1. Protestant chaplain at Georgetown: God told us to kick out InterVarsity and others
"Blessings and may God's peace be upon you!" begins a letter to six evangelical groups from Constance Wheeler, the Protestant chaplain at Georgetown University. The letter then explains that effective immediately, the ministries

will no longer be allowed to hold any activity or presence (i.e. Bible studies, retreats with Georgetown students, Mid-week worship services, fellowship events, move-in assistance, SAC Fair, etc.) on campus. … Additionally, all websites linking your ministries to a presence at Georgetown University will need to be modified to reflect the terminated relationship. Your ministries are not to publicize in any literature, media, advertisement, etc. that Georgetown University is or will be an active ministry site.

It's God's will, Wheeler explained. "While we realize this comes as a great disappointment, please know we are moving forward with this decision only after much dialogue with the Lord. We have enjoyed working with your ministries in various capacities over the years and will always keep your ministry in our prayers."

While the Protestant chaplain's office may have enjoyed working with the ministries, the problem, according to several sources and a university spokesman, was that the office wanted more control over them.

"With this restructuring has come a desire in the Protestant chaplaincy to build the ministry from within Georgetown and its Protestant student leaders rather than rely on outside groups or fellowships," Erik Smulson told various news sources. "Hopefully this restructuring of the chaplaincy will provide a more consistent and focused effort to work with the Protestant students to ensure that their spiritual needs are being met."

Smulson was even more direct with The Washington Post, explaining that (in the Post's paraphrase) the Protestant chaplaincy "wants more control over its on-campus ministries." "It was hard for Campus Ministry to keep track of them," he said.

Tim Ratp, an adult leader of the Crossroad Campus Christian Fellowship, told the Georgetown student newspaper, The Hoya, that administrators he met with told him that they "have no idea what we're doing, and therefore [they don't] want us on the campus."

Not that school officials haven't tried to control these groups before. First Things editor Jody Bottum writes,

There was something odd going on last year when Campus Ministries demanded that the evangelical groups sign a statement promising not to "proselytize nor undermine another faith community." And there was something even odder when it was done in the name of the school's Catholic tradition—by the Protestant chaplains in the official Georgetown office. … There's an obvious irony here—employed too often to be surprising—in which people begin by protesting in the name of diversity against centralized authority, and later discover, once they're in charge, how useful those old forms of authority can be in controlling diversity.
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The "proselytizing" ban wasn't the end of it (InterVarsity leader Kevin Offner told The Washington Times that it wasn't quite a ban on all evangelism, "but I do think we need to be careful in our defining of words and terms.") According to Inside Higher Ed, group leaders also had to sign a statement "expressing respect for the Catholic faith as a legitimate path to God." The groups also had to agree to send staff members to joint Protestant religious services. And that's where there may be a problem with the chaplaincy's desire to "work with the Protestant students to ensure that their spiritual needs are being met."

The services, Offner told Inside Higher Ed, didn't meet the spiritual needs of evangelical students. "It's not that our students hate" the official Protestant chaplains, he explained. "This just isn't how they want to worship, and we don't all worship the same way."

Inside Higher Ed has many reader comments.

2. Cross-eyed in Scotland
Sometimes missing a story is a good thing. There was quite an uproar in British papers over the weekend about Artur Boruc, the Polish goalkeeper for Celtic Football Club, who was allegedly warned by Strathclyde Police that he could be arrested on breaching the peace charges for making the Sign of the Cross in front of fans of a rival Glasgow team, the Rangers. Celtic fans are generally Catholics; Rangers fans are often Protestant Unionists. Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Britain's equality office) even defended the Sign of the Cross on the BBC. It turns out, however, that police warned Boruc about "making 'come on' gestures," not for crossing himself. But that's not terribly interesting, so Scottish politicians and others are still arguing about the Sign of the Cross.

3. Remarriage after divorce still called adultery in the Church of God of Prophecy
The Pentecostal denomination originally split from the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) "over disagreements, in part, over divorce and remarriage," The Tennessean explains. "Two years ago, the denomination voted to give local churches greater flexibility in allowing people remarried after a divorce to become members. Previously, pastors had to seek exceptions from state overseers for such individuals to join their churches." Last week, the denomination was due to consider changing its stance that remarriage after divorce is a form of adultery. But the general overseer of the church, Bishop Fred S. Fisher Sr., put off official debate until 2008.

