Church and state:

  1. Suit targeting missions funding dropped | A group opposed to restoring churches with public money said it may refile (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Ca.)

  2. Also: Lawsuit challenging mission restoration dropped | A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a $10 million, five-year program to restore and preserve California's deteriorating historic missions has been withdrawn, opening the door for Congress to begin funding it (McClatchy Newspapers)

  3. US celebrates its most misread freedom | Many Americans, it seems, still don't understand what religious freedom entails (The Christian Science Monitor)

  4. Estate owner wants to avoid $33,000 tax bill by making home a church | Longtime neighborhood activist Sonny Irons spent the past two decades building his $1.4 million waterside estate in Fort Lauderdale, but now he argues it's really a church and he shouldn't have to pay $33,000 in property taxes this year (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  5. Why the City should pay for St Paul's | Abdication of cultural leadership is part of a broader crisis of philanthropy (Tristram Hunt, The Guardian, London)

Religious freedom:

  1. Egyptian church clash injures 12 | At least 12 people were injured in clashes in Upper Egypt when a group of Muslims attempted to stop Christians converting a house into a church (BBC)

  2. Also: Youths try to halt church building in Egypt | Twelve people were wounded in the clashes in the village of el-Udaysaat near the southern town of Luxor, about 500 km (300 miles) south of Cairo (Reuters)

  3. Dalit woman 'attacked' by Christian converts | A Dalit woman was allegedly assaulted by three Christian converts after she refused to embrace Christianity in Matiapada village. Her house was also set ablaze by them. Police on Tuesday arrested two persons in this connection (New India Press)

  4. Also: Two arrested for forcing woman to convert | At least two persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a Hindu woman and setting her house on fire in Orissa after she refused to change her religion, police said Wednesday (IANS, India)


  1. Bible studies class pushed for schools | Democrats' bill fuels grumbling by GOP (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  2. Moral science text in Christian management school in controversy | Controversy is brewing over a sketch in a moral science textbook of second standard students in Christian management run schools in Kerala, with the Sunni Students Federation (SSF) protesting over it, saying it portrayed Prophet Mohammed and was 'unIslamic' (UNI, India)

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Intelligent Design:

  1. In 'Design' vs. Darwinism, Darwin wins point in Rome | An article in the official Vatican newspaper called the recent court decision that intelligent design should not be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution "correct" (The New York Times)

  2. Also: Vatican paper hits 'Intelligent Design' | The Vatican newspaper has published an article saying "intelligent design" is not science and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in school classrooms only creates confusion (Associated Press)

  3. Revs. seek lessons from Dover | A seminar seeks to prepare pastors for intelligent-design debates near them (York Daily Record, Pa.)

  4. Beliefs on Darwin's evolution vary from religion to religion | Many seem unenthusiastic about schools teaching intelligent design (Deseret Morning News, Ut.)

  5. Have some faith in the kids | I heartily approved of the Dover ruling. But learning about intelligent design (especially as part of an ideas course) isn't going to prevent children from deciding for themselves, as adults, what to believe, or deprive them of opportunities (Los Angeles Times)

  6. Why we care about Darwin wars | In erasing God's role from the history of biological existence, Darwinism erases a primary motivation to pursue scientific discovery. (David Klinghoffer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


  1. Barry finds a 'new church home' | Council member Marion Barry has made a final break with his one-time spiritual adviser, the Rev. Willie Wilson , formally joining a neighboring church whose pastor condemned "wishy-washy people" who abandoned Barry in his time of need (The Washington Post)

  2. Hackett repeats religious fanatic' criticism of GOP | Ohio Republican Chairman calls "attempt to compare Christian conservatives to terrorists is abhorrent and completely inappropriate" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

  3. Sunday: Candid candidate: Hackett calls 'em like he sees 'em | "The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world" (Joe Hallett, The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  4. Religious groups worried about GM foods | South Africa's faith communities are planning to petition major food retailers to label all genetically modified foods, according to Bishop Jeff Davies from the SA Council of Churches (The Mercury, South Africa)


  1. Abortion battles play out state by state | Lawmakers in two states are proposing broad abortion bans they hope will eventually win approval from a reconfigured, more conservative high court. Legislators elsewhere are seeking to tighten a range of abortion restrictions; one leading liberal advocacy group gave 19 states a failing grade on reproductive rights in a national status report issued Wednesday (Associated Press)

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  1. Abortion drug battle splits lobby | The Uniting Church, Australia's third-largest denomination, has distanced itself from a fierce campaign being waged by "pro-life" groups against the abortion drug RU486 (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  2. Also: Most back abortion pill as referral option | Most Australians believe that a controversial abortion pill should be available to doctors if a woman is seeking a termination (The Australian)

  3. Bill seeks abortion's end in Ohio | Backers say it could help overturn Roe v. Wade (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

  4. Abortion for minors requires consent | State's abortion law provides for medical emergencies and lets judges grant approval (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.)

Abortion speech:

  1. Granite City OK's sign limits; abortion-foes protest | With little fanfare, the City Council on Tuesday night voted to restrict signage along parade routes, a move that angered an anti-abortion group targeted by the ordinance (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  2. Also: Granite City sign ordinance passes; protesters vow a fight | Abortion opponents will go to court in an effort to get rid of Granite City's new law against displaying large signs alongside parade routes, their attorney said Tuesday (Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.)

  3. Arizona panel backs bill on abortion speech | Plan would force doctors to talk about fetal pain (Associated Press)

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (news):

  1. High court sends back abortion case | Sides clash on extent of requested change (Concord Monitor, N.H.)

  2. Lower court's task: Figure out intent | Among the questions that a court must decide: Because the law lacks a health exception, must the court strike it down? Or can the court split the law, approving one part while rejecting another? (Concord Monitor, N.H.)

  3. Justices reaffirm emergency access to abortion | The opinion sidestepped the abortion debate that has been a prominent feature of public discourse about the court's future (The New York Times)

  4. Justices send back parent-notification law | Lower court must modify N.H. abortion measure instead of striking it down (The Washington Post)

  5. In abortion ruling, high court finds middle path | States may require girls under age 18 to tell a parent at least two days before having an abortion so long as the law also permits doctors to act quickly in medical emergencies (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Justices refuse to reject N.H. abortion law | Order lower court to revisit ruling on parental notice (The Boston Globe)

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (opinion):

  1. Ayotte's partial victory: AG persuades court, with an exception | If, as we expect, the appeals court carves out a health exception when it reconsiders this case, it will create a loophole through which doctors so inclined can perform abortions at will simply by stating that the pregnancy endangers the mother's health. Though that outcome is far better than having the whole law overturned, which might have happened had Attorney General Ayotte not argued so persuasively last fall, it will mean that zealous abortionists can skirt the law and extinguish untold numbers of lives for illegitimate reasons (Editorial, Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.)

  2. Settle abortion case in Legislature, not court | What's wrong with the law cannot be fixed while remaining true to the Legislature's intent in passing it (Editorial, Concord Monitor, N.H.)

  3. A dodge on abortion | By allowing most of the New Hampshire law to stand, the Supreme Court missed a chance to reaffirm Roe as settled law, ceding the field to the new and more hostile court majority to come (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  4. Life-and-death decisions | When, in the space of two days, the Supreme Court decides cases involving each of those issues (one a New Hampshire abortion law, the other Oregon's assisted-suicide statute) and gets both of them right, with due respect for states' rights, while managing to dispose of the abortion case unanimously, it's worth pausing to appreciate the moment (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  5. Sandra D's swan song | It could've been the blues (Clarke D. Forsythe, National Review Online)

Oregon v. Gonzales:

  1. The assisted-suicide decision | The Supreme Court smacked the Bush administration when it ruled that the Justice Department had gone beyond its authority in trying to undermine an assisted-suicide law in Oregon (Editorial, The New York Times)

  2. Ashcroft's overreaching | Oregon's law is humane and carefully drawn (Editorial, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  3. The right ruling on assisted suicide | Decision protecting Oregon's law should encourage California lawmakers supporting similar legislation (Editorial, San Jose Mercury News, Ca.)

California stem cells:

  1. State's stem-cell effort criticized in report | Institute spokeswoman calls findings rehash of old complaints (San Jose Mercury News, Ca.)

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  1. Stem cell head should quit, group says | Robert Klein II, the campaign chairman who became the head of the state's stem cell agency's board, should step down from that job because of his failed leadership, the Center for Genetics and Society said Wednesday (The Sacramento Bee, Ca.)

  2. Promises to keep | At the heart of California's multibillion-dollar experiment in public stem cell research are two promises. One is that such research will save lives. The other is that the scientists conducting it, and the agency funding it, will be accountable. The first is as magnificent as it is exaggerated; the second is more practical but as yet unfulfilled (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)

Life ethics:

  1. Pulling the plug: Resuscitation bill is too broad | As is, HB 656 tilts in favor of ending life. It gives guardians more discretion than necessary, presuming they will have in mind the best interests of the patient. But they might not (Editorial, Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.)

  2. Court case crucial in stem-cell initiative | Missouri judge to ponder wording of ballot proposal (The Kansas City Star)

  3. Del. House OKs gutted version of stem-cell bill | Legislation aims to ban sale of human embryos, but measure doesn't set provisions for research (The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.)

  4. Also: Flower power gives embryonic stem-cell opponents a victory -- of sorts | While lawmakers sometimes can appear to be deaf, dumb and blind when it suits them, there's nothing wrong with their sense of smell -- or their ability to count the votes of unhappy constituents (Al Mascitti, The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.)


  1. Pastor facing cruelty charges | Charles Shifflett, 54, pastor at the newly formed First Baptist Church of Culpeper, was arrested Tuesday on two charges of child endangerment (Culpeper Star Exponent, Va.)

  2. Also: Minister calls charges '100 percent vindictive' | Culpeper preacher, charged with child endangerment, says accusations stem from split in his former congregation (The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.)

  3. Jury gets case in abduction-murder trial | A jury yesterday began deliberations in the trial of Alvin A. Starks, accused of abducting his ex-fiancee from a church in Sheraden and killing her (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  4. Vandals deface Searsport churches | Because of its content, the graffiti may fall under the category of a hate crime, Police Chief Mark Pooler said Wednesday (Bangor Daily News, Me.)

  5. 'We'll get through this' | St. Paul church undeterred by cross burning; police launch hate-crime probe (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.)

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  1. South suburb cops convene on gangs, but pastors dubious | Critics say data-pool won't curb murders (Chicago Tribune)

  2. Abuse suits allowed against Joliet diocese | Appeals court sends back 5 men's cases (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Satanic abuse: Town in shock | Shock waves reverberated round the Langley estate this week as residents tried to come to terms with the revelations of the suffering of the parents and children involved in the false allegations of satanic abuse more than 15 years ago (Middleton Guardian, England)

Church life:

  1. Methodist officials ban ex-Sardis members from grounds | They're just too ornery to be a church anymore. That's the essence of the judgment handed down by Methodist officials against some members of a 200-year-old Buford congregation once known as Sardis United Methodist Church (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  2. Pastor, tax district reach a deal | The foreclosure sale of the New Mount Calvary Baptist Church's land to pay past-due property taxes is off—for now (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  3. Priest curbs funeral remarks | Beware, all you would-be eulogists. A priest at a Fort Mitchell church has put his foot down: No more "words of remembrance" at funerals (The Kentucky Post)

  4. Congregation's prayers are answered | In Potomac Falls, a Catholic parish joyfully dedicates its new sanctuary (The Washington Post)

  5. Lay clergy dared to create 'un-church' | More than 150 church leaders and lay ministers from across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario were dared yesterday to "de-evangelize" and create an "un-church" (Winnipeg Free Press)

  6. Chapel's next pastor former church staffer | The Rev. Knute Larson yet to retire, but the Rev. Paul Sartarelli is new hire scheduled to succeed him (Akron Beacon Journal, Oh.)

Goth church:

  1. Praise be to Goth | Having songs by Depeche Mode and Joy Division blasted through the sacred vault of Clare Chapel may shake a few of the church's older congregation, but for Marcus Ramshaw it is about welcoming an excluded minority (Cambridge Evening News, England)

  2. Earlier: In Goth we trust | Dressing in black and listening to rock music may not seem the usual activities of a church congregation. But at St Edward King and Martyr it is par for the course. The church, in Peas Hill, Cambridge, holds a special service for Cambridge's Goth community known as the Goth Eucharist (Cambridge Evening News, England, Jan. 14)

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  1. Vicar preaches the word of goth | Clad in black, heavily painted with pale make-up and dark eyeliner, the goth's way of life is not usually associated with a church service unless, that is, it is being conducted by the Rev Marcus Ramshaw (The Guardian, London)


  1. Pope's first encyclical on love and sex is lost in translation | Pope Benedict XVI's first important pronouncement has been delayed by an unprecedented tussle over the final wording between key Vatican departments and the Pope's German household staff (The Times, London)

  2. Mesa pastor taking extended leave of absence | Priest ministered to gays, signed declaration of rights (The Arizona Republic)

  3. Celibacy row rages after priest fathers child | The revelation that a Galway-based priest has resigned after fathering a child by a 31-year-old woman has re-ignited the debate about celibacy in the Church (Irish Examiner)

  4. A holy roller | The pope who wears Prada has a new set of chic custom wheels (The Washington Post)

Sex and marriage:

  1. Nigeria to outlaw same-sex unions | Nigeria's government is planning a specific ban on same-sex marriages, with five years in jail for anyone who has a gay wedding or officiates at one. (BBC)

  2. A marriage that matures will double your money | A study of 9,055 people in America, tracked since they were teenagers in 1979, has found that those who married and stayed married accumulated almost twice the personal wealth of their single peers (The Times, London)

  3. Meeting of minds in Atlanta | Gay, lesbian leaders say it's past time for black churches to accept homosexuals into religious community (San Francisco Chronicle)

  4. Bishop attacks civil partnerships | A senior bishop has made the strongest attack yet on the law recognizing civil partnerships and on the response of Church of England bishops (The Times, London)

  5. Also: Gay weddings for priests 'unbiblical' | The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali said that the guidance issued by the House of Bishops last year in response to civil partnerships had undermined Church teaching and unity (The Telegraph, London)

Ken Hutcherson's Microsoft boycott:

  1. Human rights: True morality | Has Ken Hutcherson called for boycotts of corporations that pay lousy wages, that deny their workers health care and family leave or risk their workers' lives in unsafe working conditions, that welsh on employee pensions? (Editorial, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

  2. Flying on a right wing and a prayer | If a theocracy is what Ken Hutcherson wants, he deserves a one-way ticket to Iran (Robert L. Jamieson Jr., Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

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  1. Pious peashooter misfires | Over time, I have learned to ignore the in-the-name-of-God antics of the Rev. Ken Hutcherson (Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times)

Israel and Pat Robertson:

  1. Israelis may let Robertson back into Galilee plan | Israeli Tourism Minister Avraham Hirchson is reviewing his decision to exclude Pat Robertson from an American evangelical group involved in a government-sponsored Christian tourism center in Galilee, a ministry spokesman said Wednesday (The Virginian-Pilot)

  2. A prophet's apology | Robertson, judging by a long history, is bound to play the Holy Fool again, and again, and again (Editorial, The Jackson Citizen-Patriot, Mi.)

  3. The real story: Support for and love of Israel | The real story was not about Pat Robertson, bor was the story about a Palestinian leader who doesn't approve of Christian theology. It was also not about our attempting to secure the Jews' support for a conservative social agenda (Stephen Strang, The Orlando Sentinel)


  1. Rick Warren in the country | According to sources, Warren, who is the leader of Saddleback Church in California, is scheduled to meet top church and government leaders to deliberate on issues that would enable the church and the nation attain holistic development (New Times, Rwanda)

  2. Seiple to lead freedom council | Religious-rights group also honors former Czech leader Vaclav Havel (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.)

  3. Greeley defends conservative Christians | "Conservative Christians get a bum rap," Greeley said. "They are the new hate group. It is all right to hate the evangelicals" (Arizona Daily Star)

Media and entertainment:

  1. Black Jesus film preaches politics over religion | Billed as the world's first black Jesus movie, "Son of Man" portrays Christ as a modern African revolutionary and aims to shatter the Western image of a placid savior with fair hair and blue eyes (Reuters)

  2. Unholy row over Jesus image in Lithuanian beer ad | The Catholic Church in Lithuania condemned beer-making company Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe for using a picture of Jesus Christ wearing earphones to advertise its products (AFP)

  3. Pope's failed assassin to star in film of attack | Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot Pope John Paul II, has struck a £4.5 million deal to make a Hollywood film explaining how and why he carried out the 1981 attack, according to an interview with his friend and bodyguard published yesterday (The Scotsman)

  4. Church and state | Mute Math fights the machine at Warner Bros. (Tucson Weekly)

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  1. What a lazy way to argue against God | If you're going to allow a man a microphone for two hours of prime viewing time, it's the duty of the show's producer to ensure that the protagonist's views are scrutinised by his most able critics (Ron Ferguson, The Herald, Glasgow)

End of the Spear:

  1. 'Spear' traces deadly mission, tribes' redemption | Far from home, five American missionaries died in brutal fashion - speared and hacked to death by tribesman in the dense jungles of Ecuador (Associated Press)

  2. 'End of the Spear' shows missionaries' hubris | The five men were reckless (James Ward, Visalia Times-Delta)


  1. Does Judaism lack reason? Claim of book draws fire from critics | Having written a book that credits Christianity with nothing less than the success of all Western civilization, Rodney Stark is drawing his share of criticism from reviewers asserting the work is a thinly veiled polemic. But the worst crime committed by the one-time Pulitzer Prize nominee — at least according to one Jewish sociologist — is his representation of Judaism (Forward, Jewish newspaper)

  2. What about your religion? | Blind obedience to any faith can be explosive, author Charles Kimball says (Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Miss.)

Other stories of interest:

  1. Survey finds teens put value on their religion | An interfaith survey of 1,153 teens released yesterday by B'nai Brith reveals nearly 70 percent of all teenagers value religion in their lives and say they would like to connect better with their religion. But 43 percent of them don't know how to do so (The Washington Times)

  2. God in the game | Worship before competition routine for some teams (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Ca.)

  3. Dozens dying in Russian cold but believers still take an Epiphany dip | Said to purge the faithful of their sins with the added benefit of hardening their constitution for the year, the ceremony is the old Russian Gregorian calendar's equivalent of Epiphany, which falls on Jan 6 in the West (The Telegraph, London)

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January 13b | 13a | 10
January 6 | 5 | 4
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December 9 | 7 | 6
December 2b | 2a | November 30
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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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