Today's Top Five Stories

1. Christians warned they'll face wrath from Muhammad depiction uproar
With tens of thousands of Muslims rioting and demonstrating around the world against published caricatures of Muhammad, Christians fear they'll face a violent backlash. The Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq, told Reuters that Sunday's church bombings were the result of the cartoons, first published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Christians in Palestine are nervous that they'll be next—and they're not just paranoid, says the London Times: "A leaflet handed out by the militant groups Islamic Jihad and Fatah warned 'infidels' that there are Muslims who 'are tough and ready to become a martyr for their religion' and that 'European provocations have placed offices and churches under fire.'" The Times says Hamas has promised Christians protection, but The Washington Times says others are worried that life under Hamas will be difficult after the demonstrations die down. In related news, a brief line in today's Wall Street Journal is awfully cryptic: "Evangelical Protestants split on whether U.S. should deal with Hamas; 53 percent of nonevangelicals favor diplomacy." So 53 percent doesn't constitute a split? (There's no additional information on the poll.)

2. Anti-Christian militants kill six in the Philippines
At about 1 o'clock this morning, a militant group attacked homes on the Philippine island of Jolo, demanding that residents answer whether they were Christians or Muslims. Three men, two women, and an eight-month-old boy were killed in the attack. Six others, including three children, survived with injuries. One was a Muslim married to a Christian; the others were Christians. The attackers may have been part of the Abu Sayyaf Group, which has kidnapped American missionaries in the past. Jolo is an Abu Sayyaf stronghold, says The Philippine Inquirer.

3. Six churches burn in Alabama, arson suspected
One of the six churches was under construction, and its fire may be unrelated. But as for the rest, "of course it's arson," Jim Cavanaugh, regional director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms told The Birmingham News. "You don't have accidental fires at six churches." And Alabama knows about church fires. "We dealt with all that hate in the '70s and then the resurgence in the '90s and here we are again," Cavanaugh said. "It will be interesting to see what the motive is," he said. "You could have vandalism, hate against religion, or even race-based. These are the obvious, and most likely, motives." Maybe not race—"four of the churches … were predominantly white and Southern Baptist, affiliated with the Bibb County Baptist Association. One was a black Baptist church," says the News.

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4. New Orleans religious leaders unite
Bruce Nolan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune has done an amazing job at covering the religious aspects of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. His informative and inspirational piece today on the unity of religious leaders is well worth the read:

A remarkable interfaith gathering of many of New Orleans' major religious leaders urged the city's political leadership and citizens Thursday to accept that much of the city is permanently gone. They encouraged their members to come to the planning table willing to rebuild a better New Orleans, lest the city's halting recovery stall completely.
The summons, which seemed to contain equal doses of tough love and compassion, came from an extraordinary assembly of religious leaders speaking with a single voice not heard in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. …
"The New Orleans we knew and loved before Katrina will never return!" it began. "We are now called to build a new New Orleans on the ruins of the old. Distrust or suspicion must not prevent us from participating at the planning table."

5. Church discipline in the news
Here's one of those stories where you really wish you could hear the church's side, but you're kind of glad the church stayed silent anyway. Catrina Adams tells WBIR that Fellowship Evangelical Free Church is threatening her with criminal trespass charges if she shows up on church property again. A divorcee whose ex-husband and children also attend the church, she says she was disciplined for befriending a divorced man in the congregation. "We didn't even hold hands. We've never kissed; we never discussed; there was no flirting," she told the TV station. Wow, that sounds harsh. If only Adams stopped there, she might have won more sympathy. But instead, she continued: "It's not right for somebody to try to dictate what I read, who's my friend, or whether or not I'm permitted to do this or that." It's not right for the church to counsel its members on what it considers sin? That kind of response makes you want to read the papers that Adams gave to the media. Turns out she started spending lots of time with the guy while she was still married, and refused to listen to her husband's requests to break off the relationship (which she had characterized as an "emotional affair,") and then refused to listen to the church's requests that she do the same. Read from bottom to top, it seems the church followed Matthew 18 to the letter. And it also shows that this story is five and a half years old. So why is WBIR running it now?

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Quote of the day
"Not now, but one day, one day, one day."

Pat Robertson, on last night's Hannity & Colmes broadcast on Fox News, reiterating his comments that the U.S. should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. After Robertson noted that he had apologized, co-host Alan Colmes responded, "But wait a minute. If you say you apologized to him, what you just said seems to contravene that, because you just now said … "

"I know. I know," said Robertson.

More articles

Christians attacked in Philippines | India | Sudan | Christians and Islam | King Abdullah speaks to evangelicals | Prayer breakfasts | Politics | Abortion | Kansas abortion records fight | Education | Sexual ethics | Religious displays | Massachusetts church finance disclosure bill | Church buildings | Church life | Catholicism | Abuse | Crime | Missions & ministry | Art | Media and entertainment | Da Vinci Code | Venezuela | Other articles of interest

Christians attacked in Philippines:

  1. Massacre of 6 moves Sulu villagers to tears | They were used to violence but the sight of the bullet-riddled body of a baby girl lying on top of her equally dead mother was too much and the residents could not help but cry (The Philippine Inquirer)

  2. Gunmen kill 6 people, including infant in Sulu | Jennifer Fontanilla, who said she survived the 1 a.m. attack Friday by hiding under her bed, told government-run Radyo ng Bayan that before the shooting, the armed men roused them from sleep and demanded to know if they were Christians or Muslims (The Philippine Inquirer)

  3. Gunmen kill 6 people in southern Philippines | At least six people were killed on Friday when gunmen opened fire at a Christian home on a mainly Muslim island in the southern Philippines, an army general said (Reuters)

  4. Massacre of Christians in Jolo deals heavy blow to hopes for peace | Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen knocked on door in a farm in Patikul, Mindanao, and opened fire after asking residents if they were Christian. Six people are confirmed dead, including a nine-month baby girl, and five others are seriously wounded (AsiaNews, Catholic news service)

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  1. India's Supreme Court acts on anti-Christian video | The Supreme Court Friday sought responses from the central government and two states on the circulation of video compact discs which suggested that Christians should be attacked and beheaded (IANS, India)

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  1. Doctors in India prosecuted for sex determination, but few convicted | Pressure from the medical community is obstructing action against doctors in India involved in illegal sex determination and selective abortion of female fetuses, government officials said last week, echoing concerns expressed by health activists (British Medical Journal)

  2. MP Congress demands ban on Bajrang Dal | Madhya Pradesh Congress on Wednesday demanded a ban on Bajrang Dal accusing it of "making planned attacks" on Christian missionaries, even as the state government assured adequate security to the minority community (PTI, India)

  3. Man stabs lover for refusing to convert | A 28-year-old man stabbed his lover when she refused to accept his condition to convert to Christianity before their marriage here on Friday (New India Press)

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  1. Thousands flee mounting violence in south Darfur | Christian Aid partners, the Sudan Development Association, and the Sudanese Council of Churches have abandoned their schools and health centres in the camps in Mershing in south Darfur, following a series of attacks by armed militias (Christian Aid, via Reuters)

  2. A partner in the Sudanese struggle turns her sights to fulfilling peace | Now that her "lion" is gone, Rebecca Garang will roar from his graveside until his dream of a unified Sudan is truly fulfilled (The Washington Post)

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Christians and Islam:

  1. Iraq Christians on edge as cartoon row escalates | Iraq's Christians are bracing for attacks on their ancient community, fearful that deadly bombings of their churches last month were linked to Muslim fury over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad published in Europe (Reuters)

  2. Foreigners flee as gunmen hunt 'targets' | A leaflet handed out by the militant groups Islamic Jihad and Fatah warned "infidels" that there are Muslims who "are tough and ready to become a martyr for their religion" and that "European provocations have placed offices and churches under fire" (The Times, London)

  3. Hamas alarms Bethlehem's Christians | While Israelis struggle to come to terms with the election of Hamas in Palestinian elections last week, another group also is worried by the rise of the avowedly Islamist organization -- the Christian Arab minority centered here in Jesus' birthplace (The Washington Times)

  4. Christian leaders present a message of peace to Hamas | Officials in Jerusalem turn to the beatitudes (Zenit)

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  1. Also: Holy Land Christians urge Hamas to keep teachings of Jesus in mind | The leaders of the major Christian denominations in the Holy Land have accepted the results of the Palestinian elections in which Hamas won legislative control by a landslide, but urged the militant Islamic group to use the teachings of Jesus as a guide when it takes over the reins of the Palestinian Authority (ENI)

  2. Nigeria's Christians back Muslims | An umbrella Nigerian Christian body based in the majority Muslim north has condemned the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. (BBC)

  3. Annan: Press freedom should respect religion | U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday that freedom of the press should not be an excuse for insulting religions and expressed concern about the controversy over a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (Reuters)

  4. Muslims again protest Muhammad caricatures | Tens of thousands of angry Muslims marched through Palestinian cities, burning the Danish flag and calling for vengeance Friday against European countries where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were published (Associated Press)

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King Abdullah speaks to evangelicals:

  1. Jordan's king urges moderates to unite | King Abdullah II of Jordan quoted from the Bible and the Koran in a brief speech to a lunchtime crowd of 2,000 mostly evangelical Christians yesterday, invoking "our Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage" and urging moderates of the three great religions to unite (The Washington Times)

  2. Jordan's leader calls for unity among religions | King Abdullah of Jordan called upon Christians, Jews and Muslims to discard the idea of a clash of civilizations (The New York Times)

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Prayer breakfasts:

  1. Bono urges U.S. to boost aid to world's poor | U2 singer Bono, wearing a brown suit, a black shirt with an open collar and his trademark wraparound sunglasses, quoted the Koran, the Bible and the rock band Dire Straits as he urged President Bush to boost U.S. aid to the world's poor by more than $25 billion a year (The Washington Times)

  2. Prayer breakfast in Washington sets a more ecumenical tone | Of 12 speakers — including President Bush and Bono, the Catholic rock star and advocate of aid to Africa — half did not belong to the evangelical Protestant groups that spurred forward the American tradition of prayer breakfasts (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

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  1. Prayer breakfast reflects diversity | Coleman was host to religious groups, Orthodox Jewish group praises inclusive tone (Associated Press)

  2. Salazar details spiritual roots at National Prayer Breakfast | Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, a Catholic abortion-rights supporter who clashed with evangelical leader James Dobson, detailed his spiritual roots Thursday at a prayer breakfast with President Bush and about 3,000 guests (The Denver Post)

  3. Sacred, profane meet over breakfast | The governor's public relations guy was loudly and colorfully challenging the accuracy of the headline on my Jan. 27 story, "Non-Christians left out of Fletcher breakfast," dropping a few F-bombs along the way (Frank Lockwood, Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

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  1. Religious leaders urge honest talk on recovery | Stop the bickering and get to work, they say (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

  2. Abramoff's evangelical soldiers | Leaders of the Christian right are paying the price as evidence mounts of their complicity in a sordid GOP gambling-industry scheme (Max Blumenthal, The Nation)

  3. Anglican Church announces plans to combat poverty, climate change | International representatives of the Anglican Church meeting in South Africa today launched a global initiative to bring church members around the world together to fight poverty and the effects of climate change (

  4. Moore in Morgan | Gubernatorial candidate stumps with mix of religion, politics (Decatur Daily, Ala.)

  5. Sam Brownback is a fruit | Rolling Stone writer Jeff Sharlet says Brownback did not mean to make a joke, nor did he mean to use "fruits" as a slur. Sharlet was emulating Beavis and Butthead, he says (The Revealer)

  6. Jesus interruptus | Evangelicals take brave lack of stand against global warming (David Roberts, Grist)

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  1. Lack of birth control spurs abortions in Uganda | Poor access to contraceptives has led to an unusually high rate of abortions in Uganda, straining already scarce health care in a country where abortion is illegal, researchers in New York and Kampala reported on Thursday (Reuters)

  2. Catholic GPs set to quit over RU-486 | More than 200 Catholic doctors, all members of the Guild of St Luke, are set to resign from the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners over RU-486 (The Courier-Mail, Adelaide, Australia)

  3. Also: Religious standoff brewing within medical circles over us of RU486 | More than 200 Catholic doctors in Queensland are threatening to resign from the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (The World Today, Radio Australia)

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  1. Under house arrest: blind activist who exposed forced abortions | Chinese peasant turned legal advocate is punished for revealing dark side of one-child policy (The Guardian, London)

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Kansas abortion records fight:

  1. Kan. court blocks abortion records' access | The state's highest court on Friday temporarily stopped the state attorney general from looking at records from two abortion clinics, saying such a review could violate patient privacy (Associated Press)

  2. Court: Abortion clinic patients' privacy must be protected | The Kansas Supreme Court today ordered a district judge to reconsider subpoenas issued at Attorney General Phill Kline's request for abortion clinic medical records (The Kansas City Star)

  3. Supreme Court tells judge to reconsider abortion clinic probe | In the unanimous decision, the court said if State District Court Judge Richard Anderson decides the inquisition should continue, he must impose safeguards on subpoeanas for medical records that Kline has wanted (Lawrence Journal-World, Kan.)

  4. State Supreme Court rules in abortion case | Saying three federal constitutional privacy interests are threatened by Attorney General Phill Kline's inquisition subpoenas for patient records from two Kansas abortion clinics, the Kansas Supreme Court today unanimously ordered Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson to reconsider whether the subpoenas should issue and, if so, to adopt tightly drawn restrictions. (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)

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  1. Board: Lane Tech assemblies not faith-based | After listening to audio tapes of the assemblies, attended by nearly all of the school's 4,300 students, and viewing video segments featured during the presentation, Board of Education general counsel Patrick Rocks said Thursday "there is no religious content." (Chicago Sun-Times)

  2. Government argues Air Force religion lawsuit must be dismissed | Justice Department attorneys have told a federal judge that an Air Force Academy graduate has no legal standing to sue the Air Force over allegations of proselytizing by chaplains and that the military already has safeguards in place against improper religious pressure (Associated Press)

  3. Catholic school considers mandatory drug tests | The school has not decided whether to implement the program. Officials have asked parents to respond to a survey on the idea and have not set a timetable for a decision (Associated Press)

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  1. Bishop revamps religious ed | Restructuring of instruction for adults, children in Long Island diocese prompts some fears of conservative shift (Newsday)

  2. Galileo groupies | The unlikely rock star of intelligent design. (Peter Dizikes, Slate)

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Sexual ethics:

  1. Marriage measure rejected | Constitutional amendment to ban gay unions defeated in committee (The Baltimore Sun)

  2. Also: Busch blocks vote on marriage | Democratic lawmakers in Maryland, determined to avoid a vote on homosexual "marriage" in an election year, closed the House yesterday to quash a constitutional amendment endorsing traditional marriage (The Washington Times)

  3. Call to ban bestiality gets Washington Senate hearing | People who have sex with animals should face a felony conviction for animal cruelty, says a Republican senator pushing for a ban on bestiality (Associated Press)

  4. Cleric blames HIV on women's generosity | "Female Christians are too generous. They give in to even useless men, allowing them to play with their bodies," said retired Mityana Diocese Bishop Wilson Mutebi (New Vision, Kampala, Uganda)

  5. It's straight people who threaten marriage | Massachusetts—the state where more than 7,300 gay couples have married in less than two years, or since they were allowed by law—has the lowest divorce rate in the nation (Bill Johnson, Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

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Religious displays:

  1. Sharply divided court upholds city's anti-Christian ban of Nativity in New York City public schools | Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent were displayed (Press release, Thomas More Law Center)

  2. Decision: Skoros v. City of New York (United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, PDF)

  3. Image of Christ tops euro coin poll | The baptism of Christ—as depicted in the sculpture by Giuseppe Mazzuioli at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta - has emerged as the favorite image among the Maltese to be put on Malta's euro coins after it polled the highest number of votes, a decision that is bound to fuel debate (The Times of Malta)

  4. Also: Baptism of Christ to feature on Euro coins | An image of Christ's immersion in water by John the Baptist will be shown on Maltese euro coins, reflecting the cultural heritage of the deeply religious Mediterranean island, officials said Thursday (Reuters)

  5. Italy judge barred over crucifix | An Italian judge who refuses to have a crucifix displayed in his courtroom has been suspended without pay (BBC)

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Massachusetts church finance disclosure bill:

  1. Churches should open financial books | This bill was about financial accountability and protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth against fraud. It had absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom or the separation of Church and State. (Bill Gouveia, Norton Mirror, Mass.)

  2. Forgive us our taxes | Secular and religious charities should operate under the same scrutiny and the state should pursue the issue (Dan Mac Alpine, Beverley Citizen, Mass.)

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Church buildings:

  1. Riverside deaf church sues Caltrans over freeway eminent domain | A church with a deaf congregation is suing over the demolition of its old property to make way for freeway improvement, arguing that the California Department of Transportation cheated it out of millions of dollars in compensation (Associated Press)

  2. Earlier: Church for deaf prays for help | Riverside-based congregation is at odds with Caltrans over an eminent domain order (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Ca., May 20, 2003, via DeafToday)

  3. Church's expansion bid rejected | Boulder County officials' decision sets stage for religious freedom debate (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

  4. Archbishop intervenes in row over £200m estates sale | The Archbishop of Canterbury has intervened in an escalating political row over the Church of England's disposal of its last social housing estates in central London (The Guardian, London)

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Church life:

  1. Woman kicked out of local congregation as part of church discipline | Church warns of criminal trespassing charges for woman who struck up friendship with divorced father (WBIR, Knoxville, Tenn.)

  2. Study says megachurches growing quickly in size, reach | A new survey on U.S. Protestant megachurches shows they are among the nation's fastest-growing faith groups, drawing younger people and families with contemporary programming and conservative values (Associated Press)

  3. Study: Megachurches Today 2005 (Leadership Network and Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religion Research)

  4. Oceanside church breaks with San Diego diocese | A disagreement over basic tenets of faith, such as the divinity of Jesus Christ, has caused one of the city's oldest churches to break with the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego (North County Times, San Diego, Ca.)

  5. Presbytery affirms its stance on gay ban | By 68-62 vote, petition opposes ordination (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  6. Yesterday: 4 churches reaffirm original precepts | Four Presbyterian churches in the South Hills -- from Mt. Lebanon to McKeesport -- have formed a local network that members hope will be part of a national initiative to renew and reform mainline Presbyterianism (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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  1. Theatre of God | Every Sunday the London theatre which hosts the Queen musical We Will Rock You opens its doors to a different crowd - the youthful worshippers of a vibrant Australian church called Hillsong, where rock is as important as prayer (BBC)

  2. Anglicans target rappers and skateboarders | Eager to banish the fusty image of an Establishment church full of ageing worshippers, a new breed of crusading ministers are to spread the word in nightclubs, shopping arcades and skateboarding park (Reuters)

  3. Religion in the News: Not all Baptists are Southern | But in the movement's birthplace of Rhode Island, just over 2 percent of the population is Baptist, and some of its earliest churches are struggling (Associated Press)

  4. Church brawlers get sprayed | Pastor resorts to pepper spray to quell kids (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis)

  5. Still standing | The worshippers move out, the ceiling falls in. What to do? (Julia Vitullo-Martin, The Wall Street Journal)

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  1. Pope to let hardline group back in Church | The Pope is said to be planning to meet top advisers later this month to discuss more ways of bringing the traditionalists, known as the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), back into the mainstream Catholic fold (The Scotsman)

  2. Pope accepts resignation of U.S. bishop | Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of an auxiliary bishop of Detroit, Thomas Gumbleton, a liberal voice in the U.S. church who recently revealed that a priest abused him 60 years ago. Gumbleton turned 76 last week, a year past the normal retirement age for bishops (Associated Press)

  3. For the love of God | Pope Benedict XVI has sent a clear message: No one has anything to fear from a God who is love (Lorenzo Albacete, The New York Times)

  4. Believing in doubt | Pope Benedict XVI can accuse secularists of believing in the wrong things. But that's not the same as believing in nothing (Austin Dacey, The New York Times)

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  1. Molestation investigations may be revised | The leader of Chicago's Roman Catholic archdiocese vowed to revise a molestation investigation process that "wasn't adequate," saying he should have removed a priest charged with abusing three boys much sooner (Associated Press)

  2. George 'troubled' he didn't act sooner | 'I'm saddened by my own failure,' says cardinal (Chicago Sun-Times)

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  1. George: 'I take responsibility' | Monitoring of priests to change now, he says (Chicago Tribune)

  2. Bishop defiant in sex cases | Deposition shows Joliet leader's defense of moving accused priest (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Joliet bishop sued in priest abuse cases | Two lawsuits filed Thursday contend Joliet Bishop Joseph Imesch failed to monitor or remove a Catholic priest suspected of sexually abusing two young boys 25 years ago at west suburban churches (Chicago Sun-Times)

  4. Ex-Vatican official wanted on Ontario sex charges | Ontario Provincial Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a retired Vatican official, a Canadian, who was close with Pope John Paul II and is now wanted on sex abuse charges (The Globe and Mail, Toronto)

  5. The agony of St. Agatha | The troubling theme of St. Agatha's story now resonates uncomfortably in the West Side parish that carries her name (Editorial, Chicago Tribune)

  6. Mahony's long-shot | Is the clergy-penitent privilege being trampled in prosecuting abusive priests? (Eric Berkowitz, Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Arson suspected in six church fires | Fires damaged or destroyed six rural Alabama churches late Thursday or early this morning, and investigators suspect arson in five of them (The Birmingham News, Ala.)

  2. Also: Police suspect arson at six Ala. churches | The fires were set "as fast as they could drive from one location to the next," Bibb County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Weems said of the cluster of blazes, all near U.S. 82 and Highway 139 (Associated Press)

  3. Man arrested over church thefts | A 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with three alleged robberies at churches in the south of Glasgow (BBC)

  4. Kline takes stand in trial over teen sexual privacy | Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline told a federal judge this morning that a legal opinion he issued nearly three years ago was limited to teenage pregnancies (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)

  5. Truth and consequences | The James Dobsons, Karl Roves, George W. Bushs and Jerry Falwells of the world need to understand the impact of demonizing and scapegoating an entire class of people. Their combined efforts work to dehumanize gays and help create an atmosphere where people feel justified to hate, discriminate and yes, even assault, gays and lesbians (Kevin Naff, Washington Blade, gay newspaper)

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Missions & ministry:

  1. Utah rehab program under investigation | A rehabilitation program at a church is facing allegations it forced people to work as telemarketers for 28 cents an hour under the threat they could go back to jail (Associated Press)

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  1. Reaching out to forgotten men in cells of county jail | Chaplain steers them to a path other than the one they have already taken (The Ann Arbor News, Mi.)

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  1. Man of the (opera) house | Richard Zeller is one of the most decent, easygoing guys you could hope to meet, a devout and devoted family man who also happens to inhabit the uppermost echelons of the opera world, a semi-nomadic milieu where families like his are virtually unheard of (The Oregonian)

  2. Bin Laden artwork now hanging in New York | National Black Fine Art Show has image of Osama Jesus (WCBS, New York)

  3. Quite cross | Gilbert and George have ruffled feathers for 40 years. Now it is religion's turn (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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Media and entertainment:

  1. AOL: Ads Offending Lord? | User complains marketers are taking name in vain (The San Francisco Examiner)

  2. NBC releases statement about 'Will & Grace' | Episode will [not] contain Christian characterization (KPRC, Houston)

  3. Also: NBC, Christian group spar over "Will & Grace" | A conservative advocacy group that urged a boycott of NBC's recently canceled drama about a pill-popping priest turned its wrath on Thursday to an upcoming "Will & Grace" episode that it says will mock Christ's crucifixion (Reuters)

  4. 'Saved by the Bell' creator offers insight on popular show | "When I was snorting coke up my nose, they didn't call me crazy," Peter Engel said. "When I said I saw Jesus, that's when they said I was crazy" (The Gainesville Sun, Fla.)

  5. Gay actor in missionary role stirs flap | "End of the Spear," a movie that depicts the slaying of Protestant missionaries in South America, is provoking a side debate among some religious conservatives because lead actor Chad Allen has advocated for gay causes (Associated Press)

  6. Kansas crowd flocks to 'Dodo' film on evolution | The dodos came home to roost on Thursday in Kansas with the unveiling of a documentary film exploring the ongoing U.S. debate over how evolution should be taught to school children (Reuters)

  7. Reggie's self-revelation | What Reggie White believed and said began to change after retiring in 2000 (Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports)

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Da Vinci Code:

  1. Confronting the 'Code' | Not all religious conservatives are casting stones at the film version of the best-selling book (The Orlando Sentinel)

  2. Why we'll never stop looking for the Holy Grail | The Holy Grail has long fascinated Christians, but the 30 million sales of Dan Brown's book have propelled the legend to stratospheric popularity (Fergus Sheppard, The Scotsman)

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  1. Pat Robertson explains his recent controversial comments | The Christian Broadcasting Network's leader again supports assassination of Chavez (Hannity & Colmes, Fox News, video)

  2. Group pushes Venezuela gasoline boycott | "It doesn't make sense to purchase gasoline from a country that wants to bring down the U.S. government," AFA Chairman Donald Wildmon told Reuters (Reuters)

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Other articles of interest:

  1. Religion news in brief | Alliance Defense Fund creates Center for Academic Freedom and other stories (Associated Press)

  2. King funeral has surprise in site choice | Coretta Scott King's funeral will be held at a large suburban megachurch where her youngest daughter is an elder (The New York Times)

  3. What does God hate - and what should we do? | Christians aren't the only ones embarrassed by the Westboro Baptist folks. The mayor of Topeka has started sending letters of apology to targeted groups (Kay Campbell, Huntsville Times, Ala.)

  4. Seeing right path requires instructions | More often than not, God's will contradicts our most closely held convictions. (Steve Gushee, Palm Beach Post, Fla.)

  5. Evangelicals to launch 'Christian AIPAC' | Pastor John C. Hagee is forming an umbrella organization under which all pro-Israel Christians in America can speak as one in support of the Jewish state (The Jerusalem Post)

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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.
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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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