1. Coaches can "take a knee" during student-led, student-initiated prayer, federal judge rules
East Brunswick High School football coach Marcus Borden quit, then rescinded his resignation and sued instead, after the school district issued a rule that "representatives of the school district cannot participate in student-initiated prayer." Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh supported each of Borden's arguments: that the rule was too vague, too broad, and violated constitutional protections of free speech, free association, and privacy. The school says it won't appeal the ruling. The Home News Tribune rightly notes that the case has "national implications." Weblog has searched in vain for the actual decision, but the newspaper summary suggests that the broad principle is that a coach's joining in student-led, student-initiated prayer is a constitutionally protected sign of respect, not a constitutionally banned sign of endorsement.

2. Jury finds Baptist Foundation of Arizona leaders guilty of fraud, but not theft
Christianity Today has been following the Baptist Foundation of Arizona case ever since the Phoenix New Times raised questions in 1998. The story is coming to a close, but the book isn't shut yet. That's because only part of the book was thrown at former foundation president William Crotts and former legal counsel Thomas Grabinski yesterday. The two men, explains The Arizona Republic, "were accused of shifting bad assets to 'off the books' companies out of sight of the auditors to hide the foundation's considerable losses, while publishing favorable financial statements to keep the investors' money pouring in."

When it was over, more than 11,000 investors were out $570 million. Monday, a jury convicted the two men of three counts of defrauding investors and one count of knowingly operating an illegal operation. That's enough for a maximum penalty of 86 years in prison—but the jury acquitted them of 23 counts of theft. "They got caught up in something they couldn't get out of," one juror told the Republic. Explained another: "We didn't feel it was intentional."

3. What's next for Ralph Reed?
Interesting analysis on why Ralph Reed lost from Time, the magazine that put him on its cover in 1995 as "The Right Hand of God":

Reed used to blame liberals and secularized politicians for treating religious conservatives as uneducated, gullible and easy to lead. He proved that religious voters were a potent force that shouldn't be ignored or condescended to. "People of faith," he once wrote, had become the new "Amos and Andy," and he was determined to push to the center of American politics their "cluster of pro-family issues" so they could attract "a majority of voters." But Reed forgot his own lessons. In the face of incredibly damning evidence, he insisted that he hadn't done anything wrong and that he didn't know he was consorting with a friend nicknamed Casino Jack or taking money from gambling interests. He thought he could convince his base that they shouldn't believe their eyes and ears, that they should trust him instead. In the end, not enough did.
Article continues below

But few are eager to write Reed's political obituary, or anything that suggests that his defeat means anything. Columnists like Cynthia Tucker and Marianne Means are still screaming about "theocracy" and suggesting that Reed really won—his "extremist" views live on in the White House. Whatever. The New York Times echoes Time's analysis that Reed makes a better behind-the-scenes schemer than an actual candidate. "We forget that there is nobody who is able to craft a message for religious conservatives better than Ralph Reed, and the ability to craft a message does not depend on Ralph Reed and how high his bona fides are," Deal Hudson tells the paper. Deal Hudson? What a fascinating person to quote on this story.

4. Who needs Ralph Reed anyway?
Forget Georgia. The Reed story wasn't about Reed anyway—it was about the Abramoff stink. The New Yorker makes a good case that the real place to measure the influence of the Religious Right is Ohio. Want to read Christianity Today's take on Ohio's gubernatorial race? Subscribe now and read all about it in our upcoming November issue.

5. "The Irish equivalent to the Dead Sea scrolls"
A bulldozer in Ireland uncovered a psalter that may be as much as 1,200 years old. National Museum of Ireland director Dr. Pat Wallace said it was "remarkably well preserved." One psalm was immediately legible to scholars, but apparently not to reporters—some say it was Psalm 89, others say Psalm 83. "Nobody has found anything like this for centuries—we are going to find it very hard to find people who know about it. … In my wildest hopes, I could only have dreamed of a discovery as fragile and rare as this. It testifies to the incredible richness of the early Christian civilization of this island and to the greatness of ancient Ireland." I should probably refrain from putting a shameless plug for my book, Christianity and the Celts, somewhere in here.

Article continues below

Quote of the day:

"That may make people feel good for a few hours but (a) it's unlikely to have any impact; and (b) a quick fix will not deliver a sustainable peace in the Middle East."

—A spokesman for Tony Blair, asked to comment about requests by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other religious leaders that he call for a ceasefire in the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel.

More articles

Politics | Ralph Reed | Church & state | Stem-cell research | Life ethics | Abortion | Sexuality | Same-sex marriage | Soulforce protests against Focus on the Family | Homosexuality | Arkansas Episcopal bishop allows same-sex blessings | Israel-Lebanon conflict | Religious response | Iraq | War & terrorism | International affairs | Sports & entertainment | Television | Books | Church life | Evangelism | Catholicism | Religious freedom | Environment | Missions & ministry | Other religions | Sex abuse | Education | Money & business | Crime | Marriage & family | People | History | More articles of interest


  1. Evangelicals rally for Israel, warn of Iran threat | Five months after its founding, Christians United for Israel brought 3,500 Christians to Washington July 18-20 to lobby Congress on behalf of Israel. The political action group aims to become the Christian equivalent of the influential Jewish lobbying organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (National Catholic Reporter)

