1. Christian skate a no-no says state human-rights division

The Times Herald Record of New York state reports on a roller rink that is accused of human-rights violations for trying to attract Christian customers.

Skate Time 209 offers residents a new wooden roller skating rink and a fancy skateboard park. In its hunt for customers, the business has "tot" skates and "tween" (ages 6-13) skates. There are family nights and adult disco parties.
And there are "Christian skate times" on Sunday afternoons, Skate Time's ad in the April 19 Ulster County Press said. That ad is evidence of a human rights violation, according to the state Division of Human Rights.
A "Christian skate denies or at a minimum, discourages non-Christian patronage," a June 15 letter from the state division said. The weekly paper got the same letter, accusing it of "aiding and abetting" the violation, said its editor-at-large, Greg Childers.

Is it even worth pointing out that "tot" and "tween" skates equally discourage participation from non-tots and non-tweens? Weblog doubts that the person who composed the letters would be able to recognize the inconsistency.

2. Chinese Christian explosion

"It's like in South Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, when the church was a leader in the democratic movement," says Yu Jie, a Chinese house church leader. Nicholas Kristof reports on the growth of underground churches in the country.

One reason for the boom in Christianity is that China is going through just the kind of turbulent social change, including alarm at the eclipse of traditional values, that often drives people toward faith. And in China's case, Maoism wiped out the traditional religions.

Despite persecution in some areas of the country, Christians are reshaping China after missionaries failed to do so. "One of the oddest legacies of the Communist dynasty may be that after 2,000 years Christianity gains a major foothold in China."

3. Jim Wallis, hope of the religious left

Slate opens the wedge driving apart the two sides of the Religious Left. Led by "Michael Lerner, the garrulous rabbi and editor of the interfaith magazine Tikkun, and Rev. Jim Wallis, the barrel-chested evangelical editor of Sojourners magazine and head of the anti-poverty group Call to Renewal," the Religious Left (and the Democratic Party) will have to choose its spiritual director.

Martin Edlund writes that the two groups differ in their core audience. At a recent Lerner conference, Edlund says, "My breakout group of eight—led by a stunning Jewfi woman (Jew + Sufi = Jewfi) in ventilated Crocs sandals—included Unitarian and United Church of Christ pastors, a retired scientist looking to marry faith and reason, and a gay former Christian fundamentalist turned theatrical performance activist."

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Wallis, on the other hand is more specific: "moderate evangelicals and Catholics." Edlund writes:

The source of Wallis' appeal is his apparent moderation, both political and theological. His argument is compelling in its simplicity: An overriding commitment to social justice is more basic to Christianity than the issues championed by Christian fundamentalists. But to prevail he must avoid seeming too militantly progressive. "The country is not hungry, I don't think, for a religious left to counter the religious right," Wallis told the NSP conference. "The country is hungry for a moral center."

Edlund advises Wallis and the rest of the Democratic Party to leave Lerner, which may do the Left some good. Wallis could steal some so-called moderate Christians from the Republicans, especially those tired of the culture wars. However, for Wallis's strategy to be a winning one for Democrats, he won't be able to ignore the issue of abortion, which sent many Christians into the ranks of the Republican Party to begin with. And the Democratic position on gay-rights issues, particularly same-sex marriage, won't ease the consciences of "moderate" Christian voters this fall.

4. Another Episcopal church leaves

Christ Church Episcopal in Plano, Texas, is one of the largest Episcopal churches in the country. And it's leaving the Episcopal Church (its new acronym is TEC), The Dallas Morning News reports. "The mission of Christ Church is to make disciples and teach them to obey the commands of Christ," said a statement approved by Christ Church's leaders this weekend. "The direction of the leadership of the Episcopal Church is different, and we regret their departure from biblical truth and the historic faith of the Anglican Communion. … We declare our intention to disassociate from ECUSA as soon as possible."

It will be interesting to watch how the church tries to keep its property. "They bought it. They paid for it," Dallas Bishop James Stanton said. The conservative bishop plans to allow the church to l keep its building, which technically belongs to the denomination. The church says Stanton is still its "apostolic leader."

