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Middle East

Catholic School and Church Attacked as Gaza's Christians Worry

Plus: Ruth Graham laid to rest, an Episcopal priest converts to Islam (but stays an Episcopal priest), and other stories from online sources around the world.

Today's Top Five

1. "We all hope it will be better, but it will never ever be good with Hamas"
"Masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church," Roman Catholic priest Manuel Musalam (alt. spelling: Mussalem) told The Jerusalem Post. "Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy Book, computers and other equipment." Every cross inside the church and school was destroyed, he said.

Musalam said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called him to condemn the attack and to promise he'd work against future attacks on Christians. In a separate story, Abbas told the Post, "The torching of the church is one of the fruits of the bloody coup that Hamas staged in the Gaza Strip."

Hamas spokesmen told the Post and the Associated Press that Hamas had nothing to do with the attack and promised to "punish anyone who targets churches." But Christians in Gaza are still very worried about their future under Hamas.

"I can't predict what will happen, but one thing is for certain: There is a group within Hamas which is starting to talk of the Islamization of society. Right now they are a small group, but the more pressure is put on, the more extreme they will become," Omar Shaban, Catholic Relief Services project manager for Gaza, told Catholic News Service. "With Fatah as a secular organization we had no problems, but with Hamas I am not sure how they will perceive us."

One Christian teenager in Gaza told Catholic News Service, "We all hope it will be better, but it will never ever be good with Hamas."

The Jerusalem Post notes:

Several Christian institutions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been targeted by masked gunmen over the past few months.
Last April, a bookstore run by the Bible Society in the Gaza Strip was bombed, but no one was hurt.
A group calling itself the Huda (Guidance) Army Organization threatened to target all Christians living in the Gaza Strip following remarks against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad that were made last year by Pope Benedict XVI.
"We will target all Crusaders in the Gaza Strip," the group said in a leaflet, "until the pope issues an official apology."
The group also threatened to attack churches and Christian-owned institutions and homes.
"All centers belonging to Crusaders, including churches and institutions, will from now on be targeted," it said. "We will even attack the Crusaders as they sit intoxicated in their homes."

The Los Angeles Times reports that two of Abbas's cabinet members in his new emergency government are Christians.

The Christianity Today Liveblog has more updates on Christians in Gaza, including some relatively good news from Gaza Baptist Church.

2. Ruth Graham honored in Montreat, buried in Charlotte
"I wish you could look into the casket because she's so beautiful," Billy Graham told mourners at Saturday's public funeral. "I sat there for a long time just looking at her and praying because I know she had a great reception in heaven."

3. Brownback campaign staffer busted for Mormon questions
The religion-and-politics nom du jour is Emma Nemecek, the southeastern Iowa field director for Sam Brownback's presidential campaign. She forwarded an e-mail message from a separate interest group (she says it was from "an organization of conservative Asian Americans") to Iowa Republican leaders. She asked them to fact-check several statements in the e-mail, including, "Theologically, the only thing Christianity and the LDS church has in common is the name of Jesus Christ, and the LDS Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Christian faith," and, "The LDS church has never been accepted by the Christian Council of Churches."

"The e-mail appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to push negative talking points on Mormonism to influence power brokers in Iowa," The Washington Post reported. When asked about it, the Brownback campaign disavowed the e-mail message, said Nemecek was reprimanded, and said it wouldn't happen again.

"Although the forwarded e-mail did not originate from campaign staff and was not sent from a campaign account or on behalf of the campaign, it is unfortunate and regrettable that this e-mail was forwarded by someone working for the campaign, even if for fact-checking purposes on behalf of a publication," Brownback's Iowa communications director John Rankin told the Post. (Unanswered: What Brownback-related publication is/was looking at Mormon beliefs?)

The Los Angeles Times Saturday reported that some evangelicals are wary enough of Mormonism not to vote for Romney. Stephanie Simon writes, "This is not an arcane theological dispute; to some born-again Christians, it's at the very core of presidential leadership. If Romney does not understand what they take to be God's true nature, can he still receive divine guidance? If he doesn't accept the Trinity as they conceptualize it, can he still be filled with the strength of the Holy Spirit?"

