Planned Parenthood Is Told to Show Children's Files
Judge Kenneth Johnson ruled yesterday that Planned Parenthood of Indiana must comply with the state's request for the medical records of 84 patients under the age of 14. "Under Indiana law, anyone under 14 who is sexually active is considered a victim of sexual abuse, and health providers are required to report such cases to the state authorities," according to The New York Times.

"The great public interest in the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse trumps even the patient's interest in privileged communication with her physician, because in the end, both the patient and the state are benefited by the disclosure," Judge Johnson, of Marion Superior Court, wrote.

Planned Parenthood vowed to fight the decision and said it would not turn over the medical records. But state officials argued that they need to determine if Planned Parenthood, which is a Medicaid provider, failed to report child abuse.

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who is fighting a similar battle with Planned Parenthood, is watching the court fight in Indiana, writes the Associated Press. He "has been accused of conducting a fishing expedition in seeking access to the records of 90 patients from Dr. George Tiller's clinic in Wichita and the Overland Park clinic operated by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri."

Judge Johnson ruled that turning over medical records to state prosecutors does not violate the constitutional protection against invasion of privacy and unreasonable searches. Kline spokesman Jan Lunsford said the attorney general is "encouraged by the Superior Court judge in Indiana's ruling, given that our case is very similar."

Hammering back
Millard Fuller launched his new homebuilding organization this week. The Fuller Center for Housing is the new name for Building Habitat, which Fuller founded after being ousted as CEO of Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat sued Fuller for using its name, so Fuller changed it rather than fight a lawsuit. "We do not want to use our resources and our time and our energies to fight somebody in court over a name, and we don't want them using their resources for that reason either," Fuller said.

In his new venture, Fuller said he expects to do "a lot of the same work with a lot of the same people." "This new organization is going to support Habitat affiliates and other nonprofit housing groups," he told The Birmingham News. "I did not get fired by local affiliates. I'm going to continue to support local Habitat affiliates. We will raise money and dispense the money in grants to build houses all over the world."

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He dismissed the sexual-harassment allegations arose at the time of his firing. "The whole thing was a bogus deal from the get-go," he said. "I named the organization. When I was booted out, I was the only CEO Habitat had had in 29 years. Then they started talking about getting rid of me because I wasn't a good leader. I was named CEO of the year by Non-Profit Times, and we built homes for a million people in 3,700 locations. How do you define a good leader?"

The Americus Times Recorder says Fuller "wants to make sure the Fuller Center for Housing keeps strong and caring Christian values. He wants the new organization to be a shining light of God's love and inspiration."

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RLUIPA ruling:

  • Supreme Court rules in Ohio prison case | The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that a new federal law requiring prison officials to meet inmates' religious needs is a permissible accommodation of religion that does not violate the separation of church and state. (The New York Times)
  • Religious freedom for inmates upheld … with exceptions | The US Supreme Court yesterday ruled that states cannot prevent inmates from practicing the religion of their choice, unless allowing them to do so can be shown to be a burden on the system or facility. The unanimous decision held that providing religious accommodations is not a violation of the separation of church and state. (The New Standard, NY)
  • Court upholds inmates' religious rights law | A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a federal law designed to protect the religious rights of prisoners in a ruling involving followers of unconventional religions like Satanism and Wicca witchcraft. (Reuters)
  • Court upholds religious rights of prisoners | The Supreme Court today upheld the right of prisoners to practice religion behind bars, even if their observances are rooted in atypical beliefs like polytheism, Satanism and white supremacy. (The New York Times)
  • High court sides with inmates on religion | The Supreme Court sided with a witch, a Satanist and a racial separatist Tuesday, upholding a federal law requiring state prisons to accommodate the religious affiliations of inmates. (Associated Press)
  • Prisoners' religious rights law upheld | Statute bars burdens on observances (Washington Post)
  • Prisoner religious liberties law upheld | Prisoners in state custody are entitled to broad federal protections for religious practice in prison, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a unanimous decision that upheld a five-year-old law on religious liberties. (New York Sun)
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  • Court upholds prisoners' religious rights | Justices say unusual faiths must be accommodated (MSNBC)
  • Court upholds law on prisoners' religious rights | The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously upheld a law requiring prisons to provide worship time and ceremonial materials for a wide range of inmate religious practices, in a case that saw evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews passionately back the rights of a Satanist, a witch, and members of a white-supremacist sect. (Boston Globe)
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Church & the Air Force Academy:

  • Religious differences part of cadet training | Air Force Academy's program urges respect (Washington Post)
  • Cadet e-mail casts shadow on bias policy | The Air Force Academy's top cadet commander, who graduates today, sent an e-mail to all underclassmen Tuesday making more than a dozen references to the Bible and several to Jesus. (Colorado Springs Gazette, Col.)
  • Cadet leader's e-mail cites Bible | The outgoing AFA wing commander's note comes as the academy looks into claims of religious bias. (Denver Post)
  • Chaplain being unfairly disciplined | I most vigorously protest the non-American treatment of Air Force chaplain Morton of the Air Force Academy in Colorado. This courageous officer pointed out the religious intolerance that some evangelical Christian staff members of the academy and cadets were perpetrating on non-born-again Christian cadets as well as Jewish, atheist, Catholic and non-Evangelical Christian cadets. (Rabbi Sidney D. Shanken, Sun-Sentinel, Fla.)
  • Leap of faith | As with the many sexual assault charges that plagued the Air Force Academy, the truth on military leaders proselytizing one faith needs to come out. Then an evenhanded, nonsectarian approach to religion needs to be instituted at the service academy, one that also confers no penalty or disadvantage on Air Force officer cadets for reasons of faith or lack of it. (Editorial, Toledo Blade)
  • The anti-fan: Faith and arrogance at Air Force | Air Force Academy football coach Fisher DeBerry tells non-Christians they're wrong by hanging a banner in his team's locker room that says, in part, "I am a Christian first and last … I am a member of Team Jesus Christ," and, a former player says, by always directing the team's locker-room prayers exclusively to Jesus. (Jim Gordon, The New Mexican)
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  • AFA's top cadet sent e-mail quoting Bible | Message called an example of religious problem at academy (Associated Press)

Religion & politics:

  • The (culture) war of the Word | I have come to realize that the great divide in values is not between those who believe in God and those who do not but between those who believe in a divine text and those who do not. (Dennis Prager, Los Angeles Times)
  • Christians' attention too focused on state | If we blame all of our country's current problems on the failure of the state to acknowledge God, what does that say about the church? After all, isn't the church a public acknowledgement of God? When congregations pray, aren't they engaged in public prayer? When the Bible is read, doesn't that count as Bible reading? (James L. Evans, Atlanta Journal Constitution)
  • Did he who made the lamb make thee? | Post-Reagan evangelicals, however, fueled by fictional fears of being "left behind" in the second coming, still take their scripture with a strong dose of literalness. (Michael Shermer, New York Sun)
  • One nation under God's interpreters | That little episode of ecclesiastic meddling, minor though it may be, is symptomatic of an increasing level of theocratic muscle flexing in this country. (David Rossie, Press & Sun-Bulletin, N.Y.)
  • Calvin College protest encouraging | Calvin College in Grand Rapids is "a comprehensive liberal arts college in the Reformed tradition of historic Christianity," according to its Web page. Surprisingly it recently became the site of a minor confrontation between those on the right, especially the religious right, who support President Bush's policies, and those religious conservatives who object, especially to Bush's Iraq policy. (Henry Silverman, City Pulse, Mich)
  • Missouri shifts hundreds more of area's foster care cases | Hundreds of additional foster children in St. Louis and across Missouri will have their cases managed by private agencies, under the biggest privatization push ever within Missouri's child protection system. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Gay rights & same-sex marriage:

