So much news, so little time. The commentary part of Weblog will have to wait for another day.

Court to hear Oregon assisted suicide case:

  • Justices accept Oregon case weighing assisted suicide | The action will likely reopen a debate over whether doctors should be able to help terminally ill patients end their lives (The New York Times)
  • Justices to hear challenge to Oregon assisted-suicide law (The Washington Post)
  • Justices to review Oregon's right-to-die law (Los Angeles Times)
  • Prescription for chaos | Understanding the lethal Oregon case that's hitting the Supreme Court (Wesley J. Smith, National Review Online)

Terri Schiavo:

  • Judge delays feeding tube removal | A circuit court judge on Tuesday delayed removal of a brain-damaged woman's feeding tube for at least another day, allowing her parents to file more legal motions in their fight to keep her alive against her husband's wishes (The New York Times)
  • Another hearing set in right-to-die case | One of the longest-running and most contentious right-to-die cases in U.S. history ricocheted between Florida courts on Tuesday as protesters gathered in suburban Tampa to pray that a severely brain-damaged woman's feeding tube would not be removed. (The Washington Post)
  • Right-to-die case hinges on appeals court | Michael Schiavo could have doctors take out the feeding tube from his wife, Terri Schiavo, as early as Tuesday, depending on what action the 2nd District Court of Appeals takes on a request for an emergency stay by her parents (Associated Press)

Life ethics:

  • UN call for ban on all cloning is attacked | The Royal Society condemned a United Nations call for a ban on all forms of human cloning (The Telegraph, London)
  • An Illinois judge declares that frozen embryos are people: What difference does it make? | Abortion is perhaps permissible even if the embryo is a person (Sherry F. Colb,
  • Death With Dignity Act on trial | The more conservative justices who generally support the use of traditional morality in law—such as banning suicide—are also those who have supported states' rights in the face of federal encroachment (UPI)
  • Suits filed to stop stem cell institute | Politically conservative public interest groups filed lawsuits Tuesday seeking to invalidate the $3 billion stem cell research funding institution California voters approved in November (Associated Press)
  • The disease of desperation | While the government heartlessly enforces its ban on stem-cell research, hopeless Americans are emptying their bank accounts for unproven therapies (Patti Davis, Newsweek)
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  • Court rejects challenge to abortion ruling | The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to its landmark 1973 ruling legalizing abortion by the woman once known as "Jane Roe," who was at the center of the historic case (Associated Press)
  • Mitt Romney's choice | Has this 2008 presidential possibility been holding back on what are genuine pro-life views? (W. James Antle III, The American Spectator)
  • Conn. officials shelve abortion proposal | Officials declined Tuesday to take action on a proposal to declare the city an abortion-free zone, a measure that would have banned the procedure in Waterbury (Associated Press)
  • Pro-choice groups giving up too much? | Perhaps pro-choice politicians instead should revive a now largely forgotten abortion rights credo of the Roe era: every child a wanted child (David J. Garrow, The Christian Science Monitor)

Religion & politics:

  • Christian leader challenges political status quo | Evangelical leader Jim Wallis challenged the polarized political status quo Monday night and preached a new way to about 600 of his cheering supporters a faith-infused political movement that can "move mountains" (Pasadena Star-News, Ca.)
  • Personal faith in public office | Mark Souder and David Price (The Connection, NPR)
  • Whither Dean's Dems? | To be called 'secular' these days is more of an insult even than getting labeled liberal. That's why the new chairman of the Democratic Party has to begin defining its policies in moral terms (Eleanor Clift, Newsweek)
  • Doubts raised over Bush's faith-based commitment | Hearts don't produce results. It'll be interesting to see if the president uses the political capital he gained through reelection to forcefully push through the policies he's championed (Terry M. Neal, The Washington Post)
  • Democrats vie to succeed Finneran as Massachusetts House speaker | Debate death penalty, gay marriage, elections (The Boston Globe)
  • Gay Republican group shifts tactics | Log Cabin Republicans says it will now reach out to conservative organizations and look for ways to work with the administration (UPI)
  • Federal judge: Texas man may leaflet in Illinois state building | Court faults state law for giving officials too much discretion in determining when to issue permits, prohibiting religious exhibits (Associated Press)
  • The private Bush | Doug Wead may have done George Bush a favor (Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post)
  • Faith full | Why liberals—not conservatives—are the true heirs to America's religious tradition, and how they can take it back (E. J. Dionne, Jr., The New Republic)
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  • Breaking the grip of secular fundamentalists | From any practical perspective, Tim Roemer a better option for Democrats than Howard Dean, but the abortion rights lobby was simply too powerful (Steve and Cokie Roberts)
  • F-word strikes fear | Fundamentalism is the new f-word. We see the signs everywhere from the strife-torn Middle East to the rise of the religious Right here and in the US (Julianne Schultz, The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, Australia)