Another interesting point some bloggers have made is that the church is larger than the entire diocese from which the new TEC presiding bishop came.

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5. Oh yeah, the First Amendment

D. C. officials have dropped their objections to a 850-pound monument of the Ten Commandments outside a row house across from the Supreme Court. The group Faith and Action had earlier been threatened with a $300/day fine for not removing the monument, which was erected without a permit. Feeling they were being singled out for religious discrimination, the group refused. According to The Washington Post, the most recent letter sent by the city stated, "In view of the First Amendment interests reflected in the installation of the Ten Commandments sculpture … and upon further consideration of applicable law," D.C. officials don't think there was any violation of permit requirements.

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  1. Keeping faith in China | The fastest-growing churches are the underground ones that are independent of the government. (Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times)

  2. China: 1,958 Evangelical Christians arrested in one year | The worst persecution took place in Henan, where 823 Christian pastors and followers were arrested. Those hardest hit were community leaders and teachers: the government fears they may corrupt new generations. (AsiaNews)

Religious freedom:

  1. Abuse of Hindus reported | Foundation hopes to raise awareness of human rights violations (The Argus, Ca.)

  2. Bible study Web site among those blocked by state | A site dedicated to Bible study was included on a government "blacklist" of Internet pages blocked to state employees in an effort by administrators to boost workers' efficiency. (Associated Press)

  3. City drops objections to religious sculpture | Display doesn't need permit, agency says (Washington Post)

  4. Pakistan's blasphemy laws used to persecute non-Muslims | By rights, the Pakistani Christians Asif Masih and Amjad Masih should be celebrating. Released from prison last month after their life sentences for blasphemy. But in the country's increasingly fundamentalist climate, the two feel as imprisoned now as they ever did, forced into hiding for fear of attacks by Muslim extremists. (Telegraph, UK)

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  1. Christians still 'swine' and Jews 'apes' in Saudi schools | Saudi Arabia has been accused of continuing to foster religious hatred in its schools, despite its repeated assurances since the September 11 attacks that it would rewrite textbooks that refer to Jews as "apes" and Christians as "swine".(Telegraph, UK)

  2. Prayers out at Lake County 4-H | The Lake County Cooperative Extension Service is asking participants in all of its 4-H programs to refrain from prayers during extension-sponsored events. (Associated Press)

  3. No more holy roller rink | State slaps local biz for Christian skate times (Times Herald-Record, N.Y.)

  4. Malaysia's converts test freedom of faith | Five days after she declared legally that she had converted from Islam to Christianity, several officers from Malaysia's state Islamic department turned up at the woman's office and arrested her. (Reuters)


  1. Jackson County pastors to consider casino concerns | Local pastors will meet on Wednesday to discuss a topic they have historically opposed but have recently remained silent on: Gambling. (The Mississippi Press)

  2. What happens when a choice has to be made between religious principles and public policy? | Yes, public policy should often reflect religious values. No, people of faith are not required to abandon their faith in order to participate in public service. (Bill Cannon, Asheville Citizen-Times, N.C.)

  3. Left behind | Fault lines among the leaders of the religious left. (Slate)

  4. Mexicans pray for peace as election tension mounts | Mexican Catholics flocked to a shrine on Saturday to pray for a peaceful election, but not even pious pilgrims were immune to the rising political tension gripping a divided nation before next week's vote. (Reuters)

  5. Mr. Santorum, don't build this wall | I've been interviewing Rick Santorum for almost two decades now. One thing that always struck me about Rick was his willingness to speak openly about his belief in Christianity. That's why I was surprised when the senator recently sent an e-mail to me in which he bragged about his tough position on immigration and slammed Bob Casey for his soft one. I thought, "Has Rick ever read what the Bible actually says about immigrants?" (Jerry Bowyer, Philadelphia Daily News)

Same-sex marriage:

  1. Court hears gay marriage challenge | A lesbian couple from Rhode Island argued in court on Monday for the right to marry in Massachusetts, the only U.S. state where gay marriage is legal, in a potentially precedent-setting case. (Reuters)

