, says the Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen (Anglican Media Sydney)
  • A wave of hot air | After the deluge, the God talk (Cathy Young, Reason)


  • Stealing science | Aliens of the Deep, the Imax Attack, and the Aliens of the Christian Right (Revolutionary Worker)
  • The real conflict between religion and science | Science needs moral guidance that religious values can help shape (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)
  • Evolution debate has new player | Group treads delicate territory, promotes 'intelligent design' (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
  • Quality control | The case against peer review (Daniel Engber, Slate.com)

The environment:

  • Earthy evangelist | Richard Cizik, the leader of the country's largest evangelical group, wants to get his fellow believers and the president interested in going green — but don't call him an environmentalist (The New York Times Magazine)
  • Coastline protection effort hitting the pews | Churches team up in Ezekiel 34 plan (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)
  • Soon, crossing Jordan will be a dry run | Environmentalists say the River Jordan is dying, and will soon cease to flow (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)


  • Christian student group sues SIUC | A Christian student group ordered to cut its ties with Southern Illinois University Carbondale is suing university leaders (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Law would put 'In God We Trust' in schools | The national statement of faith, "In God We Trust," has been appearing on coins since 1864, and has been the country's motto since 1956. But should it be appearing in each of Pennsylvania's tens of thousands of public classrooms? (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Pregame prayer prompts court filing | Parent wants board held in contempt (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)
  • Also: Contempt motion filed over prayers (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.)
  • Christian group's suit against Hastings moves ahead | Federal judge appears ready to toss most of case (San Francisco Examiner)
  • School district, family resolve lawsuit over Bible club invitations | Colorado school officials agree to allow fifth-grader to hand out materials promoting religious club and to pay $1 in damages, $10,500 in attorneys' fees (Associated Press)
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  • Christian law students sue Ill. university | A law school student group that requires members to pledge to adhere to Christian beliefs — including a prohibition against homosexuality — has sued Southern Illinois University for refusing to recognize the organization (Associated Press)
  • Intelligent Design, unintelligent me | For me and many other students, biology as it is usually taught, one complicated fact or term after another, is deadly dull. Introducing a little debate would excite teenagers, just as the attacks on conventional wisdom launched by my favorite high school history teacher, Al Ladendorff, always got me walking fast to that class so I wouldn't miss anything (Jay Mathews, The Washington Post)
  • The dinosaurs fear of evolution | Now we have learned that evolution in text books is not to be feared as much as evolution in the movie industry (Christopher Brauchli, CommonDreams.org)
  • Plano school district to alter religious message rule | Students could swap religious messages in suit settlement offer (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Davidson's rule change rooted in faith | Trustees endorse importance of respecting other believers (Robert C. Spach, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

King's College:

  • Church and state | King's College isn't your typical New York City institution. It's a Christian evangelical college far from the Bible belt. But its campus — office space in the Empire State Building — is about as New York as you can get. And the college is in a fight over its accreditation that is so intense it has made the tabloids (Inside Higher Ed)
  • Long live King's | Blue-state bias against a red-state kind of school (Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online)

Baylor women win NCAA tourney:

  • Lady Bears' win sparks joy across Baylor, Waco | Baylor officials have been elated at the positive publicity the university has garnered after a couple of years of all-too-public turmoil, including men's basketball scandals and Sloan's own embattled tenure (Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex.)
  • Earlier: Baylor prez search committee unites some | But while many share hopeful words like "balanced" and "moderate" to describe the presidential search committee, hints remain of the months of disputes that appeared to calm after Sloan announced last month he would step aside (Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex.)
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  • Chance at greatness, or failure, at BU | Every BU president has encountered crisis. They always will. The new one will find even a worse polarization (Thomas E. Turner Jr., Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex.)


  • Sportsview: Comment changed Masters winner | Bernhard Langer went from "Jesus Christ" to Jesus Christ (Associated Press)
  • Powell's halftime prayer works | Licensed minister scores 18 of his 20 points after break (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)
  • Ball prayers | For as long as sluggers have been hitting homers, it seems baseball and Christianity — from the Little Leagues on up to the majors — have been a pairing as traditional as a bat and ball (The Daily Camera, Boulder, Co.)

