Stop the presses!

Usually Weblog uses this space to comment on the day's top stories. Not today. It seems like every publication around the world is running a religion story of some sort, so Weblog spent all morning just finding the links below. Don't get lost—there's some very interesting and important stories in here. Comments and coverage roundups will return Monday.

September 11:

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Proposed attack on Iraq:

  • Iraq crisis divides religious leaders| Some religious leaders believe that as a nation, we cannot set out to be "the world's policemen". (BBC)

  • Church leaders speak against 'wicked' war | Britain's two most senior churchmen have launched separate impassioned initiatives aimed at preventing war against Iraq. (The Times, London)

  • A Puritan on the warpath | The biblical zeal with which the US President is waging a moral crusade against Saddam Hussein owes much to the dissenting protestantism of America's original settlers (Tristram Hunt, The Observer, London)

  • Church of Scotland warns against Iraq war | The Moderator of the Church of Scotland's general assembly has urged Tony Blair to try and prevent war against Iraq (BBC)

  • The standards by which war with Iraq must be judged | A conflict on the current evidence and terms would be difficult to support (Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, The Times, London)

  • Can U.S. neo-imperialist march be stopped? | To broaden their base in American opinion, the pro-Israeli activists have gained valuable allies in the fundamentalist Christian evangelical movement, which has swept America in recent years, and which is inherently favorable to Israel and hostile to Islam (Patrick Seale, The Daily Star, Lebanon)

  • War is not inevitable, says archbishop | Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Wales, expressed hope that the West's confrontation with Iraq could be solved without war. (The Times, London)

  • Jumblatt warns Christians not to be US-Israeli dupes | Chouf MP Walid Jumblatt claimed Thursday that some Christian leaders were being "manipulated" by the United States and Israel. (The Daily Star, Lebanon)

Church and state:

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Politics and law:

Crime and violence:

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  • 'I feel no hatred' - priest | An Anglican priest testified on Thursday that he harbored no feelings of hatred or revenge towards the two men who murdered his son during a robbery. (News 24, South Africa)

  • Priest to be sentenced in insurance fraud | He pleaded guilty Thursday over his role in an international insurance scam orchestrated by disgraced financier Martin Frankel. (Associated Press)

  • Also: Pair accused of targeting blacks in investment fraud | A civil lawsuit filed Thursday by federal securities regulators accuses two people of defrauding at least 1,000 investors out of more than $1.3 million with a supposed plan to buy stock in black-run companies before they went public. (Associated Press)

  • Churchman decapitated | Official has been decapitated in the Solomon Islands in a week of worsening violence in the troubled South Pacific state that has left five dead and 11 injured. (The Australian)

  • Woman and child beaten after prayer meeting | The pair were in a critical condition in hospital after suffering serious head injuries after woman's partner beat them. (The New Zealand Herald)

  • Prison rape — it's no joke | It has terrible consequences, not just for the inmates who are brutalized, but for our communities as well (Pat Nolan, The Washington Times)

  • Earlier: Prison rape is no joke | As 7-Up pulls offensive advertisement, evangelicals continue to combat prisoner rap (Christianity Today, July 9, 2002)

Lebanese Christian station closed:

Life ethics:

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  • Baptists start long haul in lottery war | Nearly 3.3 million pieces of anti-lottery material will be delivered (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis)

  • Lottery opposition building here | Opposition to the proposed state lottery may be the issue which brings Christians out of the woodwork and marching into the public arena, say church leaders (The Daily Herald, Columbia, S.C.)


David Benke:

  • Expelled Lutheran minister gets public support | The "It's OK to Pray" theme, being pushed by Mr. Benke's supporters in the 2.6 million-member conservative denomination, comes as a church review board considers his appeal that he did not commit "syncretism" or "unionism" — forms of heresy by mixing with other faiths or non-Lutherans — by his public prayer (The Washington Times)

  • Interfaith observances prompt tensions | LCMS still struggles with services (Religion News Service)
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  • We need true tolerance, but our thinking about it is skewed | Theologian believes thinking is "clouded" by two major misunderstandings (A.J. Conyers, The Dallas Morning News)

  • Bad times are good times for end-timers | Perhaps as we move toward the anniversary of 9-11 we should assume the stance of the prophetic forerunners of end-time apocalyptic writing and engage our problems with the conviction that what we do or don't do can make a difference (Leo Sandon, Tallahassee [Fla.] Democrat)

Sex and marriage:


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Church controversies:

  • Church council plan settles riff | The World Council of Churches accepted a plan to ease differences over forms of worship and inclusion of women that had threatened to split Western Protestant and Eastern Orthodox Christians (Associated Press)

  • Defrocked, priest gets support from England | David Moyer has been removed from ministry in the Episcopal church (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Also: Episcopal priest defies ouster | The Rev. David Moyer says that the church has become too liberal on issues such as the ordination of women and recognition of same-sex unions. (Associated Press)

  • Earlier: Episcopal priest keeps vigil on removal; it may come today | The Rev. David Moyer spent much of yesterday in his oak-paneled Rosemont office, wondering whether his bishop would defrock him today for "abandoning the communion" of the Episcopal Church (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Also: Episcopal controversy muted in area | The action against the Rev. David Moyer — called deposition by the Episcopal church — caused a wave of dissension in Pennsylvania, but only a ripple of concern in Southwest Florida (The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla.)

  • Lutheran opponents of ordination of women want their own diocese | Church not expected to support idea (Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki, Finland)

  • An unorthodox tangle | The election of Irineos as Greek Orthodox Patriarch was welcomed last year by all except the Israeli government, which withheld its approval. Now, his Arab supporters have deserted him over an alleged land deal with Israel (Ha'aretz, Israel)

  • Black Baptists reduce chief's power | National Baptist Convention says changes are unrelated to Lyons scandal (Associated Press)

  • Kisses, threats and rows: vicar has his day in court | In a tale of rural strife, priest accused of sexual harassment, bullying and fraud asks archbishop to reinstate him (The Guardian, London)

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  • Women take a stand at Baptist gathering | A circle of black clergywomen is protesting the widespread resistance by the male-dominated National Baptist Convention USA pastorate to allowing women as peers in the pulpit (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Church life:

Missions and ministry:

Franklin Graham:

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Archaeology and history:




  • A don devoted to God | C.S. Lewis bio "The Magic Never Ends" is first-rate (Kay Gardella, New York Daily News)

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Other religions :

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Religion in society:

  • Putting a leash on dogma | When it comes to contemporary political debate we must avoid asserting moral beliefs as moral truths (Catharine Lumby, The Bulletin, Australia)

  • It's the right thing to do | While we might disagree with someone's religious views, we should not oppose them (Phil Dodson, The Macon [Ga.] Telegraph)

  • Religion isn't nice | It kills. So that's that: no secular thinkers on Thought for the Day. Another bowlful of mental custard, anyone? (Polly Toynbee,The Guardian, London)


Sex abuse charges:

  • No Geoghan pact yet, lawyer says | Not even tentative yet (The Boston Globe)

  • Ending legal secrecy | One of the most troubling, and least scrutinized, aspects of the child sexual abuse scandal now roiling the Roman Catholic Church is the enabling role played by the court system (Editorial, The New York Times)

  • In Law's corner | Defending the Cardinal, a leading lawyer must roll with the punches (The Boston Globe)

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Other stories of interest:

Related Elsewhere

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