Today's Top Five

1. Muslim converts in America

Yesterday's Washington Post profiles a handful of Hispanic immigrant women who converted from Catholicism to Islam. "Across the nation, thousands of Latino immigrants are redefining themselves through Islam. … Precise numbers are not available, but estimates range from 40,000 to 70,000."

Some of their reasons for converting are typical of any immigrant convert: Encounters with new religious ideas and a search for belonging in a new culture. But those aren't the only reasons. "In Islam, some say they see a devoutness and simplicity they find lacking in Catholicism. … Latino women find what most Westerners rarely see—a respect for women, unlike, some converts say, the machismo culture in which they were raised." These women are happy to trade their halter tops for the hijab.

Before evangelicals think that nominal Catholics might simply be prone to convert, a Dallas Morning News story is ready to rebut those notions. Eric Meek was a Southern Baptist Texan who was featured in a short documentary on white Christians who converted to Islam. "Islam is everything I wanted Christianity to be," Meek says in the documentary. "It's got such a magical attraction to it. It's a way of life that chooses to worship an unseen God through a process of daily living."

The Dallas Morning News admits it hasn't discovered any sort of trend. There are few white, Texan, Christian converts to Islam. Only time will tell if Islam will turn out to be everything Meeks wanted Christianity to be. Hopefully, the Morning News will keep us informed.

2. Gay marriage ban short of votes in Senate

The Senate's same-sex marriage amendment stands little chance of passing. "The amendment would prohibit states ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. 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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