Today's Top Five

1. It's the National Day of Prayer
It seems like most daily papers have some article on local National Day of Prayer events today, so we're listing it as today's top news story. But honestly, there's not much news about today's events. Bush's speech was almost exactly the same one he has given at prayer breakfasts and days of prayer since his first inauguration. Even the 90-hour Capitol Bible Reading Marathon isn't really new: It has preceded the National Day of Prayer for the last 17 years. There's a protest of sorts called the National Day of Reason, where atheists are donating blood, but it doesn't look big enough to make much news. Anyway: People are praying today. Great! We hope they pray tomorrow, too, when the cameras are off.

2. Vatican excommunicates Chinese bishops
The Vatican has excommunicated two bishops ordained by the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, whose ordination had been opposed by Roman Catholic officials. The Vatican also excommunicated the two bishops who performed the ordinations. Catholic blogger Amy Welborn asks an interesting question: Does the excommunication of the ordainers "imply then that all of the previous bishops consecrated in the CPA have indeed had the tacit approval of the Vatican?" Discussion follows, with the general answer "not really."

3. Judge: San Diego cross must go. Really. "It is now time, and perhaps long overdue, for this court to enforce its initial permanent injunction forbidding the presence of the Mount Soledad cross on city property," U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson Jr. told the city of San Diego yesterday. He originally ruled that the cross was unconstitutional in 1991—and it's been a long battle ever since. If it's not ...

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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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