  2. Chaput hears load of gripes | Anglo parishioners frustrated about immigration's impact (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

  3. Civil rights hiring shifted in Bush era | Conservative leanings stressed (The Boston Globe)

  4. Moderates: Dems should talk about religion | The view, espoused by Democrats attending the centrist Democratic Leadership Council's annual meeting, could irritate liberals who advocate a strict separation of church and state (Associated Press)

  5. Matchup made in heaven | How faith figures into the governor's race (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  6. Religious left gears up to face right counterpart | With a faith-based agenda of their own, liberal and progressive clergy from various denominations are lobbying lawmakers, holding rallies and publicizing their positions. (Reuters)

  7. Boca Raton man wants religious discourse to take left turn | Spiritual Progressives want to shift debate to issues of poverty, health care, peace (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  8. The people's business | The House gets to work at what it does best -- scoring political points (The Washington Post)

Article continues below
  1. Conservatives encouraged by 'values' votes | The Republican base is being rejuvenated, some conservative activists say, by a flurry of congressional action on "values" issues such as marriage safeguards, flag protection and abortion restrictions, as well as President Bush's veto last week of stem-cell legislation (The Washington Times)

  2. Young Christians hope prayers will push MPs to 'restore morality' | It's better to pray for elected lawmakers than to berate them, say the organizers of a demonstration last week that drew thousands of Christians to Parliament Hill (Canadian Press)

  3. Holy Toledo | Ohio's gubernatorial race tests the power of the Christian right (Frances FitzGerald, The New Yorker)

  4. Deeds prove Washington a believer | Myths have always surrounded George Washington. It's time to dispel one of the worst -- that he was not a Christian (Peter A. Lillback, Albany Times Union, N.Y.)

  5. Democrats could lose black Christians | Joseph Lowery, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are completely out of touch with the needs of the black community and is doing more to divide blacks than to unite them (Harry Jackson, The Tallahassee Democrat, Fla.)

Ralph Reed:

  1. The rise and fall of Ralph Reed | The former whiz kid of the Christian Coalition couldn't rally his base under the shadow of Jack Abramoff (Time)

  2. What next for Ralph Reed? | A dozen years after a magazine proclaimed Ralph Reed "The Right Hand of God," some are preparing Mr. Reed's political obituary after his loss in Georgia (The New York Times)

  3. Religious right looking a little weary | But Reed's ideological legacy lives on in the Bush White House (Marianne Means, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

  4. Reed's loss a blip on radar screen, not a sign of theocrats' weakness | His defeat by no means suggests a loss of power for a small group of vocal activists who wish to force all Americans to live according to their benighted religious views. They still have an extraordinary ally in the Oval Office (Cynthia Tucker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  5. Reed loss may be national signal | In 1995, Time magazine called Ralph Reed, then 33, "The right hand of God." But perhaps God is left-handed (Editorial, The Economist, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Church & state:

  1. Attorneys' fees in church cases to be tested | A bill to prevent the award of attorneys' fees in establishment-of-religion cases brought in federal courts faces its first key test today in Congress (The New York Sun)

  2. San Diego cross becomes legal test case | the case of the Mount Soledad cross could help determine under what circumstances religious symbols are permissible in public places (Associated Press)

Article continues below
  1. Kansas church to fight Mo. law in court | ACLU defends Fred Phelps (Associated Press)

  2. Sign of faith, source of rancor | America's fourth tallest cross is at the center of a bitter controversy over its operation, with residents in Illinois' devout, hilly Bible Belt feuding over religion, politics and money (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Our motto risks becoming 'Over God we fight' | Even something as innocuous as the 50th anniversary of "In God We Trust" is an occasion for culture warring (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)

  4. Faith and nationalism: Indivisible in America | God Bless the USA belongs in church (Michael Medved, USA Today)

Stem-cell research:

  1. Conservative Democrats aim to rule out Pa. stem cell funds | A House hearing on the issue brought conflicting expert views. Gov. Rendell backs the research (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  2. Vatican criticizes EU stem cell decision | A Vatican newspaper on Tuesday condemned a decision by the European Union to continue funding embryonic human stem cell research, calling it the result of "a twisted sense of progress" (Associated Press)

  3. Stem cell central | American researchers--fed up with politics getting in the way of science--are packing up and heading to Singapore, which is delighted to have them (Time)

  4. EU agrees limited funds for stem cell research | The European Union agreed on Monday to permit limited use of EU funds for research involving human embryonic stem cells provided it does not entail destroying embryos, preserving the status quo (Reuters)

  5. EU to continue stem-cell research funding | The European Union decided Monday to continue funding human embryonic stem cell research, although new rules adopted by the 25-nation bloc prevent human cloning and destroying embryos (Associated Press)

  6. Free for all | With expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research off the table, institutions are finding their own way (Inside Higher Ed)

  7. Stem cell work gets states' aid after Bush veto | Two governors have offered state money for research, and the issue has sprung to the forefront of crucial elections (The New York Times)

  8. White House softens tone on embryo use | President Bush does not consider stem cell research using human embryos to be murder, the White House said yesterday, reversing its description of his position just days after he vetoed legislation to lift federal funding restrictions on the hotly disputed area of study (The Washington Post)

Article continues below
  1. Catholic group urges candidates to return cash | The Missouri Catholic Conference is urging candidates for state offices to return contributions from an organization that advocates for stem cell research (The New York Times)

  2. The church lady party | President Bush's veto of a bill that would have allowed federal money to be spent on embryonic stem cell research was good public policy. But it wasn't good politics (John Tierney, The New York Times, sub. req'd.)