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  1. Same-sex marriage debate likely to focus on kids | With Prime Minister Stephen Harper promising a free vote on reopening the same-sex marriage issue this fall, the positions of Canadian churches are unchanged from where they were last June, when the Liberals passed Bill C-38 into law. But they may have less energy. (CanWest News Service)

  2. Gay pair asking to be wed in Mass. say no ban in R.I. | A Massachusetts Superior Court judge heard arguments yesterday that a gay couple from Providence should be allowed to marry in the Bay State because Rhode Island law does not explicitly ban same-sex marriage. (The Boston Globe)

Religion & homosexuality:

  1. Christian leaders slam gay parade | The heads of three prominent Jerusalem-based Christian organizations on Tuesday lambasted plans to hold an international gay parade in the city this summer, and urged Israeli authorities to reconsider allowing the controversial event to take place. (Jerusalem Post)

  2. They ask, and tell | He organized a 51-day bus trip to change the way homosexuals are treated by colleges and the military. He led his group to 19 institutions to ask to be heard. He didn't just ride; he's driven. (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

  3. Gay bishop reflects on colleges, coming out, Jesus and a life of fame | Lexington native to be part of documentary (Lexington Herald Leader, Ky.)

  4. The debate over gays | 2 groups with opposing views convene in Indiana next week (Indianapolis Star)

  5. Prenatal effect hinted for some gay men | Men who have several older brothers have an increased chance of being gay — whether they were raised together or not — a finding researchers say adds weight to the idea that sexual orientation is based in biology. (Associated Press)

  6. Sexual orientation of men determined before birth | A man's sexual orientation appears to be determined in the womb, a new study suggests. (Reuters)

  7. Study links male gays, birth of older brothers | A mother's antibodies may change with each boy, raising chances the next will be homosexual. (Los Angeles Times)

Christian convention on poverty:

  1. Religious leaders ask for help with anti-poverty drive | What would Jesus do about growing poverty in America? (Associated Press)

  2. Religious progressives meet for anti-poverty drive | Group hopes to draw attention to what leaders say is greatest moral issue in U.S. (Austin American-Statesman)

  3. Christian convention to test right's hold on values agenda by raising poverty as moral issue | What would Jesus do about growing poverty in America? (Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service)

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  1. Chaplain bid provocative and divisive | Christian clergy have no place in public schools, writes Judith Bessant. (The Age, Australia)

  2. Bolivia's Morales drops secular education proposal | Bolivian President Evo Morales has scrapped a proposal to drop religious education from the school curriculum because of opposition by the country's powerful Catholic Church. (Reuters)

  3. Churches should be involved in schools | Southern Baptists for the past two years at their national convention have thankfully avoided what would be a very destructive statement of policy against public education. (David Hampton, Jackson Clarion Ledger, Miss.)


  1. Plano congregation to leave Episcopal Church | Christ Church Episcopal has announced that it will leave the denomination because it can no longer abide by the national church's decisions. (Associated Press)

  2. Episcopal church to leave fold | Plano's Christ Church rejecting national body over perceived left turn (The Dallas Morning News)

  3. Episcopal Church still faces confusion over sexuality issues | Doubt and division (Charleston Post Courier)

  4. Women's role in the Episcopal church | When Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church last weekend, the Rev. Gayle Elizabeth Harris's applause was heartfelt and knowing. (The Boston Globe)

  5. Beliefwatch: God's girls | What, if anything, does Jefferts Schori's election mean for women seeking a similar path? (Newsweek)

  6. Breaking up difficult for embattled Anglicans | Structural factors hold communion together despite differences (Associated Press)

  7. Staying Anglican -- more or less | How could Episcopalians concede that the consecration of Robinson was wrong or impose a hateful moratorium on gay ordinations or same-sex blessings, when they had been led to open the Episcopal Church to gays and lesbians by the Holy Spirit? (David C. Steinmetz, Orlando Sentinel)

Church life:

  1. Report examines Calvary dispute | A Denver pastor contends Calvary Chapel Albuquerque founder Skip Heitzig had "buyer's remorse" after moving to California and became reluctant to turn over the reins at Calvary to his hand-picked successor. (Albuquerque Journal)

  2. South Carolinian takes over as leader of AME Church | Bishop Preston Warren Williams II plans to strengthen ties among the African Methodist Episcopal churches and help the poor during his yearlong term as the denomination's highest-ranking leader. (Associated Press)

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  1. Southern baptism | What's a Baptist church without its baptisms? That's a question the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, doesn't want to have to answer. (The Cincinnati Post)

  2. Church organs saved from EU threat | The European Commission said on Tuesday it had decided church organs are not covered by a directive that bans the use of hazardous substances, such as lead, which is used to make pipes for organs. (Reuters)

  3. Church continues investing in Caterpillar | A Church of England body on Monday reaffirmed its support for continued investment in Caterpillar Inc., despite concern over reports that Caterpillar tractors had been used by Israel to knock down Palestinian homes. (Associated Press)

  4. Black leaders kick off clergy conference | Prominent black leaders said they will work to combat Christian conservatives they say have used gay marriage and abortion to distract from larger moral issues such as the war, voting rights, affirmative action and poverty. (Associated Press)

  5. 40 years in the builder-ness | Russell grew his church like a mustard seed (Lexington Herald Leader, Ky.)

  6. Gospel church's lawsuit dismissed | A Pequannock church's lawsuit against its critics appears to be nothing more than an effort to harass, intimidate and gain publicity, a federal judge said in a decision released Friday. (NorthJersey.com)

  7. Families valued | First Presbyterian of Harrison puts special emphasis on reaching out to youngsters (Cincinnati Enquirer)

  8. Chinese service opens new avenue to nurture faith | The idea is to give Chinese-speaking people a way to nurture their Christian faith when their understanding of English could be cloudy, said Chinese native Leo Tian. (The Republic, Ind.)

  9. Christian Reformed Church to resolve historic judgment about Catholic mass | While the U.S. Catholic Bishops are currently meeting to discuss slight changes to the mass, delegates of the Christian Reformed Church in West Michigan are discussing how to resolve a historic condemnation of the Catholic mass, which appears in their Heidelberg Catechism. (Catholic News Service)

  10. 'Mother Church' marks 175th anniversary here | Known as the "Mother Church of Chicago Methodism," First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple celebrates its 175th birthday today complete with a steepled cake, candle-blowing and a chorus of "Happy Birthday." (Chicago Sun-Times)

  11. Churches unite | Two local churches merge to form Cross Roads United Methodist Church (Anderson Herald Bulletin, Ind.)

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  1. In summer, the churches stir the pot | Among the many signs of summer are fireflies, fireworks and national church conventions riling up the concerns of the faithful. (Bill Wineke, Wisconsin State Journal)

  2. Armenians celebrate culture, tradition | Since 1938, Racine's Armenian community has gathered together for the St. Hagop Armenian Apostolic Church's annual picnic to celebrate the culture they have in common. (Journal Times Online, Wisc.)

  3. Pastor travels circuitous route to Tannersville | A former Hindu who spent most of the past two decades working in factories, has just been ordained and installed as associate pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Tannersville. (Pocono Record, Pa.)

  4. Church may sell land to city | Sale of wooded parcel may help church fund renovations (Ann Arbor News, Mich.)

  5. Its flock dwindling, a Greek parish reaches out and spruces up | Though the sanctuary holds 1,000 people, these days it is rare for more than 100 people to attend weekly services. That is why the parish has been struggling to reinvent itself. (The New York Times)

  6. Faiths strive to fill vacant pulpits | Experts say those and other concerns are discouraging young adults from pursuing careers in church ministry and have led to a 20-year decline among mainline denominations in the number of clergy under 35. (Washington Times)

  7. Amid contention, Protestants pick leaders | Southern Baptists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians elect officials and debate volatile issues in national conventions. (Los Angeles Times)

Creation care:

  1. Church offering hikes through God's earth | Christians are charged with caring for God's world, she said, and what better way to illustrate that precept than to explore it on foot? (The State, S.C.)

  2. We have a spiritual imperative to care for the Earth | Jesus was born, died and resurrected so that God, humanity and all of creation could be reconciled - it is God's love for all of nature that motivates this saving work. (Laurie Reynolds Rardin, Concord Monitor, N.H.)

Missions & ministry:

  1. Camping close to God | With religion on agenda, camps offer water activities, bonfires and crafts with a strong spiritual dimension (Chronicle Herald, Canada)

  2. On the road to salvation | Several Canadian truck stops offer spiritual sustenance as well as strong coffee to long-haul drivers Prayer and sympathetic ear can help truckers resist temptation away from home (Toronto Star)

  3. Orphan gets a second chance | Another Ga. family opens home to Russian boy (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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  1. Missionaries make short trips to teach gospel | Natives in Maracaibo, Venezuela, wonder why a "gringo" such as Ken Brown would choose to go there. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

  2. Kidnapping drives Canadian missionary from Haiti | A Canadian missionary who was kidnapped for a week and released when a ransom was paid has left Haiti, saying he was unsure if he would return but vowing to keep his orphanage running. (Associated Press)

  3. Vacation Bible schools getting creative | The century-old summer bastion of weekday morning crafts, songs and Scriptures has changed in recent years, with organizers blending Bible lessons into themes such as Arctic exploration, pirates' hunting for buried treasure, Caribbean cruises, fiestas, archeological digs and sports. (Bradenton Herald, Fla.)

  4. Religious groups work to hurry apocalypse | Mega-church pastors recently met in Inglewood, Calif., to polish strategies for using global communications and aircraft to transport missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission - to make every person on Earth aware of Jesus' message. (Baltimore Sun)

  5. Shelter in need of church facility | Program provides aid to Valley's homeless (San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Calif.)

  6. `They cared for the children' | Amid shifting social winds, Catholic Charities prepares to end its 103 years of finding homes for foster children and evolving families (The Boston Globe)

  7. Four families changed by Catholic Charities | Here are excerpts of interviews with people whose adoptions were made possible by Catholic Charities of Boston. (The Boston Globe)


  1. China scraps move to criminalize gender selection | China has scrapped plans to make sex-selective abortion a crime, state media said on Monday, more than a year after announcing penalties were necessary to correct gender imbalances among newborns. (Reuters)

  2. Abortion foes focus on fall elections | Anti-abortion activists who have been a big part of the Republican coalition in recent years are working to ensure that President Bush's sagging popularity won't harm re-election prospects for incumbents who've supported their cause. (Associated Press)

  3. High court passes on anti-abortion tags | The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider appeals from abortion rights groups wanting to block states from issuing car license plates bearing the message "Choose Life." (Associated Press)


  1. Report: Vatican delegation in Beijing | Two senior Vatican officials were in Beijing Tuesday for talks on re-establishing diplomatic relations with China that were severed more than five decades ago, a Hong Kong newspaper said. (Associated Press)

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  1. Multifaith coalition targets O'Malley | Members support same-sex marriage (The Boston Globe)

  2. Not the last word on Mass | When America's Catholic bishops approved changes to the English version of the Mass last week, they showed how hard it is to do any translation. (The Dallas Morning News)

  3. Orthodox express concern about dropping 'patriarch of the West' title | The bishops of the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople have expressed concern over Pope Benedict XVI's decision to drop "patriarch of the West" from his official titles in the Vatican yearbook. (Catholic News Service)

  4. Putting a little faith in simple English | When Jesus came into the world, was he born or was he incarnated? For Roman Catholics in the U.S., it's more than a rhetorical question. (Chicago Tribune)

  5. New archbishop calls on the power of faith | Catholic Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl emphasized the power of faith yesterday during his first homily and Mass as archbishop of the Washington Diocese. (Washington Times)

  6. Cardinal to honor founder of Opus Dei | Mass to be said Monday night (The Boston Globe)

  7. O'Malley acts swiftly to woo Duncan allies | 'I'd be honored to be their 2nd choice' (Washington Post)

  8. Brighton, Lynn parishes close | Shutterings met with protest, tears (The Boston Globe)

  9. Church to announce St. Gabriel parish closing | The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston plans to announce this weekend the closing of a parish in Brighton, St. Gabriel, that has been on the brink of closing for months, since the religious order that oversaw the parish announced it was pulling out of the region. (The Boston Globe)

  10. Bishop said to delay reporting sex abuse | A priest who admitted sexually abusing a 12-year-old altar boy fled to Mexico after his bishop failed to immediately report the confession to authorities, a law enforcement official said. (Associated Press)


  1. Muslims address silence on Europe attacks | Europe's Muslims have remained largely silent in the face of terrorist attacks that have killed 254 people in Madrid, London and Amsterdam. Europeans want to know why. (Associated Press)

  2. European Muslims resort to virginity ploys | Chastity can exact a painful price from young Muslim women, forced into lies or surgery to go to the marriage bed as virgins. (Associated Press)

  3. Iraqi Muslims put faith in praying alone | Violence drives many from mosques (Washington Post)

Other religions:

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  1. Egyptian women flock to hear female preachers | Women of all ages pour into a fluorescent-lit mosque hall hours before Sherine Gouda el-Sahhar is due to deliver her weekly sermon, seeking a seat near the front so they can catch a glimpse of the preacher. (Reuters)

  2. Mormon Church leader marks 96th birthday | Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, celebrated his 96th birthday Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony for a Brigham Young University building that will bear his name. (Associated Press)

  3. Christian Science church aims for growth | The church was founded after a fall that left Mary Baker Eddy bedridden and turning to the Bible in her suffering. It is said that a revelation she received while reading about Christ's healings was so powerful, Eddy walked away from her bed, instantly healed. (Associated Press)

Film & theater:

  1. Abuser becomes church's accuser | `Deliver Us' takes on the Catholic hierarchy, with a convicted priest as its key witness. (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Questions of family and faith in 'The Busy World Is Hushed' | With the Episcopal Church in a tizzy about homosexuality — as much of a tizzy as Episcopalians can muster, anyway — and that intriguing new gospel of Judas the subject of much speculation, Keith Bunin's new play, "The Busy World Is Hushed," arrives at a propitious moment. (The New York Times)

  3. 'The Busy World Is Hushed' looks at faith | Religion, like politics, often can be the most polarizing of subjects. (Associated Press)

  4. 'Susan and God': An up-to-date take on religion and the wealthy | The Mint Theater Company has unearthed a rare gem in its revival of the 1937 comedy "Susan and God" by Rachel Crothers, at one time one of the most respected mainstays of the Broadway stage. (The New York Times)


  1. Moses, Christ and Clark Kent | Jewish and Christian observers draw parallels between Superman and epic figures in the Bible. (Orlando Sentinel)

  2. 'Superman Returns' to save mankind from its sins | Jesus of Nazareth spent 40 days in the desert. By comparison, Superman of Hollywood languished almost 20 years in development hell. (The New York Times)

  3. Religious imagery surrounded Superman from beginning | Jewish roots noted; Christian-flavored scenes easy to detect (The Dallas Morning News)

  4. Is he Christ in tights? | Many see biblical allusions in 'Superman' story (Associated Press)


  1. Faith has reasons of which reason knows nothing | But after viewing or reading transcripts of 9 of the 13 scheduled interviews, I'm afraid I'm also an agnostic — perhaps, even atheist — about whether this group of novelists and artists can provide profound insight on such an urgent subject. (The New York Times)

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  1. Q& A with Bill Moyers | Moyers is launching his latest TV project, Faith & Reason , a seven-part PBS series that includes lively interviews with artists, writers and thinkers as diverse as Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood. (The Dallas Morning News)


  1. Faith powers Texas quintet Flyleaf | Some people attend rock concerts to escape everyday reality. Lacey Mosley grabs her audiences by the face and forces them to see reality in all its darkness and light. (Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service)

  2. Living with repercussions | After the big time, drummer finds new beats (News & Observer, N.C.)

  3. The rock of faith | Rebecca St. James belts out The Word (Winnipeg Sun, Canada)

  4. In Texas, fighting to Keep Brahms on air | KTPB, the station of Kilgore College, which educates the children of oil hands and other blue-collar workers. Now the college has decided it can no longer afford to support the station and has announced its sale. The new owner? A Christian-music broadcasting company from California, which will pay the college $2.46 million over 10 years. (The New York Times)

  5. Rock the Junta | In Burma, a band of heavy metal Christians speaks of liberty between the lines. (Mother Jones)

  6. Christian bands converge at Jamstock | With more than $100,000 raised for the festival, plus support from about 22 churches throughout the area, as well as local city councils, Padot and his ministry, Searchlight Ministries, put on an impressive show. (Gainesville Sun, Fla.)


  1. Facing evil | Andrew White runs Baghdad's only Anglican parish. Why he chooses to stay. (Newsweek)

  2. From crass comedy to Christ talk | The Christian comedienne Sherri Shepherd says that without God in her life, she'd be in jail, on drugs, or dead. (Beliefnet)

  3. A visit with Ambassador and Mrs. Bremer (Part 1 of 2) | Ambassador Paul Bremer discusses his year as Presidential Envoy in Iraq. He also talks about the War on Terror and the impact his wife's prayers have had on his life. (Focus on the Family)

  4. Reynolds Price shares his faith | An accomplished man of letters, Reynolds Price is also a lifelong Christian pilgrim who has thought long and profitably on the religious tradition in which he was raised (News & Observer, N.C.)

  5. Smith a different man off the field | Maybe the best way to get to know the real Steve Smith, the Carolina Panthers' star wide receiver, is to follow the clues he offers in his tattoos. On his right arm there is a quote from the Bible — "It is better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man — Psalms 118:8." (Doug Robinson, Deseret Morning News)

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  1. How did Nicole Kidman re-marry in a Catholic church? | How did Nicole Kidman, one-time spouse of Tom Cruise, get re-married in a Catholic church if she didn't have an annulment? Clue: she wasn't actually married before. (BBC)

  2. Thousands wait for a miracle from visiting televangelist | Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban weren't the only international stars attracting attention in Sydney this weekend. The 'wedding of the year' coincided with what some would call 'the spiritual event of the year' - a visit from American-based televangelist, Benny Hinn. (The World Today, Australia)


  1. Quarter of Americans say Bible is literally true | About 25 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the literal word of God -- down 10 percentage points since 1976. (Religion News Service)

  2. Many black Christians join move to Orthodox traditions | After a lifetime in traditional black churches, Robert Aaron Mitchell discovered the sights, smells, sounds and ancient traditions of the Orthodox church. (Gannett News Service)

  3. Spare space 'altared' in private houses | James Tennant starts the day with a prayer in his inner sanctum—a former bedroom turned meditation retreat with altars in four directions, serene gray walls and postcards of spiritually inspiring sorts including Jesus, rapper Tupac Shakur and the Hindu god Shiva. (Washington Times)

  4. The two-heaven doctrine | "Who goes to heaven?" The minister averred that only Christians do. The Imam was sure that only Muslims do. The only thing on which both agreed is that Jews don't. I mustered the courage to say that Jews believe that all righteous people go to heaven. (Marc Howard Wilson, The State, S.C.)


