Federal Marriage Amendment defeated before it got defeated

Religious conservatives knew that the Federal Marriage Amendment wouldn't get the 67 Senate votes it needed if it went up for a vote this week. But the surprise is that it won't get any votes. Only 48 senators voted to invoke cloture on the resolution, so there was no official vote on the constitutional amendment itself (60 votes were needed). Fifty senators voted against cloture, and John Kerry and John Edwards did not vote. (Sen. Rick Santorum looks on the bright side, saying he expected only 45 votes for cloture.)

Conservatives and Republicans will surely claim that Democrats' "no" votes on cloture suggest that these Senators are against the amendment—or, it will be suggested, against protecting the traditional family—but the senators have plenty of ammunition to refute that claim. Witness today's article in The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, which began, "Both of Ohio's U.S. senators are poised to vote today in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, they said, but both are hoping they don't have to."

"We've known from the beginning that this was going to be a long fight. What we didn't know was just how little regard Senators on the left would have for the American people's will on this issue," said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. "The Senate's vote today has left the future of marriage in the hands of unelected judges, at least for the time being. This was just round one in the debate over marriage and now that it is over, we begin training for round two. Pro-family forces have benefited from the debate over the past few days in two ways: One, every time this issue is forced into the public square, the opposition to same-sex 'marriage' among the American public grows. Second, we now know which Senators are for traditional marriage and which ones are not, and by November, so will voters in every state."

The fight for the Federal Marriage Amendment, Perkins said, " has just begun. "The effort to protect marriage has unprecedented support. Nine states are poised to have state constitutional amendments on their ballots this fall on marriage, and poll after poll shows that between 60 and 70 percent of Americans want marriage to remain one man, one woman. Americans realize that the protection of marriage is vital to the future of the family, the welfare of children and the security of our nation."

Robert Knight of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute also promised that the federal marriage amendment won't go away. "We're disappointed to see the Senate deliver homosexual activists a number to hang their hats on, but we're confident that state referenda across the country and upcoming House votes will clearly show that public support for marriage is on the rise," he said.

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Another Concerned Women for America leader, vice president for government relations Michael Schwartz, suggested that the Senate Republican leadership made the wrong move by pressing for a vote today. "CWA has advocated a strategy that we're proud to see the House has taken up; you don't vote until you're ready to win," he said. "The votes on D.C. Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Marriage Protection Act in the House are going to be far better indicators of where we are on this issue than any vote in the partisan Senate in an election year."

Gary Schneeberger, senior manager of issues response for Focus on the Family, said that while today's vote against the vote was disappointing, his organization "is not feeling distressed or feeling defeated. This is the opening shot in a long battle to defend the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. We knew going in that this was not going to be done in a heartbeat."

What's clear from the debate, Schneeberger said, is that people support traditional marriage. "The Senate phone lines were jammed," he noted.

Democrats like Christopher Dodd (Conn.) complained that the Federal Marriage Amendment debate is "a waste of our time. We should be dealing with other issues." Later this afternoon, says ABC News, the Senate will discuss the Australian Free Trade Agreement.

Clive Calver resigns as president of World Relief

Clive Calver has announced that he is resigning as president of World Relief, the global aid and relief arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, effective September 30. He'll then continue as minister-at-large for the organization until the end of March.

"Perhaps his greatest legacy will be his unwavering commitment that the mission of World Relief be accomplished through the local Church," a World Relief press release says. "It is because of a growing desire to move toward a position in local church ministry that Dr. Calver has resigned."

Calver came to World Relief seven years ago after serving 14 years as head of the U.K.'s Evangelical Alliance. The press release does not say what Calver plans to do next, or whether he and his family will stay in the United States or return to Britain. World Relief executive direct Tim Ziemer will serve as acting Chief Executive Officer while the organization seeks a new leader.

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More on the Federal Marriage Amendment:

  • The gay marriage ban: Where's the groundswell? | It infuriates conservative Christians, but it may take time to turn into action -- just like abortion (Beliefnet)
  • Vote on gay marriage ban backfires on GOP | Senate Republicans had hoped the amendment would put the spotlight on Kerry. But it's Bush who's feeling the heat (Los Angeles Times)
  • Gay marriage vote appears doomed | Senate leaders unable to agree on procedure (MSNBC)
  • A crush of calls to Campbell | Gay marriage ban keeps phones ringing (Rocky Mountain News)
  • Gay-marriage ban faces loss in early vote | Opponents to the amendment believe that they will easily muster the votes Wednesday to either block the proposal's consideration or defeat it outright (The New York Times)
  • Gay marriage ban headed for Senate defeat | GOP may salvage rural voters' goodwill out of failure to amend Constitution (The Washington Post)
  • Faced with dissension in its ranks, GOP retreats on gay marriage vote | Kerry, Edwards probably spared from voting on amendment (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Marriage fight heats up ahead of Senate | Both opponents and supporters of the Federal Marriage Amendment continued their vigorous efforts to persuade as many senators as possible to come to their side as the Senate prepares to vote on the highly charged issue today (The Washington Times)
  • Gay marriage ban appears doomed | Amendment talks seen ending today (The Boston Globe)
  • Same-sex marriage amendment stalls, but politics persist | Although Senate approval of the measure seems out of reach today, some think the issue can boost Republicans (The Oregonian)
  • Marriage is sacred to Savannahians, but so is the Constitution | As lawmakers debate the issue in Washington, residents do the same here (Savannah Morning News, Ga.)
  • Love will tear us apart | In the first of a series on the issues dividing America, Matthew Wells goes to Ohio to see how the row over gay marriage is affecting the race for the White House (The Guardian, London)
  • Faced with dissension in its ranks, GOP retreats on gay marriage vote | Kerry, Edwards probably spared from voting on amendment (San Francisco Chronicle)


  • Kerry's contradictions | The senator's position on gay marriage is untenable (Hadley Arkes, National Review Online)
  • Toying with marriage | Just about everybody is skirting a genuine debate (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)
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  • Protecting marriage | It is time (before November's election) for each senator to be on the record as willing to preserve one of the most basic building blocks of society, or not (Editorial, The Washington Times)
  • Marriage matters | Why? & FAQ (Maggie Gallagher, National Review Online)
  • Battle has only just begun over marriage amendment | Marriage isn't simply a "values" issue; it really is a key social institution. And radical legal experiments on marriage can do serious damage (Maggie Gallagher)


