Weblog has been overwhelmed with all the church convention news. (See our dispatches from Columbus, Ohio, on ECUSA's General Convention.) So we're just posting links of articles from last Saturday through today.

Here are some highlights: Presbyterians (PCUSA) get creative with the Trinity and allow local jurisdictions to break ban non ordaining self-avowed practicing gays. Episcopalians reject banning gay bishops, kind of. The Vatican asks Amnesty International not to push for worldwide decriminalization of abortion. And a Christian football film was not given a PG rating for its religious themes.

ECUSA gay bishops | Katharine Jefferts Schori | Episcopal conservatives | Anglican schism | More on ECUSA | PCUSA allows ordaining gays | PCUSA divestment | PCUSA language on the Trinity | More on PCUSA | SBC | Church life | Pentecostalism | Missions & ministry | Catholicism | Parish cuts | U.K. Cardinal challenges abortion laws | Abortion | Life ethics | Politics | Church & state | Education | Silver rings banned from UK school | Religious freedom | Religious freedom & television | Homosexuality | Family | War & terrorism | Zimbabwe | Music | Books | Film | Sports | People | Spirituality | More articles of interest

ECUSA gay bishops:

  1. Episcopalians defeat bid to nix more gay bishops | Episcopalians will continue consecrating homosexual bishops and allowing same-sex unions after its House of Deputies defeated a motion yesterday to stop both in the waning hours of their General Convention. (The Washington Times)

  2. Church regrets, won't repent for gay bishop | Episcopalians passed a resolution expressing "regret" for consecrating a homosexual bishop in 2003, but not "repentance" as many of the world's Anglican archbishops have urged. (The Washington Times)

  3. Episcopalians struggle for sexuality compromise | Episcopalians remained bogged down yesterday as they sought a compromise on ordaining homosexual bishops, an issue that has split the denomination. (The Washington Times)

  4. Episcopal Church group defers on gay bishops | A proposal for the U.S. Episcopal Church to impose an unofficial moratorium on the ordination of more openly gay bishops was rejected in a key vote at the church's convention on Tuesday, a move that could further roil relations with fellow Anglicans worldwide. (Reuters)

  5. Episcopalians address gay bishop impasse | The Episcopal General Convention tried again Tuesday to break an impasse on whether to meet Anglican demands that the U.S. church stop electing gay bishops for now. (Associated Press)

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  1. Episcopalians reject ban on gay bishops | In the final hours of a national church meeting, the top Episcopal leader is trying to preserve world Anglican unity after Episcopal delegates rejected an Anglican demand that they stop electing openly gay bishops for now. (Associated Press)

  2. Episcopal church struggles with gay issues | A key committee trying to craft the U.S. Episcopal Church's response to the anger and alienation caused by the consecration of an openly gay bishop wrestled with disagreements on Friday over how to apologize and what to promise for the future. (Reuters)

  3. Episcopal Church panel OKs gay issue apology | A key committee of the U.S. Episcopal Church, responding to criticism from fellow Anglicans worldwide for the consecration of an openly gay bishop, approved on Saturday an expanded and more strongly worded apology for the action. (Reuters)

  4. US Church defiant on gay bishops | Members of the US Episcopal Church have rejected a demand from the worldwide Anglican Church that they stop electing gay bishops. (BBC)

Katharine Jefferts Schori:

  1. US church elects first woman leader | The US Episcopal church stunned Christians across the world last night by unexpectedly electing the first woman primate in the Anglican church. (The Guardian, UK)

  2. Bishop will face 'difficult' mission | As Episcopalians struggle with deep divisions, the denomination's first presiding female bishop takes the reins. Some cheer, but others are worried. (St. Petersburg Times)

  3. Woman is named Episcopal leader | The Episcopal Church elected Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada as its presiding bishop on Sunday, making her the first woman to lead a church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. (The New York Times)

  4. Bio of Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori | Oceanographer, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle; Ordained, 1994; assistant rector Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan and dean of Good Samaritan School of Theology in Corvallis, Ore.; consecrated bishop of Nevada, 2001; Voted to confirm first openly gay bishop, 2003. Member, Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. (Associated Press)

  5. Bishop chosen 1st female Episcopal leader | Episcopal Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori has tackled male-dominated fields before as an oceanographer and a pilot. Now, she is taking on an even broader challenge as the first woman in the world to lead an Anglican province. (Associated Press)

  6. Episcopal Church names 1st woman leader | The U.S. Episcopal Church chose Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on Sunday as its first woman leader, a move unprecedented in the Anglican church and one likely to produce more turmoil in a faith divided over the ordination of an openly gay bishop. (Reuters)

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  1. Nevada Episcopalians hail leadership vote | Nevada Episcopalians are hailing their bishop's selection as the national denomination's top official. (Associated Press)

  2. For some, 'a period of adjustment' | Growing up in Ocala, Gigi Conner never imagined her church would ordain a woman, much less elect one as presiding bishop to lead her denomination. (The Tampa Tribune)

