Revenge of the bloggers
Several Christian bloggers took issue with the initial entry of Weblog in Print, Christianity Today's effort to put the spirit of blogging on paper. No big surprise there: as the column noted, the blogging community likes nothing more than critiquing articles about blogging. The main critique of the column was that it didn't mention this or that blog.

Let's try to remedy that by recommending a few Christian weblogs that are just getting started. Get in on the ground floor; say you were there when it all began; be a charter subscriber. The first, The Paris Project, includes a heaping dose of cat entries, but those uninterested in feline exploits will keep coming back for the writer: Jenell Williams Paris, associate professor of anthropology at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, author of the books Urban Disciples and Birth Control for Christians, and author of two Christianity Today articles. As one might expect from her past writings, a number of Paris's postings are on sex. "I'm looking for a way of life, a quality of dialogue, and an intimacy of relationship in the church that can help us live together with sexuality as an acknowledged part of our lives," she wrote in one post.

I also think that we won't all agree—we can't just start an educational campaign to tell everyone what's what. We need a strong grounding in orthodoxy and a strong engagement with community … and then we need to just live with each other, honestly talking and respectfully disagreeing, and being part of each other's decision-making, even in the most intimate parts of life. And when people make sexual choices that have bad consequences, we need to share our own similar stories and remind ourselves that God's grace is sufficient for us all.

Paris's blog isn't all about sex, of course, but one imagines that the subject matter may draw in more readers than updates on her cat's digestive tract.

Another CT writer, Bob Smietana, is the voice of god-of-small-things, whose blog is broadly on religion news. His first entry was picked up by the new religion megablog The Revealer, since it contained a light criticism of the NYU-sponsored site. More recent posts have focused on a homeless man who froze to death and media coverage of The Body (a religious sect Smietana wrote about for CT). Smietana writes that he sees the sect's members "not [as] 'nut cases,' not cold blooded cultists, but as people who have suffered the greatest loss of all—the death of their children. And they have to live with that the rest of their lives. May God have mercy on them."

Article continues below

If Smietana's nascent efforts at critiquing religion reporting interest you, be sure to make one of your most prominent bookmarks. It's the work of two men, one of whom CT readers will be very familiar: associate editor Douglas LeBlanc. The other voice is that of syndicated religion columnist Terry Mattingly, and it's amazing that he hasn't been publicly blogging for years. The main focus is on news reports that miss or misconstrue the religious dimension to the story. "Our main goal here is to raise questions about the religion coverage in the mainstream press," Mattingly recently summarized.

Weblog doesn't know about Mattingly, but LeBlanc does have a wonderful cat named Spot. Still, don't expect many Spot updates on GetReligion—this is a blog with a focus and a mission (and, reportedly, funding). May these sites and many others like them gain in readership and influence, and may their authors grow in wisdom and understanding.

Back to the Weblog in Print column for one moment: There was one significant error in the piece. Tim Bednar of is no longer an Assemblies of God pastor. "I used to be, but have not been for almost 3 years," he responded on his site. "I am involved with an Assemblies of God church plant—but have made a purposeful decision not to be A/G for the time being, however I am not burning any bridges."

The other critique of the piece is that it supposedly criticized It actually didn't do the latter, and only noted that many good Christian blogs aren't listed there (the site only lists those blogs that have requested it). Dean Peters, Blogs4God site administrator, has logged a few of his complaints in the comment areas of several Christian blogs.

In his e-church comment, Peters wrote, "It is important that we not dismiss the 'look at my cat' blogs. They too represent the Body, as described in 1 Corinthans 12. I mean, not everyone can be the head." Indeed, but blogs like The Paris Project demonstrate that one can use one's head while still talking about one's cat.

And while religion blogging seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, there's still plenty of room for more—even in the media criticism category. There are so many religion stories in the mainstream media that no one can possibly evaluate it all. It was hard enough for Weblog to find and list the hundreds of articles listed below, and it's regrettable that there's no time to personally comment on many of these stories. May a million thoughtful bloggers bloom to pick up the slack.

Article continues below

More articles

Gay marriage | Homosexuality and religion | Anglicans and Episcopalians | Marriage | Sexual ethics | Human cloning | Life ethics | Evolution | Education | Boy scouts | Ten Commandments | Church and state | Invocations | Public religion | Politics | War on terror and immigration | Uganda bishop deportation | Persecution | Slavery | Headscarf bans | Prisons | Missions & Ministry | Haiti | India | Valentine's Day | Museums and history | Catholicism | Clergy | Church life | Bishop hit-and-run | Crime | Abuse | Israel Earthquake | Interfaith relations | The Passion of The Christ | Film | Television | Media | Books | Music | Art | Sports | Christian pilot | Business ethics | Spirituality | Deaths | Other articles of interest

Gay marriage in Massachusetts (news):

Article continues below
  • Document: Text of Finneran's amendment | The text of an amendment proposed by House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, which was rejected by a 100-98 vote (The Boston Globe)

Gay marriage in Massachusetts (analysis):

  • A troubled 'marriage' | The dispute over gay marriage is not just about the rights that should accompany a lasting partnership, but also about the symbolic meaning of a word (Adam Liptak, The New York Times)

  • At the end, discord rules a divided body | After two very long, draining days of eloquent speeches and moving personal stories in the House Chamber, the debate over a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage produced only drama, legislative maneuvers, and nonstop yelling late last night (The Boston Globe)

  • Vote on Travis measure shows split on gay marriage | Though the Legislature took several key votes during two days of debate, an amendment offered yesterday by a Democratic state representative from Rehoboth offered the clearest picture of where Massachusetts lawmakers stand on gay marriage, undiluted by the issue of civil unions (The Boston Globe)

  • A gay-marriage foe feels stuck in middle | This Jill LeGere knows: Marriage should mean the union of one man and one woman, nothing more (The Boston Globe)

  • For lesbian couple, fight is 'not over yet' | When they realized that the Legislature's debate on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage would extend well into the night, Mary M. McCarthy and Bonnie Winokar made an emergency call asking the dog sitter to visit Oliver, the giant mutt whose picture they frequently show off to people they meet (The Boston Globe)

  • Romney tried to play role in debate | The governor has no formal role in the constitutional convention, and his sort of involvement in legislative matters can be tricky territory (The Boston Globe)

  • Discussion is charged with tears, appeals | The 6 1/2 hours of historic debate yesterday over whether to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage featured a range of emotions and oratory, from lofty references to the founding fathers to personal memories of discrimination (The Boston Globe)

  • House speaker's gambit sparked anger, furious maneuvering | The two most powerful Democrats in the Legislature saw their attempts at brokering gay marriage compromises thwarted in yesterday's constitutional convention, with strange alliances and shifting loyalties bringing their proposals just short of the required majority votes (The Boston Globe)