  • California appeals judge's ruling on gay marriage | California's attorney general on Tuesday appealed a San Francisco judge's finding that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. (Reuters)
  • Colorado governor vetoes gay-rights bill | Gov. Bill Owens vetoed a bill Friday that would have outlawed workplace discrimination against gays. But he allowed a measure to take effect extending protection to gays under Colorado's hate crimes law. (Associated Press)
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Religious freedom:

  • Bush refers to 'very complex relationship' with China | "I've always brought up issues such as the Dalai Lama, or the Catholic Church's inability to get a bishop into the country, or the need for the country not to fear evangelicals, but to understand religious freedom leads to peace." (FinFacts Ireland)
  • Bush to push China on religious, press freedom | US President George W Bush said yesterday that he expected China to deal with world trade "in a fair way" and that he would continue to push Chinese leaders to allow greater religious freedom and freedom of the press. (AFP)
  • Police detain 7 in wake of Indonesia bombings | Indonesia detained six men and a woman under anti-terrorism laws in the wake of twin bomb blasts that killed 22 people in an eastern Christian town, police said on Wednesday, but did not give their names. (Reuters)
  • On the road to pluralism? Courts reflect Savarkar's view of Hinduism | A 'way of life' seems a perfectly sensible way to describe the pluralism and fluidity of Hinduism. That's how the Supreme Court prefers to define Hinduism. But ironically, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the sangh parivar use the same mantra to justify their pet project of Hindutva. How did this overlap between an apparently liberal understanding and an exclusivist vision of Hinduism occur? (The Times Of India)


  • Forces surround southerners | Sudanese security forces have arrested 250 people after surrounding an illegal shanty town full of southerners displaced by two decades of civil war. Machine guns mounted on pick-up vehicles pointed at the ramshackle houses in Soba Aradi which is in a suburb of the capital, Khartoum. (Addis Tribune, Ethiopia)
  • Annan upset by Darfur devastation | UN chief Kofi Annan has called for rapid action to end violence in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, during a visit he described as "heart-wrenching". (BBC)

War, & terrorism:

  • Bishops take fresh look at finding a case for war | Church of England and Roman Catholic theologians are working to come up with a new definition of what is a "just war" in the modern world of international terrorism. (Times, London)
  • Lombardo shares his passions as Morris honors its veterans | The Rev. Steven Lombardo said he has a passion for the fundamentals and principles on which this nation was founded. (Morris Daily Herald, Ill.)
  • Church urged to reconsider investments with Israel | The Anglican Church is to consider a report calling for it to dispose of its holdings in companies doing business with Israelis who "support the occupation of Palestinian lands". (Times, London)
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  • Corned-beef cans recycled to the glory of God | Our correspondent discovers how a PoW hut in a Cardiganshire village was converted into an Italian chapel. (Times, London)
  • Clergy seeking adventure: the Army needs you | The Army is trying to recruit 100 clergy in the next year with promises of adventure, travel and better money. (Daily Telegraph, UK)

Life ethics:

  • Brownback's idea | Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, yesterday called for restrictions on the number of embryos that could be created during fertility treatments, hoping to lessen the number of unwanted embryos left over when the procedures end. (The Washington Times, second item)
  • Was Jesus an Embryo? | Tom DeLay says it's so. We asked some of Beliefnet's columnists and writers to tell us what they think. (Beliefnet)
  • Cloning team calls for IVF egg donations | Women having fertility treatment are to be asked to donate eggs purely for therapeutic cloning research by the scientists who last week announced the creation of Britain's first cloned human embryo. (Times, London)

Creation & evolution:

  • How to Teach?: Sandhills Creation Society hears Gardner | "Evolution is a religion and is not science," said James Gardner, speaking recently at a Sandhills Creation Society meeting at Calvary Memorial Church in Southern Pines. "Creation is also a religion, and people are free to choose whichever they want to believe — but both are religions. It's not a matter of science versus religion." (Southern Pines Pilot, N.C.)
  • Darwin debate | Eighty years after the Scopes "Monkey Trial,'' the battle between those who support the validity of biological evolution and those who oppose it rages on in America and we doubt the split in religion and science will ever point a finger to the same page in the history book. (Midland Reporter Telegram)
  • Evolving in Kansas | A self-interested New Englander might hope that the Kansas Board of Education comes out decisively against teaching evolution. That would put at least one state at a disadvantage as it competes for biotech business. (Editorial, Boston Globe)