  3. Church tribunal free to look at female bishops | Sydney Anglicans have failed in their attempt to stall the church's chief legal authority from considering the vexed question of female bishops, as key Australian conservatives have condemned the US election of the denomination's first female primate. (Syndey Morning Herald)

  4. Glass ceiling for the pulpit? | Women atop 2 national denominations; gains at local level come slowly (Charlotte Observer)

  5. It's a girl! | The election of a woman to head the American Episcopal Church is a challenge to purity movements that seek to exclude gays and other "outcasts." (Salon.com)

  6. Anglicans' first lady threatens church unity | A woman has been elected as the first female leader of the US Anglican church in a historic but divisive development that could hasten the break-up of the worldwide denomination. (Sydney Morning Herald, Australia)

  7. Episcopal leader calls for move past gay debate | As Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori makes clear her priorities, some conservatives see her selection to lead the U.S. church as divisive. (Los Angeles Times)

  8. U.S. vote triggers more trouble for Anglicans | Anglicans faced a new crisis on Monday after the U.S. branch of the church elected a liberal female leader who said she believed homosexuality was no sin and homosexuals were created by God. (Reuters)

  9. New US church leader says homosexuality no sin | Newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said on Monday she believed homosexuality was no sin and homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender. (Reuters)

  10. Bishop election upsets Episcopal diocese | One of three Episcopal dioceses that rejects ordaining women appealed for help Monday from the head of the Anglican Communion after the U.S. church elected a female bishop as its national leader, the first woman ever to lead an Anglican province. (Associated Press)

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  1. For an Episcopal pioneer, the challenge is to unite | As she talked about her past and her future, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on Tuesday described a life filled with so many unusual steps — including learning to fly and entering the Episcopal priesthood at age 40 — that it seemed to suggest an almost congenital appetite for challenge. (The New York Times)

Episcopal conservatives:

  1. 'A worldwide revolution' | Bishop Robert Duncan argues that the consecration of an openly gay bishop may bring an end to a unified Anglican church. (Newsweek)

  2. Episcopal choice highlights Anglican rifts | Long before battles over gay priests, the main quarrels in the worldwide Anglican Communion were over how far a woman could rise in its churches. The issue roared back to center stage after the American church became the first to choose a woman as leader. (Associated Press)

  3. Woman's election drives wedge into Episcopalians | A liberal brand of Christianity is prevailing in a divisive battle with conservatives, say North Jersey Episcopal priests who helped elect their church's first female presiding bishop this weekend. (NorthJersey.com)

Anglican schism:

  1. The spectre of schism | Members of the Church of England take pride in portraying it as able to tolerate a wide diversity of opinion. By extension, they would like to apply this judgment to the Anglican communion as a whole. However, as the general convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, reminds us, such optimism in regard to the wider Church is looking more and more like wishful thinking. (Telegraph, UK)

  2. US Anglicans accused of setting up own religion | British bishop intervenes in dispute over gay clergy. Episcopal church meets to elect new leader. (The Guardian, UK)

  3. New model schism for Anglicans? | The US Anglican Church's ruling convention in Columbus, Ohio, is attempting a last-minute escape from the crisis over homosexuality, which threatens the whole worldwide Church with a permanent split. But what sort of schism might it be? (BBC)

  4. Anglicans face gloomy prediction of schism | Anglicans faced stark divisions on Monday after a woman radical took over the U.S. branch and an English Bishop warned that Anglicanism was in danger of splitting into "two religions." (Reuters)

  5. Anglican split 'has become necessary' | A split in the Anglican Communion is inevitable the Bishop of Rochester has said, as issues such as gay and women bishops continue to divide the global Church. (BBC)

  6. The new Episcopal church | Here I sit, in Columbus, Ohio, at the Episcopal General Convention, watching a worthy and dignified Christian body tear itself asunder -- not over theology, as many here would think, but over politics and cultural attitudes. (William Murchison, Human Events)

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  1. Anglicans should welcome a schism | After a wretched couple of decades for the Church of England - catfights over the ordination of women and homosexuals, the tumbling of weekly church attendance to below a million - there is finally a glimmer of hope in the headlines. The Anglican Communion seems to be falling apart. (Damian Thompson, Telegraph, UK)

  2. Anglicans 'are close to anarchy' in dispute over female bishop | The Anglican Church descended into "ecclesiastical anarchy" last night as American traditionalists refused to accept the authority of a woman and asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead them instead. (Times, London)

  3. Pressure on Williams as US church ponders gay bishops | The American Episcopal church was on a defiant collision course with the rest of the worldwide Anglican communion yesterday as it decided whether it would agree not to elect any more gay bishops. (The Guardian, UK)

  4. A house divided | The Archbishop of Canterbury must be bolder or schism is inevitable (Editorial, Times, London)

More on ECUSA:

  1. Author dissects moral relativism, absolute truth | Pamela Binnings Ewen's slant on the issue causing the most discord at this week's 75th annual General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, is not anti-gay sentiment. (Post-Crescent, Wisc.)