  3. Cell out | The Bush stem cell veto will retard scientific progress (David A. Shaywitz, The Wall Street Journal)

  4. Beliefs: Pluripotent politics | Biologically, embryonic stem cells are capable of developing in any number of directions. The same might be said about them politically (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)

  5. Cell division | Stem-cell research isn't the wedge Democrats think it is (Noam Scheiber, The New Republic)

  6. The passion of the embryos | Faith-based politics takes two big hits (Frank Rich, The New York Times)

Life ethics:

  1. Pharmacy board may be rethinking rule change | The state Board of Pharmacy has delayed adopting controversial new rules that would make Washington one of only a handful of states to clearly permit pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for personally held moral reasons (The Seattle Times)

  2. Science versus ethics | Leaving aside the political ramifications of this debate, what are the implications of the dichotomy the president has drawn "between science and ethics" Do scientists carry on their work in one realm, while ethicists do theirs in another? (James Carroll, The Boston Globe)


  1. Senate passes interstate abortion bill | An abortion bill aimed at stopping people from helping pregnant girls skirt parental-notification laws has gained passage in both houses of Congress, but sticky political and policy disputes stand between it and President Bush's desk (Associated Press)

  2. Senate removes abortion option for young girls | The bill would make it a crime to help an under-age girl escape parental notification laws by crossing state lines (The New York Times)

  3. Senate approves parental consent | Republicans last night secured a long-sought pro-life victory as the Senate approved a bill that would protect parents' right to be involved in their pregnant teen's abortion decision (The Washington Times)

  4. Interstate abortion bill clears Senate | Minors would need parents' permission (The Washington Post)

  5. Abortion foes sue ASU on event restrictions | An anti-abortion student group filed a lawsuit against Arizona State University in federal court on Monday, alleging the university discriminated against the students by making it difficult to express their views on campus (East Valley Tribune, Scottsdale, Az.)

Article continues below
  1. Student group sues Arizona State U. for requiring liability insurance for anti-abortion display | An anti-abortion student group at Arizona State University filed a discrimination lawsuit Monday against the university, alleging that administrators had stifled the students' right to free speech by restricting their ability to hold a campus event (The Chronicle of Higher Education, sub. req'd.)

  2. Groups plan attack on Amnesty proposal | Famed for its human rights work, Amnesty International is under siege from religious groups outraged by a proposal that would expand Amnesty's mandate to include supporting access to abortion in cases such as sexual violence (Associated Press)

  3. Our tax dollars at work funding antiabortion bunk | If you're willing to lie, deceive and intimidate others for your beliefs, the Christian Right needs you to staff the nation's Crisis Pregnancy Centers (Robyn E. Blumner, St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

  4. This one's for the girls | Reasonable people who disagree on abortion can agree on the Child Custody Protection Act (Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online)


  1. Virgin's angels stay in heaven | Virgin Mobile is allowed to use the "sultry, voluptuous angels" in its cellphone advertisements that have upset some Christians (Beeld, South Africa)

  2. Hot fun (or not fun) in the summertime | More girls lose their virginity in the summer than at any other time of year, according to researchers at Mississippi State University (The Washington Post)

  3. Schools to offer STD vaccine | L.A. Unified will give female students the option of receiving a shot that could prevent cervical cancer. Some parents voice opposition (Los Angeles Times)

  4. Philadelphia may evict Boy Scouts council | The city said it will evict a Boy Scout council from its publicly owned headquarters or make the group pay a fair rent price unless it changes its policy on gays (Associated Press)

  5. A warning about AIDS in prison | State corrections systems that don't have condom distribution programs should investigate the feasibility of adding them (Editorial, The New York Times)

Same-sex marriage:

  1. Gays engaged in a battle for hearts, minds | After a string of setbacks on same-sex marriage, activists are trying to get the public to see that their family matters are much like anyone else's (Los Angeles Times)

Article continues below
  1. Wash. court upholds gay marriage ban | The state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on gay marriage Wednesday, saying lawmakers have the power to restrict marriage to unions between a man and woman (Associated Press)

  2. Flurry of court rulings, with more ahead, on gay unions | Gay marriage came roaring back into the headlines this month with a series of court decisions and a congressional vote. Here's a look at what happened (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Marriage backers hail month of rulings | From July 6 to July 14, a federal appeals court, four state supreme courts and a state superior courts issued rulings against homosexual plaintiffs seeking to "marry" (The Washington Times)

  4. Gay-marriage supporters launch ad campaign | Three major gay-rights groups are taking out full-page advertisements starting Tuesday in 50 newspapers nationwide declaring their determination to keep fighting for same-sex marriage rights despite recent court setbacks (Associated Press)

  5. Archdiocese's gay-marriage brief rejected | Sixteen months after the gay-marriage case was argued before the state Supreme Court, the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese filed a friend-of-the-court brief — which the court promptly rejected because it was late (The Seattle Times)

  6. Slovenia passes same-sex marriage law | Slovenia has passed a law legalizing same-sex marriages but put restrictions on the ceremony (B92, Belgrade)