Westminster Abbey vs. Da Vinci Code:

  • Westminster Abbey counters Da Vinci Code | Westminster Abbey has issued tour guides with information sheets to help them correct the factual errors in the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. (Press Association, UK)
  • Westminster to correct tourists on 'Da Vinci Code' | Churchmen at Westminster Abbey have grown so tired of answering questions about "The Da Vinci Code" that they announced Tuesday they would issue information sheets to correct "factual errors" in the runaway bestseller. (Agence France-Presse)
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  • Abbey staff get Da Vinci 'facts' | Guides at one of London's most famous churches are being given fact sheets to help answer queries about its role in the controversial Da Vinci Code book. (BBC)
  • "The Da Vinci Code" film will not be shot in Westminter Abbey | "We cannot commend or endorse the contentious and wayward religious and historic suggestions made in the book, nor its views of Christianity and the New Testament," the Abbey said in a statement. (EITB, Spain)
  • Abbey bars 'Code' | Director Ron Howard was denied permission to film part of "The Da Vinci Code" in Britain's Westminster Abbey because church officials denounced Dan Brown's novel as "theologically unsound." (New York Daily News)
  • British abbey rejects Da Vinci Code film plans | Producers of the upcoming movie based on the blockbuster novel "The Da Vinci Code'' were not allowed to film in Britain's Westminster Abbey after church officials denounced the book as "theologically unsound.'' (Reuters)

Church life:

  • The Devil's Handiwork? | A church laid waste by its pastor's bizarre behavior. (Newsweek)
  • I'll coax change, says bishop | Adelaide's new Anglican Archbishop-elect says he believes in gentle change. (Courier-Mail, Australia)
  • Claysville Church rededicated | In 1849 the Claysville Bible study was formed and one year later the church was constructed. From 1849 to 1946 the church served as a United Brethren congregation. From 1946 to 1969 it was Evangelical United Brethren and upon transformation into United Methodist the church dwindled. (Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune, W.V.)
  • Snoop on your worshippers to find out how much they are worth, vicars told | Vicars are being urged to look out for Jaguars and Mercedes in their car parks in order to identify wealthy churchgoers who can boost parish coffers. (Daily Telegraph, UK)
  • Fewer Danish children baptized | Denmark's Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs says fewer families are having their children baptized in the national Evangelical Lutheran church. (UPI)
  • Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission takes online donations for specific projects | Donors can choose among projects ranging from Nepal water supply to Botswana disabled rehabilitation (Helsingin Sanomat, Finland)
  • Wireless broadband goes to church | A vicar in Cardiff is offering wireless broadband access from the pews of his church, alongside traditional weddings, christenings and Sunday services. (BBC)
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  • Vicar who lied to jury faces jail | A vicar who admitted lying on oath to a jury has been told by a judge that he may be sent to prison. (Daily Telegraph, UK)
  • Autumn of a patriarch | As tangled tales go, the crisis in Jerusalem and the meeting it has precipitated in Istanbul do not get much better. (BBC)


  • Beer mat ads to recruit priests | The Roman Catholic Church has decided to use beer mats and posters as part of a campaign to recruit more priests. (BBC)
  • 'Abusive' nun barred from flight | A woman claiming to be a Franciscan nun has twice been barred from boarding a flight from Shetland to Aberdeen. Sister Ruth Augustus said that British Airways would not allow her to fly because she was carrying a two foot statue of the Virgin Mary. (BBC)
  • The installation of Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin | In a joyous and majestic ceremony, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin assumed his seat yesterday as the new spiritual leader for Catholics in Rhode Island, telling his new flock "if our faith is strong, then hope must prevail." (Providence Journal, R.I.)
  • Catholic Church prepares for cold war with evangelists | Statements by Pope Benedict XVI and the appointment of San Francisco Archbishop William Levada signal a Holy See ready to counteract the expansion of evangelical groups worldwide. (Pacific News Service)
  • Pope set for live link-up at Murrayfield | Bob Geldof has invited the Pope to Scotland to conduct a mass at Murrayfield stadium to coincide with the Make Poverty History march in the run-up to the G8 summit. (Scotsman)

Missions & ministry:

  • Religious retreat to be dedicated this week | The Dan and Janet Cronin Conference Center at Broom Tree Retreat and Conference Center will be dedicated and blessed Thursday at the facility near Irene, about an hour from Sioux Falls. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader, S.D.)
  • In Hawaii, a ministry for uncalm waters | Mr. Ontai and about 25 other young surfers, members of a ministry group based in Hawaii known as Surfing the Nations, live in a compound-like setting in a former kimchi factory in Kalihi, one of Honolulu's poorest immigrant neighborhoods. Worn surfboards hang from the rafters in the rec room, where the group's members skateboard, play Ping-Pong and chat about missions to less-developed Asian nations. (The New York Times)
  • Children's home made famous by Beatles closes | A British children's home immortalized in the Beatles hit ``Strawberry Fields Forever'' closes on Tuesday after 69 years of looking after Liverpool's disadvantaged youngsters. The Salvation Army said all the children had left the Strawberry Field home and childcare provision at the Beaconsfield Road site ended today. (Reuters)
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  • Homeless: 'prayer won't feed the needy' | A minister has called on Christians in Peterborough to give more help to the homeless after a man died alone on a park bench.Antony Slack says churches should open their doors to those sleeping rough to prevent tragedies like the death of Nigel White. (Peterborough Evening Telegraph, UK)
  • Promise Keepers spokesman praises UA for allowing event | Promise Keepers national spokesman Steve Chavis praised the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville on Tuesday for allowing the men's organization to hold its rally at Reynolds Razorback Stadium later this month. (Arkansas News Bureau)
  • Support grows for Christian theme park idea | Ambitious plans to raise £144m to create a Christian theme park in Yorkshire are gathering pace. (Yorkshire Post Today, UK)

Scotish Kirk:

  • Church partners criticise mission funding decision | Churches from around the world have criticised the Kirk for failing to consult with them over its decision to end funding for overseas missionary work. (Scotsman)
  • Crisis, what crisis? Let's cheer up, Moderator tells Kirk | The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland insisted last night that the Kirk was not in crisis, and told churchgoers to shake off their "despondency" about its future. (Scotsman)
  • Kirk web ads agreed from on high | The Church of Scotland is on the lookout for a commercial sponsor for its website, after agreement from the General Assembly. (BBC)
  • Members say website ads will devalue their Church | The Church of Scotland yesterday pushed ahead with plans to have advertising on its website, despite dire warnings from members that it was heading down "a dangerous road" that could lead to it being commercialised and devalued. (Scotsman)
  • Preaching to the converted | Call me converted, but I felt that by Friday, a clear picture of the Kirk had emerged. The Church of Scotland is a broad church which embraces contradictions and complexities with compassion and discipline. Agnostics may still safely graze there. (Scotsman)

Gay minister faked rape claim:

  • Gay minister faked a rape claim | A minister ashamed of his homosexuality faked a rape claim to get out of the church, Manchester Crown Court heard. (BBC)
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  • Cleric convicted over false rape claim | A minister who falsely claimed to have been raped and knocked unconscious by a mystery attacker was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice yesterday. (Guardian, UK)

American Family Association boycotts Ford:

  • American Family Association boycotts Ford | A conservative Christian group launched a boycott against Ford Motor Co. Tuesday, saying the second-largest U.S. automaker has given thousands of dollars to gay rights groups, offers benefits to same-sex couples and actively recruits gay employees. The AFA recently ended a nine-year boycott of The Walt Disney Co. over Disney's decision to extend benefits to same-sex couples and promote gay-related events at its theme parks. The boycott appeared to have little effect. (Associated Press)
  • Another swing of the pocketbook | Christian activist group goes after Ford Motor Co. (MSNBC)


  • Victim was 'definitely a hero,' says close friend | Kip White was a spiritual man, talented folk singer, passionate mountain climber and someone who served as an excellent role model through his actions, according to one of his closest friends. "He wasn't the kind of evangelical you'd be turned off by," his friend said. (Aspen Times, Col.)
  • Traveling preacher bears cross, delivers message | A transient's tales of the American roadway, of walking desert highways and big-city streets. A traveling preacher's tales of healings, baptisms and finding lost faith. (Scranton Times, Penn.)

Film & theater:

  • Film review: The King | British documentary filmmaker James Marsh has collaborated for his first narrative feature, "The King," with hot screenwriter Milo Addica ("Monster's Ball," "Birth") to create a horror story that is as pretty as a candy box but contains only poison. The production is an accomplished piece of mischief-making that directly confronts religious conviction -- in this case Christian -- with its worst nightmare: Can you really forgive evil? (Hollywood Reporter)
  • Has Hollywood had a conversion experience? | The entertainment landscape these days is crowded with books, movies, and television shows that feature spiritual story lines and Christian characters. (Voice of America)
  • New Testament scholar compares the 'Jesus of Hollywood' to the historical one | Gibson may genuinely believe that what he has presented in his film is the same as history, but the claim itself is demonstrably false," she said. "Gibson, in his script, picked and chose from among all four Gospels—an element here, an instance there—creating from his montage a fifth 'gospel' that has never existed." (Stanford Report, Stanford University)
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  • Beyond belief | Cornerstone Theater's biggest show yet brings its faith-based series to a close (Los Angeles Daily News)


  • Spirituality with spin | A new series puts God back on the box by giving your soul a makeover. But is TV divinity the answer to our angst? (Times, London)
  • TV sex is bad for teenagers - so look away now | Sexually graphic reality shows featuring bed-hopping contestants are hampering the drive against teenage pregnancy, a key adviser on sexual health warns today (Observer, UK)

Religion & spirituality:

  • Ghosts cast darker shade on store | Staff and customers at a lighting shop in North East Lincolnshire have been turning a whiter shade of pale after a spate of ghostly goings-on. (BBC)
  • Nobody comes to the study of religion without baggage | Many primary school teachers would say they are less comfortable with religious and moral education (RME) than other parts of the 5-14 curricular programme. At a time when 5-14 is under review and Education Minister Peter Peacock is committed to "decluttering" the curriculum, some teachers will be secretly hoping the nature of RME and time devoted to it will come under careful scrutiny. (Scotsman)
  • Seeking the divine truth inside a Greek island cave | St. John's cave is actually just a shallow scoop of silent space beneath a head-high overhand of basalt. Jesus' beloved apostle didn't even have a raised niche to call a bed -- just the cold, damp floor of the grotto, where a hammered silver halo now marks the headache-inducing spot he was forced to lay his head. (Beverly Kelley, Ventura County Star, Calif.)
  • New study shows students are commonly spiritual | A recent study conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at the UCLA suggested that spiritual development is a high priority among college students. (The North Carolina State Technician, N.C. State)
  • Jesus, is this news? | No matter how much columnists and media critics bemoan the sorry state of American journalism, no matter how low the press sinks in the estimation of the American people, the news media, particularly on television, remains defiantly abysmal. Now, on top of the usual toxic doses of runaway brides, irrelevant celebrity trials and President Bush holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah, we have the rise of Jesus News. (In These Times)
  • True dialogue means embracing difference | For Christians the question of the validity of Judaism challenges some of the proclamations of Christian triumphalism. The issue is whether Christianity can differentiate itself from Judaism without asserting itself as opposed to, or simply the fulfilment of, Judaism. Christian theologians have begun to think along these lines and to consider the implications of Paul's argument that God has not forsaken the people of Israel (Romans xi, 25-6). By abandoning its historical animosity and misleading caricature of Judaism, Christianity has developed a closer relationship with "the elder brother". (Times, London)
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  • 'Lost' tribe of Israel recognized | When Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi, announced recently in Jerusalem that he accepted the Bnei Menashe as one of the 10 "lost tribes" of Israel, Mr. Singson began to believe that God had finally smiled on him. (Washington Times)
  • Brazilians explore Jewish roots | A new Brazilian documentary film tells the story of Catholics in the country's northeast who practice some Jewish traditions - whether or not they know it. (Baltimore Jewish Times)


  • Head to head: Pakistan's mixed-sex row | Should women and men be allowed to take part in mixed sports events? Pakistan has recently witnessed confrontations and violence in the city of Lahore when a mixed-sex race was broken up by the police. A week later participants defied a ban on such races. The BBC News website has invited two leading figures on either side of the debate to argue their case. (BBC)
  • Why Muslims distrust the West | Today we are in another age of great change, and there are Muslims who are suspicious of the reforms foreigners would impose. They fear what America may have in mind for them. Today many perceive in rapid and all-encompassing Westernization a threat to their religion, just as the sepoys did a century and a half ago. (H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe)
  • The inner mullah shouts, but he's no cheerleader | After living several months with Muslims in rural Pakistan last year, I saw the birth of my inner mullah. And it hasn't gone away. Of course, I don't agree with this mullah of mine. Not anymore. But if an American, non-Muslim woman who calls herself open-minded can grow this kind of voice, imagine the challenge of changing the mind of the average Pakistani. (Cara Anna, Los Angeles Times)
  • Inner mullah? 'yo' momma!' covered women might say | Unlike many foreign journalists, Cara Anna has found insight into the complex and often contradictory nature of Pakistani society. I don't, however, agree with all her conclusions. As a Pakistani woman and journalist, I agree that the political mind-set of some people in my country needs to change. But it's not an "inner mullah" that dictates women's behavior in Pakistan. It's culture, actually. And trying to change the fundamentals of my nation's culture is a bad idea for several reasons. (Ammara Durrani, Los Angeles Times)
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Ethical wristbands made using 'slave labor':

  • Ethical wristbands made using 'slave labour' | Wristbands sold to raise money for a campaign against world poverty are made in Chinese sweatshops in "slave labour" conditions, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal. (Daily Telegraph, UK)
  • Poverty wristbands manufactured 'unethically' | Wristbands purchased by British charities as part of the Make Poverty History campaign have been manufactured in conditions that breach international ethical standards, it emerged yesterday. (The Guardian, UK)
  • Anti-poverty bands made with forced labour, Oxfam says | White wristbands sold by the Make Poverty History coalition were made in Chinese factories accused of using forced labour, it has been disclosed. (The Independent, UK)

UK teen pregnancy:

  • Pregnancy is a male problem | Blaming young single mothers is a diversion from one overlooked factor: irresponsible young males (Michael Gove, Times, London)
  • How can teen pregnancies be reduced? | A government minister has appealed to families to help tackle the UK's high teenage pregnancy rate. (BBC)
  • Teen pregnancy: Why are rates rising? | The debate on how best to tackle teenage pregnancy has arisen again as latest figures show the rate in under-16s in England and Wales has increased. (BBC)

More articles of interest:

  • What's love got to do with it? Everything. | In a new book, a marriage historian says romance wrecked family stability. (Newsweek)
  • Face to face with death | The funeral industry is opening up to newcomers who want to comfort families in mourning. (Newsweek)
  • Fans Flock to Church after 'Marvin Miracle' | The evangelical pastor told The Times newspaper: "Our church is becoming a place of pilgrimage and I believe that this is just the beginning. (Scottish Press Association)
  • The day the Pope stole my shades | Bono, rock star and champion of the poor, tells Michka Assayas the secrets of his pursuit of the powerful (Times, London)
  • Christian Fellowship gives Druse NIS 1 million | One million shekels will be given to the Israeli Druse community by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), more than quadrupling the current funding given to the Druse by the government. (Jerusalem Post)

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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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