Article continues below
  • O'Malley watches from afar | Roman Catholic Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, one of the key figures in the state's debate over same-sex marriage, is out of the country for about two weeks for church-related meetings (The Boston Globe)

Gay marriage in Massachusetts (opinion):

  • 'Equal' does not mean 'same' | Having assumed that any relationship to procreativeness would have to mean actual child bearing in every instance of marriage, and having recognized how contrary to fact this position is, the court then freed itself to define marriage without any reference or relationship whatsoever to procreativeness (J. Donald Monan, The Boston Globe)

  • Wedding distractions | Imagine, for one brief but glorious moment, if we devoted this kind of attention, this kind of activism, this kind of ambition to something that might matter a little bit more to the everyday lives of regular people? (Brian McGrory, The Boston Globe)

  • So far, so good | The legislature narrowly defeated two proposed constitutional amendments yesterday, courageously standing against proposals from each presiding officer that would have taken away the gay marriage rights granted in November by the Supreme Judicial Court (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

Gay marriage in San Francisco:

  • More than 50 gay couples are married in San Francisco | Two lesbians who have been living together for more than 50 years were the first to marry at city hall on Thursday under a new city directive (The New York Times)

  • Same-sex couples 'married' by city | City officials in San Francisco, at their mayor's request, yesterday officiated at 87 "marriages" of homosexual couples and issued licenses to 95 more, marking the first time that government officials in the United States have allowed same-sex couples to "marry." (The Washington Times)

  • To the threshold of equal rights | The hour has arrived to decide whether there is any rationale—in a nation guided by a constitution assuring "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"—for government to deprive some Americans from the rights and responsibilities of marriage (Editorial, San Francisco Chronicle)

  • San Francisco officials marry gay couples | In an open challenge to California law, city authorities performed scores of same-sex weddings Thursday and issued a stack of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples (Associated Press)

  • S.F. defies law, marries gays | Legal battle looms: City Hall ceremonies spur constitutional showdown, injunction threat (San Francisco Chronicle)

Article continues below

More on gay marriage (news):

  • Ruling may alter benefits nationwide | As the gay marriage debate rages, employers are going to have to start thinking about how same-sex marriages could potentially change the way they administer employee benefits (Chicago Tribune)

  • Also: Gay-lifestyle laws could backfire | Business groups say appearance of intolerance hurts economically (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

  • Gays want the right, but not necessarily the marriage | The gay community itself is divided on whether marriage is the right priority (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Britain okays new-gender transsexual unions | Britain's upper chamber of Parliament on Tuesday approved legislation allowing transsexuals to obtain new birth certificates and marry in their adopted gender (Associated Press)

  • Conservatives push Bush on gay marriage | Social conservatives are pressing President Bush to take an active role to ban gay marriage, not only by endorsing a constitutional amendment but also by putting the issue atop his re-election agenda (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Gay marriage ban progresses | The Georgia Senate Rules Committee listened Wednesday to 20 people testify during an impassioned two-hour debate on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. Then, the committee took just 30 seconds to vote 11-1 to send the resolution to the full Senate (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Also: Senate committee passes constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages | Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment that would forbid same-sex marriages told lawmakers Wednesday the measure would harm Georgia's tourism industry and result in higher health-care costs for the state (Macon Telegraph, Ga.)

  • Mayor: Don't ban gay marriage | Hickenlooper to join rally decrying effort to alter Constitution (The Denver Post)

  • Gay marriage sparks heated testimony | State panel hears debate on church's role, economic impact of proposed amendment (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

More on gay marriage (opinion):

Article continues below
  • Word play | How to protect the sanctity of marriage (Jacob Sullum, Reason)

  • Just a love story | When you're Tom and Terrence instead of Dick and Jane, the 'I do's' lie on the other side of a swamp of bigotry (Terrence McNally, Los Angeles Times)

  • Civil marriage is about civil rights | Civil unions place gays and lesbians in a secondary class and will not provide equal protections (Dawnetta Miller, The Dallas Morning News)

  • Full faith and credulous | The president heads down the path of the bigots (Dahlia Lithwick, Slate)

  • Clergy forget their history | It's sad that the black clergy, such a powerful voice in the civil rights movements, cannot view gay marriage as part of that movement (Adrian Walker, The Boston Globe)

Back to category list

Homosexuality and religion:

  • Outing the Bible | The new queer theologians don't need your approval (The East Bay Express, Emeryville, Calif., via The Revealer)

  • Attempts to make gays straight called misguided at Vanderbilt discussion | Persecuted by their families, churches and society, many homosexuals would do anything to become heterosexuals and end their shame and isolation, several speakers said yesterday during a panel discussion at Vanderbilt University (The Tennessean, Nashville)

  • Treat homosexuals compassionately, Christians told at Two Rivers | Sometimes churches end up adding to the hurt of people they're trying to help.That was part of the message from several speakers at a Focus on the Family conference called Love Won Out yesterday at Two Rivers Baptist Church (The Tennessean, Nashville)

  • Easing the pain of 'clobber' verses | Local church classes offer alternative view of Bible and homosexuality (The Toledo Blade, Oh.)

  • From captives to captors | Two centuries ago, black Christians split off from abusive mainstream churches, and now black gay Christians are doing the same (Herndon L. Davis, The Washington Blade, gay newspaper)

  • Youngsters speak up, loud and clear | Alternative Family Matters opposes ad by Focus on the Family (The Boston Globe)

  • Don't bar me from church—Ssenyonjo | The retired bishop of West Buganda diocese, Dr. Christopher Ssenyonjo, has said he should not be thrown out of the Church for his stand on homosexuality (New Vision, Kampala, Uganda)

  • Bible and homosexuality — the debate rages | Christian scholars disagree on whether the Bible condemns homosexuality or gay marriage. Much of the argument rests on whether Scripture should be interpreted literally (The State, Columbia, S.C.)