  7. Same coast, different worlds on same sex marriage | In Massachusetts, in 2004, the answer was yes, same-sex couples could legally marry. In New York, earlier this month, the answer was no, they could not. Is one court right and the other wrong? Maybe. But which one? (Andrew Cohen, The Washington Post)

Soulforce protests against Focus on the Family:

  1. Bully pulpit | On Saturday, July 22, at 8:30 p.m., Broadway star Billy Porter will protest in song outside Focus on the Family as Soulforce completes its 1,000-watt March, Vigil, and Concert, confronting the antigay bigotry of James Dobson. As Porter prepares for the demonstration, he looks back at how Christianity affected his younger self (The Advocate, gay magazine)

  2. Soulforce march for gays stays calm at Focus | Tents sheltering leaders of Soulforce and Focus on the Family sat just 100 yards apart Saturday night, but they may as well have been on different ends of Colorado Springs (The Gazette, Colorado Springs)


  1. Gay-rights group wants apology from Blackwell | The gay-rights group Equality Ohio called on Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell yesterday to apologize for and retract his statement that homosexuality is a "transgression against God's law" that can be cured (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

Article continues below
  1. Dog's tale is used to get people talking | Norman is a puppy like any other, except he was born mooing instead of barking. Or so goes the plot of a quirky new gay-rights campaign (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Activists put the squeeze on firms | Groups on the left and right pressure companies over social issues, especially gay rights (The Denver Post)

Arkansas Episcopal bishop allows same-sex blessings:

  1. Bishop clears way for gay-couple blessings | The Episcopal bishop of Arkansas has given the green light to congregations that want to explore offering blessing ceremonies for gay couples and has notified clergymen in the diocese that some congregations are ready to do that. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

  2. Episcopal bishop in Ark. okays gay blessings | "It is my belief that seeking ways of recognizing and blessing faithful, monogamous same-sex relationships falls within the parameters of providing pastoral concern and care for our gay and lesbian members," wrote the Right Rev. Larry Maze, bishop of the 14,000-member Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas (Associated Press)

  3. Also: A church divided | The battle over ordaining gays and blessing same-sex unions threatens the entire Anglican communion's unity (Michael McAteer, The Toronto Star)

Israel-Lebanon conflict:

  1. Congress cautioned on support of Israel | Some lawmakers seek a middle ground (The Washington Post)

  2. Christian groups press for Mideast ceasefire | As the Israeli offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon entered its 13th day Tuesday (July 25), mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders around the world continued to press the combatants -- and the Bush administration -- for an immediate cease-fire (Religion News Service)

  3. Blair dismisses Archbishop's ceasefire call | The prime minister's official spokesman said a ceasefire call would only "make people feel good for a few hours" and would have no impact (The Guardian, London)

  4. Preparing for the end | Is the war in the Middle East THE war in the Middle East? (CNN, video)

  5. Lebanese rivalries fade during crisis | "In these times, it's not about Christian or Muslim," Sister Nawal, a Roman Catholic, says. "It's about humanitarianism in times of catastrophe and helping people. From a political point of view, I do not agree with Hezbollah and what they are doing. But I have to do something." (USA Today)

Article continues below
  1. 'Christians, Muslims, we're all together now because of the war . . . we're all Lebanese' | In another part of the world, it would be the heartwarming tale Mr. Osman describes: Christians and Muslims uniting when their country is under attack. But in Lebanon, the truth is always more complicated than that (Mark MacKinnon, The Globe and Mail, Toronto)

  2. A refuge of relative calm outside Beirut | A former Christian militia stronghold in the mountains becomes a haven for Lebanese of all stripes fleeing violence in the south (Los Angeles Times)

  3. The Sodano code | The Vatican's stale policy on the Middle East (Joseph Bottum, The Weekly Standard)

  4. 'Drive out the inhabitants of the land' | We must acknowledge that 'scripture' was written by fallible humans if we are to solve the Middle East's troubles (Pete Tobias, The Guardian, London)

  5. Why Christians must support Israel | Do we agree with every bit of US policy toward Israel? No, we don't. But we do support the right of a free and democratic State of Israel to make its own decisions about security and borders without pressure from the United States or anyone else (John C. Hagee, The Jerusalem Post)

  6. I want Falwell in my foxhole | At the end of the day -- or at the End of Days -- Israel has plenty of time for anybody who wants to help the Jews (Zev Chafets, Los Angeles Times)

Religious response:

  1. Pope calls for prayers for Mideast peace | Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that he does not plan to intervene diplomatically in the Middle East fighting, but called on people of all religions to join Sunday's worldwide day of prayers for peace (Associated Press)

  2. Worshipers hear call for Middle East peace | Washington archbishop urges prayer, hope (The Washington Post)

  3. Catholics pray for peace in Middle East | The pope asked followers Thursday to implore from God the "precious gift of peace" and designated yesterday as a day of prayer and penance for peace in the Middle East (The Washington Times)

  4. Pope prays at shrine for peace in Mideast | Pope Benedict XVI prayed Tuesday at a shrine at the foot of Mount Blanc for "concrete results" toward ending the fighting in Lebanon (Reuters)

  5. Vatican heaping blame on Israel counterproductive | Recent Vatican statements regarding the latest conflict in the Middle East could set back Jewish-Catholic relations, as well as the strong stance against tyranny and terror that was a hallmark of John Paul's pontificate (Bridget Johnson, Los Angeles Daily News)