Sexual ethics:

  • Religious groups dig in heels over condoms | Religious groups dug in their heels yesterday, saying they would not "actively promote" the use of condoms, but instead would focus on encouraging sexual abstinence and faithfulness to one's partner (Business Day, South Africa)
  • 'Teenagers who had taken a virginity pledge were a third less likely to use contraception when they first had sex' | But Teenage Pregnancy Strategy has made slow but sure reductions in conceptions among girls under 19 (Maxine Frith, The Independent, London)

Homosexuality & same-sex marriage bans:

  • Montana House dumps bill to protect gays | The bill would have made it a crime to target people based such factors as age, economic condition, disability, gender or sexual orientation. It was rejected 54-46 (Associated Press)
  • More on President Bush's proposed same-sex marriage amendment | Part two of a series on wise and unwise constitutional amendments (Vikram Amar and Alan Brownstein,
  • Marriage amendments move slowly | Legislative votes on amendments to uphold traditional marriage are moving forward in Tennessee, but have been postponed in Wisconsin and Massachusetts (The Washington Times)
  • Indiana Senate OKs ban on gay marriages | Change to state constitution expected to pass House next (The Indianapolis Star)
  • Gay marriage ban needs flexibility | The state Senate should rewrite portions of a proposed amendment to ban gay marriage (Editorial, The Indianapolis Star)
  • Gay marriage stirs New York evangelicals | Same-sex marriage could be the force that turns New York's evangelicals into a political movement, much like Roe v. Wade energized conservative Christians across America (New York Observer)

Anglican Communion meeting:

  • Church should be a place of sanctuary: Archbishop | Let us keep doors open, says Williams (The Belfast Telegraph)
  • Mainline churches struggle over gay policy | A meeting of the Anglican Communion this week confronts a US-African divide, and an unhealed rift within the U.S. (The Christian Science Monitor)
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  • Call for peace in gay bishops row | Anglican leaders should put their differences on homosexuality aside for the sake of the Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said (BBC)
  • Archbishop pleads for calm over gays | "Our own efforts at peacemaking and witnessing to peace in world and Church alike must not be characterised by anxious striving, by desperate activism, by the passion to get it all sorted and all right now," Williams told the primates (Reuters)
  • Bishops pray together amid rumours of split | Amid rumours of impending splits in the communion, the 35 archbishops and presiding bishops of the worldwide church who have turned up in Northern Ireland to attend the meeting - just three are missing, for personal reasons - asked God's forgiveness for penitent sinners (The Guardian, London)
  • Tolerance is absent from their lexicon | The urgent desire for a united Anglicanism is a recent trend (Stephen Bates, The Guardian, London)
  • Related: Archbishop acts against rebel bishop | The international Anglican row over women priests flared in Melbourne yesterday with Archbishop Peter Watson taking action against a rebel bishop (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Church life:

  • Circus marks new beginning for Bristol church | Soon trapeze artists will be flying from rigs suspended from the barrel-vaulted ceiling, clowns will be cavorting around the nave, hopefully steering clear of the altar, which is still consecrated, and the odd church service may also take place (The Guardian, London)
  • Is this the start of a Kirk schism? | Forward Together will change nothing overnight, but in the mid-term the conservative evangelicals will either become much more influential within the Kirk and more vocal outside it—or there could well be a schism (Harry Reid, The Herald, Glasgow)
  • Kirk group puts faith schools on its agenda | A new evangelical pressure group inside the Church of Scotland is to look at whether the Kirk should set up its own schools (The Scotsman)
  • Downtown residents balking at church-steeple antenna plan | Residents of the town's downtown historic district say town officials seem to be going out of their way to allow the installation of cell phone antennas in the steeple of First Evangelical Lutheran Church (The Providence Journal, R.I.)

