Today's Top Five

1. Connecticut churches face tax penalties for ministries
Sunday's The New York Times has a troubling story on how costly it can be for a church to serve the needy. Definitely worth a read.

2. 7th Heaven ends its run tonight
The Times has an interesting review, in part criticizing the show for moralizing against premarital sex, but also for being duplicitous: "As distasteful as the series might seem to liberal sensibilities, it is arguably more offensive still to conservative ones, because of the sleaziness with which it puts across the Christian values to which it halfheartedly aspires. … It revels in the illicit behavior it condemns and takes pleasure in its own creepy innuendos." Slate agrees: "For all its conservative sexual mores, 7th Heaven is one of the most sexually frank shows on television. So does The Denver Post: "Just read any '7H' plot summary and tell me it isn't as trashy as The O.C. ('Virgin Martin impregnates Hilary Duff's slutty older sister on the day he meets her.')" Not revealed in the final episode: the actual denomination that the pastor dad actually belongs to.

3. AIDS groups shunning Saddleback
The front page of today's San Francisco Chronicle reports on Saddleback Church's plan to help people with HIV and AIDS. But the plan may not come into fruition because other AIDS groups—though desperate for volunteers—are suspicious of the conservative church. Joe Garofoli reports:

[S]ome secular HIV care providers are wary of Saddleback's motives. They don't trust them. Not yet.
After decades of hearing evangelical Christian leaders demonize homosexuals for their "sinful" lifestyle or criticize the risky behavior that led people to contract HIV, some care providers are leery of exposing their clients to people who they fear will proselytize to a vulnerable audience.
The result: Without being able to connect with local service providers, Saddleback volunteers are helping only a handful of HIV-positive people.

Some gay groups say the Warrens and their church shouldn't fight HIV until they're ready to "recognize the inherent beauty in all relationships." But Garofoli notes that while Warren hasn't "gone soft on homosexuality," anyone "expecting gay-bashing" from the church's Care Training "would have left the first class disappointed."

4. Episcopal Diocese of California elects a new bishop
How do you know a church is liberal? When the headlines read "Heterosexual elected Episcopal Bishop of Calif," "Episcopalians elect straight bishop in S.F.," and  "Episcopalians reject gay candidates."

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5. Iraqi Christians who crossed Mexican border get 6 month sentence
The Brownsville Herald is now putting "Christians" into scare quotes. (See last week's Weblog posting for background). That's because Judge Felix Recio says he didn't believe them:

Recio told the three men that their story did not add up for him and sentenced each of them to the maximum allowed under federal law.
The magistrate judge told the men he gave them the stiff sentence because of the ongoing war in Iraq and that he wanted to send a message to any would-be immigrants that they need to use to the proper channels to seek asylum.
FBI officials said the three men are not suspected of being terrorists, but Recio told the men in court that he found it "very difficult" to accept their story.
"You didn't have to come to Brownsville or Mexico," Recio said. "You could have gone to any other country to seek asylum. You could have gone to Christian groups. … You could have gone to a bridge and asked for asylum."

Quote of the day:
"The 'Christian' vote has become shorthand in journalism for the Republican base. … The worst response, I think, would be to construct something called the religious left."

—Andrew Sullivan, in Time

More articles

Church and state | China and Vatican | Sudan | Human rights | War and terrorism | Politics | Evolution | Education | Life ethics | Sexual ethics | Elected bishop not gay | Baptist ecclesiology | Church life | Catholicism | Abuse | Crime | Spirituality | Money and business | Entertainment and media | 7th Heaven | The Da Vinci Code | Books | Other stories of interest

Church and state:

  1. Playing tough with the tax-exempt | Facing budget troubles, Connecticut municipalities have become more aggressive in trying to collect property taxes from tax-exempt groups (The New York Times)

  2. Air Force to examine fundraising e-mail sent by a general | Message praised candidate's Christianity (The Washington Post)

  3. Also: Air Force probes campaigning by general | The Air Force said Saturday it is investigating whether a general violated military rules by sending an e-mail touting a veteran and conservative Christian who is running for Congress in Colorado (Associated Press)

  4. Mayor hopes cross fight not over | Sanders calls for appeals of ruling (San Diego Union-Tribune)

  5. Suit filed over prison program | In another challenge to the faith-based initiatives promoted by the Bush administration, the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation alleged in a federal lawsuit that a Federal Bureau of Prisons program that matches inmates with "faith mentors" is unconstitutional (The Capital Times, Madison, Wi.)

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  1. Double-parking task force seen as a diversion tactic | A D.C. task force promised by Mayor Anthony A. Williams to examine the problem of illegal double-parking on Sundays remains incomplete while churchgoers and inconvenienced residents wonder whether help will ever come (The Washington Times)

  2. Bill change lets church off tax roll | Teachers' homes would be exempted from property payment (Anchorage Daily News)

  3. Religious tax exemptions questioned | Do religious officials have to pay payroll taxes? (Dong-A Ilbo, South Korea)

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China and Vatican:

  1. China installs bishop with approval of Vatican | Another Catholic bishop was consecrated in China Sunday in a ceremony approved by the Vatican but unlikely to ease tensions (The New York Times)

  2. China's official church names new bishop | China's official Roman Catholic church named a new bishop Sunday — reportedly with papal approval — as Beijing rejected Vatican criticism of the unauthorized ordination of two other bishops (Associated Press)

  3. China ordains bishop with papal blessing | China consecrated a U.S.-educated Chinese priest as an assistant bishop with papal blessing on Sunday, just days after Pope Benedict condemned the unilateral ordination of two bishops by Beijing (Reuters)

  4. Catholics in China weigh nature of Pope's authority | China and the Vatican cut ties after 1949, when the Communist Party seized power on the mainland. In recent years, the two sides have warily explored restoring formal relations, but how much say the Vatican should have in selecting and controlling China's church leaders remains a key dispute (Reuters)

  5. Battle of the bishops | How China's two unauthorized promotions have renewed its long-running feud with the Vatican (Time)

  6. Related: Traveling exhibition attests to Christianity in China | About 14 million Christian Bibles have been printed in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution 25 years ago. Last week an unusual exhibition unveiled at Garden Grove's Crystal Cathedral told much of the story leading up to that accomplishment (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Rebel holdouts urged to sign Darfur deal | Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the partial deal to end the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region and urged rebel holdouts to seize the "historic moment" and sign the peace pact (Associated Press)

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  1. UN official calls for better Darfur access | Jan Egeland, the top U.N. humanitarian official, called on Sunday for aid workers to be given better access to Sudan's Darfur region, as agreed in a peace deal to end three years of fighting (Reuters)

  2. Sudanese, rebels sign peace plan for Darfur | U.S. pressured parties; doubts remain on deal (The Washington Post)

  3. New hope for Darfur | A treaty cannot undo the damage. But the agreement, backed by peacekeepers and international pressure, offers some hope for saving what's left of Darfur (Editorial, Chicago Tribune)

  4. Heroes of Darfur | While Darfur has been incredibly depressing, the grass-roots movement in this country to stop the genocide is immensely inspiring (Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times)

  5. A very long engagement: Bush channels Neville Chamberlain | When history judges the Bush administration's policy on Darfur, it will summarize it in one word: appeasement (Marisa Katz, The New Republic)

  6. The cost of reconciliation | Southern Sudan and the focus on Darfur (Faith McDonnell, National Review Online)

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Human rights:

  1. 6 North Korean defectors make their way to U.S. | 'We are hoping these are the first of many,' one activist says. The effort is the first sponsored by Washington to give asylum to such refugees (Los Angeles Times)

  2. First N.Korean refugees reach U.S. | Six refugees from North Korea, including women who were trafficked in China, arrived in the United States at the weekend to become the first North Koreans to be given asylum in America, activists said (Reuters)

  3. Watching religious freedom | A report like the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's is a useful reminder of the great extent to which many of the governments with which the United States deals in the war on terror are our enemy's enemies first and our friends second -- if at all (Editorial, The Washington Times)

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War and terrorism:

  1. Madeleine Albright, the Cardinal? | Madeleine Albright, a would-be priest turned secretary of state, takes up religion's role in policy (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)

  2. A suicide bomb, a dead daughter, and a test of faith | Within hours of the suicide bombings in London last summer, Julie Nicholson knew, but could not at first accept, that she had lost her 24-year-old daughter (The New York Times)

  3. New documentary makes case for "The Saint of 9/11" | A new documentary film makes a case for sainthood for Mychal Judge, a New York Fire Department chaplain who died at the World Trade Center in the September 11 attacks (Reuters)

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  1. John McCain: Can he be a Falwell Republican? | Falwell needs McCain as much as McCain needs Falwell (The Washington Post)

  2. An invitation, not an endorsement | Two years from now, John McCain's commencement address at Liberty University will most likely have vanished from the political landscape. It will, however, live on in the memories of our graduating class (Jerry Falwell, The New York Times)

  3. Groups tout Ten Commandments event | Are you one of the 135,000-plus people who were handed a free book about the Ten Commandments this week at a Washington Metro stop or street corner? (The Washington Post)

  4. Man who ousted Indiana Senate leader was supported by churches, activists | Greg Walker, the political newcomer who defeated Sen. Robert Garton in last week's Indiana primary, waged his winning campaign with the help of churches, anti-abortion activists, a building contractor group and a conservative insurance magnate (Associated Press)

  5. Governor's race places clergy in spotlight | Law limits role of religious groups (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

  6. Church objects to campaign fliers on vehicles | Members of a Columbus Lutheran church say it was wrong for the campaign of gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell to put leaflets on cars in the church parking lot on the Sunday before last week's primary (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  7. ' … under God, divisible' | Ohioans sincerely at odds about how much religion should mix with politics (The Columbus Dispatch, Oh.)

  8. The great Republican rebranding | The poor, the poor, the poor, the poor are not typical words in a Republican's political litany (E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post)

  9. My problem with Christianism | A believer spells out the difference between faith and a political agenda (Andrew Sullivan, Time)

  10. Church attacks Government's asylum policy | UK Government policy on asylum seekers has been condemned in a Church of Scotland report as an "affront" to civilised values (Edinburgh Evening News)

  11. Crooked, Bush, London | You're sweet, Jesus - but not my type (Kate Bassett. The Independent, London)

  12. The religious left gathers | There's a politics and the pulpit movement stirring, and it isn't coming from the right. (Ottawa Citizen)

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  1. Creationism dismissed as 'a kind of paganism' by Vatican's astronomer | Believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday (The Scotsman)

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  1. 'Darwin's evolutionary theory is a tottering nonsense, built on too many suppositions' | A charismatic Australian has materialized at the centre of national argument in Britain about the teaching of creationism (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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  1. Sampson superintendent backs Christian's suspension | The Sampson County school system stands behind a decision to suspend a student for passing out Christian leaflets at Midway High School, Superintendent Stewart Hobbs said Friday (Fayetteville Observer, N.C.)

  2. Controversial Christmas break okayed | Whether they celebrate the holiday or not, Francis Howell School District students will have Christmas break this December (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  3. 'World religions' course boosts liking for religious liberty | New study also finds required course in Modesto, Calif., doesn't cause students to change their own religious beliefs (First Amendment Center)

  4. Inmates, VU students study religion | Divinity classes meet at prison, offer new perspectives on faith (The Tennessean, Nashville)

  5. Taylor mourns 5 killed in crash | A service at the Upland campus Sunday remembered the students and staff member who died April 26 (Associated Press)

  6. Religious education: If it helps the state, it's okay | State funding of religious education is OK if it enhances state power, but not if it weakens it. So sayeth the New Hampshire House (Editorial, Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.)

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Life ethics:

  1. Women urged to get 'morning after' pill | Get an advance prescription for emergency contraception so it will be on hand if you need it, the nation's largest gynecologist group advised women Monday (Associated Press)

  2. Most state pharmacies do not stock Plan B pill | The majority of pharmacies in West Virginia do not stock the emergency contraceptive known as the "morning-after pill," many of them on religious and personal grounds, according to a survey conducted by a coalition of reproductive rights and civil liberties groups (The Charleston Gazette, W.V.)

  3. Social conservatives welcome Talent's stem cell stance | U.S. Sen. Jim Talent's decision to swiftly register his opposition to a Missouri stem cell ballot proposal has put him back in the good graces of several key social-conservative groups - with whom he had been on the outs (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  4. Santorum and Specter join on stem-cell bill | U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum on Friday called for federal funding of research that would involve creating an altered human embryo—one that could yield precious stem cells but not implant in a uterus (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

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  1. The happy death box | We are witnessing a strange new controversy in this country over whether lethal injection is too cruel and unusual to be used to kill unusually cruel people (Dahlia Lithwick, The Washington Post)

  2. Anti-abortion crowd sets its sights on birth control | If they want to repress their own kind, let them. It's when they try to repress the rest of us that we need to usher them back into the ward from which they emerged (Bonnie Erbe, Scripps Howard News Service)

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Sexual ethics:

  1. Banned in Boston | The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty (Maggie Gallagher, The Weekly Standard)

  2. Adjusting to new roles in her church and her life | Forced from her ministry for being a lesbian, new foster mother Beth Stroud still preaches (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  3. U.S. appeals court sidesteps gay marriage | A federal appeals court on Friday sidestepped whether it was unconstitutional under federal and state law to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry, leaving the issue to state courts to decide (Associated Press)

  4. Churches divided on gay marriage issue | Despite rhetoric from conservatives, some Christian organizations support gay rights (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ca.)

  5. Debate over homosexual rights divides religious people | Homosexuality continues to unite and divide religious people, pressing churches, congregations, pastors and laypeople to pick a side in a battle many consider fundamental to their faith (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

  6. 4 proposals on same-sex unions compete for favor of Coloradans | Colorado is set to become a bruising and confusing battleground over marriage and same-sex unions this year (The New York Times)

  7. Many youths disregard their virginity pledges, Harvard study says | According to interviews, more than half have sex within a year. But one pro-abstinence group disputes the findings (Los Angeles Times)

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Elected bishop not gay:

  1. Episcopalians avoid rift in picking bishop | Many had expected gay leader (San Francisco Chronicle)

  2. Episcopalians elect straight bishop in S.F. | The Bay Area diocese's decision not to choose one of three gay candidates avoids an increase in tension over homosexual clergy (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Election of Episcopal bishop avoids inflaming a crisis | f a gay candidate had been elected, the trickle of congregations that have left the Episcopal Church U.S.A. since the consecration of Bishop Robinson might have accelerated, and the strained relations between the Episcopal Church and the broader communion could have been pushed to a schism, church experts have said (The New York Times)

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  1. Calif. Episcopalians elect new bishop | None of the gay candidates received more than a handful of votes (Associated Press)

  2. Heterosexual elected Episcopal Bishop of Calif | The Episcopal Diocese of California on Saturday avoided widening a rift over gays in the global Anglican Communion by electing a heterosexual man as its next bishop (Reuters)

  3. Episcopalians reject gay candidates | Schism is averted as church elects Alabamian bishop (The Washington Post)

  4. 'Transparency' set Andrus apart on bishop slate | The man who beat a field of racially and sexually diverse candidates to secure the top spot in one of the country's most liberal Episcopal dioceses said yesterday that God, "transparency" and an ability to please multiple constituencies may have helped him win (The Washington Times)

  5. All Saints keeps its pastor | She won't be bishop, but she's glad to stay (Chicago Tribune)

  6. Earlier: Pastor doesn't shy from call | An Episcopal priest who invigorated her Ravenswood church is among 3 openly gay candidates seeking to become a bishop (Chicago Tribune, May 6)

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Baptist ecclesiology:

  1. Germantown Baptist members reject change to by-laws | The vote, announced this morning though the church, rejects an elder-led approach and maintains the church's traditional congregation-based character (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

  2. Earlier Monday: Church votes; results today | Revision would give elders more authority (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

  3. Sunday: G'town Baptist votes tonight | If members approve controversial change, elders rule (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

  4. God's in the details of church 'polity' | We shouldn't be surprised that an effort to change the constitution and bylaws at 170-year-old Germantown Baptist Church, one of America's largest and most prosperous Southern Baptist churches, has generated such emotion and suspicion (David Waters, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

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Church life:

  1. Bush-Clinton fund earmarks $20M for churches | The Bush-Clinton Fund has so far raised more than $120 million (The Sun-Herald, Biloxi, Miss.)