  2. Church leaders moving carefully | Episcopalians debate each word (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  3. This convention is different for Robinson | Openly gay Episcopal Bishop is busy but not hounded (Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky.)

PCUSA allows ordaining gays:

  1. Presbytery tosses complaint against pastor | A complaint against the Rev. Ilene Dunn, pastor of Madison Square Presbyterian Church, for her role in ordaining gay and lesbian church members was dismissed without explanation Monday by the San Antonio-based Mission Presbytery. (San Antonio Express)

  2. U.S. Presbyterian church opens door to gay clergy | The largest U.S. Presbyterian Church body approved a measure on Tuesday that would open the way for the ordination of gays and lesbians under certain circumstances. (Reuters)

  3. Presbyterians OK leeway for ordaining gays | A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national assembly voted Tuesday to create some leeway for gay clergy and lay officers to serve local congregations, despite a denominational ban on partnered gay ministers. (Associated Press)

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  1. Presbyterians to vote on gay clergy bill | The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), severely split over homosexuality, would maintain its ban on gay clergy but allow some leeway in enforcing it under a proposal headed to a national assembly vote on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

PCUSA divestment:

  1. Presbyterians will reconsider severing investments in Israel | Assembly sought `equitable peace' in Middle East. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  2. Presbyterian Church to decide whether to lift ban on investing in Israel | Christians and Jews who believe the Presbyterian Church damaged its relationship with the Jewish community by voting to stop investing in Israel two years ago are hoping the church does an about-face this week. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  3. Protestants scrutinize policies on Mideast | 2 churches debate use of their clout (The Courier-Journal, Louisville)

PCUSA language on the Trinity:

  1. Presbyterians 'receive' policy on worship | The divine Trinity — "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" — could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb" or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend" at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly. (Associated Press)

  2. Presbyterians weigh worship alternatives | Delegates of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are to tackle whether to adopt gender-inclusive language for worship of the divine Trinity along with the traditional "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." (Associated Press)

More on PCUSA:

  1. Report: Man face trouble over donation | A Denver businessman and elder with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who promised to donate a record $150 million to the church owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to creditors and has had his assets frozen, according to public records reviewed by The Denver Post. (Associated Press)

  2. Manitowoc native eager to be ordained as Presbyterian minister | Come Aug. 1, the members of First Presbyterian Church of Worland, Wyo., are going to get a new pastor who will want to see members put their faith into action … no sitting on their hands. (Herald Times, Wisc.)

  3. Some ministers opening door to new way of spreading Word | Suffice it to say that evangelism has not been a priority for many Presbyterians. But that's changing, at least locally with a handful of pastors and laypeople who see a great need. (The Post and Courier)

  4. 700 expected for Presbyterian meeting | This week Rome hosts the 26th General Assembly, which will draw people from all over the country. (Rome News-Tribune, Ga.)

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  1. Page touts conservatism as SBC president | The surprise pick for president of the Southern Baptist Convention says he'll stand up for the denomination's conservative beliefs — but he'll do it with a smile. "I believe in the Word of God," says the Rev. Frank Page. "I'm just not mad about it." (Associated Press)

  2. Young pastors encouraged by Southern Baptist election | On the eve of this year's annual meeting of Southern Baptists, Micah Fries spoke of how he, as a 27-year-old pastor, often feels left out of the nation's largest Protestant denomination. (Religion News Service)

Church life:

  1. Mainline churches attempt to find compromises on gays | With the failure of the Congress to amend the Constitution to outlaw gay marriage, attention now focuses on the churches' attempts to come to some consensus about gay clergy. National assemblies of the Episcopal, Reformed and Presbyterian churches in America meet this month to seek some agreement. (Scripps Howard News Service)

  2. A good way to extend Grace | Congregation at Lutheran church is looking to increase its numbers—and its diversity (Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Ind.)

  3. Churches have mortgages — and policy positions | These days, it seems a respectable church has to have an opinion on current civic issues, from the government's definition of marriage to limits on religious symbols and practices in the public schools. (David Hawpe, Courier-Journal, Louisville)

  4. New pastor buoys spirits at Ward AME Church | The Rev. C. Dennis Williams is welcomed in wake of abuse scandal, drop in membership. (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Bill would exempt R.I. churches from sprinkler requirements | Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill that would exempt places of worship from having to install sprinklers, a requirement most large places of assembly have to comply with. (Associated Press)

  6. Inward-opening doors are blamed in fire toll | The lack of outward-opening doors may have prevented several people from quickly escaping last week's deadly Fall River social club blaze, resulting in several burn and smoke injuries that might have been avoided, according to preliminary findings by fire officials. (The Boston Globe)

  7. Tucson church rises on the rock of U2 | Band's lyrics used as basis for service; Bono not included (Arizona Daily Star)

  8. God's not pleased with lone rangers | Where were you last Sunday around 10 o'clock in the morning? (Whidbey News Times, Wa.)