Nemecek says she's actually not critical of Romney's faith. "I didn't intend to smear anyone," she told blogger John Deeth. "I don't think people should choose [a president] based on how a person worships — I have six Mormon family members myself." She says she forwarded the e-mail "with no opinion of my own or anything."

Or apparently any knowledge that the "Christian Council of Churches" doesn't even exist. (If the e-mail meant the National Council of Churches, it could add almost every evangelical church to the list of non-members.)

4. The face of Regent University
"What is the real face of Regent's law school?" asks its hometown paper, The Virginian-Pilot. The newspaper juxtaposes a local billboard for Regent Law, featuring two students who had just won the American Bar Association's national negotiation competition, with coverage of Monica Goodling, the Regent grad at the center of the Justice Department firing scandal. Though writer Steven G. Vegh never directly spells it out, the underlying message is that to outsiders, the real face of Regent is its founder, Pat Robertson. But Robertson isn't a big factor inside the school itself — or even a big draw for students. "There are a number of people attending that school who do so strictly because of what Pat Robertson represents to them," 1994 graduate Joe Migliozzi Jr. told the paper. "I don't think that is a majority anymore." Stephen Pfeiffer, one of the two faces on that billboard, says he hadn't even heard of Robertson before he enrolled at the school.

5. Wine, wine, wine
Public schools renting space out to churches is controversial in several parts of the country, but in Wake County, North Carolina, it's not for the usual reason. The school board policy absolutely forbids all alcohol on school premises at all times — which means that Roman Catholic churches renting space in one of the schools can't use sacramental wine. (Another church says it has been using wine at services in another school without any complaints.) A board member is seeking to change the policy.

Quote of the day
"I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman. I'm 100 percent both. … At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That's all I need."
Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopal priest in the Episcopal Church's Olympia diocese. Bishop Vincent Warner says he "finds the interfaith possibilities exciting" with a priest who is Christian and Muslim. In the diocesan newspaper, Redding explained a key step in her "becoming a human being" and embracing Islam was in rejecting the traditional doctrines of her church:

The affirmations [that Christians make at their baptism] are tough for any Christian who is at all progressive because there are certain of us [Christians] who have taken these and made them in to something like fraternity hazing—you have to say these words in order to be part of the club. I see them as taking Jesus as the human example to follow toward God. Most Muslims see Mohammed rather than Jesus as the pattern of life to follow, and I do not see him as the only example. I just am not willing to put 'onlys' in front of all those affirmations about Jesus.

I think she's just trying to provoke Peter Akinola.

If you're using an RSS reader to monitor new Weblog postings, you probably missed Friday's Weblog. Sorry about that.

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Gaza | Philippines | Crime | Abuse | Catholicism | Church life | United Church of Christ | Episcopalians and Anglicans | Sexual ethics | Immigration | 2008 election | Politics | New Zealand | Australia | Life ethics | Church and state | Education | U.K. Religious Education | Missions and ministry | Books | Entertainment and media | Music | Ruth Graham | Fatherhood | People | Money and business | Other stories of interest


  • Gaza's Christians fear for their lives | Christians living in Gaza City on Monday appealed to the international community to protect them against increased attacks by Muslim extremists. Many Christians said they were prepared to leave the Gaza Strip as soon as the border crossings are reopened (The Jerusalem Post)

  • Catholic compound ransacked in Gaza | A school and convent belonging to the Gaza Strip's tiny Roman Catholic community were ransacked, burned and looted during clashes around a major security headquarters, the head of the community said Monday (Associated Press)

  • As divide deepens, Gaza's fate uncertain | U.S., Israel back new regime in West Bank. Funding likely to follow (Los Angeles Times)

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  • Philippine rebels criticize new government negotiator | Muslim rebels negotiating to end rebellion in the southern Philippines criticized the government on Sunday for naming a Roman Catholic priest to head its peace panel, saying the decision would downgrade the talks (Reuters)

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  • Chaldean priest abducted in Baghdad is free and in good health | Fr Hani Abdel Ahad is released after 12 days. "He is very tired but was not mistreated," says someone who met him. Persecution of Christians now moves to the al-Amariya and Hai al-Jamiya neighbourhoods with bombs placed in a home garden and threats of beheading (AsiaNews.it)