Article continues below


  1. In Iraq, U.S. has new approach to mosque raids | In Ramadi, Iraqi police enter the sites to look for insurgents. They enable Americans to search such holy places without angering Muslims (Los Angeles Times)

  2. An open letter to evangelicals | Why aren't evangelicals irate over the creation of a regime in Iraq that has a constitution legitimating a Shiite theocracy? (Tony Campolo, Huffington Post)

War & terrorism:

  1. Young Myanmar rebel Johnny Htoo surrenders | One of two young twin brothers who led a small band of ethnic Karen rebels calling themselves "God's Army" has surrendered to Myanmar's military government, state radio and television reported Tuesday night (Associated Press)

  2. War taking toll on marriage, too | Iraqi officials say divorces have doubled since 2003 invasion (The Washington Post)

  3. Wave of kidnappings leaves Haiti shaken | A new rash of kidnappings has raised fears that well-armed, politically aligned street gangs are seeking to destabilize Haiti's new government, threatening U.N.-led efforts to restore security 2 1/2 years after a crippling revolt. (Associated Press)

  4. U.S. missionaries ministered to captors | Two U.S. missionaries held hostage for five days in Haiti spent their captivity in a sweltering makeshift cell praying and even ministering to their kidnappers, one of the men said Friday (Associated Press)

  5. Bush to meet with Sudanese rebel leader | Rebel leader Minni Minnawi's decision to accept a peace agreement designed to end what the United States calls genocide in western Sudan earned him a meeting with President Bush (Associated Press)

  6. Rwanda's shadow, from Darfur to Congo | The greatest tragedy in Darfur may not be that it could become the next Rwanda, but that it could easily become the next Congo (Lydia Polgreen, The New York Times)

  7. Remember Amalek | What the Bible says about fighting terrorism (Marc Gellman, Newsweek)

International affairs:

  1. Tsunami-hit Indonesia limps back to normal | Indonesian Christians in tsunami-hit areas prayed in church on Sunday as life slowly limped back to normal six days after the disaster that killed nearly 700 people (Reuters)

  2. More Catholics on N. Ireland police force | More than 20 percent of Northern Ireland's police officers are Roman Catholics, the civilian Policing Board for the British territory said Monday, confirming a rapid increase and an important milestone in wider peacemaking efforts (Associated Press)

  3. Kibaki invites church criticism | President Kibaki yesterday told the Church that it had the right to put his administration under scrutiny on service delivery and the use of national resources (The Nation, Kenya)

Article continues below

Sports & entertainment:

  1. Coach had a prayer | East Brunswick's Borden OK'd for "taking a knee" (The Home News Tribune, East Brunswick, NJ)

  2. Borden ruling ends unnecessary drama | Game over, good guys win (The Home News Tribune, East Brunswick, NJ)

  3. Listen up, ladies, the Reverend Mary is preaching to you | This was a superb display of Mary J. Blige as a singer: she sang hard and in tune, from polished up-tempo tracks to loud, torn, lower-range gospel phrases (The New York Times)

  4. Braves lead off with big league 'Faith Day' | This week, belief comes out of the dugout when the Braves host the first of three "Faith Day" promotions. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  5. A road less traveled | To chase his dream of a Tour de France title, Floyd Landis left family and faith behind (The Baltimore Sun)

  6. What a bleeping shame | Hollywood wins a copyright victory (Jonathan V. Last, The Weekly Standard)


  1. Reality TV gets religion | New cable shows, like TLC's popular Shalom in the Home and another debuting tonight, depict religion as an everyday backdrop in everyday lives (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

  2. 'P.O.V.' on PBS: How missionaries spread the word, and U.S. capitalism | A new P.O.V. documentary bears dual nature of missionaries who bring God and export capitalism (The New York Times)

  3. The Tailenders | A look at the impact of the Global Recording Network, a Christian missionary organization reaching the world's most remote communities and cultures with audio recordings of Bible stories (POV, PBS)

  4. Could new cable regulations hurt Christian broadcasts? You bet | federal regulation could silence Christian ministries (Jerry Falwell, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.)


  1. Coincidence is a sign of God, author says | For longtime ABC television executive SQuire Rushnell, there is no such thing as a coincidence (The Orlando Sentinel)

  2. The liberal Jesus | A plethora of new books is poring out explaining why Jesus is not a Republican. The latest is by the very angry Randall Balmer. (Mark Tooley, The American Spectator)

  3. Iran bans Da Vinci Code | Iran has banned the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" after protests from the country's Christian clergy, the culture ministry said on Wednesday, but the Persian translation is already in its eighth edition (Reuters)

  4. Papacy, ministry abandoned, texts | Julia Duin reviews Robert Kaiser's A Church in Search of Itself, Barbra Brown Taylor's Leaving Church, and Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus (The Washington Times)

Article continues below
  1. Something evil (well, maybe tragically misunderstood) this way comes | David Frankfurter's book "Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History" shows just how similar stories about evil have been (The New York Times)

  2. Faith, reason, God and other imponderables | There is a stormy argument over whether faith in God can coexist with faith in the scientific method (The New York Times)

  3. Evangelicals, Republicans, and social justice | Randall Balmer apparently thinks that by not embracing certain Democratic Party priorities, evangelicals have abandoned Christian ethics (Joseph Loconte, The Chronicle of Higher Education)