  2. Exile Russian church mulls unity with motherland | After atheistic Communists seized power in Russia in 1917, exiles set up the Russian Orthodox church abroad, waiting for the day that worshipers could freely practice their faith back in the motherland (Reuters)

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  1. Another try for new Episcopal bishop fails | No consensus reached among four candidates (The Tennessean, Nashville)

  2. Linking the altar and the street | Church service aims to use hip-hop culture to spread the gospel (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  3. Also: Hip-hop gets church, streets and youth to interact | You are all "Jesus' homies," a priest from New York told the crowd gathered outside St. Philip's Episcopal Church on Saturday (The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)

  4. Towards a flash-mob Eucharist | Christian ritual is too important to be left in the hands of the established church (Theo Hobson, The Guardian, London)

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  1. Pope tells priests not to be ambitious careerists | Pope Benedict said men who enter the Roman Catholic priesthood should not see the vocation as a means to powerful careers but should instead serve Christ and the Church (Reuters)

  2. Sister Rose Thering, nun dedicated to bridging gap with Judaism, dies at 85 | Sister Rose Thering was a Roman Catholic nun and a former professor at Seton Hall University who battled anti-Semitism within her church (The New York Times)

  3. Life-or-death condom debate the church can't ignore | The 165 million Roman Catholics who live in Africa are faced with a terrible choice: protect themselves or their spouse, or obey their church's teaching. This is inhumane (Ron Ferguson, The Herald, Glasgow)

  4. Also: Aids & condoms: The issue splitting the Roman Catholic Church | Suggestions that the Catholic Church could be about to abandon a key teaching on contraception has opened old wounds in its ranks (Sunday Herald, Glasgow)

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  1. Church takes aim at abuse victims' lawyers | As the cost of clergy sex abuse surpasses $1.5 billion, some U.S. Roman Catholic leaders are taking an aggressive, public stand against attorneys who represent victims (Associated Press)

  2. Priest gets 3 years in molestation | Michael Wempe's case, the first major trial in the L.A. Archdiocese's sex abuse scandal, ends as settlement talks with hundreds continue (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Also: Ex-priest gets 3 years in abuse trial | Retired Roman Catholic priest Michael Wempe was sentenced to three years in state prison Friday on one count of child molestation in a case that began with his admission that he had sexually abused many other boys decades ago (Associated Press)

  4. New sex charges aired | Flaws in monitoring of priest are alleged (Chicago Tribune)

  5. Also: Prosecutors: Priest abused boy while being monitored | A former West Side priest already charged with molesting three boys abused another boy "on a daily basis" during the time he was being monitored by the Archdiocese of Chicago, prosecutors alleged Saturday (Chicago Sun-Times)

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  1. Sex-abuse suits on track | Bill's demise irrelevant, lawyers say. The lawsuits against the Catholic Church will have to get around the current statute of limitations (The Denver Post)

  2. Also: Abuse bill nears end of the road | 'A lot lost' as vote likely on Monday, Fitz-Gerald says (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

  3. Catholic church hierarchy lambasted in 'Codes' | Four years after the Catholic abuse scandal became part of the national conversation, a priest and two former priests have teamed up on a new book detailing what they say is a trail of violations and denial going back for centuries (San Diego Union-Tribune)

  4. Norcross minister will not be indicted | A Gwinnett County pastor jailed last year on charges that he molested his grandson will not be prosecuted. The reason he became a suspect: a case of pinworms that prompted the boy to scratch (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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  1. Judge throws the book at Iraqi 'Christians' | Men given six months in prison after trying to cross Rio Grande (The Brownsville Herald, Tex.)

  2. IRS probe invites look at pastors | Charlotte church leader accused of tax evasion (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)

  3. Hutcherson relinquishes his pulpit | Former Mayor Carl Hutcherson, who was convicted of seven federal felonies earlier this week, withdrew his appointment as a United Methodist Church pastor Friday, "effectively terminating (his) ministerial relationship" with the church (The News & Advance, Lynchburg, Va.)

  4. Polygamy sect leader on FBI wanted list | Polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs has been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in hopes that the additional exposure and reward money will lead to his arrest (Associated Press)

  5. Philippine police breaks up jail riot, 11 hurt | Philippine police, firing warning shots in the air, broke up a fight between Muslim and Christian prisoners at a detention centre in Manila that injured 11 inmates, officials said on Monday (Reuters)

  6. Church row over sentencing of paedophiles | Anger as archbishop's aide says that it would be better to treat sex offenders in the community (The Observer, London)

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  1. Finding spiritual world's middle ground | Whether the issue is presidential politics, war, taxation, homosexuality or immigration, we need to find ways to combine respect for obligation with an understanding of the need for liberation (Henry G. Brinton, USA Today)

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  1. Bless this house | Home owners worried about crime in their street, the problem of rising damp or lacklustre sex in the bedroom can now call on divine assistance (The Telegraph, London)

  2. Also: Kitchen and bedroom blessings offered by vicars | Homeowners wanting to liven up their sex lives, ward off bathroom germs or calm kitchen rows can now call on God -- or at least his ministers -- for help (Reuters)

  3. Is there a war on Christianity in today's culture? | Readers respond (The Washington Post)

  4. Priests win in good faith | A team of priests thrashed a squad of imams 12-1 yesterday to win Germany's first soccer cup between religious leaders (The Daily Telegraph, Australia)

  5. Also: Photos (Yahoo news)

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Money and business:

  1. Religion goes to work | As Americans speak out about spirituality, employers are divining ways to be fair to all (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

  2. Divine plight | Firms emboldened as religious boycott power slips (New York Post)

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Entertainment and media:

  1. Christian games make push for the mainstream | Developers encouraged by crossover successes at the box office, bookstores (MSNBC)

  2. What would Jesus rap? | On the road with Junkyard Prophet, apostles to the public schools (Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard)

  3. So where are the Muslims on CSI? | Muslims may be the fanatics du jour, but Pentecostals once wore the label (Diane Winston, Los Angeles Times)

  4. Divine denial | Once again, the major television networks have rejected a United Church of Christ ad that's all about … inclusiveness (Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect)

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7th Heaven:

  1. In '7th Heaven,' they're still allergic to Love Potion No. 9 | "7th Heaven," which ends its run tonight, demonstrated a strange prescience about shifting agendas in American life (The New York Times)

  2. "7th Heaven" dies just as it lived: in moral bliss | One viewer says goodbye to a show he hates to love (The Denver Post)

  3. 7th Heaven goes to heaven | Saying farewell to the longest-running family drama in TV history (Slate)

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The Da Vinci Code:

  1. Cardinal urges legal action against Da Vinci Code | Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, says "some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others" (Reuters)

  2. Ripping 'The Da Vinci Code' | Yes, it's fiction - but author's 'fact' claims irritate scholars (The Dallas Morning News)

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  1. To see or not see 'Da Vinci Code' | The success of the novel and imminent release of the film have prompted strong reactions from some local Christians, who don't like the way it portrays their savior (The Cincinnati Post)

  2. An ecclesiastical meltdown | The real story of the disproportionate official Christian outrage over the Gospel of Judas and The Da Vinci Code is that religious leaders do not like it when anyone — whether a Hollywood filmmaker or an anonymous voice from Christianity's own past — challenges their particular narrative of salvation, and by doing so raises the uncomfortable question of whether any religious narrative can reasonably be classified as nonfiction (Susan Jacoby, Los Angeles Times)

  3. 'The Da Vinci Code' A positive for Christianity | The only boycott I will support is the boycotting of all other boycotts (Jonathan Morris, Fox News)

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  1. 'When you pray together … you begin to trust' | An interview with Tony Hall (The Dallas Morning News)

  2. Keeping the faith at arm's length | A weighing of the evidence suggests that the Christianity practiced by most of the founders was lukewarm at best Alan Wolfe reviews The Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David L. Holmes, Realistic Visionary by Peter R. Henriques, and American Gospel by Jon Meacham (The New York Times Book Review, different link than in Friday's blog)

  3. N.T. Wright makes an authoritative and elegant case for Christianity | Arlice Davenport reviews Simply Christian (The Wichita Eagle, Kan.)

  4. Age of compassion | An accomplished historian finds empathy at the root of the world's great faiths. Lauren F. Winner reviews The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong (The Washington Post)

  5. Saved! | America gets religion and all hell breaks loose. Melvin Jules Bukiet reviews The Messiah of Morris Avenue by Tony Hendra (The Washington Post)

  6. Mass appeal | Catholics trying to adapt their faith to a complex world are fighting resistance from Rome. R. Scott Appleby reviews A Church in Search of Itself: Benedict XVI and the Battle for the Future by Robert Blair Kaiser (The Washington Post)

  7. Religion in the public life | Wesley A. Kort reviews American Gospel by Jon Meacham (Chicago Tribune)

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Other stories of interest:

  1. Evangelicals who 'repent' on HIV | Big Orange County church's ministry draws skepticism (San Francisco Chronicle)

  2. Artifacts of church and state | Medieval wonders unscroll at Boston College (The Boston Globe)

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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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