Church & state:

  • Scripture and law | Where Ten Commandments will stand is in Supreme Court's hands (James W. Watts, Detroit Free Press)
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  • Suspense builds for Decalogue dialogue | High court takes up key church-state cases involving Ten Commandments displays March 2 (Associated Press)
  • Church-goers decry Sunday parking meters | Sunday is a day for feeding the soul—not the meter, worshippers declared Sunday (Newsday)
  • Religious freedom revisions rejected | Va. Senate panel kills amendment (The Washington Post)
  • Also: Virginia Senate panel kills House prayer measure | A Senate panel yesterday rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed prayer in public facilities — one of several conservative, House-approved measures that senators have killed in recent weeks (The Washington Times)


  • Creating trouble | Everyone asks me where I stand on Darwinism, as opposed to creationism. Because it is still so bitterly debated in our schools, I have finally come out of the closet (Art Buchwald, The Washington Post)
  • Who created us? Don't ask | Religious fundamentalists will never forgive Nicolaus Copernicus for pointing out five centuries ago that the Earth wasn't the center of the universe, wasn't even close. And if it had been left up to the zealots, the scientific discoveries of Galileo and his ilk wouldn't have seen the light of day (David Holahan, The Boston Globe)
  • The fossil fallacy | Creationists' demand for fossils that represent "missing links" reveals a deep misunderstanding of science (Michael Shermer, Scientific American)


  • Tomb of Saint Paul found? | A tomb that may contain the remains of Saint Paul, one of the Christian church's most important leaders and the author of much of the Bible's New Testament, has been unearthed in Rome, according to a Vatican Museums archaeologist (Discovery News)
  • Dead Sea Scrolls coming to Charlotte | Discovery Place to display fragments of historic texts next year (The Charlotte Observer)

God in Europe:

  • What place for God in Europe? | Why the Continent is debating what role, if any, religion should play in public life (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • In a secular ocean, waves of spirituality | Religion has barged its way noisily and violently onto the European political stage in recent months (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • On the streets of Paris, two Mormons try to convert the French (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Economists want to know: Do Europeans work less because they believe less in God? (The Christian Science Monitor)

The pope's new book:

  • John Paul writes of near-death experience after 1981 shooting | His new book offers insight, but generates controversy by likening abortion to Holocaust (Los Angeles Times)
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  • God saved me from the assassin's bullet | In a remarkable new book Pope John Paul II describes for the first time how close he came to death at the hands of a gunman and says he was saved by divine intervention (The Times, London)
  • On abortion | What the Pope's new book says (The Times, London)
  • Related: Secret prophecy | Fatima's message on the Pope's assassination attempt (The Times, London)
  • On Eastern and Western Europe | What the Pope's new book says (The Times, London)
  • Pope's book confronts evil | A new book by Pope John Paul II has gone on sale in bookshops all over Italy (BBC)
  • Pope labels democracy 'godless' | The Pope published a new book yesterday strongly attacking the "negative" society of the West, calling it a godless "anti-Gospel and new totalitarianism" masquerading as democracy (The Telegraph, London)
  • Pope likens abortion to Holocaust | Memory and Identity, the pontiff's fifth book, says both are the result of governments clashing with divine law (BBC)
  • Publisher aims for best seller from Pope | An Italian publishing house gathered Rome's glitterati Tuesday for the official launch of Pope John Paul II's new book, hoping the work that includes his first public description of the moments after he was shot can become an international best seller (Associated Press)
  • Pope calls gay marriage part of 'ideology of evil' | Homosexual marriages are part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul (news - web sites) says in a new book published on Tuesday (Reuters)

Pope John Paul II:

  • Four reasons why the Pope shouldn't quit | Resignation is allowed, but the ailing John Paul II has strong cause to stay (John L. Allen Jr., Los Angeles Times)
  • Still frail, Pope resuming activities | Acting with caution, the Vatican said the frail pontiff will not preside at his weekly public audience Wednesday but he will greet and bless the faithful from his apartment window overlooking St. Peter's Square (Associated Press)
  • Pope resumes visits with foreign leaders | He received the prime minister of Croatia on Tuesday (Associated Press)


  • Church credibility on the line | Will the bishops let their tough policies expire? (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)
  • Exorcism steps out of the shadows and into the 21st century | How the Catholic Church is trying to counter what it sees as a modern obsession with evil (The Independent, London)
  • The exorcist | Channel 4 is to screen a live exorcism, the Vatican is offering a course to fight Satanism and the Kirk is reviewing how it deals with possession (The Sunday Herald, Glasgow)
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  • Judge wary of legal fees confronting archdiocese | The bankruptcy case for the Portland diocese is racking up $300,000 a month in costs that are coming under scrutiny (The Oregonian)
  • Ruling offers new basis for suits against churches | A Superior Court judge has ruled that a Jehovah's Witness church in Boston can be sued for breaking its trust and legal duty to a girl who said she was sexually abused by one of the church's ministerial servants (Associated Press)
  • Archbishop apologizes to sex abuse victim | Letters from Archbishop Raymond Burke were promised as part of December settlement (Associated Press)
  • Mass. priest accused of abuse in Texas | Two men say dioceses helped him avoid arrest (Associated Press)


  • Priest pleads guilty in death of Pitt football player | The judge said the agreement bothered him. An attorney for the victim's family was visibly angry (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Also: Priest pleads guilty in death of athlete | A Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years' probation Tuesday for giving alcohol to a University of Pittsburgh football player who died after falling through a church ceiling while drunk (Associated Press)
  • Silva calls nun's killing a wake-up call | The killing of an American nun during an Amazon land dispute will be a wake-up call for authorities to better protect the jungle from developers, Brazil's president said in his first comments since the Feb. 12 slaying. (Associated Press)
  • Also: 'No impunity' for Amazon killers | Police in the Amazon state of Para arrested a third suspect in the murder of US-born missionary Dorothy Stang (BBC)
  • Beasts of Satan band members jailed for killings | Two members of a heavy metal band called the Beasts of Satan were yesterday given hefty prison sentences for killings that shocked Italy and raised questions about the spread of devil-worship among young people (The Guardian, London)

Pastor forgives cross-burning suspect:

  • Pastor extends forgiveness to cross-burning suspect | Ex-parishioner to be arraigned (The Boston Globe)
  • 19-year-old man arrested in cross burning at South Shore church (Associated Press)
  • Burning of cross probed as hate crime | Duxbury pastor cites shock, fear (The Boston Globe)


  • 'This is our Kristallnacht' | Days after the disturbances that erupted there, Maghar is a wounded place. The Christians who fled are afraid to return, and the solidarity following the release of Azzam Azzam has been forgotten. Only anger at the police unites them with the Druze (Haartez, Tel Aviv)
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  • A pernicious, dangerous alliance | There is no escaping the conclusion that the unholy alliance between the Jewish and Christian extreme right wings is short-term, and absolutely runs counter to Israel's long-term interests (Avshalom Vilan, Haaretz, Tel Aviv)

WCC calls for Israel divestment:

  • Church group hints at Mideast divesting | The World Council of Churches has recommended to members that they consider divesting from companies that aid Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories (The New York Times)
  • World Council of Churches calls for divestment from Israel | The World Council of Churches, the main global body uniting non-Catholic Christians, encouraged members Tuesday to sell off investments in companies profiting from Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Haaretz, Tel Aviv)
  • 500 million Christians urged to divest | An organization representing up to half a billion Christians worldwide has encouraged its member churches to divest from companies that participate in "illegal activities" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (The Jerusalem Post)


  • Catholic body concerned at 'forcible conversions' | The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) Tuesday demanded police protection for Christians in a Maharashtra village where Hindu groups are allegedly attempting to carry out forcible conversions (IANS, India)
  • Nothing but a lovers' quarrel | Are we looking at a confrontation brewing between India's powerful Hindutva right and the United States? No. That doesn't look very likely. The Indian diaspora in the United States remains the biggest single source of funds for the Hindutva hate groups (Dawn, Pakistan)

Religious freedom:

  • State to bar religious conversion | The government in India's western state of Rajasthan says it is to introduce a law banning religious conversion (BBC)
  • Christian says faith might cost him his life | For those with faith, the moment of acceptance often is clear and simple. Years after his conversion to Christianity, Ahmad Ahmadshah, a 43-year-old Minneapolis cabdriver, explained that moment to a U.S. immigration judge (The Kansas City Star)

Television & film:

  • Social issues fuel race for Oscar | In the scramble for Oscar votes, the publicity campaigns for films like "Vera Drake" and "Hotel Rwanda" have made use, with some mixed feelings, of the issues the movies address (The New York Times)
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  • 'Hotel Rwanda' morally implicates us all | The film has much to teach us about suffering, redemption and transformation (Tiffney Marley and Tammy Williams, Contra Costa Times, Ca.)
  • Pimp my faith | Think TV is a wasteland? Here are two reality shows that are hip and healing (Marc Gellman, Newsweek)
  • Go with the flow: Hispanic religious channels grow | There is little doubt that Spanish-language programming and networks are a couple of the television industry's hottest sectors, and that trend is carrying over to religious telecasters, too (Broadcasting & Cable)

Korn guitarist, Brian Welch, cites religious experience, leaves band:

  • Local rock star gives up Korn life | Guitarist leaves band that has sold millions to embark on spiritual quest (The Bakersfield Californian)
  • Brian 'Head' Welch leaves Korn, citing moral objections to band's music | Guitarist plans to further explain his decision to a church congregation in Bakersfield, California, on Sunday (
  • Korn guitarist finds God, leaves band | Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch has parted ways with the hard rock act, citing a recent religious awakening (Reuters/Billboard)

Gene Scott dies:

  • Gene Scott, television preacher famous for his unconventional ministry, dies at 75 (Los Angeles Times)
  • Televangelist Gene Scott dies at age 75 | The shaggy-haired, cigar-smoking televangelist's eccentric religious broadcasts were beamed around the world (Associated Press)
  • 1994 profile: The shock jock of televangelism | With savvy philanthropy and an in-your-face style, Dr. Gene Scott has generated a lavish lifestyle, powerful friends in Los Angeles and a fiercely loyal global following (Los Angeles Times, July 10, 1994)


  • Praying on the job | Margo Powell has an interesting way of spreading the word about God. First, she sells bikinis (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
  • Falwell hospitalized with viral infection | "It's not considered dangerous," said the television evangelist and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg. "It is just troublesome. I am going to be here a few days." (Associated Press)
  • What spurs children of evangelists? | Do I believe that the sons whose names we recognize really heard a call from God? Or did the boys of Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Charles Stanley, Jimmy Swaggart and the rest seek out a pulpit because they believed the fame, fortune or influence that came to their dads would one day come to them, too? (Ken Garfield The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)
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  • Missionary David Bentley-Taylor dies at 90 | Helped to found International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, was General Secretary of Middle East Christian Outreach (The Telegraph, London)

More articles of interest:

  • Give a little | President Bush should try to help Europeans understand American generosity (Bono, The New York Times)
  • The good book | The America portrayed by Sinclair Lewis in Elmer Gantry used to be a distant memory. But the novel's surprising lessons are relevant again (Richard Byrne, The American Prospect)
  • Row over Springer opera donation | A cancer charity has refused a donation from Jerry Springer - The Opera after a religious group threatened to protest (BBC)
  • Give peace a chance | The urgent new fact of the human condition: If all are not saved, no one is (James Carroll, The Boston Globe)
  • Heart of Christianity shifts from Europe - to Timbuktu | According to the results of an American research project, the geographical "centre of gravity" of Christendom lies near the historic trading city of mainly Muslim Mali. And by the end of the century, it could be in Nigeria (The Guardian, London)

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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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