  • The meaning of marriage | The Federal Marriage Amendment is a terrible idea because banning gay marriage is a terrible idea (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)
  • Politicking on marriage | It is heartening to see how little support the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is getting, even from the right (Editorial, The New York Times)
  • Trifling with the Constitution | Republicans could trip up in trying to trip up Kerry (Editorial, The Oregonian)
  • Equivocating on marriage | We would rather see a clean vote on the merits (or demerits) of this disgraceful idea rather than have it quietly dispatched by a procedural maneuver (Editorial, The Boston Globe)
  • Kill this amendment | The combination of this proposal's radicalism and its consideration in the middle of an election year commands a strong rebuke from those members who retain enough shame to oppose a constitutional amendment whose express purpose is to deny equal treatment to U.S. citizens (Editorial, The Washington Post)

Same-sex marriage:

  • Mass. judge to decide on marriage law | A judge will decide whether a 1913 state law being used to prevent out-of-state gay couples from getting married in Massachusetts is discriminatory and should be struck down (Associated Press)
  • Judge clears Unitarian ministers over same-sex unions | Justice Reichler's dismissal followed a similar ruling last month by a separate judge in a case against the mayor of New Paltz, Jason West (The New York Times)
  • Charges tossed vs. gay-marriage ministers | A judge threw out charges Tuesday against two Unitarian Universalist ministers for officiating at the weddings of 13 gay couples (Associated Press)

Homosexuality & religion:

  • Each of three churches in Greater Akron area has different view on what is acceptable | While they all look like Episcopal churches -- using the Book of Common Prayer as their primary guide for worship -- there is something very different going on in each one a year after the Episcopal Church's painful debate over homosexuality (Akron Beacon Journal, Oh.)
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  • N.C. Episcopal bishop okays same-sex 'blessing' | In a letter to clergy, Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina said "the blessing of the committed life long unions of persons of the same gender is one way our community can live the Gospel through faithful and loving pastoral care and spiritual support for each other." (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)
  • Brazil's homosexuals slam 'insulting' bill | Gay Brazilians prepared to battle a bill in state legislature to subsidize homosexuals for going straight, activist Claudio Nascimento said (AFP)

Denominational life:

  • Following God's will | The superintendent of United Methodist Church's Savannah district is trying to become a bishop. He's not nervous about the outcome (Savannah Morning News, Ga.)
  • Synod rejects flat-rate stipend | The Synod of the Church of England last night rejected a uniform stipend for all its clergy, from the Archbishop of Canterbury downward, set equivalent to that of a vicar - currently £18,480 a year (The Guardian, London)
  • Largest diocese leads revolt over Church funding | The Church of England's largest diocese is leading an unprecedented revolt, preparing to withhold more than £100,000 in protest over spiralling costs (The Telegraph, London)
  • AME faithful ponder Reid's words | Clergy reacts to a city pastor's attack on the church's 'satanic' bureaucracy (The Baltimore Sun)

Lutheran president wins vote:

  • Embattled Lutheran president wins vote | The Rev. Gerald B. Kieschnick, the embattled president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, won re-election Sunday, and a moderate supporter ousted one of Kieschnick's biggest - and more conservative - rivals in an election for the vice presidency (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Lutheran president retains post | Church conservatives angered by their leader's decision to allow a pastor to pray at an interfaith service after the Sept. 11 attacks failed to block his re-election to the presidency of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (Associated Press)

Multiracial churches:

  • Leaving color behind the cross | Some ministers are looking for new approaches—untainted by a somewhat painful past—to bring the races together through the church door (Rocky Mount Telegram, N.C.)
  • Pastor's gift brings whites, blacks together | Eleven o'clock on Sunday mornings still may be the most segregated hour in America, but a Tarrant County church this weekend will force some of us cynics to rethink that old saying as well as refocus our attention on the Christian definition of charity (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)
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Fathers disrupt Communion service:

  • York Minster invaded by angry fathers | Scuffles, bemusement and 12 arrests as pressure group disrupts communion service conducted by archbishops (The Guardian, London)
  • Update: Fathers' cathedral protest ends | Two members of fathers' rights group Fathers 4 Justice have ended a rooftop protest at York Minster (BBC)

Church outreach:

  • Churchgoers brimming with spirit | The women of New Friendship Baptist Church on Georgia Avenue wear many hats, both physically and spiritually (Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)
  • Christian church in the country | Cowboy Church appeals to community spirit (Monterey Herald, Ca.)

Church life:

  • Pets find a place at the pew for blessing | Pastor tells owners of 'the way they serve us' (Detroit Free Press)
  • World Christianity: Under new management? | Mainline churches and the collapse of colonialism (David Steinmetz, The Orlando Sentinel)
  • Cleric suggests non use of GSM in church | Bishop-elect for Ukwa Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Kelechi Eze, has suggested that the non-use of cell phones during church services be made the "11th commandment" (PM News, Nigeria)
  • Church's plan to raze housing protested | Tenants trying to buy SE complex voice opposition during worship service (The Washington Post)
  • Church welcomes new senior pastor | Former banker Greg Batson envisions a church that fosters fellowship for all ages at First United Methodist Church in Burbank (Burbank Leader, Ca.)
  • Rector 'sorry' for church revamp | A vicar appearing at a rare Church of England Court has apologised for renovating a church without permission (BBC)
  • Doubting Danish minister faces discipline | The Danish government Monday upheld the clerical suspension of a Lutheran minister who proclaimed last year that there was no God or afterlife, and he now could be fired or fined for declaring his beliefs in the pulpit (Associated Press)

Church commercials:

  • First the church, then the steeple, then 'your logo here' | Throughout Germany, churches are renting their facades for commercial messages (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Churches go commercial to spread their message | TV campaigns bring denominations to homes (The Washington Post)

Parliament of World Religions:

  • Come together | The main event at the Parliament of the World's Religions was an act of hospitality (Beliefnet)
  • Defining the meaning of it all | Parliament of the World's Religions debates, celebrates faith (Chicago Tribune)
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Pilot apologizes for WWII church bombing:

  • I didn't mean to bomb your lovely church | Ex-Luftwaffe pilot visits village to say sorry for wartime damage (The Telegraph, London)
  • Pilot says sorry for WWII bombing | A German pilot is making a pilgrimage to a Northumberland village to say sorry for bombing a church during a World War II dogfight (BBC)
  • Also: Pilot to visit bombed church (The Guardian, London)


  • Jail preacher at center of controversy | Preacher Marcos Pereira Silva stepped straight from a helicopter into a bloody Brazilian prison uprising — and started a political firestorm (Associated Press)
  • Earlier: Controversial Pastor Mediates End to Three-day Prison Riot in Brazil | Minister hopes fame will allow him greater access to Brazil's prisons (Christianity Today, June 8, 2004)
  • Pastor's killer gets life | Slain man's family tries to move forward from tragedy (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Cleric held on gun charge | A Baptist pastor is charged with carrying a loaded handgun into a downtown Denver federal courthouse when he reported for jury duty (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)
  • Also: Cleric brings gun to jury duty | A Baptist minister was caught Tuesday bringing a loaded 9mm pistol into federal court, where he was reporting for jury duty (The Denver Post)
  • Church member accused of stealing money from the parish | For the past two years, the unemployed mother has been volunteering as treasurer of the United Methodist Church in Needville (KTRK, Houston)

Priest accused of bilking elderly parishioner:

  • Was Rose's Saint really a scheming sinner? | In God & priest she trusted but suit says man of the cloth duped her out of 500G (New York Daily News)
  • Priest accused of bilking parishioner | A Catholic priest has been accused in a lawsuit of bilking a parishioner in her 80s out of nearly $500,000 over a three-year period (Associated Press)
  • Suit rips $ins of the father (New York Post)
  • Lawsuit highlights a blurry line for priests | Relationships between priests and elderly wealthy parishioners are a potential minefield (The New York Times)

Religion & politics:

  • Morality and the presidential election | Tavis Smiley discusses values and politics with Jerry Falwell, and Jim Wallis (The Tavis Smiley Show, NPR)
  • The theology of torture | Fallible creatures are not to be trusted with empire (Jim Wallis, Sojourners)
  • Of the religious patriot's two loves, love of God comes first | Because the language and dynamics of religion and patriotism are much the same, it is understandable that they often become entangled (Leo Sandon, Tallahassee Democrat, Fla.)
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  • The politics of values | What's more important when it comes to casting your vote: jobs and the economy or the values held by candidates? (Talk of the Nation, NPR)
  • Debate over values colors election results | Candidates seek to bridge cultural gulf in Ohio (The Toledo Blade, Oh.)
  • So, your candidate's Christian; big deal | When a self-proclaimed believer cons a laptop buyer, faithful politicians justifying their views come to mind (Bob Balmer, The Oregonian)
  • Candidate reluctant to discuss self | Soft-spoken Bailey's passion is justice (The Arizona Republic)
  • Our republic has no official religion | In constitutional democracies, the only "sacred" text from which government and its actions derive is, fortunately, not the bible, Quran or such religious texts. It is the constitution (Duma Boko, Mmegi, Botswana)
  • Where politics shouldn't go | It is simply disgraceful that modern politicians run away from the noble secular heritage that they should embrace (Susan Jacoby, Newsday)

Kerry/Edwards & religion:

  • Kerry, Edwards speak | On the issue of religion, Edwards first echoed Kerry's view that faith was important in their own lives and then added, ''It is not the job of the president of the United States to decide what the religion of America is or what the religion of the world should be" (The Boston Globe)
  • The politics of piety | Are Kerry's expressions of faith subpar? The Republicans would have the electorate think so (Rick Perlstein, Los Angeles Times)
  • Man of faith | Edwards wasn't chosen just for his hair (Terry Eastland, Dallas Morning News)
  • More than a conventional chaplain | Lawrence C. Provenzano is preparing for the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Boston (The Boston Globe)

Bush/Cheney & religion:

  • Swing voters | The President has satisfied his Christian evangelical base, while not turning off women voters (Press release, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research)
  • The politics of piety | Bush's public religiosity connects with America -- and that will win him votes (Charlotte Allen, Los Angeles Times)
  • A future president's rebirth | Bush reshaped his style of conservatism -- and himself -- during his father's 1988 campaign (Los Angeles Times)
  • With values like these … | The Republicans' campaign is all about exploiting homophobia, provincialism and cultural insecurity (Harold Meyerson, The Washington Post)
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Republicans and religion:

  • Social conservatives want more of their own to speak at the G.O.P. convention | Some conservatives say they are upset at the exclusion of the champions of their issues from the Republican convention in favor of moderate party members (The New York Times)
  • GOP's 'Christian nation' | The Republican Party of Texas has approved a plank in its platform affirming that "the United States of America is a Christian nation" (Cathy Young, The Boston Globe)

Churches & campaigns:

  • Bush, Kerry preach to vast and undecided righteous wing | The campaigns are taking different approaches to appeal to religious voters (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Disturbing: Political use of churches | The teachings of Jesus — concern for the poor, striving for peace, compassion for underdogs, opposition to the death penalty — are contrary to values of the GOP, which favors the rich and supports militarism (The Charleston Gazette, WV)
  • Churches carry new message to flock: Vote | Elections offices get a boost from volunteers who spend the weekend registering voters in houses of worship (The Orlando Sentinel)
  • These rolls called by the wrong 'yonder' | Republicans make power play to grab church membership lists, but the plan rightly backfires (A. James Rudin, Religion News Service)
  • Onward G.O.P. soldiers | The Bush-Cheney ticket's initiative to enlist churches in its campaign crosses the line between organized religion and politics (Editorial, The New York Times)
  • Churches have duty to God, not Bush | It may be that President Bush and his re-election campaign have finally found the limits of evangelical good will (James L. Evans, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Countering the religious right by being left:

  • Newly formed faith-based groups lean left | Concerned over the growing influence of the religious right in the political realm, several groups have recently formed to cast a different light on the faithful's ability to mix religion with politics (Fox News)
  • Recovering a hijacked faith | How did the faith of Jesus come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war, and pro-American? (Jim Wallis, The Boston Globe)

Is there a real culture war?:

  • The 'God gap': A political myth | Freestyle evangelicals are theologically conservative but politically independent, interested in social welfare and the environment and ripe for the plucking by a Democrat who will reveal how his faith informs his political decisions (Gerald L. Zelizer, USA Today)
  • What culture wars? | America's political elites are polarized. But ordinary Americans? Far from it. (Morris P. Fiorina, The Wall Street Journal)
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  • Faith and values may decide election | Hopefuls seek high ground for polarized 'culture war' (The Toledo Blade)
  • Faith assumes larger political role | Religious vote could decide presidency (News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Catholic factor overestimated | Analysts and pollsters who study religious voting patterns say that Kerry's faith — whether one calls it "liberal Catholicism," "cafeteria Catholicism" or something else — may actually have little impact on who wins the White House (The Journal News, White Plains, N.Y.)
  • 'Culture war' packs punch at polls | Value issues aren't new, but they still sway voters (The Toledo Blade)

Group monitors Kansas churches:

  • Religious leaders disagree on church monitoring plan | As a project gets under way to monitor electioneering activities in Johnson County churches, religious and political leaders disagreed Friday over what's truly at stake (The Kansas City Star)
  • Pastors dive into political fray | Kline plans forum to explain restrictions on nonprofit groups (Lawrence Journal-World, Kan.)
  • Group checks on U.S. churches' political efforts | A Midwestern community group is infiltrating churches in an effort to monitor the political activities of huge conservative churches. The group says it is responding to a recent movement by evangelical pastors who banded together to spur their congregations into political action (All Things Considered, NPR)
  • Religious leaders disagree on church monitoring plan | As a project gets under way to monitor electioneering activities in Johnson County churches, religious and political leaders disagreed Friday over what's truly at stake (The Kansas City Star)
  • Faith not determined by social issues | In using the biblical text to inform the debate, the real issue is not faithfulness to Scripture or who is a true Christian. The real issue lies in different perspectives on interpreting God's word (Michael Chittum, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)

Church & state:

  • Indiana is 9th state to ask high court for Commandments ruling | Meanwhile, in Georgia, disputes continue over religious displays on government property (Associated Press)
  • 8th Circuit rejects pastor's bid to videotape executions | The Rev. Larry Rice had argued that Missouri Department of Corrections' ban on cameras in execution chamber violated First Amendment right of public access (Associated Press)
  • Advocate seeks place on ballot for logo's cross | He splits with the reinstatement group when only he supports involving city voters (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.)
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  • Voters may get a say on cross in county seal | County Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich introduced a motion Tuesday to let voters decide in November whether to keep a small cross in the county's official seal (Los Angeles Times)
  • Moses at the bar | Sooner or later the Supreme Court will have to look more closely at Moses -- at Moses in Texas, Moses in Ohio, Moses in Nebraska and Moses on the ceiling (James J. Kilpatrick)
  • Labor laws and personal beliefs collide | Jude Doty has spent the past 15 years whittling his life philosophy down to a motto: home birth, home school and home business (Seattle Times)

Politics, abortion, & Communion:

  • Rep. William Lacy Clay meets with archbishop | U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., met privately with St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke on Monday, two weeks after he accused the church leader of "going over the top" in his dealings with candidates supportive of abortion rights (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • DeThomasis: The diocese doesn't run Saint Mary's | Just days after The Most Rev. Bernard Harrington, bishop of the Diocese of Winona, issued a statement warning that Catholics who support abortion should abstain from communion, Brother Louis DeThomasis, president of Saint Mary's University, released a statement that clarified the university's position on the issue (Winona Daily News, Minn.)
  • US bishops defy Rome on Communion | A leaked Vatican letter to U.S. bishops that says politicians who support abortion should be barred from receiving Holy Communion is incomplete and does not reflect the full extent of exchanges between Rome and the American hierarchy, a spokesperson for Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington said Wednesday (UPI)
  • Vatican order explicit | Deny Communion to abortion backers, document states (Rocky Mountain News)
  • Don't allow Kerry to take Communion, Vatican chief tells US Catholic bishops | American Catholic bishops are trying to defy secret advice from Rome that Communion should not be given to John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate (The Telegraph, London)
  • Cardinal Ratzinger says he, U.S. bishops 'in harmony' on politics | News reports claimed the U.S. bishops defied Vatican Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the question of withholding Communion from Catholic politicians whose actions conflict with church teaching on abortion (Catholic News Service)
  • ''Radical inclusivity'' is a commandment at Beach church | Communion open to anyone. Anyone. (The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia Beach)
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  • Maine bishop refuses to deny Communion | The spiritual leader of Maine's 234,000 Roman Catholics has never denied Holy Communion to anyone - and he doesn't intend to start now (Bangor Daily News, Maine)
  • Bishops have denied communion before | Burke's supporters have increasingly pointed to what they see as parallels with another case, and another moral hero, from 40 years ago (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Bishops say cardinal backs politics plan | The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released brief comments from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, saying the American bishops' statement last month on Catholics in public life was "very much in harmony" with what his office had advised (Associated Press)
  • Chaput urges faithful to fight | A "real" Catholic cannot support abortion rights, Archbishop Charles Chaput said Tuesday in a one-hour interview on Colorado Public Radio (Rocky Mountain News)

Life ethics:

  • 400 Belgian euthanasia cases in two years | Some 400 cases of euthanasia have been recorded in Belgium since the country legalised the practice two years ago, it has been reported (Expatica, Belgium)
  • Bush administration asks court to revisit Oregon suicide ruling | The Bush administration asked a federal appeals court on Monday to reconsider a May ruling upholding an Oregon law allowing doctors to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide (Reuters)
  • A new bead on birth control | Behind this funny-looking plastic necklace is research that could restore the much-maligned rhythm method to fashion (The Washington Post)
  • Choosing death | Though the Christian right says Oregon's Death With Dignity law undermines the sanctity of life, in fact the opposite is true (Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times)
  • Government to open 'stem cell bank' | The government plans to open a "national bank" to better grow the only embryonic stem cells eligible for government-funded research, holding firm against critics who want Bush administration restrictions on the controversial cells lifted (Associated Press)