  • Kaiser inquest concludes after more than three years of hearing | An inquest into the death of Catholic Priest John Anthony Kaiser finally concluded after a three year hearing. A Magistrate's Court that was conducting the inquest is now expected to rule on the 18th of July whether Father Kaiser committed suicide or was murdered (Capital FM, Kenya)

  • Six arrested after Egypt sectarian clash | Thirteen people were injured and six arrested in southern Egypt on Saturday when a land dispute sparked a clash between Muslims and Christians, a security source said, in a sign of growing tensions between both communities (AFP)

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  • Pope hopeful on Catholic-Orthodox unity | Pope Benedict XVI told a visiting Cypriot Orthodox leader Saturday that he holds hope that the Catholic and Orthodox churches can be united, despite centuries of painful division (Associated Press)

  • Pope, Orthodox leader to work for Middle East peace | Pope Benedict and the leader of the Cypriot Orthodox Church pledged on Saturday to work for peace in the Middle East, saying they feared a widening crisis with "disastrous consequences" (Reuters)

  • Pope Benedict makes pilgrimage to Assisi | Pope Benedict XVI began a pilgrimage to this hill town Sunday to mark the 800th anniversary of the conversion of St. Francis from the life of a medieval playboy into a man who stripped away his worldly wealth to serve God (Associated Press)

  • Also: Pope urges end to Mideast wars, terror | Pope Benedict made one of his strongest peace appeals on Sunday, calling for an end to all wars and saying the people of the Middle East have had enough of "the horrors of combat, terrorism and blind violence" (Reuters)

  • A return to the Latin Mass | Clashes with congregants may erupt as a growing number of young priests push for a revival of pre-Vatican II customs (U.S. News & World Report)

  • Catholic bishops resist advance of Latin Mass | The Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales are resisting the Pope's plans to liberalise the use of the traditional Latin Mass (The Telegraph, London)

  • Nun resigns, rather than prove she is in 'good standing' | Sister Regina Werntz was offended, she said, by a requirement by the diocese that all teachers, including nuns, furnish a letter from a pastor attesting to being Catholics in good standing (The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.)

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Church life:

  • 9/11 attacks begot a different kind of church | The September 11 terrorist attacks hit just 10 days after the Rev. Bill Shuler and his family moved from Oklahoma to the D.C. area, prompting him to start a ministry that eventually would blossom into Capital Life Church (The Washington Times)

  • First Presbyterian, others view changing affiliation | "Around the world God is working and the church of Jesus Christ is growing, but the American church is kind of stuck in our infighting over theology, in our inward focus, in our accommodation of culture," said Garrett Dawson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge and co-moderator of the New Wineskins Association (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.)

  • No protests at church with blackface skit | Protesters on Sunday apparently stayed away from a Gastonia church that had been publicly criticized for a blackface performance (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  • Church planting cultivates Christians | Restoration House Ministries is trying to do for Christianity what Johnny Appleseed did for horticulture (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  • Police evict worshippers from church | Police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse worshippers from the Full Gospel Church in Mogotio. The officers in full riot gear battled with the worshippers before forcefully evicting them as the national officials of Full Gospel Churches of Kenya moved to take over the church's management (East African Standard, Kenya)

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United Church of Christ:

  • Church struggles for unity | Topics for synod show UCC tensions (Hartford Courant, Ct.)

  • Jewish groups rebuke United Church of Christ | Eight Jewish groups rebuked the United Church of Christ for what they said was an imbalanced statement on Israel (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

  • God still speaks | This week, for many in Connecticut, the UCC will be synonymous with "Barack Obama." But the Democratic presidential candidate's appearance Saturday is not the main reason twice as many people as usual have signed up for the UCC's General Synod, its national biennial conference, being held Friday through June 26 in Hartford (New Haven Register, Ct.)

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Episcopalians and Anglicans:

  • "I am both Muslim and Christian" | Ann Holmes Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been an Episcopal priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved (The Seattle Times)

  • More U.S. Episcopalians look abroad amid rift | Overseas prelates lead 200 to 250 congregations (The Washington Post)

  • Anglican Kenyans name U.S. bishop | The Anglican Province of Kenya has appointed its own bishop to oversee about 30 churches in the United States -- the third such effort by conservative African bishops to carve out pieces of the U.S. Episcopal Church (The Washington Times)

  • Navigating challenges | Episcopal Church's 1st female leader has faced objections to female priests and gay bishops (The Indianapolis Star)

  • Anglicans to vote this week on priests blessing same-sex unions | Church leaders came up with a clever compromise for gay couple's wedding: Before they were legally married by a Federal Court judge at the end of a regular Sunday mass, they were prayed for by the entire congregation of St. John the Evangelist in Ottawa - instead of just the priest (Canadian Press)

  • Divided Anglicans to vote on issue of same-sex union | The religious world will be watching Winnipeg as Canada's oldest Protestant church struggles to avoid a schism in the church (The Ottawa Citizen)

  • Some Anglican gays switching churches, as same-sex vote looms | The Anglican church's longtime indecision over the issue has served to alienate supporters on both sides, some say ) CanWest News Service/Edmonton Journal)

  • Don't tear apart our church | As the Canadian Anglican bishops gather to decide whether to bless homosexual unions, I hope and pray that our discussion will be civil and kind, and that their decision will leave the church intact. (Michael Fleming, Ottawa Citizen)

  • Church of England 'institutionally racist' | The Church of England is "institutionally racist", a damning internal report has concluded (The Telegraph, London)

  • Also: Report: Church of England is racist | Black and Asian clergy members are unlikely to reach high office in the Church of England and minorities are sometimes marginalized in parish churches, an internal review will show (Associated Press)

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Sexual ethics:

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2008 election:

  • Obama says religion has place in politics | Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama insisted Saturday that religious faith can play a central role in politics, but only if it's used to tackle moral issues and not to divide the nation (Sioux City Journal, S.D.)

  • Evangelicals uneasy with Romney's faith | The candidate's Mormonism worries a key GOP voting bloc (Los Angeles Times)

  • Brownback aide chided on anti-Mormon bid | An aide to GOP presidential candidate Sam Brownback has been reprimanded for sending e-mail to Iowa Republican leaders in an apparent attempt to draw unfavorable scrutiny to rival Mitt Romney's Mormonism (Associated Press)

  • Romney's Mormonism attracts more scrutiny … and a whisper campaign | Mitt Romney's Mormonism isn't something his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination talk much about in public, but his faith appears to have stoked a whisper campaign, engineered by an Iowa staffer for Sen. Sam Brownback (The Washington Post)

  • Romney: Anti-abortion activists won him over | U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sought to turn his shifting views on abortion to his advantage on Friday, bringing social conservatives to their feet in a speech in which he said they helped convert him to their cause (Reuters)

  • Mitt's recent double speak presidential | On close inspection, it appears Romney was just employing a good bit of double speak — and what could be more presidential? — when he answered that LDS Second Coming doctrine corresponds with other Christian tradition (Lee Benson, Deseret Morning News, Ut.)

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New Zealand:

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  • I refuse to be silenced | Pell lambasts MPs as intolerant (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Investigation like Stalinism, claims Pell | The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, says there is a "whiff of Stalinism" about an investigation into whether his comments on stem cell research amount to contempt of Parliament (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Separation of church and state is fundamental - when it suits | It is understandable why many, including some Catholics, disagree with the likes of Pell and Hickey on such issues as embryonic stem cell research and abortion. However, it is not understandable why some in politics, the media and elsewhere object to church leaders running the church's line on matters relating to human life. That is their job (Gerard Henderson, The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Keep religion out of politics | Former senator Amanda Vanstone has called for MPs to keep religion out of politics, saying faith does not bring moral superiority to law-making (The Advertiser, Adelaide, Australia)

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Life ethics:

  • Survey: Many pharmacies don't carry 'morning after pill' | The emergency contraceptive widely known as the "morning-after pill," which has been available over the counter since August, isn't carried in about 40 percent of North Carolina pharmacies, according to a survey conducted by an abortion rights group (Associated Press)

  • Clinton speaks out on stem cell research | "This is not a religious issue," he said. "It's really about a little boy who's 10 years old, and another 100 million Americans who could benefit from this research" (Associated Press)

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Church and state:

  • Christian Coalition wins church tax battle in Ala. legislature | Alabama Education Association Executive Secretary Paul Hubbert said the battle over church taxes is not likely to be repeated in future legislative sessions, even though it means the loss of an undetermined amount of state sales taxes that pay for public schools and colleges (Associated Press)

  • Prayer at Greece meetings criticized | Town Board oversteps bounds, ACLU charges (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, N.Y.)

  • Oakley council ponders motto options | After one Oakley City Council member proposed adding the national motto in the design details for the emerging Oakley Civic Center, the council is now considering the inclusion of both the original and current United States mottos (Contra Costa Times, Ca.)

  • Earlier: 'In God We Trust' topic of discussion | City Council is considering adopting the national motto for new civic center (Contra Costa Times, Ca.)

  • Religious freedom bill raises concerns | Some worry it doesn't go far enough; others warn of threat to separation of church, state (Albany Times-Union, N.Y.)

  • A war on memory | An attack on religious symbolism has been waged for several years now on a barren hilltop in California. A simple cross to honor fallen soldiers is simply too much for militant 'separationists,' who seem intent on disassembling this country's Christian past (Michael Medved, USA Today)

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  • What is the real face of Regent's law school? | What Regent has called an achievement has been used by liberal commentators and comedians as an opportunity to criticize or mock the law school and its founder, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson (The Virginian-Pilot)

  • Schools revisit Mass policy | Churches can't use wine on property (The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)

  • FWCS petitions: Crossing church-state divide? | Fort Wayne Community Schools' petition drive on whether to spend $500 million upgrading public school buildings may seem like the stuff of politics. But it's an issue that's also being played out in the community's churches (The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind.)

  • Critics: Hallandale charter school oversteps church-state line | Depending on who you ask, the Ben Gamla school will either be a secular bilingual charter school or a taxpayer-funded religious school that violates the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  • Agent of change steers teens toward college | Christopher Yanov started Reality Changers after he grew frustrated seeing smart children transforming into gang members. It is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church, and part of its mission is "to improve each member's relationship with God." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

  • Muslims won't fund footbaths | Leaders cite ACLU's decision not to oppose use of public money for UM-Dearborn project (The Detroit News)

  • Benefit of the doubt | I bent over backward to be fair in grading a conservative student. Now I fear I bent over too far (John D. Barbour, The Chronicle of Higher Education, sub. req'd.)

  • Southern Baptist classes for wives? Holy smoke | Paige Patterson announced at the recent SBC meeting in San Antonio that his school was offering an academic program to train women how to make a Christian home (Robert Parham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Stephen's gets only 6 Dalit aspirants | St Stephen's College has reserved 10 percent seats for Dalit Christians but received applications from only six Dalits this year. The BA programme seems to be a popular choice though a few have also applied for English and History (The Times of India)

  • Blair priest's fundraising angers Church | Tony Blair's personal priest, who has taken a vow of poverty, has helped raise millions of pounds for the Prime Minister's flagship city academies - to the dismay of the Church hierarchy (The Telegraph, London)

  • Inclusion? Not in Samuel's case | He might be in a wheelchair but Jonathan Bartley's son has excelled at his local nursery. So why can't he go to the school across the road with his sisters? (The Telegraph, London)

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U.K. Religious Education:

  • Religious classes fail to adapt to change | The U.K.'s religious education program fails to meet modern-day needs because it is still centred around ethics instead of reflecting a changing world, the schools inspector Ofsted said (Reuters)

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Missions and ministry:

  • Pastor banned from seeing baby he found | A pastor who found an abandoned newborn baby on the steps of his inner-western Sydney church has been told by authorities to stop visiting her in hospital (AAP, Australia)

  • Also: Policy on baby girl left at church defended | A Sydney pastor who found an abandoned baby at the door of his Baptist church recently cannot adopt the child because he and his wife are not trained carers, the NSW Department of Community Services says (AAP, Australia)

  • Earthquake sets back Solomon Islands Bible project | It took Richmond theology student Alpheaus Zobule nearly a decade to make the New Testament available to the people of the tiny South Pacific island where he grew up. But in one April day, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake dealt his work a powerful blow (The Washington Post)

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  • A revolution about religion | Today, we look upon the bloodbath in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites as almost pathetically backward. But Michael Barone's book on the 1688 "Glorious Revolution" is a healthy reminder that it took much suffering before today's idea of religious toleration took hold in the Western world (Editorial, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.)

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Entertainment and media:

  • Plans to sell radio station upset church | First Baptist says Criswell College must get OK on KCBI sale (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Pigs with cellphones, but no condoms | Fox, which along with CBS rejected a Trojan commercial, said that "contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy." (The New York Times)

  • Studios choose to play it safe | Hollywood may vote pro-choice, but the message of three current films seems closer to Florida's anti-abortion license plate (The Boston Globe)

  • "Evan" a less than mighty comedy | In Hollywood's newfound desire to court Christian audiences, nothing apparently is too over the top (Reuters)

  • His movie company is far from Hollywood in many ways | Walden Media films like Bridge to Terabithia and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are earnest without being treacly and seem to appeal across gender and age lines. An interview with co-founder Michael Flaherty (The Wall Street Journal)

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  • Sinead alights with 'Theology' | "By blood and by birth I am a Catholic, and I am extremely inspired by that," she says in a telephone interview from Dublin. "I wanted to acknowledge music as a way of talking to God" (Religion News Service)

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Ruth Graham:

  • Outpouring of love for Ruth Graham | Graham's life saluted by family, friends and community (Asheville Citizen-Times, N.C.)

  • A time to adore Ruth | Nearly festive service honors her devotion to family, Christ (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  • Graham says wife beautiful in death | Ruth Graham retained her beauty even in death and surely "had a great reception in heaven," an ailing Billy Graham told mourners who gathered Saturday to remember his beloved wife (Associated Press)

  • La. prisoner built Graham's coffin | Shortly before he died, convicted murderer Richard Liggett was asked to make two of the simple plywood coffins he meticulously crafted for fellow prisoners. Except the caskets would be for Billy and Ruth Graham (Associated Press)

  • Ruth Graham saw wife's role as a calling | Today, ministers' wives are forging a different role, through their own careers or as very public, equal partners with their husbands (Associated Press)

  • Ruth Bell Graham, the soul mate of the preacher | The world will never know what else Ruth Graham, who as a wife and mother reared five children and wrote 14 books, could have accomplished had she not been Billy Graham's "helpmeet," as her friend June Carter Cash once described the wifely role (The Washington Post)

  • The evangelist's partner | Ruth Bell Graham's influence on the world was considerable, even if it was easy to miss (Editorial, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)

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Money and business:

  • Business woes cast cloud over pastor | Beloved leader of a burgeoning Okolona church linked to legal storms over roofing businesses in six states (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  • Jesus T-shirt sales continue to thrive | What started out as a group of students making a stand for Christian prayer at their high school graduation has grown into a full-time responsibility for one Monroe family (The News Star, Monroe, La.)

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Other stories of interest:

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Related Elsewhere:

I'm still soliciting comments on how to improve Weblog.

Our most recent Weblogs include:

Should School Workers Be Banned from Off-Hours Counseling? | Plus: National Right to Life kicks out Colorado chapter after Dobson criticism, and more (June 15)
Christian Reformed Church Removes Bars to Women in Leadership | Plus: The big news from the Southern Baptist Convention, Romney's faith team, and other stories (June 13)
Italian Priest Kidnapped in Philippines | Plus: 'Virtual desecration' of a famous cathedral, an important IVF finding, another pastor mariticide, Paris Hilton (of course), etc. (June 12)
Stem Cell Bill's Bad (Or Providential?) Timing | Plus: Surgeon general nominee's Methodist work under fire, Time interviews Rowan Williams, church building conflicts, and more. (June 8)
The God Debates of '08 | Plus: More tragedy for Iraq Christians, another blow to Iowa's faith-based prison program, America's new pilgrimage points, and other stories. (June 7)

See also the Christianity Today Liveblog, especially for many items about Ruth Graham's passing.

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