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"No, no groaning," Fisher said, according to The New York Times. "The counselors have felt along with me that it would be improper to push this over."

Want some background reading in preparation for next year's battle (which, if we've learned anything from other denominational fights, will surely be hotter now that it has been postponed)? When Christianity Today posted its editorial on "The Christian Divorce Culture" in 2000, we also posted online our 1992 series on divorce and remarriage. Scroll down this page to read it.

4. Uganda cease-fire went in effect today
"The truce does not include details on disarming the rebels or integrating them into Ugandan society," the Associated Press notes today. "Those terms will be part of a final accord to be negotiated at talks in Juba, Sudan, with leaders of Sudan's southern region serving as mediators." Uganda has also promised not to turn leader Joseph Kony over to the International Criminal Court, which has issued arrest warrants. So, as with so many cease-fires, the peace may not yet be won.

5. David Jenkins banned from local pulpits
For all those who thought it was a bit odd that Greg Boyd lost 1,000 of his 5,000 members for criticizing conservative politics rather than for arguing that God doesn't know the future, here's a much better story. David Jenkins, the former Bishop of Durham, argued against the physical resurrection of Jesus, the literal truth of the Bible, and the continued existence of his own Church of England. But it wasn't until he used the words "bloody" and "damn" in a sermon that he got was banned from two area churches. Ah, priorities.

Quote of the day
"The Republicans didn't want the government to run your life, because Jesus should. That was really part of their thing: less government, more Jesus. Now it's like, how about more government and Jesus?"

South Park co-creator and libertarian Trey Parker

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Georgetown ousts evangelical groups | Embryonic stem-cell research | Vashti McCollum | No Sign of the Cross ban | Steven Flockhart | Terry Hornbuckle | Plan B | Film and theater | Missions & ministry | Media | Sexual ethics | Women | Lawsuits | Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army | Sudan | Books | Church life | Catholicism | Hurricane Katrina | Abuse | Crime | Ohio clergy back Blackwell | Politics (U.S.) | Politics (non-U.S.) | Politics and sex | Religious freedom | New charity rules | Education | Sports | History | EU Constitution | Islam | Apartheid | Strip club on church land | Money and business | Other stories of interest
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Georgetown ousts evangelical groups:

  1. Georgetown U. ejects private ministry groups | Six Protestant organizations affected (The Washington Post)

  2. Campus ministry removes affiliates | Citing a desire to centralize the administration of Protestant campus ministry groups, Georgetown abruptly severed its ties with all of its affiliated ministry organizations last week, barring several long-established religious groups from campus (The Hoya, Georgetown U.)

  3. Georgetown rejects evangelical groups | Catholic university known for welcoming people of other faiths confronts Protestant divisions (Inside Higher Ed)

  4. Georgetown bars ministries from campus | Georgetown University has banned outside Protestant ministries from holding on-campus events and using the school's name, prompting group leaders to question whether the prestigious Catholic school is restricting religious choice (The Washington Times)

  5. Georgetown rediscovers its Catholicism | There's an obvious irony here—employed too often to be surprising—in which people begin by protesting in the name of diversity against centralized authority, and later discover, once they're in charge, how useful those old forms of authority can be in controlling diversity (Joseph Bottum, First Things)

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Embryonic stem-cell research:

  1. Critic alleges deceit in study on stem cells | Report's basic facts are unchallenged (The Washington Post)

  2. Vatican critical of stem cell creation | A Vatican official on Saturday criticized a new method of making stem cells that does not require the destruction of embryos, calling it a "manipulation" that did not address the church's ethical concerns (Associated Press)

  3. Embryonic war | Scientists and ethicists put the latest stem-cell 'breakthrough' under the microscope (Newsweek)

  4. Archbishop Burke blasts stem cell proposal | St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke contended Monday that a ballot proposal to protect some forms of embryonic stem-cell research was really seeking "the legalized destruction of human life (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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  1. Stem cells without embryo loss |Opposition to the new extraction method illustrates the great lengths to which scientists must go to shape research to fit the dictates of religious conservatives (Editorial, The New York Times)