Back to category list

Article continues below

Church of England opens door to blessing same-sex unions:

  • Church softens line on gay couples | Way opens for blessing of same sex unions as top clergy seek to adopt a more inclusive tone (The Guardian, London)

  • New mood in Church opens door to gay 'marriages' | There's a mood of liberalization over homosexual issues (The Times, London, subscription required)

  • Church of England leaders seek harmony | The church's governing General Synod endorsed a report by bishops calling for "interpretive charity" between reformers and conservatives — and a balancing of biblical teaching with social reality — in the debate that is threatening to split the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion (Associated Press)

  • Church policy on sexuality must reflect real world, says clergy | The Church of England came under renewed pressure from its own clergy yesterday to update its stance on homosexuality and gay priests (The Independent, London)

  • Church debates gay clergy issue | The Church of England's governing body has heard a series of speeches in favor of a more liberal stance over homosexuality (BBC)

  • Sex, the bishop and the important range of positions | In the intimacy of the bedroom, the words "hermeneutical" and "Trinitarian" can be whispered but rarely across the pillow between lovers of whatever orientation. But when the General Synod debates sex, it obfuscates the mechanics and raises the topic to a strictly above-the-waist matter (Alan Hamilton, The Times, London, subscription required)

More on Anglicanism's homosexuality woes:

  • Williams supports Americans who oppose gay bishop | The Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Rowan Williams, has offered his support to a network of traditionalist churches being set up in America to oppose the gay Bishop Gene Robinson (The Times of London)

  • Anglican leaders back gay clergy protest | Leaders of Anglican churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America joined to endorse a new protest group that is trying to unite Episcopalians in the United States who oppose gay clergy (Associated Press)

  • Anglican archbishops reaffirm moral stand | Thirteen Anglican archbishops from Africa and Asia have renewed their condemnation of the US bishops for consecrating the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson (New Vision, Kampala, Uganda)

  • Difficult role lies ahead, warns archbishop | Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Robin Eames spoke today of the 'immense difficulties' ahead as he chairs a special commission established in the wake of the ordination of a gay bishop in the United States (The Belfast Telegraph)

Article continues below
  • Gay priests commission faces "unprecedented difficult challenges" | Rowan Williams, speaking at the opening of the General Synod in central London, said a commission set up to examine future options for the Anglican communion over gay clergy had a "difficult and delicate task" (PA, U.K.)

  • Njoka pulls back from fete linked to U.S. gays | Cash-for-prayers bishop Peter Njoka has narrowly escaped a new storm - he was stopped at the last minute from attending the ordination of a Kenyan deacon by clergymen allied to the controversial American gay bishop (The Nation, Nairobi)

  • Gays spoil party for priest | The move by the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) to block the ordination of one of their own by a bishop from the pro-homosexual church in the US has again brought to the fore the sharp split in the church (The East African Standard, Nairobi)

  • Gay bishop encourages faithful 'to stretch love' | Episcopal leader draws parallel to blacks' struggles in the church (Chicago Tribune)

  • Also: Gay bishop: 'It is about God's love' | The roiling controversy threatening to split the Episcopal Church may be a blessing in disguise, Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and the man at the center of the controversy, told parishioners Sunday in Chicago (Chicago Tribune)

  • Diocese struggles to move past gay bishop | Local Episcopalians voted Saturday to create a "reconciliation commission" that will recommend how the 33,000 members of the Diocese of Southern Virginia can surmount their disagreements over the denomination's endorsement of a non-celibate gay man as a bishop (The Virginian-Pilot)

  • Central Gulf Episcopalians adopt anti-gay resolution | The convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast on Friday adopted a resolution opposing the ordination of non-celibate gay clergy and any rites that bless same-sex marriages (Associated Press)

  • Theologians spar over gay role in Episcopal Church | The Rev. Paul Zahl opened an Anglican theology conference Thursday by addressing the Episcopal Church's support for same-sex unions, comparing it to Janet Jackson's apology for baring her breast during the Super Bowl halftime show (The Birmingham News, Ala.)

  • Episcopal clergyman resigns | The Rev. Dennis Ackerson forming new congregation (Tallahassee Democrat, Fla.)

  • Local diocese to hear proposal to formally denounce gay bishop | Local Episcopalians upset by their denomination's endorsement of a gay man as a bishop will urge the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia to formally repudiate that approval Saturday during the diocese's annual council at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott (The Virginian-Pilot)

Article continues below

Episcopal Church finances:

  • Episcopal protest hits collection plate | Episcopal Church officials yesterday announced a $3 million shortfall in the church's 2004 budget, caused chiefly by parishes and dioceses withholding funds to protest the ordination of a homosexual bishop (The Washington Times)

  • Episcopal Church: Gay backlash 'insignificant' | For months, analysts have been watching to see if Episcopalians would punish their national church financially for the move. The church's executive council says donations are down slightly (All Things Considered, NPR)

  • State Episcopalians cut money to national church | The 177th annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi was marked by difficulties and disagreements caused by the national Episcopal Church's recent confirmation of an openly gay bishop (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.)

  • Mississippi Episcopalian conference rejects proposal to withhold money | Episcopalians in two states debated how to respond this weekend to the consecration of New Hampshire's gay bishop (Associated Press)

Article continues below

More on Anglicanism:

Back to category list


Back to category list

Sexual ethics:

Article continues below
  • Teens nationwide promote abstinence | Students across the nation plan to wear white T-shirts to school Friday, the day before Valentine's Day, to publicly show their commitment to not having sex outside marriage. They're calling their effort the "Day of Purity," and they will distribute pro-abstinence pamphlets to their peers (Associated Press)

  • Campus Crusaders organize abstinence march | Just when the debate as to who is responsible for the 'A' of the ABC adage adopted by the whole world in the war against HIV/AIDS, was beginning to feature in most HIV/AIDS crusades, the Campus Crusade for Christ has sprung up to provide an answer (Mmegi, Gaborone, Botswana)

  • Super-sized floats to promote condom use go too far, church says | School's 80-minute parade on Feb. 22 will feature a giant float of Adam and Eve caught in the act of original sin, as well as same-sex kissing, couple-swapping and spinning older female dancers with extra legs attached to their waists to simulate fornication (Knight Ridder)

  • Yes, polygamy is everybody's business | It's no 'private matter' when children are raped and intellectually starved in isolated settings (Naomi Schaefer, Los Angeles Times)

  • Also: Is a prohibition on polygamy constitutional? | Was Scalia right? After Lawrence, must Utah bless this three-party marriage? Not necessarily (Marci Hamilton,

Back to category list

Human cloning:

Article continues below
  • Therapeutic cloning ignites call for ban | The cloning announcement by South Korean scientists on Thursday prompted members of Congress and church leaders to ask for immediate legislation (Associated Press)

  • Brownback pushes his anticloning bill | Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, says the Senate has to act now on his bill to ban all human cloning in the United States, because South Korean researchers have successfully cloned a human embryo and extracted master stem cells for potential use in medical treatments (The Washington Times)

  • Science won't wait | The announcement demonstrates that policy-makers need to step into the debate before ethics loses the footrace against scientific advancement (Editorial, The Washington Times)

  • The cloning success in Korea | Cloning for reproduction ought to be banned, but an all-out ban on cloning will only ensure that the cutting edge of biomedicine migrates to other shores (Editorial, The New York Times)