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  1. Americans flock to mega-churches | Non-denominational churches growing in size, appeal (Weekly Standard, via CBS News)

  2. New pastor, old legal fight | Breakaway congregation battles AME Zion over $40 million in assets, including Lear Jet (The Washington Post)

  3. Ugandan preacher, local church united Fremont worshipers join efforts in Africa | In his native Uganda, Jackson Senyonga is kind of like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and Pat Robertson all rolled into one. During a pit stop in Fremont, though, Senyonga crusaded for money and manpower as much as he crusades for Jesus. (Inside Bay Area, Calif.)


  1. Institute adds fire to worldwide Pentecostal reach | Christ for the Nations Institute is extending its Pentecostal reach worldwide. (The Dallas Morning News, via Miami Herald)

  2. Pentecostalism: A church leader speaks out | The Rev. Jack Hayford, 71, the president of the church, which is based in Los Angeles, recently sat down to talk about the state of Pentecostalism, his denomination's stand on women in leadership and the church's intersection with culture. (Religion News Service)

Missions & ministry:

  1. Missionary looks for ways to save foreign churches | The Rev. Bruce Rigdon's passion for missions involves combatting an American stereotype that pictures most of the world as needing our brands of churches to meet their needs. (Detroit Free Press)

  2. School of faith | Vacation Bible school can make learning about Jesus fun for children. (News-Leader, Mo.)

  3. Biblical text messages, "godcasts" spread Word | A recent national poll found just 17 percent of adults view the local church as essential for developing faith. (Los Angeles Times via Seattle Times)

  4. Baptist and Catholic volunteers gear up for home-repair missions around state | More than 80 homes in the Fredericksburg area will become warmer, drier and safer by the end of the month. (The Free Lance-Star, Va.)

  5. The ministry of hip hop | Is the church any place for a self-respecting rapper? (The Observer, UK)

  6. Calling young evangelicals to social justice | Relationships with poor urged (Boston Globe)

  7. On a mission — a short-term mission | Short-term mission trips (less than two weeks) are enjoying a wave of popularity with Americans eager to put faith into action and make vacations meaningful. About 1.6 million Americans took such trips abroad last year. (USA Today)

  8. Ministry says Armageddon is near | Saturday night's event at the Garland school district's Special Events Center, designed to build opposition to national IDs, was part of the annual Prophecy conference organized by Garland-based Endtime Ministries, which publishes books and multimedia material based on Mr. Baxter's interpretations of biblical end-time prophecies. (The Dallas Morning News)

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  1. Habitat constructs homes in remote Isulan village | At least 50 houses are to be built by Habitat for Humanity in this remote barangay in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat in a bid to improve the quality of life of its people and sustain the peace-building initiatives in the community. (Sun-Star, Philippines)


  1. 93-year-old priest's simple Mass draws faithful to senior complex | Father M. Ignatius Curzydlo is 93 and, not surprisingly, his step has slowed. But his mind is sharp and his faith is strong, so every day he celebrates the Mass, the central worship service of the Roman Catholic Church. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, N.Y.)

  2. New country, new religion | More Latinos leaving Catholicism as other churches reach out (Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  3. Growing flock celebrates last Mass at mission | Doraville church moving to larger building in Lilburn (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  4. Retiring Archbishop gives farewell homily | He will miss it here. He will miss the nuns and the priests he has come to call friends. But shortly before Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick delivered his final homily as archbishop of Washington yesterday, he said he will most miss the people he has served the past five years. (The Washington Post)

  5. Pope urges respect for refugee rights | Pope Benedict, speaking ahead of the United Nations World Refugee Day, said on Sunday the rights of those forced to leave their homelands must always be respected. (Reuters)

  6. Interview - Vatican envoys in Beijing for secret talks—cardinal | Vatican officials have visited Beijing for closed-door talks on normalising ties despite strains over the installation of two bishops in China without Rome's approval, the church's top clergyman in Hong Kong said on Monday. (Reuters)

  7. Opus Dei's earthly weapon in image battle: Humor | Their Catholic organization's reputation tarnished by 'Da Vinci Code,' members find that laughter goes a long way. (Los Angeles Times)

Parish cuts:

  1. Archdiocese of New York nears final list of parishes and schools marked for closing | After more than two years of work, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York is nearing the end of a reorganization process that could lead to the closing of dozens of parishes. (The New York Times)

  2. Coming back to fight for the church of their ancestors | In 1848, as refugees of the Irish potato famine streamed into New York, Irish shipwrights began work on St. Brigid's Church on the eastern edge of Tompkins Square Park. The church became the community's anchor, but by the late 19th century, most of the Irish had left the neighborhood, and St. Brigid's, known as the Famine Church, was largely forgotten by Irish-Americans eager to bury painful memories of privation. (The New York Times)