  2. Science by press release | More hype from stem cell entrepreneurs (Wesley J. Smith, The Weekly Standard)

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Vashti McCollum:

  1. Vashti McCollum, 93, who brought landmark church-state suit, is dead | Vashti McCollum's lawsuit to stop religious instruction on school property led to a landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 1948 (The New York Times)

  2. Vashti Cromwell McCollum dies at 93 | Won her case against religion in schools (Los Angeles Times)

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No Sign of the Cross ban:

  1. Storm as goalkeeper pays Sign of the Cross penalty | Scotland inflamed as Celtic player gets legal caution for religious gesture (The Guardian, London)

  2. Footballer is cautioned for blessing himself | A Roman Catholic footballer who blessed himself during a match has been cautioned by police after it was decided his behaviour had been provocative and had led to crowd trouble (The Times, London)

  3. Kelly risks raising tensions on bigotry in football | Ruth Kelly risked inflaming a row over religious bigotry in Scottish football yesterday when she questioned the decision to caution a Celtic goalkeeper who blessed himself during an Old Firm match (The Times, London)

  4. Ruth Kelly's speech on integration and cohesion | Full text of the speech by the community and local government secretary at the launch of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion (The Guardian, London)

  5. Update: Goalkeeper's caution not for cross sign, Crown Office insists | Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc was cautioned not for blessing himself, but for making provocative gestures, the Crown Office revealed last night in a bid to silence growing condemnation of the legal move (The Scotsman)

  6. Also: Sign of the cross by Celtic goalkeeper 'was not an offence' | The Crown Office stressed that the 26-year-old goalkeeper was not reprimanded for crossing himself during an Old Firm match last season, but for other gestures he had made to the Rangers fans (The Independent, London)

  7. Britain must unite behind our shared values | The correct way forward is obvious. As a country, we ought to insist on certain shared civic virtues - personal freedom, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law—without fussing about how people eat, dress or pray. This is not a new formula (Editorial, The Telegraph, London)

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  1. Cross to bear | The Crown Office says Artur Boruc's caution was for more than just blessing himself in front of Rangers' support, but the incident shows Scottish football is still torn by sectarianism (Richard Wilson, The Times, London)

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Steven Flockhart:

  1. 'I ask your forgiveness' | First Baptist pastor Flockhart's lies on resume led to his resignation (Palm Beach Post)

  2. Pastor's fall from grace, resignation tied to résumé lies | The First Baptist pastor in West Palm quits abruptly (Palm Beach Post)

  3. First Baptist congregation reflects on ex-pastor | The Rev. Steven Flockhart lied, and for leaders of the venerable First Baptist Church West Palm Beach, it came down to that (Palm Beach Post)

  4. Earlier: Tales of financial flaws follow pastor to W. Palm megachurch (Palm Beach Post, Aug. 13)

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Terry Hornbuckle:

  1. Hornbuckle gets 15 years in prison for sexual assaults | On Monday, he stood silent in a Tarrant County courtroom and listened as one of the women he raped called him the devil (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  2. Hornbuckle handed 15 years | Pastor must serve at least half; rape victim tells him 'you are evil' (The Dallas Morning News)

  3. Agape attendance building up again | Renee Hornbuckle told the congregation Sunday that a series of guest speakers would help Agape Christian Fellowship through "this time of transition" (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  4. Can pastor find his way back to pulpit? | Rape conviction makes Hornbuckle's return unlikely, not impossible (The Dallas Morning News)

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Plan B:

  1. Contemplating Plan B | How are campus health officials responding to the availability of the morning after pill over the counter? (Inside Higher Ed)

  2. Access to Plan B may have limited effect | The cost of the drug and the nausea associated with it likely will continue to limit its use to women who are "highly motivated" (Associated Press)

  3. New York women see 2 sides of prescription-free morning-after pill | From East Village cafes to the streets of East Harlem, women recount tales of broken condoms, and nights of drinking that led to bad decisions and unwanted pregnancies (The New York Times)

  4. Battle Plan B | Just because the Food and Drug Administration finally did most of what it should have done years ago—it approved the "morning after" pill for sale without a prescription to women who are at least 18— doesn't mean this battle is behind us (Bonnie Erbe, Scripps News)