  • Cloning's new frontier | Congress should ban reproductive but not therapeutic cloning and should liberalize stem cell research by permitting US funding for it both on embryos left over at fertility clinics and on cloned embryos (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

Back to category list

Partial-birth abortion subpoenas:

  • Doctors, hospitals challenge U.S. subpoenas | Justice department seeks confidential medical records on banned late-term abortion procedure (The Washington Post)

  • Justice Dept. demands abortion records | Under fire from abortion-rights groups, Attorney General John Ashcroft insisted Thursday that doctor-patient privacy is not threatened by a government attempt to subpoena medical records in a lawsuit over the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (Associated Press)

  • Attorney General defends abortion subpoenas | Attorney General John Ashcroft on Thursday defended the decision to seek medical records of women who have undergone a type of late-term abortion and said it would not violate their privacy rights (Reuters)

  • U.S. lawyers seek abortion records, stir privacy debate | Lawyers for the U.S. government are trying to obtain detailed medical records of dozens of women who had abortions at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and in several other cities, in what some legal experts say is a potentially unprecedented breach of medical privacy (Chicago Tribune)

Life ethics:

  • South Dakota lawmakers okay abortion ban | The House passed a bill Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions in South Dakota, but opponents said it would do nothing but cost taxpayers money if it becomes law (Associated Press)

Article continues below

Back to category list


  • Evolution: Board wants to use national standards | Without using the word "evolution," the state Board of Education made it clear Wednesday it thinks the scientific theory should be taught to Georgia's students in its entirety (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Left out of state's proposed curriculum | Georgia copied almost all the biology standards developed by the American Association for the Advancement for Science. These sections related to evolution were left out of the state's proposed curriculum (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Document: Board of Education's statement (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • A passion for evolution | Despite his breadth, Richard Dawkins is surely best known for three things: his defense of the selfish gene view of biological evolution, his invention of the selfish meme view of cultural evolution, and his animosity toward religion. A Devil's Chaplain takes up each of these themes, some more convincingly than others (H. Allen Orr, The New York Review of Books)

  • Compatability test | How the five major religions do and don't open their doors to Darwin's theory (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Article continues below
  • Campaigners push for 'Darwin Day' | Atheist, agnostic and humanist organisations in the Americas, Europe and Asia are gearing up for a five-year campaign aimed at achieving international recognition of February 12 as "Darwin Day" (Reuters)

  • Also: Darwin Day: Mark your calendar! | (Edna DeVore and Diane Richards,

Back to category list

Religious expression in schools:

Religious expression in school boards:

  • School meeting opens in prayer | Although the school board has opened its meetings with a prayer for at least two decades, Monday night marked the first invocation offered since a lawsuit was filed in federal court last week to ban school board prayers (The Bradenton Herald)

  • Prayer issue heats up in Manatee | The members of the School Board agree that some ministers who gave invocations at their meetings in recent months delivered essentially Christian prayers. But the board members say they shouldn't be held responsible for that. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.)

  • Also: Manatee School Board too close to Christian-government movement | Those urging the Manatee County School Board to make its prayers more inclusive aren't preaching to the choir (Tom Lyons, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.)

Article continues below
  • Board seeking prayer-suit help | The School Board's attorney has asked Christian conservative Pat Robertson's legal organization for guidance on a lawsuit claiming the board is forcing Christianity on its constituents (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.)

More on education:

Back to category list

Boy scouts v ACLU:

Article continues below

Back to category list

Ten Commandments:

Article continues below

Back to category list

Church and state:

  • Lawmakers want ban on court denial of God | Federal courts could not curb state court rulings that allow an "acknowledgment of God," according to a measure two senators introduced Thursday as a response to the dispute over a Ten Commandments display in Alabama (Associated Press)

  • Drop 'Christian' from Vermont's constitution? | Ninth-graders Sylvie Daley and Dosia Sanford from the Twinfield Union School in Marshfield went before the Senate Government Operations Committee on Friday and said it's time to amend the founding document to remove the reference to a specific religion (Associated Press)

  • Salt Lake City issues free-speech guidelines | 'Fighting words' doctrine examined in effort to encourage civility among street preachers in controversial Mormon temple plaza (Associated Press)

  • Also: Downtown 'fighting words' are spelled out | Calling a woman a "harlot" after she exits the Salt Lake LDS Temple—especially in the presence of her husband or children—may not be constitutionally protected, says Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson (The Salt Lake Tribune)

  • Roil renewed: Politics and religion in Palm Beach | The Palm Beach veneer of civility, stretched tight as a face-lift, split asunder in December when town residents Maureen Donnell and Fern deNarvaez sued the town to force it to consider placing a Nativity scene near the town-sponsored menorah and Christmas tree (Palm Beach Post)

  • 50 years ago, sermon spurred putting 'under God' in pledge | When the Rev. George M. Docherty wrote a sermon saying that the Pledge of Allegiance should acknowledge God, he hoped that it would influence the nation's leaders to amend the pledge (Associated Press)

  • Compromise would satisfy all in faith-based debate | There's a middle ground in the debate over Georgia's Blaine Amendment (Michael Broyde, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Making an end-run around church-state separation | How I found myself trying to find a way around the concept I have defended my whole life (Sue Clark, Daily Pilot, Newport Beach, Calif.)

Back to category list


  • Preachers mustn't preach | Legislative issues to be off-limits (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Pray, preach. Don't reach. Amen | All of us have opinions about issues before the General Assembly. But like the passengers on the airplane, legislators are, during the morning observance, a captive audience at the mercy of a person asked to perform a specific role. In that circumstance, the faith of the passengers is not the pilot's business—nor is legislation the preacher's (Editorial, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Article continues below

Back to category list

Public religion:

  • Archbishop urges West to renew faith | The West must allow religious faith back on the public stage, Australia's Anglican leader told an international Muslim-Christian conference in Melbourne last night (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

  • Also: We need religious education more than ever | Surely September 11 showed us religious issues cannot be pushed into the background (Peter Carnley, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Back to category list

Electoral politics:

Article continues below

Presidential candidates:

  • Sharpton faces questions on matching funds | For months, Al Sharpton's presidential campaign has been supported indirectly by "love offerings" — donations by churchgoers to minister Sharpton, who then lends money to candidate Sharpton (Associated Press)

  • Sen. Edwards preaches for votes from the pulpit | Presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, spent much of Sunday reaching out to African-American voters, preaching from church pulpits on reducing poverty and improving race relations (Reuters)

  • Kerry opposed gay marriage ban in letter | John Kerry tells voters he opposes gay marriages, but when 85 of his Senate colleagues voted to write that opposition into law he compared the effort to 1960s Southerners trying to outlaw interracial marriages (Associated Press)

