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Church and state:

  • Suit against Air Force Academy dismissed | A federal judge threw out a lawsuit against the air force that contended that evangelical Christian values are being illegally pushed on Air Force Academy cadets (Associated Press)

  • Peers reject faith school quotas | Peers have voted down a plan to make newly established faith schools in England take up to a quarter of pupils from other religions. (BBC)

  • Military pressed over expressions of faith | The U.S. military is being buffeted by dueling legal claims over religion, with one set of plaintiffs contending that the Pentagon is suppressing evangelical Christianity and another set arguing just the opposite (The Washington Post)

  • Cleric: Criticizing Islam threatens peace | A leading Turkish cleric called criticism of Islam a serious threat to world peace, speaking Wednesday as Turkey prepared for a controversial visit by Pope Benedict XVI later in the month (Associated Press)

Sexual ethics:

  • Bishops draft rules on ministering to gays | Gay Catholic leaders who had read the draft predicted that it would only further alienate gays and their families from the church (The New York Times)

  • Bush hits hard at gay marriage | "For decades, activist judges have tried to redefine America by court order," Bush said Monday. "Just this last week in New Jersey, another activist court issued a ruling that raises doubt about the institution of marriage. We believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and should be defended"(Associated Press)

  • Va. Catholics pushed to support same-sex marriage ban | Virginia's Catholic leaders can take comfort from recent polls showing that a majority of state voters are in sync with them in supporting a constitutional amendment to ban civil unions. What worries them is their own flock. (The Washington Post).

  • Gay marriage through a black-white prism | Both sides in the same-sex marriage debate are using court rulings on mixed-race unions as a model (The New York Times)

  • Va. marriage debate a hotbed of irony | Should a definition of marriage be in the state constitution? (Marc Fisher, The Washington Post)

Abortion and birth control:

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  • National battle over abortion focuses on South Dakota vote | A local battle is being waged in South Dakota over a statewide ballot measure that would ban most abortions (The New York Times)

  • Institute practices reproductive medicine—and Catholicism | The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction has become perhaps the most prominent women's health center serving Catholics and other doctors, medical students and patients who object for religious reasons to aspects of modern reproductive medicine. (The Washington Post)

  • Kansas AG gets abortion clinic records | The state attorney general said Tuesday night that his office has received the records of 90 patients from two abortion clinics and is reviewing them for possible crimes, the culmination of an effort that prompted concerns over patient privacy (Associated Press)

  • Outside money fuels battle on abortion | The fierce battle over abortion in South Dakota has cost some $4 million, much of that from places other than South Dakota (The New York Times)

  • Nicaraguan Congress okays abortion ban | Nicaragua's Congress has voted to ban all abortions, despite the concerns of diplomats, doctors and women's rights advocates that the issue has become politicized ahead of presidential elections (Associated Press)

  • Nicaragua bans abortion | If Nicaraguans want to see the possible consequences of their new law, they can look next door to El Salvador, where all abortions have been banned since 1998 (Editorial, The New York Times)

Stem cell research:

  • N.M. may finance stem cell research | Gov. Bill Richardson called for $4 million to recruit scientists for stem cell research and provide them with equipment and staff, and $2 million to train medical students and others in that field of research. (Associated Press)

  • Warner lends name to anti-stem cell ad | Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner says his deep Christian faith led to his decision to appear in a television ad opposing a proposed constitutional amendment in Missouri (Associated Press)

Science and human origins:

  • An evolutionary theory of right and wrong | Marc D. Hauser has proposed that people are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution (The New York Times)

  • 'What does it mean to be human?' | Anthropologist Desmond Morris suggested the discovery of a human Hobbit on Flores would force many religions to examine their basic beliefs. The suggestion provoked quite a reaction. (David Wilkinson, BBC News)

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  • Books:

  • 'Delusion' asks worthwhile questions | But Richard Dawkins' critique is faulty (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  • Tough guy with friend in high places | In the third in a trilogy of nervy novels derived from the Old Testament, David Maine presents Samson as a world-weary Israelite with a strong sense of history. Janet Maslin reviews The Book of Samson (The New York Times)

Crime and lawsuits:


  • Ex-pastor gets 11 yrs. for sex with teen | A former Baptist pastor who disappeared with a 15-year-old girl for a month and later pleaded guilty to raping her was sentenced Friday to more than 11 years in federal prison (Associated Press)

  • Pope: Clergy sex abuse wounds 'run deep' | Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that clerical sex abuses were "egregious crimes" that had damaged the standing of the Catholic Church and its clergy, in his first explicit remarks on the subject since becoming pontiff (Associated Press)

  • Priest gets 7 years for child porn | A Roman Catholic priest charged with possessing violent child pornography was sentenced by a federal judge who said she could not "help but be appalled." (Associated Press)

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  • Priest's lawyer denies 2nd abuse claim | The lawyer for a Catholic priest who acknowledged fondling Mark Foley when the former congressman was a teenager said Friday there were no grounds for legal action against the clergyman, and he denied allegations by a second man claiming the priest molested him (Associated Press)

  • Missouri school sued by student who refused to support gay adoptions | Student claims she was retaliated against because she refused to support gay adoption as part of a class project (USA Today)

  • L.A. clergy sex case settled for $10M | A Roman Catholic religious order and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay a combined $10 million to seven people to settle allegations of clergy sexual abuse, attorneys said Friday (Associated Press)

Church life (U.S.):

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Church life (international):



  • Visions of hell | Two Yale grads and a Colorado pastor team up to present a demonic version of a haunted house (Newsweek)

  • Faith through fright | Depictions of death and hell aim to save (The Washington Post)

  • Some churches rejecting occult for 'holy' Halloween | Pastors who believe Halloween is a pagan tradition are urging children to trade pumpkin-carving and scary costumes for hayrides, contests for best saint costumes and prayers (USA Today)

Other stories of interest:

  • God's green earth | What environmentalists and evangelicals have in common (The Boston Globe)

  • Medic aids fallen Marine with skill and a prayer | Petty Officer Dustin E. Kirby, a trauma medic, fights for those he treats. "When I told you that I do not let people die on me, I meant it," he said. "I meant it." (The New York Times)

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  • Proposed religion-based program for federal inmates is canceled | Critics of the program and constitutional law experts contended that it would have violated the separation of church and state (The New York Times)

  • Saints that weren't | Most Americans probably don't know the name of the newest American saint, or that she was mistreated by the church that she served so faithfully (James Martin, The New York Times)

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What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

October 11 | 6 | 5 | 4
September 21 | 15b | 15a | 14
September 6 | 1 | August 29
August 25 | 24 | 23
August 15 | 11 | 10
August 4 | 1
July 28 | 27 | 26
July 21 | 19

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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