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Film and theater:

  1. Seeking entry-level prophet: Burning bush and tablets not required | A filmmaker has offered a musician $5,000 to start his own religion, with a film crew tracking his efforts (The New York Times)

  2. Science vs. religion in Southern California | Crispin Whittell's play transforms the argument between science and creationism into a comedy (The New York Times)

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Missions & ministry:

  1. African dream inspires charity | Raising awareness of the continent's Aids epidemic while dealing with donor fatigue is proving difficult (The Times, London)

  2. For 56 years, battling evils of Hollywood with prayer | The sisters at the Monastery of the Angels pray for the strangers on Hollywood Boulevard, just two blocks away (The New York Times)

  3. Repair of Mission San Miguel is a dirty job but many want to do it | State and federal funds for the restoration of California's deteriorating missions have been held up by legal challenges, and the church at San Miguel remains a closed-off hulk, severely cracked from earthquakes and tottering from time (Los Angeles Times)

  4. For Sin City, the antidote | In its own quirky way, Las Vegas Boulevard accommodates and even markets to the spiritual needs of guests (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Global ministry supports offenders here at home | Prison Fellowship partners with churches, county (The Washington Post)

  6. The gospel truth on faith-based myths | Some evangelicals have taken on e-mail myth-busting as a ministry (The Virginian-Pilot)

  7. No booze, no groping and the youngsters love it | The DJs are altar boys and girls. There are voice-recognition security checks, rules against lingering kisses and even bleeped versions of Eminem's hits are too dirty to play (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  8. Missionaries in reverse | Patrick and Helen Mukholi go from Nairobi to Oxford (The East African Standard, Kenya)

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  1. Faith and the funny pages | Though other comics occasionally address religious themes, until now mainstream newspapers and syndicates have largely avoided strips that make religion central (John Leland, The New York Times)

  2. American Idolatry | The culture of resentment runs so deep in the American character that the self-pitying drone of immiserated farmers, amplified by the petulant adolescents of the 1950s as a remonstration against parental authority, now dominates the musical life of American Christians (Spengler, Asia Times)

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Sexual ethics:

  1. Remarriage issue gives denomination an identity crisis | The Church of God of Prophecy stopped short of changing its official teaching that people who remarry after divorce are adulterers (The New York Times)

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  1. California governor signs GLBT bias bill with no religious exception | In California, the Campaign for Children and Families is criticizing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signing on Monday of SB 1441 that adds "sexual orientation" to the law that prohibits discrimination by any program that receives state financial assistance (Religion Clause)

  2. Gays must change, says archbishop | The archbishop of Canterbury has told homosexuals that they need to change their behaviour if they are to be welcomed into the church (The Telegraph, London)

  3. Minister seeks more acceptance of gays | An interview with Ann B. Day. of Open and Affirming (The Boston Globe)

  4. Security raised for gay festival | Organizers hope to avoid confrontations with evangelical Christians but say they'll be prepared (Sacramento Bee)

  5. Churches' anger against vaccine for cancer in girls | Schoolgirls as young as nine could be given a controversial vaccine to protect them against a virus which causes cervical cancer, it emerged yesterday (The Herald, Glasgow)

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  1. Clergywomen find hard path to bigger pulpit | Women in the clergy still bump against what many call the stained-glass ceiling — limits and prejudices within their denominations (The New York Times)

  2. In defense of the (inevitable) ordination of women | This is not designer religion or cafeteria Catholicism. This is the passionate need for wholeness and fullness of life promised by Christ himself through baptism. (Gloria C. Endres, Philadelphia Daily News)

  3. Wife, mother … priest | Eileen Mccafferty Difranco is one of eight women ordained on July 31 by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, a group that aims to bring about what it considers gender equality within the Catholic Church - in defiance of the church hierarchy (Philadelphia Daily News)

  4. Literalism blocks Bible's big picture | First Baptist Church of Watertown, N.Y., fired Mary Lambert for being a woman. They say the Bible told them to do it (Leonard Pitts, The Miami Herald)

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  1. Priests, helpers at Novena Church sued over alleged exorcism | The Novena Church, two priests and seven helpers are being sued for an alleged act of exorcism, in an incident believed to have taken place two years ago (Channel NewsAsia, Singapore)