  • Freedom rider | No more souls to the polls (Margaret Kimberley, The Black Commentator, via Beliefnet)

  • Gay media outlets rap Kerry's silence in marriage debate | Two years ago Kerry urged state legislators to reject a proposed amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions (The Boston Globe)

  • Sharpton dazzles churchgoers in Virginia | The Rev. Al Sharpton dazzled hundreds of Baptist churchgoers Sunday morning when he took the pulpit, pledging to stay in the race for president and promising that good things happen "in God's time" (Associated Press)

  • Bush has edge on 'religious' vote, but bloc up for grabs | Although Bush by all accounts has a leg up when it comes to harvesting the votes of many evangelicals, past election results and polls show that evangelical voters are far from monolithic (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Elections abroad:

More politics:

Article continues below
  • Roman Catholic church raises some eyebrows by warning politicians | Growing calls by church leaders about the duty of Catholic politicians to oppose issues ranging from abortion to euthanasia to gay marriage or face sanction is reviving questions among some political scientists and others about the church's role in politics (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Back to category list

War on terror and immigration:

Back to category list

Uganda bishop deportation:

  • Do not deport Fr Rodriguez | The army's indefensible wish to have Fr Carlos Rodriguez deported on spurious claims that he "spreads false information prejudicial to national security" must be resisted by all human rights defenders (Editorial, The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)

  • I'm not shaken, says Fr Carlos | Fr. Carlos Rodriguez, a Spanish missionary and prominent campaigner for peace in northern Uganda, has said he is not shaken by threats of deportation (The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)

  • Ugandan army seeks priest's exit | A Roman Catholic priest has been accused of "making false allegations" against the security forces and may have to leave war-torn northern Uganda (BBC)

Article continues below

Back to category list


  • Arsonists torch charity office | Arsonists including Buddhist monks firebombed the offices of World Vision amid increasing religious tensions in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka (The Advertiser, Australia)

  • Persecutions of Muslim converts to Christianity continue | Disturbing signs of limited religious freedom among Christian minority communities are increasing in the country. Of the 22 converts from Islam to Christianity arrested last October, then released on bail (as reported by AsiaNews), two were placed under arrest again on the night of last Dec. 16 (AsiaNews, Italy)

  • Kazakhstan: Report finds religious freedom improving | A new report finds that religious freedom in Kazakhstan has improved after restrictive amendments to the religion law were thrown out in 2002 (Radio Free Europe)

  • Reject religious intolerance | Some principles are worth upsetting apple carts over even when it would be easier to just let the cart roll along. As Americans, these principles would very much include protesting religious intolerance wherever it raises its head (Editorial, Pasadena Star News, Calif.)

Back to category list


  • Herdsman's plight raises concerns | Anti-slavery activists in Mauritania are waging a rare public campaign to rescue Matalla, a 20-year-old camel herder they say fled into the protection of troops to escape a life of bondage (Associated Press)

  • 'A bold gesture' | Quaker minister joins the cause as slaves battle for emancipation (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.)

  • Pastor raises furor with his portrayal of slavery | A conference featuring a pastor who has portrayed slavery as a benevolent and positive experience for blacks in the South has raised the ire of protesters at the University of Idaho (Idaho Statesman, Boise)

  • Kristof to the rescue? | You can see the narrative in the process of creation: Third World women are victims; American men are saviors. Right-wing Christians care about Third World women; feminists only care about themselves. (Katha Pollitt, The Nation)

Back to category list

Headscarf bans:

  • British criticism of headscarf ban | British Muslims and the government have joined ranks in condemning the French for trying to ban religious headwear and symbols in state schools (BBC)

  • French headscarf ban opens rifts | After months of public debate, the vote in parliament was a brief affair (BBC)

  • French focus on head-covering is wrong-headed | I well understand the cultural and religious significance of a headscarf as, indeed, my own grandmother wore a mantilla her entire life. But I hate the idea of it, whether worn for modesty or out of piety (Rosie Dimanno, Toronto Star)

Article continues below
  • German state proposes new headscarf ban | The dominant party in the western German state of Hesse on Tuesday proposed legislation that would ban Muslim civil servants from wearing headscarves, a measure that goes further than three other states' proposals to outlaw the veil for public school teachers (Associated Press)

Back to category list


Back to category list

Missions & Ministry

Article continues below

Back to category list


  • Missionaries dodge hot spots in Haiti to fly home | After an exhausting dayslong escape from a tumultuous Haiti, more than 50 missionaries arrived at Lambert Field on Monday night and were greeted by relieved friends and relatives (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  • Local Christians target Haiti's root problems | As violence spread across the impoverished country of Haiti on Tuesday, a couple in a nearly empty house on Edisto Beach monitored the situation from news reports, anxious to jump on a plane and help out (The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.)

Article continues below

Back to category list

Benny Hinn in India:

Religious freedom in India:

Hindus who hate Valentine's Day:

  • Hardline Hindus vow protests on Valentine's Day | Hardline Hindu groups threatened on Tuesday to blacken the faces of couples celebrating Valentine's Day, saying the Christian saint's day was a violation of Indian culture (Reuters)

  • Hindu group issues Valentine's warning | Hindu nationalists who claim they are fighting against Western cultural influence have threatened to shave young lovers' heads and beat them if they exchange Valentine's Day cards and

  • gifts (Associated Press)

Back to category list

Valentine's Day history:

Article continues below

Back to category list

Museums and history:

Back to category list


  • Laying hope for change at the next pontiff's feet | John Paul's successor may face Catholics' calls for greater lay responsibility (The Washington Post)

  • A glimpse of archdiocese future | In an archdiocese of 357 churches, many of which are small, struggling, and bracing for possible closure, St. Michael Parish is giant, thriving, and growing (The Boston Globe)

  • Hey, bishop, don't call my city immoral | Since I have been living in this morally bankrupt city for more than four decades now, I may be too awash in sin to address the argument made by Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino in his column last week in the Catholic Herald (Doug Moe, The Capital Times, Madison, Wis.)

  • 'It's like a wake' | Catholic parishes begin assessing which should close (The Boston Globe)

  • Also: Survival of the chosen churches | Quietly, parish members meet to face closing choices (The Boston Globe)

  • Possible successors | The following Roman Catholic leaders head the list of likely candidates to succeed Pope John Paul II, who was elected in 1978 and next month will become the third longest-serving pontiff in history (The Washington Post)

  • Filipino American bishop is the first | Oscar Azarcon Solis is ordained in Los Angeles. His job in the archdiocese will be to unify various Catholic ethnic groups (Los Angeles Times)

Back to category list


  • Call him 'Pastor police officer' | Sgt. Rod Brooks, who works internal affairs for Glendale Police, is also a minister at a Gardena church (News-Press, Glendale, Calif.)