Abortion debates in UK/Australia:

  • Medical science should not determine limit for abortion | If medical viability remains the benchmark for setting an upper limit on abortion - and if medical advances keep lowering the bar - we'll soon be faced with a situation where socially motivated abortions are legally discriminated against (Marina Benjamin, The Scotsman)
  • Politicians do not know best about abortion | The law can do little to resolve such a morally challenging issue (W F Deedes, The Telegraph, London)
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  • Time for change | Advances in medical research, which now mean foetuses can be saved from as young as 22 weeks, have reopened the debate about when, and for some even whether, terminations should be allowed (Scotland on Sunday)
  • Feminists call for abortion debate | Two leading feminists have urged a debate about late-term abortions, citing scientific advances in keeping premature babies alive under the legal limit for terminations (The Australian)
  • Abortion issue must offer women real choice in life | Our mixed signals say that for high-achieving women, having a baby is both an economic and professional disaster, and an essential life-task to be accomplished before they reach 40 (Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman)
  • Nail the lie on the medics' role in abortion | In Britain each year, 180,000 women annually are inspected by two doctors to check whether having a baby will harm them: and unfailingly the doctors record a 100 per cent opinion that, yes, it will (Kevin Myers, The Telegraph, London)
  • A mother's tale | Women should protect their rights to abortion. The alternatives are grim (Rachel Evans, The Observer, London)
  • This two-year-old is the reason why the abortion law will change | Heather Pope will celebrate her second birthday next Sunday (The Telegraph, London)
  • Poll: MPs reject abortion reform | A free vote of the House of Commons would keep the present 24-week limit for abortions, according to a poll of MPs commissioned by The Independent on Sunday (The Independent, London)
  • Rules may have been twisted in abortion of cleft palate babies | Twelve babies have been aborted late in pregnancy for the cosmetic reason of cleft lip and palate, according to Department of Health figures (The Times, London)
  • ABC to screen abortion documentary | My Foetus earlier aired in the U.K. (The World Today, Australian Broadcasting Corp.)


  • Calumet County supervisor sentenced to 10 days in jail | Gabriel impedes officer during abortion protest (The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wi.)
  • Dutch limit abortion ship's work | The Dutch government has barred a ship operated by abortion rights activists from sailing to foreign countries (BBC)
  • Hutchison vote on judge angers Texas abortion foes | Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's opposition to one of President Bush's judicial nominees has provoked an angry backlash among anti-abortion groups in Texas, which are threatening to use it against her if she runs for governor in 2006 (Ft. Worth Star-Telegraph, Tex.)
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  • AIDS agonistes | Playing global politics with a terrible disease (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)
  • Museveni's ABCs | Unlike the Western activists, he is an African leader battling AIDS (The Asian Wall Street Journal)
  • Behavioral change is the only way to fight AIDS | Personal responsibility offers far greater protection than a vaccine (Yoweri Museveni, The Asian Wall Street Journal)
  • AIDS in Asia | There is still time to avert an AIDS epidemic in Asia if the continent's leaders can wake up to the danger (Editorial, The New York Times)
  • U.S. fights back in AIDS dispute | The United States fought back Wednesday against widespread attacks on its AIDS policies, insisting it is leading the fight against the killer epidemic and spending more money on it than the rest of the world combined (Reuters)
  • Early tests for U.S. in its global fight on AIDS | A $15 billion emergency AIDS initiative is belatedly getting under way 17 months after President Bush announced its formation (The New York Times)
  • Risky behavior | It's Bush's critics who are putting ideology before science and health (Nick Schulz, National Review Online)
  • U.S. rule on AIDS drugs criticized | Ban on using aid to buy foreign generics hinders treatment, experts say (The Washington Post)
  • Cultural, religious beliefs fuel HIV spread | Religion is also contributing to the stigma and spread of HIV/Aids in countries like Rwanda, Burundi and Congo where over 80% of the population are Christians, say experts at the International Aids Conference. Christian church leaders in those countries hold tremendous power, but they are among the most prejudiced against HIV/Aids patients (Sunday Times, South Africa)

Archbishop of Canterbury criticizes government:

  • Blair will answer for actions on Judgment Day, warns Williams | The Archbishop of Canterbury last night issued a strongly worded warning to Tony Blair that he would have to answer directly to God on Judgment Day for his decision to go to war in Iraq (The Telegraph, London)
  • Politicians 'point scoring' on crime, says Archbishop | The archbishop of Canterbury called the Government's penal policy "scandalous" yesterday (The Independent, London)
  • Just Williams | The Archbishop of Canterbury talks to Roy Hattersley about Tony Blair, war and God (The Observer, London)

War & terrorism:

  • Soldier carries faith, Bible, wooden heart | Robert Ackerman III believes faith and prayers are keeping him safe in Iraq — along with a guardian angel (The Repository, Canton, Oh.)
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  • Terrorists cite religion as basis for a beheading | "We have killed an infidel who tried to propagate Christianity in Iraq," claimed an Iraqi militant group which killed a South Korean hostage last month in a statement it released on its Internet site (JoongAng Daily, South Korea)
  • Peeping Tom sparks Muslim-Christian riot in West Bank | A Muslim "Peeping Tom" who photographed a Palestinian Christian woman in the changing room of a clothes shop sparked a night of rioting near Bethlehem, witnesses said on Wednesday (Reuters)
  • Saudi textbooks 'demonize west' | Saudi schoolchildren are being taught to disparage Christianity and Judaism in a textbook issued by the education ministry, a report said yesterday (The Guardian, London)

Religious freedom:

  • Vietnam unveils new law on religion | Vietnam has unveiled a new law that it says guarantees religious freedom, while reinforcing state management of religious activity (Voice of America)
  • Iraq's alcohol salesmen fear religion | Alcohol sellers -- generally Christians and Assyrians -- have been coming under attack in Iraq since shortly after last year's U.S.-led invasion (Reuters)
  • Iraq's Christians consider fleeing as attacks on them rise | It is difficult to gauge the exodus, because most Christian groups, desperately wanting Christians to stay, deny that there is any problem (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Religion debatable, but the law is clear | The Hemphills are legally entitled to whatever sort of titles they want, and whatever sort of dangerous beliefs, as well. What they are not entitled to do, the jurors informed us all, is act upon them (Mike Nichols, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
  • Speaking to Muslims? Penalty here is Rs 200 | In Gujarat village, Muslim held for Hindu's murder, community boycotted (The Indian Express)
  • Christians worry over weak electoral finish by president | President Megawati Sukarnoputri's weak performance in the first round of elections this week is bad news for Indonesia's Christian minority, who see her as the only candidate who could defend their rights in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation (The Washington Times)

Violent religious conflicts:

  • Two sides argue over Northern Ireland riot | Catholics and Protestants accused each other Tuesday of provoking a riot in Belfast's polarized north side in which 25 police officers and an unknown number of civilians were injured (Associated Press)
  • Kano problem is deeper than religious -- Gov. Shekarau | "There are several factors that have developed over the years and you cannot isolate one particular factor as being responsible for this particular" (Vanguard, Nigeria)
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Guns and churches:

  • Judge in Minn.: gun law unconstitutional | Church leaders argued that the law infringed on religious freedom and that churches should be allowed to prohibit guns on their properties (Associated Press)
  • Minnesota's gun permit law shot down | A coalition of more than 30 churches and social service providers who sued the state of Minnesota to repeal the law rejoiced in Finley's ruling Tuesday afternoon at Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Virginia's blue laws:

  • Virginia lawmakers trudge back to scene to repair error | Although the process was widely expected to take about an hour, it took three and a half hours to restore exemptions that let businesses operate on Sundays (The New York Times)
  • State repeals 'day of rest' law | The Republican-controlled General Assembly yesterday fixed a legislative goof that could have given thousands of Virginia workers Saturdays or Sundays off (The Washington Times)
  • Lawmakers put to rest blue law | Va. session ends after three hours (The Washington Post)
  • Lots of unrest over slip-up on 'day of rest' law | Removal of blue laws in Virginia left open a statute that allowed workers to take a weekend day off (Los Angeles Times)
  • Benefits of Virginia's blue law | Letters to the editor (The Washington Post)

Australian Ten Commandments debate:

  • Abide by Commandments: Costello | Federal Treasurer Peter Costello repeated his call for people to abide by the Ten Commandments (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Disregard the gospel according to St Peter | The Treasurer should realize the Ten Commandments have little meaning for this era (Pamela Bone, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Church of England decries Christianless Christmas stamps:

  • Church pleads for Christian themes on Christmas stamps | The Church of England yesterday demanded that the Royal Mail should rule out snowmen, parcels and snowflakes from its Christmas stamps and use only Christian themes in future (The Guardian, London)
  • Secular Christmas stamps attacked | The Royal Mail was accused by the Church of England yesterday of taking Christianity out of Christmas by using secular themes on the stamps it issues for the festival (The Telegraph, London)


  • Church split in shared school campus row | The Catholic Church in Scotland was yesterday facing a deepening split after a bishop was accused of capitulating over plans for shared campuses in schools (The Herald, Glasgow, Scotland)
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  • Labour ponders U-turn on faith school funding | Labour is heading for a bruising confrontation with the Catholic church after discussing plans to phase out state funding for denominational schools (The Times, London)
  • Lawsuit tests religious speech in class | A professor spoke of his religious views in class and says the college then took action against him. Does a teacher have the right to share such beliefs in class? (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Baylor test will identify scores of genetic defects | However, new method will not solve parents', doctors' ethical dilemmas (Houston Chronicle)

Sexual ethics:

  • Bishop protests at sexual health 'snub' to church | A leading churchman has accused an expert group charged with creating a sexual health strategy for Scotland of offending the views of the Roman Catholic church (The Herald, Glasgow)
  • Experts in sex field say conservatives interfere with health and research | They claim reduced financing for some programs and an overall chilling effect on the field, with college professors avoiding certain topics in their human sexuality classes and researchers steering clear of terms like sex workers in the title of grant applications for fear of drawing attention to themselves (The New York Times)
  • Disgraced rector to be replaced | An announcement is expected on Monday on who will replace the disgraced former rector of Bath Abbey, who resigned after admitting to an affair with one woman and making advances to another (BBC)
  • S.D. governor halts access to library's teen Web site | Following a board's decision last week to remove a link to the Planned Parenthood Teenwire Web site from the South Dakota State Library's site, Gov. Mike Rounds decided yesterday to temporarily yank Internet access to the library's Web site for teenagers (Associated Press)

Sex scandal at Austrian seminary:

  • Sex scandal stuns Austria's Catholics | Reported discovery of child pornography at seminary has prompted calls for bishop to quit (Los Angeles Times)
  • Austrian bishop derides orgy claims | The powerful Austrian Catholic church was plunged into its second big sex scandal in a decade yesterday when a seminary run by arch-conservatives was alleged to be the site of orgies among young priests and their teachers (The Guardian, London)
  • Austria probes priest sex claims | An investigation is under way in Austria after media reports of sexual misconduct at a Roman Catholic seminary at St Poelten, west of Vienna (BBC, video)
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  • Child porn found at Austrian seminary | A vast cache of child pornography and photos of young priests having sex has been discovered at a Roman Catholic seminary, officials said Monday, leading politicians and church leaders to demand a criminal probe and the resignation of the bishop in charge (Associated Press)
  • Furor grows over Austria church porn case | Pressure mounted Wednesday for the resignation of an embattled Roman Catholic bishop over the discovery at a seminary of a huge cache of child pornography and photos of candidates for the priesthood engaging in gay sex (Associated Press)


  • Churches move to protect the youths in their care | Training and background checks for volunteers become requirements to prevent abuse (The Washington Post)
  • Sex abuse by nuns alleged at Md. protest | Silver Spring gathering calls attention to problem (The Washington Post)
  • Voice of the Faithful chapters face ouster | Members of one of the most active chapters of Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic lay group formed out of the clergy abuse scandal, expect to be displaced after the end of next month, when the St. Albert the Great parish in Weymouth is slated to close (The Boston Globe)
  • Catholic Church receives 62 claims of child abuse | In addition, 51 reports of "inappropriate behaviour" towards children were dealt with internally by the Church after consultation with police and social services (The Telegraph, London)
  • Shelter for the shamed? | In missions and parishes from Costa Rica and Chile to Peru and the US and even Samoa and Australia, the Salesians have come under attack for allowing alleged pedophile priests to move across international boundaries and avoid prosecuting authorities (The Australian)

Abuse affect on Catholic church:

  • Abuse claims hit Catholic church | The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales admitted yesterday that there have been 62 new complaints of sexual and other abuse against its priests and church workers in the last year (The Guardian, London)
  • UK Catholic Church hit by abuse allegations | An average of one Roman Catholic priest every week was accused of sexual abuse in England and Wales last year but none has been prosecuted and all but two are still in their jobs, a report said Tuesday (Reuters)
  • Developments in clergy abuse crisis | More than two years after it began, the clerical sexual abuse crisis continues to have a strong impact on the Roman Catholic Church in America (Associated Press)
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  • Abuse victim advocates point to Vatican | Leading advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse are directing their criticism beyond U.S. Roman Catholic bishops to the highest levels of the church. They're now accusing Vatican leaders of hiding the scope of the molestation problem worldwide — and demanding reform (Associated Press)

Abuse lawsuits:

  • Methodists stunned by sexual-abuse suit | Church leader accused by respected deacon (Detroit Free Press)
  • Bishop takes 5th in civil suit | Bishop Thomas Dupre, who has repeatedly refused to comment on allegations he sexually abused two altar boys in the 1970s, continued that silence in his response to a civil suit filed by the two men (Associated Press)
  • Second round of lawsuits allege abuse at Indian boarding schools | Former students who allege they were abused at Indian boarding schools in South Dakota are suing the Roman Catholic Church and the religious organizations that ran the schools (Associated Press)

Abusing priests:

  • Calif. group seeks ouster of accused friar | Church abuse survivors called on Cardinal Roger Mahony to remove an elderly friar from the Santa Barbara Mission who is accused of molesting a teen in Canada (Associated Press)
  • Fugitive friar finds refuge in U.S. | Franciscans unwilling to turn in Canadian facing '70s abuse counts (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Also: Fugitive friar finds refuge from Canadian legal authorities in California (Canadian Press)
  • Minister convicted of felony child abuse | Exorcism that killed boy may bring 5 years in prison (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
  • Judge rejects subpoena of priests' files | The decision further narrows the criminal investigation into clergy misconduct (Los Angeles Times)
  • Arlington priest's status removed | Cleric convicted of sex abuse in '84 (The Washington Post)
  • Disgraced rector to be replaced | An announcement is expected on Monday on who will replace the disgraced former rector of Bath Abbey, who resigned after admitting to an affair with one woman and making advances to another (BBC)

Portland diocese in bankruptcy:

  • Records detail case against church | A review of 1,800 pages of court documents shows that church officials in Portland had reason to worry about going to trial. (The Oregonian)
  • Chapter 11, verse 1 | Snarled in scandal, an archbishop declares his diocese bankrupt. Will other leaders follow? (Time)
  • Bankruptcy challenges Portland archbishop | Archbishop John Vlazny's supporters say his actions, including the settlements and an apology, show that he cares about sex-abuse victims and about the church's reputation (Associated Press)
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  • Archdiocese asks to pay its 112 workers | The Catholic Church in Portland reveals revenues and petitions the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for permission to use church accounts (The Oregonian)
  • Vlazny asked Rome about filing | A priest tells Northeast Portland parishioners that Portland's archbishop approached the Vatican as early as January (The Oregonian)
  • Archdiocese on uncharted path | Legal precedent is evolving as few nonprofits, especially large ones such as Portland's Catholic organization, file for bankruptcy (The Oregonian)
  • Portland diocese, abuse victims meet on bankruptcy | Sex abuse victims and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland squared off in a closed-door federal court session on Tuesday in their first meeting since the church filed an unprecedented U.S. bankruptcy petition last week (Reuters)


  • Once an exporter of priests, Ireland now has too few | With Ireland joining the ranks of the wealthy in Europe, interest in joining the priesthood or religious orders is at a low point (The New York Times)
  • Slow down and think, healthier Pope tells world | Pope John Paul, mid way through a mountain holiday that appears to have re-invigorated him, on Sunday urged modern society to turn down the noise and listen to the sound of silence (Reuters)
  • Father Paul Wickens dies at 74 | New Jersey priest defied Vatican over modernization policies (Los Angeles Times)

Pope not to return Orthodox icon:

  • Pope gives up on Russian visit | Pope John Paul II's decision Saturday that he will send the revered Kazan Madonna icon back to Russia is at once a gesture of reconciliation and resignation (Roland Flamini, UPI)
  • Earlier: Pope: Time has come to return icon | The Vatican announced on Saturday that the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan, which usually hangs in the pope's private chapel, would be given back. The Vatican has had the icon for three decades (Associated Press)
  • Earlier: Pope to return icon revered by Orthodox in Russia | The Vatican said that a delegation will give the Mother of God of Kazan icon to Patriarch Aleksy II, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (The New York Times)

Missions & ministry:

  • Mission trips alter lives on both sides | The first time Elizabeth Reynolds visited the Dominican Republic on a church mission trip in 2003, she was stunned by the poverty she witnessed and disgusted by the unfairness of it all (Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.)
  • Catholic Church helps warn farmworkers about pesticides | With the help of the church, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference has begun offering pesticide training to farmworkers in Yakima Valley, the only region of the country to receive such instruction (Associated Press)
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  • Faith celebrated at JesusFest 2004 | Daylong event offers food, fun, and religion (The Hartford Courant, Conn.)
  • How to become a missionary | You have to be flexible (Cape Times, South Africa)
  • Church agency backs off bid to put family out of their home | The church and social service agency that would have left one family homeless in order to buy a home for another is now offering to make amends (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Man prays in downtown Lodi because he feels it needs 'salvation' | Gene Cooper is dedicated to helping everyone in Lodi and Stockton find salvation through God and Jesus Christ. And Cooper, 62, just does it in a most public way (Lodi News-Sentinel, Ca.)
  • They're called to be caregivers | Couple consider years of fostering mission from God (Houston Chronicle)
  • New York, prime conversion ground | Missionaries with a twist are reversing the path that for generations has sent Americans and Europeans to Africa, Asia and Latin America to convert the local people to Christianity (The New York Times)
  • Spiritual crusade takes down-to-earth work | Behind the scenes of Billy Graham's revival are thousands of people and churches working to make the $5.4-million event a reality (Los Angeles Times)
  • Shortened crusade is long on song, spirit | One-day Harvest Crusade offers prayer, music and extreme sports for the faithful and non-Christians (Los Angeles Times)
  • She has faith in her charges | Talent manager Beverlee Dean sees a bright future for clients drawn to her drive to bring 'decency into our culture,' not to mention her homemade pasta (Los Angeles Times)
  • Evangelical teens gather in SLC | 5,500 Evangelical Free Church of America youth rally (The Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Portuguese beaches to mix sun and sacraments | A local bishop is reportedly planning to hold services at some of the region's most popular beaches (AFP)
  • Well-intentioned e-mail won't die | Missionary has recovered from illness that prompted prayers (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Faith without borders | Religious beliefs give illegal immigrants hope, but some say they shouldn't be used to justify breaking the law (Tucson Citizen, Az.)


  • The film `Saved!' is about anything but salvation | It's a shallow-minded portrayal of Christians and Church's teachings (Mike MacDonald, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)
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  • A story of goodness | New film depicts brief, extraordinary life of St. Thérèse's (Houston Chronicle)
  • Clergy: Egyptian film ridicules doctrine | The Egyptian movie "I Love Cinema," in its fifth week in theaters, has prompted demonstrations by Coptic Christians and legal action by clergymen who say it ridicules Christian doctrines (Associated Press)

Amish in the City:

  • UPN affiliate wants to preview Amish show | Matt Uhl, the vice president and general manager of the CBS and UPN affiliates in Harrisburg, which reach some of the country's biggest Amish communities, said Tuesday that he was concerned the show could be exploitative (Associated Press)
  • Pitts praises move to shelve Amish TV show | A Harrisburg, Pa., television station's caution over a reality program poking fun at the Amish was praised Monday by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa. (UPI)


  • Caped crusader | He's written Spider-Man and Superman, but Mark Millar's own heroes are Tony Benn and Jesus Christ (Sunday Herald, Glasgow, Scotland)
  • Mark Millar's Chosen Arrives | Comics superstar Mark Millar (Ultimate X-Men) and artist Peter Gross (Lucifer) have teamed up to examine both how our society would react to the event the world has been awaiting for nearly 2000 years and how a young man would react to the news that he's the Chosen one (Silver Bullet Comics, link via Thunderstruck)


  • Hillsong Church gets number one hit | When Peter Costello spoke at the annual convention of the Hillsong Church in Sydney last week, it was the first time that many Australians, particularly outside New South Wales, had heard of the church (PM, Australian Broadcasting Corp.)
  • Praise the Lord, we top the charts | Sydney evangelist community Hillsong Church declared Christianity was alive and strong after the religious group's album topped the national music charts this week (AAP, Australia)


  • Romance & redemption | Novels' mix of sin and salvation draw black Christian readers (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Max Lucado's wayward days | America's favorite Christian author talks about his relationships with alcohol, celebrity, and God (Beliefnet)
  • How one man's gospel tale became a global bestseller | You've probably never heard of him, but a man in the loud shirt is well on the way to being the world's most influential churchman (The Observer, London)
  • Pope finishing new book, Vatican says | Pope John Paul II is almost finished a new book that will focus on a conversation he once had with a popular Polish philosopher and essayist, a Vatican official said (Associated Press)
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  • Knowing Noah | Imaginative, reverent story features gender issues and an engaing test of spiritual and physical endurance (The Denver Post)
  • Finding meaning in suffering | Joni Eareckson Tada says she was headed down a self-destructive path before her accident; she proposes that God often permits suffering to enter our lives to drive us to him (Steve Crain, The Pilot, Pinehurst, N.C.)
  • Earlier: A Heaven-made Activist | Joni Eareckson Tada is driven forward by hymns of praise and her sovereign God (Christianity Today, Jan. 9, 2004)


  • 'New' faith comes a'knocking | Terryl Givens says Mormonism is poised to become the first new-world religion since Islam (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Mormon conversions surge in Latin America | Guatemala offers glimpse of changing tide in region (NBC News)
  • A Sabbath stand | LDS golfer forfeits shot at title by not playing on Sunday (Deseret Morning News, Ut.)
  • Also: Black Sabbath | Todd Miller is no Eric Liddell (Editorial, The Salt Lake Tribune)

Other stories of interest:

  • Prayer 'blames Church for anti-Semitism' | New prayers recommended for use in the Church of England will turn Christians into "scapegoats" for anti-Semitism, Bishop of Durham Tom Wright said yesterday (The Times, London)
  • Croatia clergy resist drink curbs | Croatian priests are seeking exemption from a tough new drink driving bill on the grounds that they must sip wine on the job, a local paper reports (BBC)
  • Toy firm markets talking Jesus action doll | A US toy firm has created a talking action doll of Jesus Christ which recites the Ten Commandments (Ananova)
  • A statue of limitations | Church fears loss of saint's likeness (The Boston Globe)
  • Systematic slaughter unfolds in Sudan | As the world's attention was turned to crises in the Middle East, a slaughter has raged for 17 months in Sudan's Darfur region (Associated Press)
  • Miracle weight loss? | No, staying fit takes work, and churches faced with overpacked pews are urging Christians to shed those extra pounds (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

Related Elsewhere:

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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