  2. Jackie Mason in court to sue Jews for Jesus | The comic and rabbi filed a lawsuit this week against the group, concerning a free pamphlet using his name and a caricature of his face (The New York Times)

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  1. Wife's religious spoofs become central in custody case | Son never attended any of mother's SubGenius events, but New York gave sole custody to father (Religion Clause)

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Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army:

  1. Cease-fire brings hope to Uganda | A cease-fire between Uganda's government and a shadowy rebel movement that has terrorized this east African nation for nearly two decades went into effect Tuesday (Associated Press)

  2. Rebel 'prophet' signs deal to end 20 years of fighting | Uganda signed a deal to end two decades of war with the Lord's Resistance Army rebels, raising hopes that almost two million people will return home after enduring the massacres and mass abduction of children that marked one of Africa's longest wars (The Times, London)

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  1. Southern Sudanese wonder if nation can remain united | More than 18 months after peace agreement, many Sudanese still wonder whether their 500 different ethnic groups using 130 languages and a variety of religious beliefs can live in harmony (Reuters)

  2. Sudanese Islamists threaten to fight U.N. Darfur force | Sudanese Islamist leaders say they will take up arms against United Nations peacekeepers if they deploy to Darfur, and some have warned they will also fight the Khartoum government if it agrees to the force (Reuters)

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  1. Book: Horse-and-buggy Mennonites thrive | The original community of 1,000 adults and children has grown to nearly 18,000 people living in nine states, including New York (Associated Press)

  2. Onward Christian soldiers | The real story behind the missions undertaken in God's name. Christopher Silvester reviews God's War: A New History of the Crusades by Christopher Tyerman (The Times, London)

  3. A holy vagabond | R. W. Johnson reviews The Troublemaker: Michael Scott and His Lonely Struggle Against Injustice by Anne Yates and Lewis Chester (The Times, London)

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Church life:

  1. Bishop banned from pulpit for swearing | David Jenkins, the former Bishop of Durham who survived a storm in the 1980s when he questioned the literal truth of the resurrection, has been banned from preaching in two of his local churches for swearing in the pulpit (The Times, London)

  2. Churches keep on pushing into Lodi greenbelt | The land, outside the cities' limits, is zoned for agricultural purposes. But the county has always exempted churches from that restriction, and in October a Sikh temple is scheduled to become the third religious complex to open on land zoned for agriculture between Stockton and Lodi (The Stockton Record, Ca.)

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  1. Church's anti-American display causes religious outcry | A controversial art installation in a Marylebone church is causing outrage amongst the religious community. David Hogan has set up an exhibition attacking America in Hinde Street Methodist Church (Marylebone Express, England)

  2. A church rebounds with player's assist | Pastor Minnie Stackhouse and her son Jerry, the NBA player, dedicate a church in Kinston that cost a bundle to renovate (The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)

  3. Churches hunger for young clergy | Ministerial ranks thin on leaders under age 35 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  4. Worship with art: Church has vision for visual | Images taken from Gothic cathedrals flow and fade on the wall-sized screens. In front of them, the worship pastor looks a little Goth (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  5. In pictures: Russia cathedral fire | The 18th century Trinity Cathedral in St Petersburg, Russia, is famed for its 80-metre-high central dome made of wood (BBC)

  6. Church row now goes to court | One of Kenya's oldest churches linked with the struggle for independence has obtained court orders restraining a splinter group from invading any of its churches (The East African Standard, Kenya)

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  1. Pope prepares to embrace theory of intelligent design | Philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals close to Pope Benedict will gather at his summer palace outside Rome this week for intensive discussions that could herald a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution (The Guardian, London)

  2. Busy as a b(ishop): He stays on the go | Thomas Wenski deals with earthly issues and heavenly matters in Central Florida (The Orlando Sentinel)

  3. Claim of miracle studied for archbishop to be beatified | If the late Catholic televangelist Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is eventually beatified, it will be due, in part, to testimony concerning a miracle that is said to have occurred in the Pittsburgh region (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  4. Catholic Church hopes message stick will aid reconciliation | The Catholic Church says it hopes a message stick that has completed a journey around Queensland will inspire new respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (ABC, Australia)

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Hurricane Katrina:

  1. Uninsured losses high for archdiocese | Archbishop Alfred Hughes disclosed a new, much higher estimate of uninsured property damage to the churches, schools and other buildings of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in a status report Monday (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

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  1. Compassion on the scene | Marvin Olasky on Katrina, before and after (National Review Online)

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  1. DA to decide whether to charge bishop | Sonoma County investigators said they have enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against a bishop who waited several days before reporting allegations of child sexual abuse by a fellow priest (Associated Press)

  2. Baker House founder responds to allegations | The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III said yesterday that immediately following allegations of rape and wrongdoing in the Dorchester community center he founded, he launched a top-to-bottom review of safety and supervision at the Ella J. Baker House, installing surveillance cameras on every floor open to children and intensely scrutinizing staff members (The Boston Globe)

  3. Also: Investigation, report promised at Baker House after rape allegations (The Boston Globe)

  4. More charges likely in church abuse, authorities say | So far, five leaders of reclusive church communities have been charged (The News-Leader, Springfield, Mo.)

  5. Also: Pastor posts bond, not talking to authorities | George Otis Johnston turned himself in to authorities Friday afternoon (The Neosho Daily News, Mo.)

  6. Fresno diocese pays $875G in sexual abuse case | Lawyer has five more lawsuits from 2003 scheduled for court (The Fresno Bee, Ca.)

  7. Monsignor admits sex with teens | Bishop sends letter to parishioners of St. Therese's saying their former priest admitted to "unchaste behavior" with high school girls (Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

  8. Lawsuit against diocese won't be delayed | Judge refuses to wait for witness in abuse case to go hunting (Green Bay Press Gazette, Wis.)

  9. The principle of no smoke without fire | A trusted professional in north London has had criminal charges hanging over him for nearly two years, but now they have been dropped. In the meantime he has been punished for crimes he did not commit, by being removed from a responsible public position and cut off from his friends and neighbours, all the time knowing that gossip made him an object of speculation. Even now he is banned from returning to work (Christopher Howse, The Telegraph, London)

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  1. Painter said to be focus of FBI probe | The FBI is investigating allegations that self-styled "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade and some of his top executives fraudulently induced investors to open galleries and then ruined them financially, former dealers contacted by federal agents said (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. What drove the preacher's wife? | No one knows why Mary Winkler killed her minister husband. With few facts, a small Bible Belt town in Tennessee has many theories (Los Angeles Times)

  2. U.S. priest acquitted of sodomy in Kenya | A 70-year-old U.S. Catholic missionary was acquitted of sodomy by a Kenyan Court after no evidence was presented, a magistrate said on Monday (Reuters)

  3. An Enron twist: convicted but not guilty? | A legal precedent could clear Ken Lay, the firm's late founder, making it hard for the US to tap his estate (The Christian Science Monitor)

  4. Porvoo arson trial begins | Defendant told friends of intentions before fire (Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki)

  5. Also: 18-year old Finn stands trial for arson of Porvoo Cathedral | The chief prosecutor of Porvoo district court, Petri Vaaja, stated on Monday his belief that the arson of Porvoo cathedral was motivated by a hatred of Christianity (NewsRoom Finland)

  6. Jury backs woman's harassment claims | A Kansas City jury decided this week that placing pornographic pictures in a worker's Bible, plus other unwelcome actions, constituted harassment meriting a $101,000 award (The Kansas City Star)

  7. Bring Kaiser's killers to book, clerics demand | Six years later, few answers (The Nation, Kenya)

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Ohio clergy back Blackwell:

  1. Pastors stand up for Blackwell | Democrats seek names of donors behind TV attack ad (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  2. Ministers back Blackwell, challenge IRS | Strickland calls criticism of his convictions inappropriate' (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

  3. Ohio GOP hopeful gets church backing | Equating their movement to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, a group of conservative pastors from across the nation endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell on Monday (Associated Press)

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Politics (U.S.):

  1. Christian group sues over campaign rules | A Christian conservative group filed suit earlier this morning in a Tallahassee federal court challenging laws that prevent judicial candidates from discussing their views on the campaign trail (The News-Press, Ft. Myers, Fla.)

  2. Harris tries to douse furor over remarks to Baptists | Says she did not mean to offend non-Christians (The Orlando Sentinel)

  3. Also: Harris clarifies comments on religion | Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government" (Associated Press)

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  1. McCain would consider Bob Jones invite | Republican Sen. John McCain says he would consider speaking at Bob Jones University, a school he criticized during the 2000 presidential campaign for its ban on interracial dating and anti-Catholic views (Associated Press)

  2. S. Dakota becomes abortion focal point | Voters to decide fate of state ban (The Washington Post)

  3. Is it politic to preach on politics from the pulpit? | An Orange County rabbi found that some congregants objected, so she formed groups to explore the issue and now tempers her words (Los Angeles Times)

  4. We trust in motto without a new resolution | "In God we trust" is part of our nation's heritage and should remain so (Editorial, Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.)

  5. South Park refugees | I have bad news for the G.O.P. regarding that promising new bloc of voters, the South Park Republicans. It turns out they're not Republicans, at least not anymore (John Tierney, The New York Times)

  6. Apocalypse now | An eminent biologist implores evangelicals to go green (Edward O. Wilson, The New Republic)

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Politics (non-U.S.):

  1. In Mexico, the cardinal and the 'crazies' | Religion colors politics as Catholic leaders take stand on presidential fight (The Washington Post)

  2. Religion shouldn't be left to the Right | Kevin Rudd speaks Mandarin, which may, just may, be useful in the future. More important, he speaks fluent Christian, which is mightily important right now. As we approach the next election, Rudd could be the ALP's secret weapon (The Australian)

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Politics and sex:

  1. Senate hopeful explains anti-gay columns | U.S. Senate candidate Stephen Laffey said he regrets that he wrote columns denigrating gays when he was a college student (Associated Press)

  2. Ala. Democrats reinstate gay candidate | An openly gay candidate was reinstated Saturday as the Democratic Party's nominee for a seat in the Alabama Legislature in a vote that turned more on the race of the candidates than sexual orientation (Associated Press)

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Religious freedom:

  1. Oregon employers must consider religious beliefs | All Oregon employers have an obligation to reasonably accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of an applicant or employee, unless to do so would cause an undue hardship for the employer (The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.)

  2. Christians on death row in Indonesia seek clemency | Three Christian militants facing execution in Indonesia after being convicted of leading a mob that killed Muslims have made a fresh appeal to the president for clemency, a presidential spokesman said on Monday (Reuters)

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  1. Also: Poso trio renews clemency request | Three Christian militants facing execution in Central Sulawesi for leading a mob that killed Muslims have made a fresh appeal for presidential clemency, their lawyers and a presidential spokesman said Monday (The Jakarta Post, Indonesia)

  2. Report: Auxiliary bishop in China freed | An auxiliary bishop in China's underground Catholic church has been released after a decade in prison, the Vatican-affiliated Asia News agency reported Saturday (Associated Press)

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New charity rules:

  1. Charities expect more cash, less trash with new law | Changes allow direct gifts from certain IRAs, set quality standards for donations of goods (Chicago Tribune)

  2. Charitable donations get stricter tax rules | Soon you'll need a receipt or canceled check for every gift. And those old jeans must be in 'good' shape (Los Angeles Times)

  3. A cause for change | New legislation may help charitable organizations receive more money and less junk (Newsday)

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  1. Blessing of school draws protest | Ceremony violated separation of church and state, ACLU says (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  2. Back to normal? | As Bridgeport High School students head back to school, a civil liberties group prepares for another legal showdown—this time with the Harrison County board of education (The State Journal, W.V.)

  3. 'Abstain from evil' was once a lesson in pupils' textbooks | In early American public schools, there was no separation between church and state. Tenets of Christianity were embedded in almost every lesson and book, including spelling, reading, history, grammar, arithmetic and science (The Wall Street Journal)

  4. School board successfully defends against claim it promoted Baptist doctrines | An elementary school student and her father sued a school board in Marion, Illinois and its superintendent alleging that the superintendent, who was also a church deacon, was using the public schools to indoctrinate students with teachings of the Baptist faith (Religion Clause)

  5. When schools silence God talk | Every school year, unreasonable restrictions of free speech come to the fore in this country simply because educators — and, for that matter, some ACLU chapters — don't have a clear understanding of the First Amendment (Nat Hentoff, USA Today)

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  1. NMSU, coach face ACLU suit | The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against New Mexico State University and its head football coach Hal Mumme, alleging three former football players were discriminated against because they are Muslim (Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.)

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  1. Our father who art at home plate | CFL, NHL interested. Sports teams swayed by Christian group to fill the stands (National Post, Canada)

  2. Church to probe poaching scandal | The Uniting Church is launching a "thorough investigation" into Haileybury College, its elite affiliated school, after complaints from other schools that it has poached their students (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

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  1. 13th-century papal letters returned | A collection of letters written by popes and kings some 700 years ago that was found among the possessions of a deceased U.S. World War II veteran was turned over Monday to Polish national archives officials (Associated Press)

  2. In touch with the infinite | The centenary of the birth of John Betjeman is a good opportunity to re-examine the role faith played in his poetry (Terry Philpot, The Guardian, London)

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EU Constitution:

  1. EU needs constitution with Christian reference, Merkel says | "I underlined my opinion that we need a European identity in the form of a constitutional treaty and I think it should be connected to Christianity and God, as Christianity has forged Europe in a decisive way," says German chancellor (EU Observer)

  2. Merkel backs more Christian EU constitution | Europe's "Christian values" should be enshrined in a new version of the EU constitution, the German chancellor declared yesterday after meeting the Pope (The Guardian, London)

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  1. Achilles' heel | Just as there are rapists who tell themselves their victims are genuinely in love with them, so no doubt there are those who believe that faith can be enforced at the point of a sword (Mark Steyn, The New York Sun)

  2. Curate likens bombers to Christian crusaders | The London bombers are being bracketed by a former Yorkshire curate with Christian crusaders. Both share the "same religious passion," he says (Yorkshire Post, England)

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  1. Ex-apartheid minister sparks debate | A former police minister whose name is synonymous with the brutal repression of the white establishment's political opponents during apartheid has apologized for his past actions, a government official said Monday (Associated Press)

  2. Feet washed in apartheid apology | A prominent South African clergyman and opponent of apartheid has told how an apartheid-era minister washed his feet in a gesture of contrition (BBC)

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Strip club on church land:

  1. Strip club boss defies threats | Strippers performed at a Hobart bar last night in defiance of an ultimatum from the Anglican Church which owns the premises behind St David's Cathedral (The Sunday Tasmanian)

  2. Church moves to shunt strippers | The trustees of the Anglican Church are considering their legal options for removing an adult entertainment venue operating on church premises next to St David's Cathedral in Hobart (ABC, Australia)

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Money and business:

  1. Paying it forward | A Southern California pastor was hoping for a multiplier effect when he gave 100 parishioners $100 each to go out and help others. Now he has started a movement (The Chronicle of Philanthropy, sub. req'd.)

  2. As bigger retailers cut into Christian book market, smaller stores shift focus | Books filled with lessons of faith and Christian values once filled an entire room of Patti St. Clair's shop in Tunkhannock. Now, customers at Paradise Book and Gift Shop have just one wall's worth of titles to peruse (Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.)

  3. Christian books moving toward the thought-provoking | An interview with Bill Anderson (Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.)

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Other stories of interest:

  1. Air ban on woman in blasphemy row | A devout Christian was banned from flying with the budget airline Easyjet after she asked staff to "stop blaspheming" (The Telegraph, London)

  2. Religious leaders gather for peace talks | Religious leaders from around the world gathered Saturday for a conference in western Japan on promoting peace and preventing war (Associated Press)

  3. 'They say I ate my father. but I didn't' | Barely school-age when relatives labeled her a witch, Naomi found herself cast out on the streets. Her story is a common one in Congo (Los Angeles Times)

  4. Bar none | History shows that, however commendable the reasoning, efforts to control how people drink — or eat, or smoke — tend to backfire (Jack Turner, The New York Times)

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What is Weblog?

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August 25 | 24 | 23
August 15 | 11 | 10
August 4 | 1
July 28 | 27 | 26
July 21 | 19
July 14 | 13 | 12b | 12a | 10
July 7 | 6 | 5 | 3

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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