  1. 'Natural Family' resolution divides Utah city | The City Council of Kanab, Utah, resolved to promote the nuclear family unit. It ended up sowing discord in a once close-knit tourist town. (Los Angeles Times)

  2. The birth control divide | Poor and uneducated women have higher rates of unplanned pregnancy. But why? (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Breeder reaction | Does everybody have the right to have a baby? And who should pay when nature alone doesn't work? (Mother Jones)


  1. Texans part of possible Noah's Ark discovery | A group of men, including several north Texans, believes it has found the remains of Noah's Ark, but it's not where most think. (CBS 11 News, Texas)

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  1. Quaker Burial Ground in Westerly opens as historic site | This is an early Quaker cemetery -- the Westerly Quaker Burial Ground, opened this month to the public as a historic site, which preservationists hope will serve as a reminder of the Quakers' history in Rhode Island. (Associated Press)

  2. The lives of the very early Christians | An informed but breezy look at the myths surrounding Jesus' most influential followers. (The Christian Science Monitor)


  1. New publication on Christianity to be launched | The 1585 page book titled Africa Bible Commentary, is a product of 12 years of research, conceived at a 1994 meeting of experts in Nairobi is a modern apology for Christianity comprising polemics that preserve Christian dogma. (Kenya Times, Kenya)

  2. 'Evangelism Guidebook' may frustrate some | To place the theological basis of evangelism alongside the practical methods for evangelism. (Charleston Post Courier)

  3. Faith had role for founders | Conservative Christians believe secularists are trying to write God out of American government, and if they're successful, the nation is doomed. Extreme secularists believe Christian zealots are trying to turn the American government into a theocracy, and if they are successful, the nation is doomed. Jon Meacham says they're both wrong. (Charleston Post Courier)

  4. A spiritual book business | Man's career change to Christian book sales saved his marriage (Journal Times, Wisc.)

Terror suspect grew up in Christian family:

  1. Terror suspect grew up in Christian family | The father of a man accused of plotting to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower yesterday said he was at a loss to explain how his son was suspected of leading a terrorist group. (Daily Telegraph, Australia)

  2. Sears Tower suspect no jihadist, mom says | Authorities allege that Stanley Grant Phanor had designs on catastrophic terrorism, but his mother insists he's a God-fearing Christian (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Terror accused was a caped crusader | The leader of the seven men accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago was a "Moses-like figure" who carried a crooked cane and wore a cape as he sought to recruit followers to a religious cult called the Seas of David. (The Australian, Australia)

  4. Suspect's father can't explain | Sears Tower plot: Preacher's son now charged with being ringleader of Islamic terrorist group (Associated Press)

  5. Dad: Sears Tower suspect under spell of man | The father of the former Chicagoan accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower remembers his son, Narseal Batiste, coming under the spell of a man who wore a black robe and walked with a black staff. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Article continues below
  1. Terrorism's new mutation | The arrest last week of seven members of a fringe religious group in Miami has revealed what could be a new phase in al-Qaeda's grand plan for global terrorism. (Manila Times, Philippines)

World Cup:

  1. 'Hello, God? It's me, the footy fan' | World Cup: Some find it difficult to separate church and sport, some find it easy (Vancouver Sun)

  2. Fervent about God and World Cup soccer | The message at yesterday's lively service at the Full Gospel New York Church in Flushing, Queens, was essentially, Know Christ through soccer — specifically, World Cup soccer. (The New York Times)

  3. Ghana united in prayer | Muslim worshippers at Effiakuma and Christians alike rent the midday air yesterday with chants of the greatness of God, before pouring out onto the streets in one exasperating explosion of joy. (Telegraph, UK)

More articles of interest:

  1. Scientists playing God? We should rejoice | Last week British scientists announced a revolutionary screening process for inherited diseases in embryos. It will be quicker and more accurate than the existing method and it will detect thousands more genetic defects than previously possible. (Minette Marrin, Times, London)

  2. Church leaders say stolen chalice is priceless | Officials of the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James are hoping for the return of a nearly 100-year-old chalice that was stolen sometime on Sunday. (Associated Press)

  3. Demanding rights for great apes | Spain's parliament is to declare support for rights to life and freedom for great apes on Wednesday, apparently the first time any national legislature will have recognized such rights for non-humans. (Reuters)

  4. Scientists take on Intelligent Design | The war (it must be so named) between science and the fundamentalist faith-driven IDM is of a deeply troubling import for science education, and for science itself - thus inevitably for contemporary culture. How serious the implications are has only recently been recognized, probably too late for a reasonable cessation of hostilities. (New York Sun)

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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