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  1. Layoffs completed in Boston archdiocese | 25 administrators said to be affected (The Boston Globe)

  2. Bell rings one last time at Catholic grade school | On the final day at Immaculate Conception School, first-graders sat cross-legged on a rug, listening carefully to their teacher, Marie Duggan . (The Boston Globe)

  3. Winchester debates church site's future | When the Archdiocese of Boston closed the parish in November 2004, Schleicher's heart was broken. She said the sale and redevelopment proposal that followed have caused even more pain for a neighborhood that feels twice abandoned. (The Boston Globe)

U.K. Cardinal challenges abortion laws:

  1. Cardinal urges abortion rethink | The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has reopened the abortion debate by urging the government to change the law. (BBC)

  2. Q&A: Abortion law | The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, is meeting the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewett, to press for tighter restrictions on abortion. (BBC)

  3. Improvements in neonatal care | The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales is due to ask ministers to lower the 24-week limit on abortion. (BBC)

  4. Church leader urges Britain to change abortion law | The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales urged the British government on Wednesday to order a complete review of abortion laws in the light of advances in medical science. (Reuters)


  1. State to vote on abortion ban in November | South Dakotans will vote in November on the fate of a new state law, one of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures in the United States, banning the procedure even for women made pregnant by rape or incest or those whose health is in danger. (Reuters)

  2. U.S. top court to decide second abortion law case | The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would expand its review of a federal law banning some abortion procedures by deciding a California case on whether the law was too vague and imposed a burden on women. (Reuters)

  3. Vatican official warns Amnesty against abortion move | Human rights group Amnesty International will be discredited if it pushes for the decriminalization of abortion worldwide, a senior Vatican official said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

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  1. Top court adds 2nd abortion case to docket | The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider a second Bush administration appeal that seeks to reinstate a federal ban on what opponents call partial-birth abortion. (Associated Press)

  2. Man indicted in abortion bomb attempt case | A man accused of plotting to attack an abortion clinic with a pipe bomb and handgun was indicted Monday on weapons and explosives charges, the U.S. attorney's office said. (Associated Press)

  3. Louisiana gov. signs law that would ban abortions | Louisiana Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed into law a ban on most abortions, which would be triggered if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1973 ruling legalizing the procedure, a spokesman said on Saturday. (Reuters)

  4. Top court to decide second abortion law case | The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would expand its review of a federal law banning some abortion procedures and would decide a California case on whether the law was too vague and imposed a burden on women. (Reuters)

  5. New S Dakota abortion ban on hold | Opponents of a new abortion ban in the US state of South Dakota have succeeded in putting the law on hold until a state-wide ballot is held in November. (BBC)

Life ethics:

  1. MPs told to forget religion in euthanasia debate | Euthanasia advocates have called on South Australian MPs to put religion aside when debating proposed voluntary euthanasia laws. (ABC, Australia)

  2. S Korea cloning expert on trial | The South Korean cloning scientist accused of faking his stem cell research has gone on trial in Seoul, charged with fraud and embezzlement. (BBC)


  1. A final word with president's faithful speechwriter | Michael Gerson might be the highest-profile ghostwriter in the country. Over the last seven years he has written most of President Bush's important speeches, including two inaugural addresses, the president's much-admired speeches after the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as several State of the Union messages and many, many policy statements. (NPR)

  2. Scriptures offer fix for dispute over immigration | Immigration, a tough U.S. public policy dispute, is a central theme in the Bible. (Associated Press)

  3. Answering the challenges of lofty rhetoric | The Condi star power was ablaze last week in Greensboro, N.C. There she was, this black Presbyterian addressing the 12,000 white evangelicals of the Southern Baptist Convention, this high-stepping secretary of state come among the partisans of Southern values. And she wowed them. (The Washington Post)

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  1. S. African Christians host pro-Israel parley | Reaching out to Christian supporters of Israel in Africa, a group of conservative Israeli thinkers and the interim head of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus will take part in the first Jerusalem Summit Africa in Cape Town on Monday, in an effort to garner support for Israel at a time of increasing Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Israel sentiment in the continent. (Jerusalem Post)

  2. Onward Christian lawyers | Now it seems that the right-wing legal establishment has decided that if you can't beat them, join them. In an article for U.S. News and World Report, Scott Michels documents how the Alliance Defense Fund, the Christian Right counter to the ACLU, is "taking the culture wars overseas." (Editorial, The Nation)

  3. Faith used as weapon in race | In a gubernatorial race in which religion is playing a public role, Democrat Ted Strickland cracked open his Old Testament on Tuesday to lash out at what he called ``inaccurate and inappropriate'' comments by his Republican opponent, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. (Lisa A. Abraham, Beacon Journal, Akron)

Church & state:

  1. Chaplain prayers spark debate | Some worry they're being restricted to nonsectarian prayers (The State, S.C.)

  2. Details of district's insurance suit kept secret | Taxpayers may have to pay for remainder of Indian River's legal battle over school prayer (News Journal, Del.)