  4. Religious themes arise anew in 'Resurrection,' 'Expected One' | Author Kathleen McGowan says she is a descendant of a union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. It's easy to get distracted by that idea, but how good is her novel? (USA Today)

  5. The Da Vinci descendant | An American woman claims in a new book that she can trace her antecedents to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Is she out of her family tree? (Kathleen McGowan, The Independent, London)

  6. From high above, saintly messages | Book promos target expressway drivers (The Boston Globe)

  7. Profits from Christian books make believers of top publishers | As the International Christian Retail Show wrapped up in Denver earlier this month, the hot topic was not the lackluster box office of The Da Vinci Code. Instead, it was the news that Multnomah Publishers, a modest-size Oregon- based evangelical Christian publishing house, had been put up for sale (Bloomberg)

Church life:

  1. Retired senior pastor suspended for adultery | Affair was with woman in Lutheran congregation (Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  2. The last ones standing | Only four Shakers are left in the world, all living in southern Maine. But if they can't attract converts to their celibate lifestyle and this really is the end for them, they have a plan to ensure that their legacy lives on forever (The Boston Globe)

  3. Beliefwatch: 'Word' | Hip-hop services are popping up all over (Newsweek)

  4. Churches employ modern media to bring God to the masses | Some marketing-savvy Christians believe higher powers need help getting good word of mouth, too. The signs of this trend can be seen throughout the nation, from billboards and TV ads to fliers and business cards (The Shreveport Times, La.)

  5. Unending chaos in Sekondi Anglican Church | The Sekondi branch of the Anglican Church has been enmeshed in total confusion emanating from intertwined legal tussles that have resulted in the jailing of a priest of the church and three other members. (Ghanaian Chronicle)

Article continues below
  1. Methodists and Catholics mend a historical rift | Greater harmony among Christians, a key goal of Pope Benedict's papacy, took a step forward on Sunday when Methodist churches joined a landmark agreement that has brought Catholics and Lutherans closer together (Reuters)

  2. The Episcopal Church's new pilot | Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori hopes to heal rifts over changes (CBS Evening News)

  3. Are churches good neighbors? | The city's planning department is looking at restrictions on future churches or major changes on existing campuses. The prospect has mobilized leaders of some 50 churches to oppose revisions to the zoning ordinance requiring "conditional use permits" (East Valley Tribune, Scottsdale, Az.)

  4. Debt funds approved | Judge approves $4 million for Board of Church Extension board, investors (The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.)

  5. Church sues Waukegan to stay in location | Church served notice of violation (WBBM, Chicago)

  6. Evangelical churches florishing in Europe | Church attendance in Europe has been steadily decreasing in recent decades. Traditional Protestant and Roman Catholic churches have a hard time drawing in new members, particularly young people. But Evangelical churches are booming across the region, particularly those attended by immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America (Voice of America)

  7. Embodied faith | In its 100th year, Pentecostalism, which seeks to engage body, soul and mind, is growing faster than any other Christian group (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

  8. Poll finds blacks turn to faith in crisis | In Houston, most say they'll rely on God, not officials, for protection (Houston Chronicle)

  9. New approaches to worship emerge | Another article trying to figure out the movement (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  10. Religion without foundations | The split in the mainline denominations is about more than politics (Jim Tonkowich, The Weekly Standard)

  11. Fighting right | Right-wing activists deliberately provoke many of the fissures currently wracking mainline churches. How can they be fought? (Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect)


  1. Catholic publishers ban 'fallen angel' | One of the world's largest Roman Catholic publishing houses is refusing to sell any Charlotte Church products after she linked the German-born Pope Benedict XVI to the Nazis (The Telegraph, London)

Article continues below
  1. The shepherd and his flock | The new principal of Belfast Bible College is encouraging tomorrow's evangelists to proclaim their faith in all kinds of hostile countries across the world. (The Belfast Telegraph)

  2. On public land, Sunday in the park with prayer | Pennsylvania, the only state with a program for Christian worship services in parks, prohibits proselytizing (The New York Times)

  3. Lifeguards of Jesus go fishing for souls on the beaches of Pescara | Don Vito Canto, a 33-year-old priest from a village near Pescara, told the Guardian he had listened to confessions "almost uninterruptedly" from Saturday night into Sunday morning at a makeshift shrine on the sands (The Guardian, London)

  4. Divine inspiration from the masses | Open-source programming's organizing principle has been embraced in medical research, engineering -- even religion (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Churches camouflage cell towers as crosses | The cross is neither old nor rugged. It is new, white and very, very tall (The Bakersfield Californian)


  1. Secretive Opus Dei honours banker who was cut up with a chainsaw | Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic organisation, has paid a rare and fulsome tribute to Gianmario Roveraro, an Italian banker who was found murdered last week, chopped into pieces beneath a motorway bridge (The Times, London)

  2. Christian shepherd shines his light in Islamic pasture | Henri Tessier is a quiet man, a serious man, a man who exudes a certain air of disappointment at the end of a long career as the archbishop of Algeria where he has been witness to what he says is the slow "death of a church." (The New York Times)

  3. Bolivian Church 'must change now' | Bolivian President Evo Morales has called for change within the country's Catholic Church, accusing it of acting as in the "times of the Inquisition" (BBC)

Religious freedom:

  1. Conversions harder in India state | The law says a person wishing to convert and the priest conducting the ceremony will have to inform the authorities in advance (BBC)

  2. Putting the fun into fundamentalism | Have the new religious-hatred laws softened comedy's bite? Not at all (Stephen Armstrong, The Times, London)

  3. Malaysia Islamists protest religious-freedom forum | A Malaysian forum on freedom of religion drew an angry protest by Muslims on Saturday, revealing a sharp divide in this mainly Muslim nation over the issue of renouncing Islam (Reuters)

  4. 10th Circuit issues new opinions denying asylum to Chinese Christian | In Gu v. Gonzales, (10th Cir., July 21, 2006), the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last week, by a 2-1 vote, upheld the findings of an Immigration Judge denying asylum to a Chinese citizen who claimed past persecution, and fear of future persecution, because of his distribution of Christian religious literature and his attending an unofficial "house church" (Religion Clause)

Article continues below
  1. Madhya Pradesh Assembly passes Freedom of Religion Act | Law "prevents religious conversion by force or allurement." (PTI, India)


  1. Roads group slaps down bishop who called gas guzzler cars sinful | An executive from one of the country's leading motoring groups yesterday told religious leaders to "stick to what they know best", after a senior bishop suggested that driving a fuel-hungry car was a "symptom of sin" (The Guardian, London)

  2. It's a sin to fly, says church | The Bishop of London has declared it sinful for people to contribute to climate change by flying on holiday, driving a "gas-guzzling" car or failing to use energy-saving measures in the home (The Times, London)

  3. Baptists warn environmental politics could divide evangelicals | Critics say resolution sounds suspiciously similar to Bush policies (Associated Press)

Missions & ministry:

  1. Perry lauds faith-based spending | At the intersection of government and religion, Gov. Rick Perry sounded something like a preacher Tuesday as he touted public funds for faith-based and community groups helping the poor, the addicted and refugees (San Antonio Express-News, Tex.)

  2. Faith works in the battle against drug addiction | Manual labour and prayer are a powerful combination, and a new UK charity is championing it as an alternative therapy for those whose lives have been ruined by drugs (The Times, London)

  3. Charities need goods, not garbage | Some donors use charitable donations as their personal Dumpster. Here are some guidelines to minimize their trash bill (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

  4. Sunshine parishes split as chaplain is forced from job | It seemed like the job from heaven. But the Rev Eric Britt has found that ministering to mainly retired Britons among the palm trees and golf courses of the Algarve can become a personal hell (The Telegraph, London)

  5. Religious program helps inmates stay sober | Marion lessons draw from Bible (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  6. No women aid workers in Pakistan quake area: clerics | Muslim clerics in Pakistan's conservative North West Frontier Province want local authorities to expel all women working for international relief agencies in earthquake affected areas by the end of this month (Reuters)

Article continues below

Other religions:

  1. Complaints prompt change in Mormon exhibit | The text accompanying portraits of Smith and Young offended at least two Washington-area Mormons who got a sneak preview of the display. The text reportedly said Smith was "lynched" and Young was a "tyrant" (Associated Press)

  2. Paganism gaining popularity in prison | Asatru, a pagan religion that some experts say can be interpreted as encouraging violence, is gaining popularity among prison inmates. One of whom is scheduled to be executed this week for killing a fellow prisoner at the foot of an altar (Associated Press)

  3. Plans for Muslim centers stir concerns from neighbors | The old Franciscan High School is in the midst of a conversion, both physical and spiritual (The New York Times)

Sex abuse:

  1. New sex allegations against Blanco monastery | Christ of the Hills has been the focus of numerous sexual assault claims (Austin American-Statesman, Tex.)

  2. Blanco monks face sex assault charges (San Antonio Express-News, Tex.)

  3. Sex sting nets Elizabethtown prof, department head | The chairman of Elizabethtown College's Religious Studies Department was arrested Thursday after allegedly arranging a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old girl (Lancaster New Era, Pa.)

  4. Also: Religion prof arrested on sex charges (Associated Press)

  5. Paedophile was set free to rape young children in their homes | Police and church decisions come under scrutiny as leaked documents reveal how a minister was left to prey on boys for years despite warnings (The Observer, London)

  6. Retired bishop expresses regret to victims abused by clergy | A retired Catholic bishop yesterday criticized

  7. the church's handling of sex abuse scandals, saying the church has acted more like a "corporate entity" than it should (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.)

  8. N.Y. Franciscan priest charged with abuse of 2 boys in Bay State | A Franciscan priest with ties to Boston and Buzzards Bay was accused yesterday of raping two teenage boys from a Troy, N.Y., parish while on trips to Boston over a 12-year period (The Boston Globe)

  9. Ex-teacher found guilty | Bird faces up to 30 years in prison for having sex with a former student (Pensacola News Journal, Fla.)

  10. Yes, she's guilty, but Janelle Bird deserves a break, too | This trial showed a young woman from a sheltered life making a big mistake with a boy who was younger, yet perhaps more sophisticated than she (Mark O'Brien, Pensacola News Journal, Fla.)

Article continues below


  1. Feeling strains, Baptist colleges cut church ties | The issues vary from state to state, but many include battles over money and control of boards of trustees (The New York Times)

  2. Black clergy pass the mantle of social consciousness | In a new program sponsored by USC, preachers explore their churches' role in a post-civil-rights- movement world (Los Angeles Times)

  3. In praise of voluntary assemblies | Force-fed religion is surely more likely to leave teenagers resentful than guide their path to enlightenment. And yet the law insists schools provide daily worship for all - except for pupils whose parents withdraw them (Editorial, The Guardian, London)

  4. For God's sake, can't my children be taught their own religion? | Modern education is supposed to concentrate on teaching children to argue, to discern, to investigate. Religious studies should be a great forum for all that, but it doesn't happen. What happens is uncritical force-feeding of the rituals, sacred symbols, icons, and texts of Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism, with the heavy message that they should all be respected unquestioningly (Jill Parkin, Daily Mail, U.K.)

  5. The territory of belief: Believe it or not | How can secularist intellectuals — particularly if they are Jewish — analyze predominantly Christian America? Very well, thank you (Alan Wolfe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, sub. req'd.)

Money & business:

  1. Denver billionaire's invisible hand shapes L.A. | Industrialist Philip Anschutz, intensely private and 'focused beyond belief,' is quietly changing the face of downtown (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Church loses $14,000 in Tanzanian scam | Wellington Anglicans have been stripped of $14,000 by a fraudster posing as an African bishop seeking funds for bogus life-saving surgery (The Dominion Post, New Zealand)

  3. Utah struggles to combat its dull image | Tourists love Utah's ski resorts, red rock formations and fine restaurants. It's finding something to do once the sun sets that's giving the state an image problem (Associated Press)

  4. Wal-Mart's sister act | Retail giant tries to scrub its reputation with a nun. (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)

  5. Reprieve for 'religious' pension annuity loophole | Anyone can take out a scheme designed for strict Christians — though you may soon have to unwind it (Kathryn Cooper, The Times, London)


  1. How I went to church and became a drug mule | Sandra Chetty says she was persuaded to carry cocaine into Johannesburg by members of a Yeoville church that offered her help when she was at her most desperate (The Star, South Africa)

Article continues below
  1. I flog my church members — Pastor | General Overseer of Christ Praying Assembly (CPA), Ajao Estate, Lagos, the Rev. Emeka Ezeugo King, who was arrested by the police for allegedly setting six members of his church on fire, yesterday denied the allegations against him and attributed the incident to a faulty generating set in his house. He also denied several other allegations against him but agreed that he flogged his worshippers without restraints (Vanguard, Nigeria)

  2. Jury convicts Ind. man of killing family | A jury convicted a man Friday of killing his father, stepmother and two stepsisters 17 years ago inside their church parsonage home so he could attend some high school prom events (Associated Press)

  3. Guilty verdicts cap Baptist case | Two former executives of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona were convicted Monday of fraud and racketeering related to the foundation's 1999 collapse, ending a 10-month trial (The Arizona Republic, video)

  4. Baptist group's leaders convicted | Investors lost $585 million (The Washington Post)

  5. Two convicted in Baptist Foundation collapse | Two top executives with the now-defunct Baptist Foundation of Arizona, which collapsed in 1999 in the largest nonprofit bankruptcy in U.S. history, were found guilty on Monday of charges that could send them to prison for decades (Reuters)

Marriage & family:

  1. Till hardships do all of us part | Apparently the 20-year mark is the Heartbreak Hill of marriage (E.J. Graff, The Boston Globe)

  2. A heavy, symbolic load | No married couple is meant to live under a microscope (Eileen McNamara, The Boston Globe)

  3. Can't get enough baby talk | From presidents to celebrities, toddlers prove adorable and useful (Meghan Daum, Los Angeles Times)


  1. The kingdom of heaven: yours for £25 | Morris Cerullo goes to London (The Telegraph, London)

  2. Tug-of-war over priest's body is finally resolved | The body of an eccentric English cleric who spent four decades working to improve the lot of India's lower castes has finally been laid to rest after being exhumed and re-buried three times in a bizarre tug-of-war (The Telegraph, London)

  3. Council lifts ban on controversial US evangelist | Hackney council have rescinded a ban placed on American evangelist and former gangster Nicky Cruz, after he apologised for comments he had made about homosexuality (Ekklesia, U.K.)


  1. 1,500-year-old Byzantine port discovered | Archaeologists call it the "Port of Theodosius," after the emperor of Rome and Byzantium who died in A.D. 395. They expect to gain insights into ancient commercial life in the city, once called Constantinople, that was the capital of the eastern Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires (Associated Press)

Article continues below
  1. Ireland worker finds ancient psalms in bog | The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries (Associated Press)

More articles of interest:

  1. He who cast the first stone probably didn't | Research shows that while people think of their own actions as the consequences of what came before, they think of other people's actions as the causes of what came later (Daniel Gilbert, The New York Times)

  2. How different are Christian and Islamic fundamentalists? | Both believe in following a text literally and both are capable of violence (Joshua Holland, Alternet)

  3. City may regulate memorials | Officials see a danger in sites dedicated to homicide victims (The Boston Globe)

Related Elsewhere:

Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to weblog@christianitytoday.com

What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

July 21 | 19
July 14 | 13 | 12b | 12a | 10
July 7 | 6 | 5 | 3
June 29b | 29a | 28
June 23 | 22 | 21
June 16 | 15 | 14 | 13b | 13
June 9 | 8 | 7 | 6

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.
Previous Weblog Columns: