'Justice Sunday':

  • Frist set to use religious stage on judicial issue | Senator Bill Frist will participate in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking the president's nominees (The New York Times)
  • Justice Sunday | The Family Research Council says anticlerical judges pose a greater danger than al-Qaeda (Rob Garver, The American Prospect)
  • Justice Sunday: Stop the Filibuster Against People of Faith (Family Research Council)

Politics:

  • Believers aim to 'reclaim' America | People of faith are confronting the gathering tide of secularism and a coarser culture in a variety of ways (The Washington Times)
  • Preaching to candidates unconverted | Evangelical Christian ministers beseeched voters on Wednesday to defeat the mayoral candidates who support same-sex marriage (The New York Times)
  • House GOP kills Dems' latest ethics move | Call to prayer echoes 2000 chaplain controversy, some say (Associated Press)
  • Senate panel to vote FDA chief soon, chairman says | The U.S. Senate health committee chairman said on Thursday he had dismissed allegations in a "smudged" anonymous letter and planned on his panel voting this month to confirm Lester Crawford as the new Food and Drug commissioner (Reuters)
  • The true meaning of a fundamentalist Christian | As Christians, Falwell et al need work on the fundamentals (Byron Williams, WorkingForChange.com)
  • Left gets religion about God | The success of the religious right is emboldening some liberals to set aside their usual qualms about keeping church separate from state (Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times)
  • Is Bush an evangelical? | Maybe. Maybe not. But let's get to the real question: Is Bono? (Religion News Service)

Church and state:

  • High court asked to end religious teatime | A small Christian group's drinking of ceremonial tea could be curtailed if the Bush administration has its way before the Supreme Court (Legal Times)
  • Does Pa. believe in God? | If our kids really were taught Pennsylvania history -- other than just learning the state name roughly means "Penn's woods" -- they would understand the symbiotic relationship among God, Christianity and religious tolerance in the founding of the state (Dimitri Vassilaros, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
  • I'm uneasy with Jesus' law-enforcement system | We Christians are the worst about depending on law enforcement to tell us whether we are good people (Doug Mendenhall, Huntsville Times, Ala.)
  • Moses on a big rig | The Ten Commandments have become a golden calf (Janet MacFarlane, CommonDreams.org)

Public prayer:

  • Wiccan bias suit against Va. county dismissed | A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the way Chesterfield County conducts the invocation at its Board of Supervisors meetings, dismissing a lawsuit filed by a local Wiccan priestess who said she was excluded from leading the brief prayer (The Washington Post)
  • 4th Circuit rejects Wiccan's bid to lead prayer at county meetings | Judges say Virginia board of supervisors has included leaders from a variety of religions and therefore hasn't advanced any one faith (Associated Press)

Education:

  • Evolution flap riles East Porter | The East Porter County School Board has delayed the adoption of biology textbooks because they don't mention creationism, a theory that a divine being is responsible for the creation of life (Post-Tribune, Merrillville, Ind)
  • Board gets a taste of evolution debate | The State Board of Education questions intelligent design proponents in a preview of next month's hearings (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)
  • Students want Bibles in rooms ban | A students' association has called for the Bible to be removed from more than 2,000 university rooms because it could offend non-Christians (BBC)
  • Also: Students vote to ban Bibles 'to be fair to other faiths' (PA, U.K.)
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Religious freedom:

  • Statement saddens evangelicals | The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) has expressed regret over a government minister's remarks that Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Indonesia were banned (The Star, Malaysia)
  • Woman cop lodges assault case against Christian hostel's administrator | A woman police constable lodged on Wednesday a case of assault and battery against the administrator of Brenton Carey Hostel, Ms Ghazala Shafiq, and 15 other Christian women at Frere police station (Daily Times, Pakistan)
  • Conference will focus on those persecuted for their faith | Founder says many Christians don't know 'what it's like to die for believing in Jesus Christ' (The State, Columbia, S.C.)

Abuse and crime:

  • Accused pastor out on bail | Sad, shocked Lutheran church to get interim cleric (Pensacola News Journal, Fla.)
  • Yesterday: Pastor charged in sex case | Lutheran minister arrested after meeting officer posing as minor (Pensacola News Journal, Fla.)
  • Online-sex sting nets pastor who served in DeLand (The Orlando Sentinel)
  • 2 priests, 1 former cleric leave jobs abroad after News report | Story disclosed that they had sexually abused children in U.S. (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Some defend pastor in indecency case | Minister was accused by boy at earlier church; he says he was cleared (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Victim's mother sues pastor who shot him | Mielke knew he wasn't threatened by burglars, lawyer says (Anchorage Daily News, Ak.)

Eric Rudolph:

  • Eric Rudolph reveals motives for bombings | During a two-year series of bombings in the Deep South, Eric Rudolph considered himself a warrior — against abortion, which he calls murder, and a government that permits it (Associated Press)
  • Rudolph's manifesto has clinics on edge | "When one of these extremists puts out a call to action, oftentimes, others do try to follow in their footsteps," said Vicki Saporta, head of the National Abortion Federation, which represents 400 U.S. clinics. "He clearly is speaking to the extremists who believe in justifiable homicide" (Associated Press)
  • Eric Rudolph's legacy | Rudolph may be put away for all time because he used deadly violence. But there are still many people doing his bidding—including the Bush administration and those who want to ban gay marriage (Derrick Z. Jackson, The Boston Globe)

Life ethics:

  • U.S. bill would help women get birth control | Addressing the growing controversy over U.S. pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control or emergency contraceptives, several lawmakers on Thursday unveiled a bill that would require pharmacies to fill all prescriptions (Reuters)
  • Martyrs and pestles | Should pharmacists be allowed to refuse to dispense birth control? (Dahlia Lithwick, Slate)
  • Crypt used for abortion service | A pregnancy and abortion counselling service has been given permission by a Church of England committee to set up in a church crypt (BBC)

Oregon gay marriage:

  • Court nullifies Oregon's gay marriages | Advocates of same-sex unions promise to keep trying. Conservative groups say the ruling, which voids about 3,000 licenses, settles the issue (Los Angeles Times)
  • Oregon Supreme Court invalidates same-sex marriages | Oregon's highest court ruled that 3,000 same-sex marriages performed a year ago in one county were unlawful, saying that the county had overstepped its authority (The New York Times)
  • Court annuls gay marriages | Oregon justices nix 3,000 licenses but don't rule on civil unions (The Oregonian)
  • Religious officials react swiftly to court's decision | Bible provides different interpretations for community members (Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.)

Marriage and family:

  • Anti-gay 'Day of Truth' signs up 1,150 | The inaugural Day of Truth, seeking to mobilize students who believe homosexuality is wrong, attracted 1,150 participants Thursday at about 350 schools nationwide, according to the conservative group which launched it in response to the far larger, gay-supportive Day of Silence (Associated Press)
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  • Confusion and gays | Look inside the Connecticut laboratory (William F. Buckley Jr., National Review Online)
  • Pastor says: 'I do, I do' | A Limpopo pastor has shocked his community by marrying two women (News24, South Africa)
  • In another era, teen mom was cautionary tale | I just can't get past a line in Barrino's song: "Nowadays it's like a badge of honor, to be a baby mama" (Donna Britt, The Washington Post)

Anglicanism:

  • Episcopal priest leaves for Druids | The former Downingtown rector said it was "a joyous occasion" (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Akinola unveils plans for US | The Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, has announced the formation of a Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America. He describes the organisation as a "safe harbour" for Nigerian Anglicans who feel unable to worship in the Episcopal Church in the US (Church Times, U.K.)
  • Rectors to visit over Episcopal feud | Claiming solidarity with the embattled Connecticut priests, six rectors from other states are traveling to Connecticut to preach this Sunday at the six priests' churches (The Hartford Courant, Conn.)

Church life:

  • Leading Baptists from old scandal | The Rev. William Shaw, president of the 7-million-member National Baptist Convention (USA), has tried to steer his denomination out of an era of scandal (The Birmingham News, Ala.)
  • Split threatens AME Church | The internal fight within the African Methodist Episcopal Church has reached an unprecedented stage with the involvement of lawyers to calm the storm that is threatening the unity of the church (New Era, Namibia)

Catholicism:

  • In Latin America, a religious turf war | Although Brazil has more Roman Catholics than any other country in the world, it is witnessing a boom in evangelical Protestantism that could dramatically alter the religious landscape in the next 20 years (Los Angeles Times)
  • Also: Pentecostalism luring away Latino Catholics | It's not just in Latin America—It's in the U.S., too. (The Boston Globe)
  • Vatican is rethinking relations with Islam | After two decades of contact and dialogue with the Islamic world under Pope John Paul II, the Vatican is rethinking an outreach program that critics say is diluting Catholicism and has brought almost no benefits to beleaguered Catholic minorities in Muslim countries (The Washington Post)
  • Priest says he spent collections on estate | Admits money went to $3.5m horse farm (The Boston Globe)
  • How many votes has the Pope? | John Paul II, George W. Bush and the changing Catholic voter (Patrick Basham, Reason)

Orthodox:

  • Death of a patriarch | The man who tried (but failed) to unify America's Orthodox church (Alexander F.C. Webster, The Wall Street Journal)
  • From Russia, sympathy and suspicion | Orthodox eulogies of Pope John Paul tinged by a millennium of mistrust (The Washington Post)
  • Antiochian Orthodox bishop will be enthroned | Many evangelical Protestants in search of a "true apostolic Christianity" found the Antiochian Orthodox church a comfortable fit, theologically and socially (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • An unorthodox Orthodoxy | Eastern churches should break with Moscow (Zeyno Baran & Emmet Tuohy, National Review Online)

Missions & ministries:

  • Why museums trump churches | Organizations supported by the poor -- religious organizations, in particular -- benefit less from our tax system. (Arthur C. Brooks, The Wall Street Journal)
  • Religion Today: The return of Promise Keepers? | After several years of change, Promise Keepers has scheduled 19 arena events this year around the country, believing its message is just as relevant now as it was 15 years ago (Associated Press)
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  • Cleric has ecological sermon: Save the earth as well as souls | GreenFaith wants churches to install solar panels and adopt windmills (NorthJersey.com)

Christian culture:

  • And the band prayed on: Spoofing Christian rock | Sean Anders, co-creator of the film Never Been Thawed and the spoof band the Christers, hopes those who loathe Christian rock will enjoy the group's escapades. He hopes those who love it will, too (The Arizona Republic)
  • Religion in the News: The new Christian T-shirts | Strongly worded religious apparel, with phrases like "My God can kick your god's butt," is a growing trend (Associated Press)

TV and film:

  • Some like it less hot | Hollywood wages war on "family friendly" film versions (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)
  • When dogma meets drama on television | Soft-focus spirituality on TV gives way to programs with a more explicit religious viewpoint. Will audiences accept it? (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • I want my, I want my, I want my PTC | What happened to the Parents Television Council's "Worst Clips of the Week"? (Dana Stevens, Slate)
  • Indecency wars | Activists who beat back the FCC on media consolidation are dismayed to find former allies leading an unprecedented effort to restrict radio and TV content (Eric Boehlert, Salon.com)

More articles:

  • Religious man wants to rename Mt. Diablo | Art Mijares applied to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for the change and suggests naming the mountain Mount Kawukum, which he believes has American Indian roots (Associated Press)
  • Religion news in brief | Nigeria's Anglican leader denounces U.S. Episcopal bishops' actions on gays, Alabama parish quits national Episcopal church, World Evangelical Alliance appeals to United Nations on religious liberty, and other stories (Associated Press)
  • Darfur can't wait | On Tuesday, scores of nations pledged $4.5 billion over the next two years to try to avert starvation among those devastated by the earlier savage civil war, partly by building roads and other infrastructure. That represents a welcome start on repairing vast damage in one area of the country, but it unfortunately leaves the people of Darfur no better off (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)
  • A Christ for conservatives? | He'll challenge you, if you let him in (Carol Iannone, National Review Online)
  • The passion of Aramaic | Trying to unravel the mysteries of Aramaic is like embarking on an odyssey across the deserts, mountains and valleys of the Middle East and onwards to Europe and North America (The Jerusalem Post)
  • Easter event negated need for Commandments | Remember Easter? Christians are urged to celebrate the sheer wonder of that formative feast for 50 days. Sadly, after just 20, it is a forgotten holy day (Steve Gushee, Palm Beach Post)
  • GodAssault: Morality as the ultimate game | If you play it right, you'll win a change in fortune--if not here, then in the after-life (Lisa Lambert, Mother Jones)
  • GIs find shelter in faith | Every patrol down bomb-laden Iraqi roads is an act of faith for many of the soldiers here (The Denver Post)
  • Is religion good for health? Studies say amen | Two studies released Wednesday are adding to the growing body of research that religion is good for your health (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Life in the slow lane often dangerous for Amish | Car, carriage crashes not uncommon (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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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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