  • Preacher sports hairdo from . . . heaven | Standing before his flock, poised to perform one of the most sacred rituals of the church, the Rev. Ron Shrum was the picture of solemnity - if you looked past the red and blue spikes of hair surrounding his head like a halo dunked in Kool-Aid (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Article continues below
  • Clergy to get more job security | Clergy sacked by the Church of England should soon be able to take their bishops to employment tribunals after the General Synod endorsed a report recommending new rights yesterday (The Daily Telegraph, London)

  • Bishop from Lutheran church in Russia visits | Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin visited the U.S. to share the work the Lutheran ministry has done in the central Russian region and to foster support in the Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod (Papillion Times, Neb.)

  • Serbian bishop here on a mission from Kosovo | The diminutive man in black monastic garb is in the United States on a mission: to warn about the dangerous aftermath of the seemingly forgotten war in Kosovo (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • In Christian Jerusalem | For three years Irineos I has waited for Israel to officially recognize him as the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem - perhaps the most important Christian position in Israel (The Jerusalem Post)

Back to category list


Church life:

Article continues below
  • Lutheran parishes challenged | An Evangelical Lutheran Church in America team has assessed 10 San Antonio parishes and issued challenges to improve growth by reaching out to Hispanic neighbors (San Antonio Express-News, Tex.)

  • Spirits fall with church hit by fire | As firefighters doused smoldering ashes, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John braved a bitter wind Tuesday, reflecting on the burned-out structure where they had worshiped just two days earlier (Chicago Tribune)

  • Also: Church's history survives blaze | Records found in Sycamore rubble (Chicago Tribune)

  • Church fights city permit | Praise Christian Center on Tuesday filed a motion asking the courts to declare the city's conditional use permit for its building unconstitutional (The Independent, Huntington Beach, Calif.)

  • Church project recommended | The Naperville Plan Commission has unanimously recommended plans to demolish Our Saviour's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Naperville to make way for a new 37,500-square-foot chapel with a gymnasium, day-care center and separate garage (Chicago Tribune)

  • Churches urging clergy, congregants to lead healthy lives | With almost 65 percent of Americans overweight, the nation's churches are working to get clergy and their congregants to lose weight and take better care of themselves (Religion News Service)

Back to category list

Arizona bishop hit-and-run trial:

  • Jury deliberates on fate of Ariz. bishop | Jurors must decide whether Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien fled the scene of an accident knowing his car struck and killed a pedestrian (Associated Press)

  • O'Brien takes the stand, contradicts statements | Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien swore under oath on Monday that he would have stopped if he had known he hit a pedestrian on a Phoenix street last June but that "the thought never occurred" to him (The Arizona Republic)

  • Bishop: No need to talk to police | Prosecutor grills cleric on actions after fatal hit-and-run (The Washington Post)

  • Ariz. bishop speaks at hit-and-run trial | Bishop Thomas O'Brien admitted on the stand that he didn't call police after learning officers were investigating a fatal accident in the same area where he hit something that left his car's windshield smashed (Associated Press)

  • Bishop testifies in hit-and-run trial | Bishop Thomas O'Brien conceded during his hit-and-run trial Tuesday that he asked about getting his windshield fixed even though he knew police were investigating whether the car had been involved in a deadly accident (Associated Press)

Article continues below
  • Lawyer tries to explain bishop's thinking | In the days after he was involved in a deadly hit-and-run accident, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien demonstrated wishful thinking — not criminal intent, his attorney said (Associated Press)

Back to category list


Back to category list


Article continues below
  • 1,341 priests accused since 1950 | The scope of sex abuse accusations against Roman Catholic clergy since 1950 appears to be much greater than previously estimated by victims' groups and the media, an Associated Press review of reports from dioceses has found (Associated Press)

  • Religion in the News: Lazarus Fund | About 30 active and retired priests in the Rapid City Diocese are donating 5 percent of their monthly salaries to the fund, which picks up therapy costs for victims of sexual abuse and for abusers (Associated Press)

  • Diocese loses expert in abuse prevention | Director resigns from Arlington program (The Washington Post)

  • L.I. bishop is accused of shielding sex abusers | Despite his denials, the Roman Catholic bishop of Long Island shielded priests accused of child sex abuse when he served as the second-highest prelate in the Boston diocese, a child-protection advocate against abuse contended on Wednesday (The New York Times)

  • Lutheran cleric resigns in sex abuse case | A longtime Lutheran minister in Marilla has resigned from ministry after admitting to church officials that he had inappropriate sexual contact with two boys in his congregation (Buffalo News, N.Y.)

Back to category list

Earthquake in Israel:

Back to category list

Interfaith relations:

  • Elon urges Christians to convert Muslims | Israel Tourism Minister Benny Elon (National Union) asked Christian missionary groups last week to work to convert Muslims to Christianity in order "to show them the light" (The Jerusalem Post)

  • Also: Israeli official urges Muslim conversions | A hawkish Israeli Cabinet minister has asked Christian missionaries to try to convert Islamic militants, an aide to the minister confirmed Sunday (Associated Press)

Article continues below

Back to category list

The Passion of The Christ:

  • Gibson's polarizing 'Passion' | The real concern is that the movie pits Jesus and his immediate followers against everyone else, perfect goodness against satanic evil. In so doing, "The Passion" has the potential to challenge the core values of democratic pluralism and mutual religious respect that undergird our country (David Elcott, The Boston Globe)

  • The Passion of Christ is grim nightmare | Mel Gibson's controversial story of the last hours of Jesus Christ is a sickening bloodbath and, in my opinion, suitable viewing only for sadists (John Hiscock, The Mirror, London)

  • Passion's pilgrim | As the debate about a major new movie intensifies, here's a story (Janie B. Cheaney, World)

  • Furor rising over 'Passion' | Advance group ticket sales at national offices for both AMC and the Regal-United Artists-Edwards chain are so clogged with inquiries about bookings for the film that 48-hour waits for responses are currently the norm (The Times, Newark, N.J.)