  1. Program to help college-bound students | Faith-based program 'Impact 360' offers classes and service projects (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Ga.)

  2. Home-schoolers pressing conservative denominations to leave public schools | The public school system, he says, is like the Titanic right after it hit the iceberg. (The Post and Courier)

  3. New perplexity for U.S. schools: Should years be B.C. or B.C.E. | Forget public schools' religious wars about intelligent design and evolution, students' religious songs and artwork, after-school Bible clubs, graduation prayers and gay sensitivity training. (Associated Press)

  4. Official says father's view on gays didn't spark fight | Lexington's school superintendent yesterday denied assertions that a first-grader was beaten up on a playground last month in retaliation for his father's campaign to stop the school from teaching his son about homosexuality. (The Boston Globe)

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Silver rings banned from UK school:

  1. Sikh bracelets, but no Christian rings at school bans pupils from wearing 'purity rings' | A group of teenage Christians have been banned by a secondary school from wearing "purity rings" as a symbol of their religious belief in chastity until marriage. (Telegraph, UK)

  2. Silver rings cause religious controversy | Silver rings worn by schoolgirls are causing controversy in West Sussex, as well as in the rest of Britain, The Observer reported. (UPI)

  3. Banned | Schoolgirls are forced to take off chastity rings - or be ordered out of lessons (The Observer, UK)

Religious freedom:

  1. Bill allows exclusionist campus clubs | State senators voted Tuesday to allow clubs at universities and community colleges to discriminate on religious or sexual preference without losing their public funding. (Arizona Daily Star)

  2. University allows pagans to hold rituals | Paganism is to receive official recognition at Scotland's oldest seat of learning. St Andrews University, whose graduates include Prince William, has decided to allocate an area for followers of the alternative religion to hold festivals and rituals. (Times, London)

  3. Pagans get equal rights at St Andrews | Many universities fuss over their quadrangles, but only St Andrews is fretting about pentangles. (Scotland on Sunday)

  4. Extremist image masks Iranians' many faiths | Some religious minorities see increase in harassment (The Washington Post)

  5. Town mixed on plans for 'peace palaces' | The Transcendental Meditation movement wants to build the World Capital of Peace in Smith Center. (Associated Press)

  6. Support grows for Wicca marker on soldier's grave | The space where the memorial marker of Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart, a decorated American soldier who was killed last year in Afghanistan, should stand is empty because his Wiccan faith is not one of 30 approved for such designation by the federal government. (Religion News Service)

  7. MP, Chhattisgarh not protecting Christian rights: NCM | National Commission for Minorities (NCM) member Harcharan Singh Josh, who conducted an investigation into allegations of harassment of Christians in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, today said his probe revealed that administration in the two BJP-ruled states has "failed" to protect religious rights of the community. (The Hindu, India)

Religious freedom & television:

  1. Televangelists revive offer for O.C.'s PBS affiliate | The Daystar network, fighting for the right to buy KOCE, is up against a legal thicket surrounding the TV station's sale to a foundation. (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Channel 7's Turner seeks injunction so he can proceed with radio show | Here's another twist in WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) news anchor Frank Turner's attempt to launch a radio career as a weekday evangelist despite exclusivity clauses in his TV contract that Channel 7 maintains prohibit such activity. (Detroit Free Press)


  1. Gay evangelicals | Are they an oxymoron? Not entirely. Just ask Deacon Peter Benson. (Seattle Weekly)

  2. Pentagon lists homosexuality as disorder | A Pentagon document classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder, decades after mental health experts abandoned that position. (Associated Press)

  3. 'Reformed' gays demand a voice in America's schools | Angered by what they see as the promotion of homosexuality in schools, thousands of American parents are banding together to demand that their children be taught that it is possible to stop being gay. (Telegraph, UK)

  4. Gay parade draws 2.4 million | Brazilians pack street days after even bigger rally of evangelicals (Associated Press)

  5. At pride parade, quiet religious debate | There were a couple of messages about God mixed in with the rainbows and parties on floats at the Southern Maine Pride Parade. (Portland Press Herald, Maine)

  6. A law that turns sexual tolerance into tyranny | Would anyone ever have imagined that one day it would become illegal in Britain to teach children to follow precepts laid down in the Bible? (Daily Mail, UK)

  7. CrossWalk group visits to preach acceptance | Leaders from the Arizona-based Christian group arrived Sunday in Lawrence, the latest stop on their cross-country walking tour touting the benefits of a religion open to all people. (Lawrence Journal World, Kansas)

  8. Gay pride parade draws religious groups with contrasting messages | Religious groups brought contrasting messages to the 20th annual Southern Maine Pride Parade, a colorful float-filled procession through the downtown area put on by the local gay community. (Associated Press)

  9. Anti-bias law still at risk | The day after Tim Eyman's referendum bid fizzled, hundreds of supporters of Washington's new gay rights law gathered in downtown Seattle to celebrate the protections taking effect. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

  10. Gays have emerged as the new protected class in America | The governor of Maryland fired one of his appointees to the Washington Metro transit authority board for stating a negative opinion of homosexuality on a cable TV talk show. The board member, Robert Smith, had said: "Homosexual behavior, in my view, is deviant. I'm a Roman Catholic." The governor, Robert Ehrlich, said Smith's remarks were "highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable." (John Leo)

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  1. Brangelina's an ugly role model | Unmarried celebs having babies sends a bad message to the world. (Katharine DeBrecht, Los Angeles Times)

  2. News flash! The traditional family is threatened--but by whom? | Furthermore, while evangelicals in the so-called "Bible Belt" states have been leading the charge to protect and defend the institution of marriage, divorce rates in that region of America are higher than in traditionally liberal states. (John W. Whitehead, The Free Lance-Star, Va.)

War & terrorism:

  1. Va. institute's peace mission still strong | Three months after Fox's bullet-riddled body was found in Baghdad, relief workers, teachers and counselors continue to come to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, each focused on easing tension in the world's most troubled spots. (Associated Press)

  2. Church members mourn after death of Fort Hood soldier | Members of a North Dakota church are mourning the death of a Fort Hood soldier whom they cheered a few months ago when he told them how proud he was to serve in Iraq. (KWTX, Texas)


  1. Mugabe divides his church critics | President Robert Mugabe has lured most of Zimbabwe's Christian churches into a new political alliance, side-lining prominent church critics. (Telegraph, UK)

  2. Zimbabwe: Churches, clergy in Mugabe's pocket | ZANU PF and its allies in the Church have cancelled the National Day of Prayer which is held annually on 25 May and replaced it with the Zimbabwe Day of Prayer to be celebrated on 25 June. (Zimbabwe Standard)


  1. Bluegrass star McCoury takes fans to 'Promised Land' | After performing bluegrass music for more than 40 years, collecting numerous accolades including the International Bluegrass Music Assn.'s entertainer of the year award nine times, and winning a Grammy Award earlier this year, you'd think Del McCoury would have checked off everything on his professional to-do list. But there's at least one thing left: a gospel album. (Billboard)

  2. The Afters cross over from Christian niche | With a Gospel Music Award in hand for best new artist and prime exposure from such mainstream outlets as MTV, VH1 and pop radio, Dallas-based the Afters are the next contenders for Switchfoot's crossover crown. (Billboard)

  3. 'Danielson': The family that rocks with God | At Silverdocs, a film moved by a strange singer's spirit (The Washington Post)

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  1. Book was 30-year effort | Ex-area pastor writes about the historical Jesus (Toledo Blade)

  2. A glittering insight into hostile faiths | Sea of Faith: Islam and Christianity in the medieval Mediterranean world by Stephen O'Shea (The Independent, UK)

  3. Finding the cool in Christian rock | Opinion by Andrew Beaujon author of "Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock" (ABC News)


  1. A green light for blasphemy | When The Da Vinci Code hit theaters last month, like other Christians around the world I faced a dilemma: to go and see it, or not. At first I considered arguments in favor? mostly so that I could be in the loop culturally, and because the story and settings are so intriguing. But then I started thinking more seriously about what my small vote, my "yea" or "nay" to The Da Vinci Code, would say. (Dale Buss, USA Today)

  2. Theater owners reassure patrons that movie is simply work of entertainment | The blockbuster movie "The DaVinci Code" will be showing this weekend in Harmony and JEM Theater owners Paul and Michelle Haugerud are anxious to reassure concerned patrons about the movie. (Marshall News Record, N.C.)

  3. 'Jesus' looks Sterling to Silverdocs | "Jesus Camp," Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's look at a summer camp for young evangelical Christians, won the Sterling Award for feature film Saturday at the fourth annual Silverdocs, the D.C.-area documentary fest held by American Film InstituteAmerican Film Institute and Discovery Channel. (Variety)

  4. Superman or saviour? | Christian parallels drawn in new hero movie (Daily News, South Africa)

  5. Christians on football film: Give us a G! | Supporters of 'Facing the Giants' criticize the PG rating given to the inspirational movie (Los Angeles Times)

  6. Blunt weighs in on movie's PG rating | The MPAA rejects the allegation that the movie's Christian content is the reason the ratings board decided on PG and says the filmmakers have accepted the board's ruling. (The Hill)

  7. Christian movie's PG rating not worth outcry | In what is becoming the latest clash between fundamentalist Christianity and the rest of the world, the Motion Picture Association of America recently assigned a PG rating to an explicitly Christian film. (James Evans, Atlanta Journal Constitution)


  1. Sounds keep the faith | Faith Night begins with a line of several hundred fans emptying into Greer Stadium, clamoring for a cartoonish bobblehead of the Old Testament hero Jonah. (Nashville City Paper)

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  1. Well, praise the Rockies | The front-office executives pray together. Most players not only attend Sunday chapel but also weekday fellowship and Bible study groups. Girlie magazines and music with obscene lyrics are banned from the clubhouse. Scripture quotations are not. (Editorial, Pioneer Press, Minn.)


  1. Father figure | He hoped for Hawaii after a posting in Iraq, but the Rev. Richard M. Erikson's career path has led back to Boston. Cardinal Sean O'Malley's new number two talks about life on the Catholic Church's front lines. (The Boston Globe)

  2. A father's gift | Writer learned from his dad that speaking up has its costs (The Dallas Morning News)

  3. Graduate offers example of hope | Formerly homeless and addicted, Gary Kelso will get diploma today (Statesman Journal, Oregon)

  4. Long-time pastor says good-bye | James McMillian is leaving Leavenworth, his hometown for more than three decades, to be the head pastor at Auburn Evangelical Free Church in Auburn, Neb. (Leavenworth Times, Kansas)

  5. In face of leukemia, Lincoln dad maintains faith | Doctors have given Mike Fayman about two years to live, but his family is hoping for a miracle. (Lincoln Journal Star, Neb.)

  6. Prison chaplain plans to leave post June 30 | As inmates get settled into the new addition at the Northampton County Prison, they'll have to get used to a new man leading their prayer services and Bible groups. (The Express-Times, N.J.)

  7. TV preacher aims at the multitudes | Five nights a week, Keller - televangelist, ex-convict and founder of the Web site liveprayer.com, billed as the world's largest interactive Christian website - brings a stark, fundamentalist message to broadcast TV. He has shunned Christian cable-TV networks and pious, Sunday morning broadcast audiences for a 1 a.m. slot on six commercial stations in Florida. (Knight Ridder Newspapers)


  1. Ethiopian saint still inspires | Six years ago at his baptism in the Orthodox church, Jerome Moses Fisher of Detroit adopted the name of a saint that most Americans have never encountered: St. Moses the Black. (David Crumm, Free Press, Detroit)

  2. A hard core, hip-hop spiritual journey | Just as the sun started to burn through the smog on a recent Monday morning, the Rev. Ricardo Xavier-Zatwon Bailey, 32, a priest at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church here, loosened his collar, slipped on his headphones and rolled up to a radio-studio microphone. (The New York Times)

  3. Hard-core, tattooed types know it's what's inside that counts | Sara Langdon looks different. With 20 piercings, her studded black leather collar, baggy black cargo pants and a small five-pointed star Sharpied just below her right eye, the 16-year-old from West Harrison, Ind., sticks out in a crowd. Especially a Christian-centric one. (Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky.)

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  1. Catch hell | We asked Beliefnet readers if they know someone who's going to hell. Here are the surprising results. (Beliefnet)

  2. Temple Square top Utah tourist attraction | Travel brochures can boast about breathtaking Zion, Bryce and Arches national parks. Tourism promoters can roar about Dinosaur National Monument and hawk the state's high peaks. But Utah's hottest tourism destination is Temple Square. (Associated Press)

More articles of interest:

  1. Thieves target church | In a rare case of sacrilege for Fiji, police are investigating a break-in at a Christian church at Nalase, Rewa at the weekend. (fijilive.com, Fiji)

  2. Johnston businessmen form Christian Business Forum | The new Christian Business Forum had its beginnings in the Johnston Evangelical Free Church and held its first meeting in March. (Des Moines Business Record)

  3. The Jordan river is deep and wide no more | Over-use of water from the southern stretch of the Jordan River threatens to dry it up and devastate one of the world's most important religious sites. The warning comes from conservationists, Christian groups and the heads of local authorities in the region and there is mounting fear of a natural disaster that would have far-reaching consequences. (Ha'aretz, Israel)

  4. Catholic group pelts Protestant paraders | Catholic militants hurled rocks and golf balls Friday night at paraders from the Orange Order, Northern Ireland's major Protestant brotherhood, authorities said. (Associated Press)

  5. Jehovah's Witnesses busy inviting everyone in region to convention in Tacoma | The group printed enough invitations to hand out at 900,000 homes from Bellingham to Vancouver, bold and ambitious even for a religion known for its persistent door-to-door visits and divergence from certain bedrock Christian beliefs. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

  6. A crucible for secularism | France's policy of church-state separation is reflected in declining Christian church attendance, while many of its Muslims hold their faith close (Chicago Tribune)

  7. A feminist look at the Mormon faith | The description that perhaps best defines Judith R. Dushku seems oxymoronic and captures the religious tension of her life. She's a Mormon feminist, a woman who takes periodic issue, if lovingly, with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (The Boston Globe)

Related Elsewhere:

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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