Money & business:

  • Frond supplier fights to keep company alive | Zoning issue may spell end for frond supplier (Florida Today, Melbourne)
  • For advocates of workplace religious liberty, hope springs eternal | In a nation founded on freedom of conscience, should people be forced to choose between career and Creator? (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)
  • Salt Lake City makeover stirs some controversy | The mayor of Salt Lake City is complaining about the Mormon Church's plan to reshape two shopping malls, because he thinks it will limit pedestrian traffic (The New York Times)
  • A little bit of corporate soul | The sense of loss that has marked Pope John Paul II's death reflects a heightened focus on religion -- a trend evident in U.S. workplaces (Business Week)


  • Pastor's IRS woes prompt new sermon | With April 15 looming, the Rev. Larry Miles of Richmond is advising colleagues that failure to file federal income tax returns could land you in jail (The Washington Post, second item)
  • Tax abuse rampant in nonprofits, IRS says | Charities and other nonprofits exempted from taxes because they serve a public purpose have become a hotbed of tax evasion and abuse, according to the head of the Internal Revenue Service (The Washington Post)
  • Ex-aide says faith-based giving ignored | In testimony prepared for a hearing on charities, David Kuo, former deputy director at the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, says "widespread congressional apathy and a desire for political gamesmanship" doomed the president's tax incentives for charitable giving (Associated Press)

Pastoral misconduct:

  • Pastor, 2 other men accused of real estate fraud | A Baptist church pastor and two other men face federal charges of running an alleged real estate fraud ring that duped lenders and homebuyers out of $1.5 million (Associated Press)
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  • Pastor denies role in real estate fraud scheme | A Baptist pastor pleaded innocent Thursday in federal court to swindling $1.5 million from lenders and home buyers in a real estate scam (Associated Press)
  • Misconduct has shamed pastor again | Mike Fehlauer resigned his position as senior pastor of this city's largest church in the face of pressure from church leaders and the threat of a lawsuit from a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct (San Antonio Express-News, Tex.)
  • Tree of Life senior pastor resigns | The senior pastor of Tree of Life Church has resigned his position amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with a woman (The Herald-Zeitung, New Braunfels, Tex.)


  • Lawyers detail molestation of 4 by priest in San Jose | Archdiocese of San Francisco admits abuse but urges "reasonable compensation" (Los Angeles Times)
  • Pastor held for molesting one of flock | A 61-year-old minister of a Protestant church in Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually molesting a 12-year-old girl in his congregation, police said (The Japan Times)
  • Bishop says he was unaware of molest allegations against priest | John Cummins, bishop emeritus of Oakland, told jurors he did not review the personnel file of Father Robert Ponciroli before assigning him to head a church in Antioch in 1979 (Los Angeles Times)
  • Defrocked priest arraigned on new sex abuse charges | Moments after former priest Robert Burns was arraigned yesterday on charges of raping or sexually abusing five boys from two Boston parishes beginning in the 1980s, a red-haired man strode over and taunted him (The Boston Globe)


  • 'Gilead' captures Pulitzer Prize for fiction | The novel Gilead and the Broadway drama Doubt, a parable, which both deal with religious beliefs and doubts, won Pulitzer Prizes on Monday (USA Today)
  • The crusades as history, not metaphor | The real story of the Crusades is often misrepresented for polemical reasons. But three new books try to set the record straight, or at least make the results of recent scholarship more accessible (The New York Times Book Review)
  • Do you approve of gender-neutral translations of the Bible? | Readers respond (The Washington Post)
  • Sold on working for joy and profit | Book outlines Bakke's principles (The Washington Post)
  • Saints and winners | Two new books attack the Republican monopoly on God. But are there more than two sides to the issue? (Tim Appelo, Seattle Weekly)

Theater & film:

  • Arab actors hope crusade film improves Muslim image | Arabs starring in a new Hollywood blockbuster set during the Crusades say it will enhance Western understanding of the Muslim world rather than reinforce old stereotypes, as some had feared (Reuters)
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  • A benefit of 'Doubt' | Cherry Jones may be agnostic, but she fills the stage with her spirit (The Washington Post)
  • Michael Apted has "Grace" | Walden Media has tapped acclaimed director and DGA President Michael Apted to helm the political thriller "Amazing Grace," based on the life of British anti-slavery crusader William Wilberforce, reports Variety (Dark Horizons)

Television & radio:

  • 'Revelations' looks ahead to world's end | If the end of the world really is near, you might consider spending your limited time on something better than this creepy, gloomy show. (Associated Press)
  • Networks working religion into television | Traditionally soft-focused spirituality, exemplified by "Touched by an Angel" and "Joan of Arcadia," is giving way to programs rooted in specific religions and their elements (Associated Press)
  • Right-wing radio | Religious broadcasters are squeezing community radio right off the FM dial (Sarah Posner, AlterNet)
  • Evangelicals adopt animated calling | Evangelical animators are rushing to release new, technically sophisticated cartoon versions of Jesus' life and death, aimed at children (The Orlando Sentinel)


  • Offering a new rock of ages, born-again musicians keep the faith | Hitting bottom prior to a religious conversion is a common enough scenario, but the transformation is especially dramatic through a rock 'n' roll lens (The Boston Globe)
  • Pillar of faith | Band 'tones down' Christianity to reach more fans (The Birmingham News, Ala.)
  • Music and his mission are one | U2's Bono, a longtime activist, eloquently combines his passions on a tour that targets suffering in Africa (Los Angeles Times)
  • Maynard and Jesus split: The conclusion | Just a joke, after all (MTV.com)
  • Earlier: Tool's Maynard James Keenan says he's found Jesus | Status of Tool, A Perfect Circle unclear (MTV.com)
  • Event takes pop approach to teaching teen values | Conference created by Christian rock band mixes makeovers and straight talk to influence young women (The Indianapolis Star)
  • 'Jars of Clay' revives old hymns | Released last week, "Redemption Songs" is a collection of 13 hymns and spirituals the Christian group set to modern music (Associated Press)
  • Lawsuit: Sony BMG blacklisted agent | Record executives at Sony BMG Music Entertainment allegedly tricked some of gospel music's biggest stars into firing their agent in an effort to keep company costs down and retain control over one of the industry's fastest growing markets, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Friday (Associated Press)
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Charles, Camilla wedding:

  • Royal couple to acknowledge 'sin' | Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will acknowledge "sins and wickedness" at their wedding blessing (BBC)
  • Charles to repent 'manifold sins' | Royals have roles in updated Botticelli (The Guardian, London)
  • Prince will repent in language of the past | The prayer of penitence chosen for the Service of Prayer and Dedication for the Prince and Princess of Wales, as in law they will be by then, is taken from the Communion service of the Book of Common Prayer, 1662 (The Telegraph, London)


  • Bonhoeffer: a martyr for our collective soul | Bonhoeffer protested against attempts to evade the reality of the state of western culture in his day, and to treat God as a supplement to reality or an escape from it (Richard Chartres, The Guardian, London)
  • Evangelist showed Navigators the way | Lorne Charles Sanny led the ministry's dramatic international growth but also used his counseling skills to comfort staffers (The Denver Post)
  • Meeting 'Kenya's Terri Schiavo' | Wanjiru Kihoro has been bed-ridden and barely conscious in a Nairobi hospital for more than two years (BBC)
  • Evangelist sues critic over charge | Hank Hanegraaff of O.C. says a report that he was being investigated on suspicion of fraud is false. Bill Alnor says the suit seeks to silence him (Los Angeles Times)

She's Fonda Jesus:

  • Jane Fonda revisits past in new memoir | She's a "feminist Christian" now (Associated Press)
  • And now for her third act: Jane Fonda looks over the first two | She has been, for the better part of the last decade, a committed if continually questioning Christian (The New York Times)
  • The ultimate workout | Jane Fonda Has exorcised her demons in her new autobiography (The Washington Post)

Jerry Falwell:

  • Son: Falwell does not have heart failure | Doctors have concluded the Rev. Jerry Falwell does not suffer from congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease, Falwell's son said Sunday (Associated Press)
  • Falwell leaves hospital after nine days | The Rev. Jerry Falwell was released from the hospital Wednesday after a nine-day stay for respiratory problems that his son said still have doctors stumped (Associated Press)

Other religions:

  • Church head opens 175th Mormon conference | The president of the Mormon Church opened the church's 175th conference Saturday, calling on members to "stand a little taller, lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater millennial mission" (Associated Press)
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  • Jews, Mormons to meet over baptisms | Jewish leaders claim Mormons continue to posthumously baptize Jews and Holocaust victims, and will confront church leaders with a decade of frustration over what they call broken promises (Associated Press)

More articles of interest:

  • Wrong way on religion | Religious people may say they want more coverage, but do they really? Have they forgotten what news is? Do they want stories about disgruntled parishioners and intrigue within the archdiocese, or reviews of the new pastor's lame homilies? (Edward Wasserman, The Miami Herald)
  • Christianitees: Designing women subtly minister through clothing messages | There's nothing in the Bible that says you can't spread the good word and look cute at the same time (The Modesto Bee, Ca.)
  • Expert questions artifacts' credentials | Educator discusses how forgers feed on faith (Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.)
  • Teens: Intercourse riskier than oral sex | About one in five ninth-graders report having had oral sex and almost one-third say they intend to try it during the next six months, a small study of teens at two California schools reports (Associated Press)
  • Public health vs. personal | Many of today's health-care problems can be traced to a blurring of the important distinction between public health and personal health (Robert F. Sanchez, UPI)
  • Charities going beyond required controls to regain their donors' confidence | While corporations have been fighting to regain investor confidence in the wake of accounting scandals, charities and other nonprofits are moving to convince donors that their money will be well spent (The Washington Post)
  • God has a purpose for all of us | We may feel like we are on the run from our problems with no purpose, as Brian Nichols was, but we don't have to keep running because God has a purpose for our life. The secret is to slow down and take the attention off ourselves and focus on God and other people (Cathy Genthner, Portland Press Herald, Me.)

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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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