Article continues below
Article continues below

Anti-Semitism and The Passion:

  • Whodunit? Rabbi, messianic Jew debate the blame for Jesus' death | Unlike two years ago, when Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Michael Brown, a messianic Jew, argued over Jesus' messianic claims, this time the two panelists kept their tone passionate but amiable, joking and often agreeing with each other (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

  • ADL gains 2 backers in Gibson movie flap | The son of evangelist Billy Graham and a former Republican presidential candidate have offered support to the Anti-Defamation League's concerns that Mel Gibson's upcoming film, The Passion of The Christ, may spark a wave of anti-Semitism (Palm Beach Post)

  • 'Passion': Christians join the call | With the release of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" just two weeks away, an influential group of evangelical Christians has launched an Internet-based campaign they hope will prompt the filmmaker to append a repudiation of anti-Semitism to the movie's final cut (Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times)

  • Gibson urged to add 'Passion' coda | An influential evangelical leader has asked fellow Christians to join him in urging director Mel Gibson to remove any taint of anti-Semitism from his controversial film, The Passion of the Christ (The Jerusalem Post)

  • 'Passion' Response Dos and Don'ts | Our success depends on our willingness to rethink our existing strategies of engagement and to use creative approaches that will encourage our conversation partners to listen to what we have to say (The Jewish Journal, Los Angeles)

  • Why Mel owes one to the Jews | Those Jewish organizations that have squandered both time and money futilely protesting Passion, ostensibly in order to prevent pogroms in Pittsburgh, can hardly be proud of their performance. They failed at everything they attempted (Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition)

Article continues below
  • Protesting 'Passion' | I believe those who publicly protest Mr. Gibson's film lack moral legitimacy. What is more, I believe their actions are not only wrong but even recklessly ill-advised and shockingly imprudent (Daniel Lapin, The Washington Times)

  • Christians, Jews discuss Gibson film | Local Christians and Jews are talking about how to prevent any problems in Charleston when Mel Gibson's controversial film on the death of Jesus hits screens Feb. 25 (The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.)

  • 'Passion' stirs Jewish debate | A Manhattan debate over "Who Really Killed Jesus" drew an intense crowd of 1,000 as traditional Jews — those awaiting the Messiah — and Messianic Jews — those who believe the Messiah already has arrived in the person of Jesus — appraised Mr. Gibson's film (The Washington Times)

  • 'Passion' debate risks alienating Christian allies | Abraham Foxman may seem like an unlikely candidate to stick up for Gibson's allies. But Foxman's rush to quash any talk of a wider break with evangelicals highlights an awkward development facing Jewish leaders as they speak out against the film: The conservative Christian leaders and pundits hailing the movie are also among the loudest voices in defense of Israel and an aggressive war against Islamic fundamentalism (Forward)

  • The Passion of the Christ | From church productions on Good Friday to the infamous "Oberammergau" in Europe, passion plays have served not just as testimonies to one man's suffering, but also as incitements for anti-semitic violence (The Connection, WBUR, audio)

  • Canadian Jewish Congress 'still hoping' for advance look at The Passion | Film publicist says there will be no public screenings of the movie for any organizations, but advance promotional screenings for the media would be organized in eight major markets (The Canadian Jewish News)

Passion NASCAR ad:

  • Controversy doesn't resonate with NASCAR | Traditionally, stock car racing's sanctioning body considers proposals on a case-by-case basis, with products that are detrimental to the sport or that contain inflammatory statements of a sexist, political, or religious nature not allowed (ESPN)

  • A paint job with a purpose | Mel Gibson's controversial 'Passion' gets valuable promotion, as an ad for the film appears on the hood of Bobby Labonte's car (Los Angeles Times)

  • Bobby Labonte plans to ride with 'Passion' for the 500 | Bobby Labonte won't need God as his co-pilot this weekend. He will have Jesus on his hood. (The Orlando Sentinel)

Article continues below

Back to category list


  • Spiritual screenwriters | Barbara Nicolosi was once a nun who found her niche in life by entertaining her sisters in the Daughters of St. Paul convent. Now she is a screenwriter living in Hollywood and the founder of Act One: Writing for Hollywood, a nonprofit organization devoted to recruiting and mentoring screenwriters who are Christians (The Washington Times)

  • Earlier: Reel School for Real Christians | Act One prepares Christian screenwriters to write Hollywood blockbusters (Sept. 11, 2001)

  • For believers, 'John' is gospel truth | If you're a believer, this beautifully acted and photographed movie probably will seem to you the best dramatic version of a Bible book you've ever seen.If you are not, it's a long sit-down: three unrelenting hours of watching people wander through the desert. (The Arizona Republic)

  • Amid the hoo-ha, some weighty issues | There is, however, a more subtle question about whether all this public thrashing-about may begin to engender a quiet self-censorship, a reluctance among writers, artists and producers to be identified as the sort of "controversial" personality that attracts public protest. Of course, one person's self-censorship is another's restraint (Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times)

  • Film on Martin Luther inspires program at Valparaiso | The life of religious leader Martin Luther will be explored in a special program this week at Valparaiso University (Post-Tribune, Merrillville, Ind.)

  • Also: 'Luther' movie, producers coming to Valparaiso | The producers and script consultant for the new movie "Luther" will speak at Valparaiso University Feb. 19, following a one-week special engagement of the movie at a Valparaiso theater (The Times, Munster, Ind.)

  • Samaritan Girl | Kim Ki-duk's film delves into Christianity, sin, and guilt in a perplexing and ultimately unsatisfactory story about teenage prostitutes and one father's unbalanced reaction to his daughter's prostitution (The Hollywood Reporter)

  • Join the clubbed: Catholics know pain of being bashed | Just from the last four years, I could easily put together a Catholic Film Festival—but I don't think too many Catholics would be pleased with the entries (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

Back to category list


Article continues below
  • Christian broadcaster demands reversal of KOCE-TV sale | A Christian broadcaster, rebuffed in its bid to buy Orange County's public broadcasting station, is demanding that Coast Community College District reverse its decision to sell KOCE-TV to a group that promised to preserve it as a PBS affiliate (Los Angeles Times)

  • Also: Christian broadcaster threatens suit over KOCE sale | Daystar Television Network says it was the highest responsible bidder for the station (Daily Pilot, Newport Beach, Calif.)

  • America debates decency | As media crassness abounds, what's it say about society? (The Kansas City Star)

  • Super Bowl stunt has county mulling 'morality clause' | Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack said Tuesday that he wants a "morality clause" added to the contracts of all entertainers who perform in such venues, including Reliant Stadium, Reliant Center and the Astrodome (Houston Chronicle)

  • Compass: The Street Preacher | Compass consistently provides the best - that is, thought-provoking, intellectually rigorous but very human - documentaries on the ABC, though many people avoid it because of its religious context. Pity. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Back to category list


Article continues below
  • Anti-gay billboards outrage some | Bobby Soule, vice president of Lamar Advertising of Asheville, said the employee, who no longer works for the company, tried to use the space on the six billboards to pay off a personal debt (Asheville Citizen-Times, N.C.)

  • Christian broadcasters coming to Charlotte | The folks who fill the airwaves with Christian fare are coming to town, newly determined to win back the hearts and minds of America from the people who gave us Janet Jackson (Charlotte Observer)

  • Also: Religious broadcasters flock to N.C. | Their convention, starting today in Charlotte, will seek ways to counter indecency on the airwaves (Associated Press)

Back to category list


  • Heavenly reading | A book on the wonders of the Christian hope breaks through into the "spirituality" market (World)

  • Scholars find a unique and varied 'American' Jesus | Readers looking for the one true Jesus won't find him in two new books about Jesus in America. Instead, they will discover the extraordinary range of identities Jesus has assumed in American history and culture——in art, music, literature and more——over the past four centuries (Associated Press)

  • The rejected gospels | Bible left out some powerful material, scholar says (The Mercury News, San Jose, Calif.)

  • The purpose of life revealed | The 40 Days Of Purpose - Purpose Driven Life book, journal, church campaign and simulcast teach Warren's theory that God created individuals (and churches) with five specific purposes (Marco Island Sun-Times, Fla.)

Back to category list


  • Britney Spears rediscovers religion | The pop star's people are furious that the press was at church (Jeannette Walls, MSNBC)

  • Al Green inducted into Gospel Hall of Fame | Also inducted were Vestal Goodman, who died in December of flu complications, and BMI President Frances W. Preston (Associated Press)

  • Chapman leads Dove Award nominations | Gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman led the Dove Award nominations with seven on Tuesday, even though he wasn't named in the best artist category he has won six times (Associated Press)

  • Heavenly messengers | The Christian pop/rock trio ZOEgirl wants to win people over with its music and its message (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)

  • Artists play to a higher calling | Christian rock musicians The Newsboys and Rebecca St. James, perform for another "higher purpose" (The Express-Times, Easton, Pa.)

  • A tradition on the line | Generations of African-Americans have raised their voices in a singing style called hymn lining. Troy Demps has made it his mission to make sure that history is never silenced (The Orlando Sentinel)

Article continues below
  • Columbus helps make Christian music soar | Ohio's capital is one of top 10 U.S. markets in sales of genre (Zanesville Times-Recorder, Oh.)

  • Baptists want to give Latvians gift of music | Richardson church is raising money for a recording studio (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Artists cover U2 in support of African village | The convergence of a Christian record company seeking to help with a health crisis halfway around the world and an appearance by a singer who came only to talk resulted in one of the new year's most arresting releases, In the Name of Love by Artists United for Africa (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Pat Boone celebrates remarkable 50-year career | He will be in town this week to host the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville (The City Paper, Nashville)

  • Message music | South Africans know you might not grasp all the words, but sing and dance so you still get the point (The Beacon Journal, Akron, Oh.)

Back to category list


Back to category list


  • Bringing Baylor back | Coach Scott Drew has instilled hope and enthusiasm in a team torn apart by a killing, an arrest, a coach's lies and player departures (Los Angeles Times)

  • Mo seeks to save Yanks | Mariano Rivera puts off pulpit, will pitch for pact & crown (New York Daily News)

  • Does God really care who wins? | Does God care who wins the Super Bowl? Does God play a hand in the outcome? (Don Hudson, The Charlotte Observer)

Kurt Warner:

Article continues below

Back to category list

Christian pilot:

Back to category list

Business ethics:

  • Businesses are buying the ethics they want | While most bioethicists are no doubt well-intentioned, their work is sometimes being used as cover, allowing corporate conundrums to masquerade as ethical problems, often with solutions that serve corporate interests (The Washington Post)

  • A quick history of values-based investing | The idea of basing investment decisions on social values dates back at least as far as the 1600s, when Quakers shunned companies that profited from slavery or war (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Good works | The economics of altruism (John J. DiIulio Jr, The Weekly Standard)

Back to category list

Article continues below


  • Reality bites | The pre-Raphaelites worshipped nature - until their obsessive attention to rocks and leaves brought on a crisis of faith (The Guardian, London)

  • The more diverse we are, the more we will find God | Believers should not just sit through a violent movie, but use Lent (and Passover) to renew their understanding of the life-affirming messages conveyed by Scripture and the Gospels (Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

  • Devil in the detail of Sicily's mysterious village fires | Is Lucifer loose on Sicily? No lesser figure than the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists believes he may be (The Guardian, London)

  • Like sand through the hourglass, so go the morals of our lives | Our grandchildren are making day-to-day moral and ethical choices based on watered-down religious beliefs and ever-strengthening secular influences from a variety of sources. Is this a problem? (Jack Shackelford, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  • Views on aging and spirituality | What are followers of your faith doing to cater to America's 76-million baby boomers who will represent the largest group of senior citizens this country has seen? (Daily Pilot, Newport Beach, Ca.)

Back to category list


  • 'A true priest' | Monsignor Thomas P. Craven, the recently retired pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church who died Monday, is being remembered by friends as a charismatic leader and "true priest" who devoted special attention to Spanish-speaking immigrants and other community groups in need of service (Daily Local, West Chester, Pa.)

  • Jimmy Waters, longtime Middle Georgia religious figure, dies at 83 | Waters served from 1974-76 as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and in 1977-78 was chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention's Radio and Television Commission, a service that reflected his longtime love for broadcasting (Macon Telegraph, Ga.)

Back to category list

Other articles of interest:

  • Sudan's ethnic cleansing | A tidal wave of human suffering looms ahead (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  • Dissecting miracles | Scientists try to explain Red Sea parting and other miracles (

  • Religion news in brief | Ups and downs for Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, a decade of women priests in Church of England, Christian Science church considering cuts, Students want to drop 'Christian' from Vermont constitution, and other stories (Associated Press)

  • Jesus moved on; so must we | Rather than engage in dueling Scriptures and dueling traditions, he said what he had to say and moved on (Tom Ehrich, The Indianapolis Star)

Article continues below
  • More than just a handshake | People are suspicious of Freemasons with the connotations of secret membership and handshakes, and habits dating back to the Middle Ages, but the Galway Lodge are changing their approach and adopting a more open policy in a bid to expand their membership (Galway Advertiser, Ireland)

  • Fasting can make a difference, say pastors of area churches | As Lent draws near, many Christians will practice fasting, and several area youth groups are preparing to participate in a 40-hour fast, supplementing service work for food (Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, W.V.)

Back to category list

Related Elsewhere:

Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to

What is Weblog?

Check out Books & Culture's weblog, Content & Context.

See our past Weblog updates:

February 11 | 10 | 9
February 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2
January 30 | 29 | 28 | 27 | 26
January 23 | 22 | 21 | 20 | 19
January 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12
January 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5
January 2 | December 31 | 30 | 29
and more, back to November 1999

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.
Previous Weblog Columns: