The "top one" story of the week makes everything else pale by comparison. It is almost impossible to keep up with all the news and commentary on Pope Benedict XVI and Islam. But we've done our best to compile both the news and commentary from the controversy, and hit those religion stories that are getting lost. Commentary returns next week.

Pope Benedict XVI and Islam

All apologies | Mideast Christians worry | Muslims attack | Other Muslim reactions | Defending the Pope's comments | Jewish reaction | Other papal critics | Pope's upcoming Turkey visit | Did he know what he was doing? | Earlier Benedict XVI comments on Islam | Explaining papal infallibility | Other pope comments news | Editorials | Blame the Pope | Blame the Muslims | Blame religion in general | Blame the media | Other op-eds

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All apologies:

  1. For 4th time, Pope clarifies Islam remark | Many non-Muslims, though, said they were glad the pope spoke out about violence and Islam (The New York Times)

  2. Pope says remarks on Islam misunderstood | During an audience in a tightly guarded St. Peter's Square, Benedict acknowledged that his comments — which sparked fury across the Muslim world — were open to misinterpretation (Associated Press)

  3. Pope tries again to calm furor among Muslims | Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday expressed "a deep respect" for Islam, but again chose not to apologize outright for remarks last week that sparked worldwide Muslim anger (USA Today)

  4. Pope, in new step to end crisis, pays respect to Islam | The pontiff uses a general audience in St. Peter's Square to again reassure Muslims after his words last week provoked their fury (Los Angeles Times)

  5. In a rare step, Pope expresses personal regret | Church experts said it appeared to be the first time a pope has made such a direct apology (The New York Times)

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  1. Earlier: Vatican says Pope Benedict regrets offending Muslims | The Vatican statement stopped short of the direct personal apology from Benedict that many Muslims have been demanding (The New York Times)

  2. Saturday: Some Muslim leaders want Pope to apologize | Muslim leaders around the world accused Pope Benedict XVI of dividing religions in comments he made Tuesday about Islam (The New York Times)

  3. Pope apologies: 'Medieval text does not express my personal thought' | This crisis aside, Benedict does have a more hawkish approach to Islam than Pope John Paul II (John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter)

  4. Mixed reaction as pope expresses regret | Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that he is "deeply sorry" his remarks on Islam and violence offended Muslims, but the unusual expression of papal regret drew a mixed reaction from Islamic leaders as the Vatican worried about a backlash of violence (Associated Press)

  5. Pope 'sorry' about reaction to Islam remark (The Washington Post)

  6. Pope issues a rare 'sorry' | Benedict XVI publicly apologizes over the reaction to his citation of material that faults Islam. Muslims say it doesn't go far enough (Los Angeles Times)

  7. Vatican tries to calm Pope row | Al Qaeda militants in Iraq vowed war on "worshippers of the cross" and protesters burned a papal effigy on Monday over Pope Benedict's comments on Islam, while Western churchmen and statesmen tried to calm passions (Reuters)

  8. Apologies issued during John Paul papacy | Some instances in which Pope John Paul II admitted errors or apologized for actions of the Roman Catholic Church (Associated Press)

  9. Pope expresses 'deep respect' for Islam | Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he has "deep respect" for Islam, but he did not offer an apology demanded by some Muslim leaders offended by the pontiff's remarks in Germany last week (Associated Press)

  10. Pope says anti-Islam quotes not his own views | Pope Benedict said on Wednesday that his use of medieval quotes portraying a violent Islam did not reflect his views and were misunderstood, but he did not give the clear apology still demanded by many Muslims (Reuters)

  11. Pope hopes that controversy will lead to dialogue | The Pope today described the worldwide Muslim anger that has engulfed his recent remarks about Islam as the result of an "unfortunate misunderstanding" (The Times, London)

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Mideast Christians worry:

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  1. Pope remarks worry Christians in Mideast | With the tensions over Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam still high, many in the Mideast's large Christian communities are worried about a backlash (Associated Press)

  2. Fear strikes Iraqi Christians over Pope's words | "We're not afraid of our neighbourhoods turning against us, because we've lived with them for generations. But our fear is that the al Qaeda types will start targeting churches again, like they have with Shi'ite mosques" (Reuters)

  3. Mideast Christians in uneasy position | Christians in the Middle East are growing uneasy over the widespread Muslim anger at Pope Benedict XVI, saying they increasingly worry about growing divisions between the two faiths (Associated Press)

  4. Holy Land Christians lay low in face of Muslim violence | Although no Christian leader dare say it, the Christian community in the Holy Land has once again become the punching bag of Islamic extremism (The Jerusalem Post)

  5. J'lem Christians blame media spin | Christian leaders and theologians said Saturday night that distorted media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's speech resulted in Muslim violence (The Jerusalem Post)

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Muslims attack:

  1. Five Palestinian area churches attacked | Palestinians wielding guns and firebombs attacked five churches in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, following remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that angered many Muslims (Associated Press)

  2. Churches attacked in Gaza, W. Bank | A hitherto unknown group calling itself the Swords of Islamic Right on Saturday threatened to blow up all churches and Christian institutions in the Gaza Strip to protest remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (The Jerusalem Post)

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Other Muslim reactions:

  1. In pictures: Fresh anti-Pope protests (BBC)

  2. The Pope must die, says Muslim | Anjem Choudary said those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment" (Daily Mail, U.K.)

  3. Iraq al-Qaida says pope, West are doomed | The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. … We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword." (Associated Press)

  4. In U.S., remarks and reaction denounced | Some Muslims in the USA say the pope's use of a medieval quote about the prophet Mohammed in a speech in Germany last week was insulting but violent reactions to it were also unacceptable (USA Today)

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  1. Jordan's Queen: Pope controversy reflects prejudice against Islam | Rania says controversy indicative of worldwide misunderstanding of Islam (Good Morning America, ABC News)

  2. Kashmir city shuts in protest over Pope's remarks | Shops, businesses and most schools closed in Kashmir's main city on Monday in response to a strike call by separatists to protest over comments Pope Benedict made about Islam (Reuters)

  3. Rare papal words fail to soothe | Muslim uproar Benedict 'sorry' for outrage (The Boston Globe)

  4. Muslim world divided over Pope's apology | While some welcome gesture, others demand act of contrition (The Guardian, London)

  5. Iranian leader accepts efforts by Pope to recast his remarks | President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran suggested today that Pope Benedict XVI had satisfactorily "modified" his remarks on Islam (The New York Times)

  6. Pope's regrets over statement fail to quiet a storm of protests | Many Muslims noted that the pope had said only that he was sorry for the reaction that fanned out across the Muslim world (The New York Times)

  7. Muslims seek detailed apology from pope | Muslims in Turkey, Iraq and the Palestinian territories demanded Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI make a clear apology for his remarks on Islam, but the Malaysian prime minister said he accepted the pontiff's statement of regret (Associated Press)

  8. Seven questions: The cross and the crescent | The schism between Islam and the West seemed to grow deeper this month, as the pope's comments about Islam incited worldwide riots. FP spoke with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the multifaith Cordoba Initiative, about the pope's controversial remarks, the future of dialogue among religions, and the U.S. role in bridging the divide with the Muslim world (Foreign Policy)

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Defending the Pope's comments:

  1. Clinton, Gingrich both defend the pope | "It's just outrageous and offensive that people would be threatening violence against him based on what he said, especially when there is so much they should be working on together," New York senator said (Associated Press)

  2. Tancredo urges pope to stand his ground | Controversy over the pope's recent statements about Islam spilled into Colorado politics on Wednesday, as Rep. Tom Tancredo urged the pontiff to "resist calls to apologize," and a Muslim congressional staff member accused Tancredo of throwing "fuel on the fire with his hateful words" (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

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  1. Archbishop defends Pope, sympathizes with Muslims | The head of the world's Anglican church stepped in to defend Pope Benedict on Monday in the face of fury from some Islamic groups about the Roman Catholic leader's use of a medieval quotation on Islam and violence (Reuters)

  2. Pell links Islamists to violence | The Archbishop of Sydney has drawn a link between Islamists and violence in a strident attempt to defend the Pope - just as the pontiff tries to hose down the flames of Muslim anger around the world (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  3. Also: Cardinal adds to Islam-violence debate | The head of Australia's Catholic church said the violent reaction to the Pontiff's comments on Islam in many parts of the Islamic world "justified one of Pope Benedict's main fears" (Reuters)

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Jewish reaction:

  1. Pope's remarks on Jews risk ire | minutes after saying he was "deeply sorry" about the reaction to his earlier remarks, he cited a passage from the New Testament highlighting the gulf between Christian and Jewish attitudes to Jesus' crucifixion (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

  2. Chief Rabbi unhappy with Pope's condemnation of Islam | In an official statement presented to Muslim leaders over the weekend, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar expressed sorrow over Pope Benedict XVI's condemnation of Islam (The Jerusalem Post)

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Other papal critics:

  1. Pope needs to refocus, critics say | He has veered away from interfaith efforts, some say (The Baltimore Sun)

  2. Pope's style disturbs critics | This is what Pope Benedict XVI's critics feared (Religion News Service)

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Pope's upcoming Turkey visit:

  1. Don't visit Istanbul, John Paul's attacker warns Pope | Jailed failed assassin says Benedict's life is in danger (The Guardian, London)

  2. Angry Turk workers urge Pope's arrest during visit | Employees of the state body that organizes Muslim worship in Turkey asked the authorities on Tuesday to open legal proceedings against Pope Benedict and to arrest him when he visits the country in November (Reuters)

  3. Catholic Archbishop questions Turkish entry to EU | The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales today questioned whether Turkey should join the European Union (The Times, London)

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Did he know what he was doing?:

  1. How the Pope's PR machinery failed | If it was so easy to foresee that Benedict's remarks about Islam would set off a furor, why didn't the Vatican anticipate it? (Time)

  2. Did he realize what the effect of his words would be? | He may lack experienced media-savvy advisers who can warn him of the inflammatory effect some remarks might have (The Times, London)

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  1. Analysis: Should Vatican have foreseen Muslim rage? | Some fault Benedict's academic background (Reuters)

  2. Analysis: Pope's 'jihad' remarks a sign | Pope Benedict XVI's comments on religious radicalism are another sign of his intention to bring his voice into one of the world's most critical showdowns: Islam's internal struggles between moderates and extremists (Associated Press)

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Earlier Benedict XVI comments on Islam:

  1. Analysis: Pope's remarks are consistent | Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam and holy war that have angered much of the Muslim world are in line with his efforts to spare religion from violence and extremism (Associated Press)

  2. Tough-talking pope has history with Muslims, refuses to give in | Unlike his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, Benedict has never drawn flak for saying that Muslims and Christians pray to the same God or been accused of waffling on whether Christianity is superior to the religion of prophet Muhammad (The Washington Times)

  3. Pope's public skepticism of Islam's role dates back to 1997 | Nine years before Pope Benedict XVI delivered implied criticism of Islam in a speech last week and ignited angry Muslim protests worldwide, he expressed skepticism of the religion's commitment to tolerance (Bloomberg)

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Explaining papal infallibility:

  1. Is the Pope infallible? | Only when he says he is. (Slate)

  2. How infallible is the Pope? | Papal infallibility only comes into play with issues of faith that concern the whole Church. It doesn't apply when the Pope is expressing a personal opinion or, in this case, quoting from a historical text. (BBC)

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Other pope comments news:

  1. Both sides feel threats in Pope-Islam row | "Muslims see this as part of a whole campaign, in the same line as the Afghan and Iraq wars and Abu Ghraib," says Mustafa Akyol (Reuters)

  2. Pope backlash deals blow to interfaith ties | The angry response to remarks on Islam has undermined efforts to forge better relations between Christians and Muslims, many say (Los Angeles Times)

  3. "We have no relationship to our diverse Muslim society" | German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, 64, discusses the pope's criticism of Islam, the prospect of imams preaching in German, and the risk of terrorism in Germany now that the military is so busy overseas. Germany's first-ever "Islamic conference" between Muslims and the government takes place next Wednesday in Berlin (Der Spiegel, Germany)

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  1. Pope deploys damage-control envoys | Protests and threats against Benedict XVI continue. Vatican diplomats will travel to Muslim states to clarify the pontiff's remarks (Los Angeles Times)

  2. EU should take Pope threat very seriously-EU official | European Union countries should take "very seriously" the threat to Pope Benedict after his comments on Islam sparked outrage in the Muslim world, the EU's top security official said on Thursday (Reuters)

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  1. The Pope's words | Because the world listens carefully to the words of any pope, Benedict XVI needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology for his hurtful speech (Editorial, The New York Times)

  2. The Pope's act of contrition | In the spirit of conciliation, the pope and other top Vatican officials must accept that genuine interfaith communication cannot occur on their terms only (Editorial, The New York Times)

  3. Benedict the Brave | The pope said things Muslims need to hear about faith and unreason (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)

  4. Pope's words spark violence | As ill-chosen as the pope's words might have been, violent responses to perceived insults do nothing but undercut the Muslim clerics who insist that Islam is a peaceful and secure religion. Wiser religious leadership is needed on all sides (Editorial, USA Today)

  5. Pope: Wrong words, right concern | It's true that Islam needs a Reformation, but the pope shouldn't be quoting people who call it 'evil' (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)

  6. Bad words, worse reaction | Pope Benedict XVI should never have included an anti-Islamic quotation by a Byzantine emperor in a speech last week. But his words were not an excuse to burn churches and otherwise harass Christians, as a few Muslims did in response (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  7. A papal faux pas | The new pope, Benedict XVI, has relied on candor, not diplomacy, in these matters. His frankness won't advance understanding if Muslims view him as unduly critical of their faith (Editorial, The Baltimore Sun)

  8. Avoiding religious slings and arrows | Furor over Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam last week has thankfully not morphed into the deadly mayhem over last year's Danish Muhammad cartoons. But the case shows that once again, the Christian and Muslim worlds are talking past each other when, more than ever, they need to talk with each other (Editorial, The Christian Science Monitor)

  9. Pope Benedict's poorly chosen words | Apology will help but may not undo the damage (Editorial, The Miami Herald)

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  1. Will everyone stop caricaturing Islam? | Pope Benedict XVI, Islamic hotheads aren't helping things (Editorial, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

  2. The pope's message | The violent reaction of Muslim fanatics and the hysterical response of Western critics to the pope's remarks at the University of Regensberg speak directly to the central message of his remarks (Editorial, The Washington Times)

  3. The pope and Islam | Pope John Paul II devoted much of his tenure to healing rifts between the Catholic Church and Judaism. Pope Benedict XVI ought to make an equal commitment to heal rifts between the Catholic Church and Islam (Editorial, The Capital Times, Madison, Wis.)

  4. Papal pummeling: Stained faith | We hope Muslim "moderates" are working as hard to understand true Christianity as Christians are counseled to understand true Islam (Editorial, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

  5. Translating pope's message | Benedict spoke as critically of West as he did of Muslims (Editorial, The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind.)

  6. Pope spoke truth to radical Islam | Radical Islam defends the indefensible (Editorial, The Journal-Standard, Freeport, Ill.)

  7. Good can still come from the Pope's words | The Catholic Church is hardly in a position to chastise anyone about spreading the word via the sword (Editorial, Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.)

  8. In the name of . . . | Amid this, something's not being expressed, or heard sufficiently: voices of moderation in the Muslim world (Editorial, Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex.)

  9. Guardians of correctness | Like the outbursts against the Danish cartoons, this outrage smacked of manufacture (Editorial, Evansville Courier & Press, Ind.)

  10. Islam, like Christianity, is not above criticism | Now it is time for other churchmen to tell their Muslim counterparts that, in addition to dishing out criticism, they must learn how to take it (Editorial, The Telegraph, London)

  11. Let the Pope preach | The Vatican has said he is very sorry his speech caused such offence to Muslims. That is fine but it should not go further than that. He should certainly not be pushed into withdrawing his remarks (Editorial, The Times, London)

  12. We may disagree with the Pope but he has the right to be heard | Pope Benedict XVI may have miscalculated the effect his lecture had, but he had the right to try to deliver his words in a way he saw fit. Islam has every right to be offended, but no right to attempt to curb free speech, or to create a climate in which certain debates cannot take place for fear of a violent reaction (Editorial, Sunday Herald, Glasgow)

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  1. Sorry's the easiest word | With thousands of people dying of Aids from unprotected sex and the Vatican's silence over Nazi Germany, there are many matters more deserving of a papal apology than a misjudged appeal for peace (Editorial, Scotland on Sunday)

  2. Faith in each other | It would be in the interests of the Pope to display greater awareness of the sensitive political context into which remarks about other faiths are made. It is still more important that the Muslim majority avoid being taken hostage by the minority of extremists who wish to turn this sorry drama into a global crisis (Editorial, The Guardian, London)

  3. Benedict's Papal bull is worthy of Blair | The Pope's sectarian attack on Islam at Regensburg was strikingly reminiscent of Tony Blair's Los Angeles speech on August 1, whooping it up for the War on Terror (Editorial, The Belfast Telegraph)

  4. Terrorists are always 'outraged' | Islamofascists could care less about the Pope's advice. What they want to do is twist his words out of context into a smear against Islam (Editorial, Toronto Sun)

  5. The Pope's challenge | Let's hope that the pontiff's recent address will be remembered not for a controversial sound bite, but as the beginning of a dialogue based on reason and faith (Editorial, Ottawa Citizen)

  6. Storm over Vatican | Only India can help to assuage these religious tensions (Editorial, The Times of India)

  7. A religious misunderstanding | We realize that Pope Benedict is still relatively new to the lifetime position he now holds. We hope that he learns a valuable lesson from this very recent case of miscommunication (Editorial, Philippine News)

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Blame the Pope*:

  1. The unmistakable whiff of Christian triumphalism | This was no casual slip. Beneath his scholarly rhetoric, the Pope's logic seemed to be that Islam is dangerous and godless (Giles Fraser, The Guardian, London)

  2. 'A man with little sympathy for other faiths' | Pope Benedict is being portrayed as a naive, shy scholar who has accidentally antagonised two major world faiths in a matter of months. In fact he is a shrewd and ruthless operator—and he's dangerous (Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian, London)

  3. Serious errors of both fact and judgment | His mistake was his failure to distance himself from the emperor's comments — surely inflammatory enough in their own time, but a thousand times more so when repeated today (Ruth Gledhill, The Times, London)

  4. An insufficient apology | What makes the Pope's remarks about Islam so incredible is that he conveniently ignores Christianity's own barbarous past (Anas Altikriti, The Guardian, London)

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  1. Lost in translation | More at home in academia than politics, Pope Benedict used a medieval text that has caused many to misjudge his motives (Barney Zwartz, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

  2. Benedict XVI's background is theological, not diplomatic | If Paris was well worth a mass, then staving off an Islamic holy war was well worth a papal apology (Lisa Palmieri-Billig, The Jerusalem Post)

  3. We need a real dialogue | But there is no getting around it: The pope made a big mistake, creating problems for himself, his church and the West (E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post)

  4. Pope forfeited theology for political prowess | In this digital age, there may be an attempt to dust off and rewire the old analogue switchboard of The Vatican as a political agent or as the bullhorn of the apocalyptical views of the administration in Washington -- in sequence after the recent flow of speeches by American politicians and their attempt to rank Muslims with extremists, fascists, Nazis, communists and evil (Ali Ettefagh, The Washington Post)

  5. Pope and folly | The Pope's remarks about Islam show the Catholic church is failing—yet again—to deal with the challenge of modernity (Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian, London)

  6. Pope provocateur | "In the beginning was the word." (Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal)

  7. The pope's damaging words | Rather than point to the "evil and inhuman" nature of Islam's, Judaism's, Christianity's, Hinduism's, Buddhism's and other religions' holy wars, the pope will serve better if he can still find dialogue partners in search of the good and human. (Martin E. Marty, The Baltimore Sun)

  8. Theme of jihad | Pope Benedict XVI, the "Panzer pope," has done the unusual in modern discourse: he has jumped into the war on terror with armored facts from six centuries ago that refute a deal of the appeasement from 21st-century Europeans and their American fellow travelers (John Batchelor, New York Sun)

  9. Pope's divisive words add fuel to fire | Benedict needs a few lessons in manners, but the real reason for the uproar is that so many Muslims feel under attack by the West (Gwynne Dyer, Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.)

  10. The return of Manuel II | Benedictus XVI should have known better; he should have known that statements made by political figures are not isolated from political balances of power (Dan Rabinowitz, Haaretz, Tel Aviv)

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  1. Does Islam flout reason? Why the Pope's case is a flimsy one | The issue is important, but Benedict has presented neither the evidence nor insight to make his argument stick (David Van Biema, Time)

  2. The Pope should know better than to endorse the idea of a war of faiths | The freedom-of-speech defence is a sideshow. The pontiff has broken an unwritten compact of religious leaders (Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian, London)

  3. A Pope's holy war | By quoting a 14th-century Christian emperor on an 'evil and inhuman' Islam, Benedict XVI ignites a global storm. What was he thinking? (Jon Meacham, Newsweek)

  4. When do we get to offend in peace? | What Benedict seems not to have realized is something his predecessor never would have forgotten: that any meaningful dialogue is a conversation spoken between equal partners at the same table, not hurled down ex cathedra (Paul M. Cobb, Chicago Tribune)

  5. Whoever designed the universe made a right mess of religion | Men of God are no different from our temporal rulers. Both provide us with hokum, more or less, but both believe they are entitled to lay down their laws (Ian Bell, Sunday Herald, Glasgow)

  6. Pope Benedict: The first year | Although unity, peace, and love have been key words of Benedict's papacy, his actions or inactions are at odds with that rhetoric (Matthias Beier, Tikkun, via Alternet)

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Blame the Muslims*:

  1. Why the Pope was right | Benedict did give offence — but no great religion should be immune from difficult questions (William Rees-Mogg, The Times, London)

  2. A sorry situation | It's time to stop apologizing and start defending freedom of speech (Anne Applebaum, Slate/The Washington Post)

  3. The pope was right | In his controversial speech last week, Benedict set forth a bold agenda for the civilized world (George Weigel, Los Angeles Times)

  4. The pontiff has a point | His take on Islam, however clumsy, raises tough truths about reason and religion (Jeff Israely, Time)

  5. Even discussing history is off-limits | Since it's difficult to predict what else will enflame the devout, Islam has to be treated with unusual deference, like a 3-year-old child with anger management problems (James Lileks, The Dallas Morning News)

  6. Muslim violence | The real insult to Islam is not a line from a papal speech or a cartoon about Mohammed. It is the violence, terror, and bloodshed that Islamist fanatics unleash in the name of their religion -- and the unwillingness of most of the world's Muslims to say or do anything to stop them (Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe)

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  1. East and west | Perhaps, their rage is kept in the privacy of their homes or mosques because I have yet to read or see an organized protest among Filipino Muslims on the recent controversial speech of Pope Benedict XVI. Unlike their brothers and sisters abroad, Filipino Muslims are not as fanatic (Julius F. Fortuna, ABS-CBN, Philippines)

  2. The flames of religious hatred | The pope, the Koran & Andrew Sullivan (Michael Potemra, National Review Online)

  3. Unhinged hypocrisy | What is good is the opportunity given us -- provided we use it, please, Lord -- to look at radical Islamism with eyes wide open and spectacles unfogged by Western political correctness (William Murchison, The Washington Times)

  4. Being nice will get us killed | Enough with the olive branches to the Islamofascists (Deroy Murdock, National Review Online)

  5. Misleading by misreading | Pope Benedict XVI did the right thing, twice (Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times)

  6. Talk while we can | The key to world peace is open dialogue between the West and Islam (George Pell, The Australian)

  7. Ask the hard questions | Although there is no shortage of Western critics of the West and its ways, there is still a serious shortage of Muslim critics of Islam, laments the federal health minister (Tony Abbott, The Australian)

  8. Is this what they mean by 'Muslim tolerance'? | For years Liberals in the West have spread the myth of "Muslim tolerance". It does not exist and never did. Where Islam rules, other faiths must cringe in humiliated subjection (Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday, U.K.)

  9. Paying tribute to ignorance | The argument at hand is about what the pope said, but the underlying issue is whether the civilized West will accept the proposition that Islam must be "respected" as the radical Muslims and the terrified and cowed moderate Muslims insist, that everyone hold it above not only criticism but above nothing less than mindless obeisance. (Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times)

  10. Word associations | To say that the Pope's statements are themselves acts of violence goes against the principles of liberty and freedom of speech (David Boaz, The Guardian, London)

  11. Translating the pope | In non-news today, Muslims are outraged. Also, the sun rose at its usual time and the Earth continued to turn on its axis in the customary fashion (Kathleen Parker, The Orlando Sentinel)

  12. Response to Pope shows hypocrisy | This is madness, but it's emboldened and legitimized by those who aren't so very maddened, who are afforded respect and public platforms and scholarly regard (Rosie DiManno, The Toronto Star)

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  1. Pope's focus: Reason | Its relationship to the divine was the subject of a recent speech that upset some Muslims (Thomas W. Smith, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  2. The quality of cruelty | Those protesting the Pope's comments give hypocrisy a good name (Doug Bandow, The American Spectator)

  3. Come together | The meaning behind Pope Benedict's jihad reference. And just who was Manuel II Paleologus? (Christopher Orlet, The American Spectator)

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Blame religion in general*:

  1. If only both sides could lose | We should spend less time practicing 'tolerance' of some religions and more time questioning all of them (Niall Stanage, The Guardian, London)

  2. Getting reasonable about faith | Through dialogue and debate between our various faiths, regions and tribes, we can cut through the myths and stereotypes to educate one another as to who we really are, what offends us and what legacies of history have shaped our present-day attitudes. Ultimately, we tend to learn that we have a lot more in common than we have that is different (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune)

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Blame the media*:

  1. Pope bashers | The Pope is accused of bringing this on himself by pouring fuel on the jihadi fire (Lisa Fabrizio, The American Spectator)

  2. No need for grim faces | Why is Pope Benedict XVI taking friendly fire for his Regensburg speech? (Patrick O'Hannigan, The American Spectator)

  3. Jihad enablers | The pope, the protesters & White Guilt (Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online)

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Other op-eds:

  1. A challenge, not a crusade | Roman Catholicism's more critical posture toward Islamic fundamentalism could either push Islam toward reform or set off a global "clash of civilizations" — or, perhaps, both (John L. Allen Jr., The New York Times)

  2. A forced argument on forced conversions | Kidnapped journalists converting at gunpoint. The Pope quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor. The sudden focus on forced conversions to Islam reflects a fundamental misreading of that religion's history (David Van Biema, Time)

  3. Papal power | The new Pope is fighting for hearts and minds in Europe (Lee Smith, The Weekly Standard)

  4. Pope's comments about Islam | Alan Cooperman talks online with readers (The Washington Post)

  5. Pope vs. Islam: A "cardinal blunder"? | A media roundup (Edward M. Gomez,

  6. The Pope's divisions | Benedict XVI promotes "interfaith" dialogue. Muslims and Christians need it (Reuel Marc Gerecht, The Wall Street Journal)

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  1. Head-in-the-sand liberals | Western civilization really is at risk from Muslim extremists (Sam Harris, Los Angeles Times)

  2. Defining today's moderate Muslim | The question has come under intense debate since 9/11 as the public struggles to distinguish peaceful Muslims from Al Qaeda terrorists, and is at the heart of two Southern California skirmishes over who represents moderate Islam (Los Angeles Times)

  3. It's Muslim boy meets girl, yes, but please don't call it dating | The largest annual Muslim conference in North America, which was held in Chicago, hosted wildly popular speed dating sessions called the "matrimonial banquet" (The New York Times)

  4. Surge in anti-Muslim incidents reported | Md., Va. and D.C. among top 10 locations for harassment (The Washington Post)

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Nun killed in Somalia:

  1. Slain Italian nun buried, sisters to stay in Somalia | Hundreds of mourners packed a Catholic church in Kenya on Thursday to bid a last farewell to an Italian nun shot dead in Somalia -- as fellow sisters vowed not to abandon their humanitarian work despite the dangers (Reuters)

  2. Slain nun remembered as devoted to poor | Sister Leonella Sgorbati, who was slain outside a hospital where she worked as a missionary in Somalia's restive capital, was remembered Thursday as a devoted nun who was willing to die to help the starving and sick in Africa. (Associated Press)

  3. Colleagues: Nun forgave Somalia killers | "I forgive, I forgive," she whispered in her native Italian just before she died Sunday in the Somali capital, the Rev. Maloba Wesonga told The Associated Press at the nun's memorial Mass in Nairobi on Monday (Associated Press)

  4. Earlier: Italian nun slain in Somalia, Pope link speculation | Gunmen killed an Italian nun at a children's hospital in Mogadishu on Sunday in an attack that drew immediate speculation of links to Muslim anger over the Pope's recent remarks on Islam (Reuters)

  5. Testament of faith | Nun's final words stand in contrast to Islamic rage against the pope (Editorial, Beaver County Times, Pa.)

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Indonesia executions:

  1. Indonesia executes Christian militants (Associated Press)

  2. Executing Tibo solves nothing | If the executions do go ahead, it could start a cycle of public demands for the death penalty, again playing upon the same religious enmities that caused the violence in the first place (Dave McRae, The Jakarta Post, Indonesia)

  3. Also: Indonesia's Death Quota | Advocates question motive for executing Christians (Christianity Today)

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  1. Satanists battle Christians in northeastern Indian state | Satan-worshipping groups in the Christian-majority Indian state of Mizoram are waging an anti-Christian campaign by burning Bibles, vandalizing churches and defiling cemeteries (The Washington Times)

  2. Anger over Gujarat religion law | Christians and Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat have expressed resentment over an amendment in the law relating to religious conversions (BBC)

  3. Buddhists upset over Religion Act amendment | The bill now says there's nothing illegal about converting from one denomination to another within a religion. It also claims that Buddhism and Jainism are part of Hinduism (NDTV, India)

  4. Conversions among sects of same faith allowed in Gujarat | Bill considers Buddhism, Jainism part of Hinduism (The Hindu, India)

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U.S. State Dept. religion report:

  1. Religious extremism global threat, U.S. warns | A rise in fundamentalism around the world poses an increasing threat to religious freedoms and could inspire new sectarian violence, a senior State Department official said as the U.S. government released its annual global survey on religious freedom (The Washington Times)

  2. Iran hits back after U.S. religion report-radio | Iran said on Saturday a U.S. report on religious freedoms that criticised the Islamic Republic was politically motivated and ignored Washington's own record of rights abuses, state radio reported (Reuters)

  3. China calls U.S. religion report "groundless" meddling | Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the State Department report "was a continuation of groundless accusations of China's policies on religion and ethnic minorities" (Reuters)

  4. Going soft on Saudi repression | When a government's religious police bar its citizens from practicing all religions but one -- like Saudi Arabia's -- the words "freedom of religion does not exist" are apt (Editorial, The Washington Times)

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  1. Protests target violence in Darfur | With thousands of people gathered in Central Park to protest the violence in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan, one speaker likened the destruction there to the Holocaust (Associated Press)

  2. World rallies for peace in Darfur | Protesters demanding an end to conflict in Sudan's Darfur region have been staging a day of global demonstrations (BBC)

  3. Activists around the world focus on Darfur | Peace activists around the world staged a day of action on Sunday to highlight the "forgotten war" in Darfur where tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million left homeless (Reuters)

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  1. Taking responsibility seriously | One year after pledging to protect civilians around the world, the UN must back its strong words with even stronger action in Darfur (Ian Davis, The Guardian, London)

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  1. When Iraqi Christians vanish, locals pay the price | Abductions of Iraqi Christians hit close to home (San Diego Union-Tribune)

  2. No one dares to help | The wounded die alone on Baghdad's streets. An offer of aid could be your own death sentence, an Iraqi Christian reporter writes (Los Angeles Times)

  3. A Christian view of war | What would Jesus do in Iraq? He'd offer compassion, he'd feed the hungry, he'd even pray for the enemies. What he'd really do is give American Christians — Republicans and Democrats alike — something to think about. (Oliver "Buzz" Thomas, USA Today)

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War and violence:

  1. Uganda extends deadline for rebels | The leaders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army were still at large despite an agreement with the Ugandan government to assemble at two camps by Tuesday, but the government said they would be given more time (Associated Press)

  2. Ugandan rebel leader arrives in Sudan | Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony has turned up at a neutral camp in southern Sudan as part of a truce to end 19 years of conflict in the east African nation, a rebel official said Sunday (Associated Press)

  3. Archbishop hits out over Trident | The leader of the Anglican Church in Wales, Archbishop Barry Morgan, is to hit out at plans to upgrade the UK's Trident nuclear missile system (BBC)

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Military prayer dispute:

  1. Sen. Warner target of religious campaign | Under fire from conservative Christians who want his help in a drive to loosen restrictions on evangelizing by military chaplains, John Warner sought cover Tuesday night on the Senate floor (Virginian-Pilot)

  2. Proposal on military chaplains and prayer holds up bill | The provision in a bill that sets the Pentagon's spending levels would allow military chaplains to offer sectarian prayers at nondenominational military events (The New York Times)

  3. Warner holds up chaplain freedom | Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner is blocking a House defense bill provision that would give military chaplains more freedom to pray as they see fit, saying he wants to put the matter off until 2007, a stance that angers House Republicans and conservative groups (The Washington Times)

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  1. Sen. Warner's religious trials | The Virginian is being the soul of moderation in a dispute over sectarian prayer at military ceremonies (Editorial, The Roanoke Times, Va.)

  2. Keep Christ out of the Christmas tree | A must-pass $500 billion defense budget should not be held hostage to an amendment that violates policies of religious tolerance (Editorial, The New York Times)

  3. Unneeded and divisive | Let us pray that Congress stops meddling with military chaplains (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  4. Defense bill is no place for culture war | The proponents of this provision need to abandon their holy war, and stop holding military salaries hostage to their narrow interests (Editorial, Kennebec Journal, Me.)

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Church and state:

  1. Library's ban on prayer service upheld on appeal | Judges rule 2-1 that distinction between worship, other meetings is constitutional (San Francisco Chronicle)

  2. Also: Court says libraries can bar worship | "Prohibiting Faith Center's religious worship services from the Antioch meeting room is a permissible exclusion of a category of speech," Judge Richard Paez ruled (Associated Press)

  3. Few black churches get funds | Small percentage participate in Bush's faith-based initiative (The Washington Post)

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All Saints vs. IRS:

  1. IRS eyes religious groups as more enter election fray | The Internal Revenue Service announced a renewed effort to enforce laws that limit charities' involvement in partisan campaigns (The New York Times)

  2. IRS investigating liberal Calif. church | The Internal Revenue Service has ordered a prominent liberal church to turn over documents and e-mails it produced during the 2004 election year that contain references to political candidates (Associated Press)

  3. Pasadena church may fight IRS summons | All Saints' rector seeks legal and lay opinion on response to probe over an antiwar sermon (Los Angeles Times)

  4. IRS orders All Saints to yield documents on '04 political races | Antiwar remarks at All Saints in Pasadena were made two days before the 2004 election. The church is ordered to hand over records (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Rector ponders next move in IRS showdown | The agency is investigating whether a guest sermon at the Rev. Ed Bacon's Pasadena church violated tax law (Los Angeles Times)

  6. Bully pulpit | The IRS goes after All Saints Church (Andrew Gumbel, Los Angeles City Beat)

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  1. At odds over schools | Race and religion appear to have increased tensions over how to dispense education on Long Island and in New Jersey (The New York Times)

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  1. In New Jersey, a community divided | Race, religion and special education are dividing a town on the Jersey Shore (The New York Times)

  2. Striking a delicate balance with school dress codes | Educators struggle with protecting students' religious rights while enforcing policies designed to ease safety concerns (Houston Chronicle)

  3. Texas Bible courses: Turning public schools into the local church | School districts can constitutionally teach Bible electives — but that's not the way it's being done in most of Texas (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)

  4. Archdiocese to close historic Quigley Preparatory Seminary | On Tuesday, the archdiocese announced Quigley would close its doors in June 2007, marking the end of an era and signaling a significant shift in how the American church is drawing young men to the priesthood (Chicago Tribune)

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Higher education:

  1. College can require instructors to avoid irrelevant religious discussion in class | "We see no reason why a college or university cannot direct its instructors to keep personal discussions about sexual orientation or religion out of a cosmetology class or clinic." (Religion Clause)

  2. Christ-like image of Coach Fulmer causing controversy on UT campus | The people behind it say it was meant to show how seriously Knoxville takes UT football, and that it wasn't meant to offend (WBIR, Knoxville)

  3. Virginia student paper removes Jesus cartoons at artist's request| He apologizes for creating offense (Associated Press)

  4. Schools adapt for non-Christian prayer | Harvard Divinity School is among those using subtle strategies to make the chapel comfortable for nonChristians (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  5. Former prof to speak | Ruth Tucker will hold forum, but Christians for Biblical Equality decided not to sponsor the event after learning the Rev. Cornelius Plantinga Jr., president of Calvin Seminary, is a CBE member (The Grand Rapids Press)

  6. Fairness of Christian Medical College admissions process questioned | The college is entitled to fill 50 out of the 60 sanctioned seats with Christian minority students. (The Hindu, India)

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Evolution and Intelligent Design:

  1. Intelligent design okay for science class, DeVos says | Volatile social debate enters governor's race (Detroit Free Press)

  2. Churches object to origin of man exhibit | There has been a huge international media response to the demand by some evangelical Christian churches in Kenya not to show the new National Museum of Kenya exhibition on the origin of man (The Nation, Kenya)

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  1. Darwin on the Right | Why Christians and conservatives should accept evolution (Michael Shermer, Scientific American)

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Law and courts:

  1. Fla. Supreme Court scolds judge for staining judicial system | A judge received a scolding from the Florida Supreme Court for 14 admitted ethics violations, including unconstitutionally ordering a probationer to attend church, but he will be allowed to remain on the bench (Associated Press)

  2. DA's letters to inmate improper, some legal experts say | References to religion in correspondence questioned (Tennessean, Nashville)

  3. Pledge challenger Newdow claims web scribe defamed him | Newdow -- who's both a lawyer and an emergency room physician -- is scheduled to appear in San Francisco's 1st District Court of Appeal to argue that his libel suit against the Rev. Austin Miles should be allowed to proceed (Recorder/

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  1. McCain stand comes at a price | "This very definitely is going to put a chilling effect on the tremendous strides he has made in the conservative evangelical community," said the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, one of several conservative activists who support Bush's proposal on interrogation techniques (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Christian middle seeking a turn at bully pulpit | Determined to break the links binding partisan politics and faith, growing numbers of religious moderates are uniting and organizing in an unprecedented bid to challenge the Christian right and broaden the values agenda beyond the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Casey, Santorum talk about faith in Pa. | Democrat Bob Casey highlights his religious work while Republican Sen. Rick Santorum seeks out evangelical Christians, a reflection of the fierce fight for voters of faith (Associated Press)

  4. Kline preaches his message | The Kansas attorney general speaks at a church for the first time since controversy erupted about his appearances in houses of worship during his re-election campaign (The Capital-Journal, Topeka, Kan.)

  5. Preacher takes stand against politics on the pulpit | A mini-profile of Greg Boyd (Voice of America)

  6. Both parties in Ky. battle try to take right flank | Mike Weaver says Democrats have surrendered the political war over values they should be winning (The Washington Post)

  7. HalleLula! Brazil leader invokes evangelical votes | Brazil may be the world's biggest Roman Catholic country but in campaigning for its presidential election, candidates invoked the help of another Christian creed -- the thriving Pentecostal movement (Reuters)

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  1. Faith and ballots | Voters should be wary of groups that use God as a campaign prop (Editorial, Florida Today, Melbourne)

  2. President Bush's "Third Awakening" and the mixing of church and state | The responses he has provoked from believers, as well as non-believers (Marci Hamilton,

  3. Between relativism and fundamentalism | Neither relativism nor fundamentalism offers a basis for reasoned discourse on moral choices. We need a revitalized "protestant" middle way (Peter Berger, The American Interest, sub. req'd.)

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Evangelicals and politics:

  1. Deep and wide: The real American evangelicals | American Evangelicals are far more diverse than media caricatures aver (Nancy Ammerman, The American Interest, sub. req'd.)

  2. Meet the new evangelicals | Is a new generation of 'kinder, gentler' leaders suddenly putting the religious right in political play? (Mark I. Pinsky, Los Angeles Times)

  3. Christian Zionism | Interviews with Gershom Gorenberg, Max Blumenthal, and John Hagee (Fresh Air, NPR)

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John Kerry's religion speech:

  1. Kerry speaks about faith, 'godly tasks' | Democratic Sen. John Kerry on Monday urged people of faith to work cooperatively on problems such as poverty, global warming and reducing the number of abortions — "godly tasks" that transcend the nation's culture wars (Associated Press)

  2. Kerry talks of loss, renewal of his Catholic faith | In a speech he said he wishes he had given before the 2004 presidential election, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday described his religious life in greater candor and detail than ever before (The Washington Post)

  3. Kerry talks about faith, abortion | Senator John F. Kerry today called for a new national commitment to reduce the number of abortions, saying that pro-life activists and abortion rights supporters can reach "common ground" on one of the nation's most divisive cultural issues (The Boston Globe)

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Religious Left:

  1. Group asks: What did Jesus say? | Red Letter Christians network says it wants to change how Christians influence the national public policy debate (Chicago Tribune)

  2. Liberal evangelicals begin campaign | Red Letter Christians, a project of Sojurners/Call to Renewal, announced plans to establish a grass-roots network of 7,000 moderate and progressive clergy members (Associated Press)

  3. A conversation with Senator John Danforth | The former Senator, UN Ambassador and Episcopal priest talks with Walter Russell Mead about religion and politics at home and abroad (The American Interest, sub. req'd.)

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  1. 'St. Jack' hits the religious right | Former Senator Jack Danforth, an ordained priest and GOP elder, wants religion to be less overt in politics (The Christian Science Monitor)

  2. James Forbes, minister of Riverside Church, to step down | The church's leadership has been a center of activism, open debate and dissent for liberal Protestants for decades (The New York Times)

  3. Also: Prominent NYC minister will step down | The leader of one of the city's most prominent churches, who has gained national attention for his efforts to provide a progressive alternative to the religious right, said he is stepping down as senior minister (Associated Press)

  4. Religious left to reclaim its faith | Fourteen activists, some of whom portrayed themselves as disenchanted evangelicals, announced the formation of "Red Letter Christians," a group that says it bases its actions and political philosophy on the words of Jesus, which appear in red lettering in some versions of the Bible (The Washington Times)

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Religious Right:

  1. Clergy hear Parsley | In an hour-long speech to Cleveland-area religious leaders, televangelist Rod Parsley never mentioned the name that has made him a lightning rod for controversy in this year's gubernatorial race: Republican Ken Blackwell (The Plan Dealer, Cleveland)

  2. Coulter's introducer steals thunder | At Christian Coalition meeting, Mike Gallagher talks at length about "off the record session" with Bush and conservative talk show hosts (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  3. Christian Coalition of Alabama seeks new leader | Former Christian Coalition of Alabama split with national group and changed name (Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  4. Also: Christian group gets new name | The Christian Coalition of Alabama changed its name Thursday to Christian Action Alabama, but a state lawmaker said the new name should be Gambling Action Alabama since he believes the group is tied to out-of-state gambling interests (Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  5. IRS and religious left tread on sacred ground | Pity the poor religious right! It's being attacked by two sets of sinners: the religious left (yes, there is one) and the IRS (Bonnie Erbe, US News & World Report)

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Dobson in Pa.:

  1. Dobson preaches mixed message | Conservative leader criticizes, praises GOP leadership (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  2. Rally here a first, testing Dobson's appeal in region | James Dobson, the evangelical radio psychologist and powerful conservative activist, will be at Mellon Arena Wednesday for the first major Religious Right event ever held in Pittsburgh, and the first Stand for the Family Rally outside the South and the Plains states (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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  1. Radio evangelist brings 'Focus' to Pittsburgh | One of the most influential leaders in the nation among Christian conservatives hopes to inspire Western Pennsylvanians to vote based on bedrock moral convictions in the November election (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

  2. 'Values voters' up for grabs in state's Senate race | As Bob Casey goes to Catholic University, Dobson goes to Mellon Arena (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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Life ethics:

  1. Spanish set to allow therapeutic cloning | Spain is set to become one of only a handful of countries to approve therapeutic cloning, despite opposition from the Catholic Church (Reuters)

  2. Plan B is almost here. Time for our next move | Now that the FDA has acted on Plan B, what can be done to reduce unwanted pregnancies on a larger scale? (Darshak Sanghavi, The Boston Globe)

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  1. Officials say SD tourism boycott failed | A threatened tourism boycott of South Dakota over new state law that bans nearly all abortions has had little effect on travel, officials said (Associated Press)

  2. Grisly find draws attention to India fetus killings | Manual laborer Gulzar Singh is haunted by the day he exhumed baby fetuses from a pit outside an abortion clinic in one of the grisliest chapters in India's fight against female feticide (Reuters)

  3. Sheriff: Race a factor in kidnap case | - A Maine couple accused of tying up their 19-year-old daughter, throwing her in their car and driving her out of state to get an abortion were upset because the baby's father is black, a Maine sheriff said Tuesday (Associated Press)

  4. No middle ground | Do you suppose Katelyn Kampf could have avoided being bound, gagged, and bundled off to get an abortion against her will had she and her parents just found some "common ground" about how best to handle her unplanned pregnancy? Neither do I. (Eileen McNamara, The Boston Globe)

  5. Anti-abortion group fights campaign law | Barring corporations and unions from buying political advertisements during peak election season amounts to government censorship, a Wisconsin anti-abortion group argued Monday (Associated Press)

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  1. Issues of ecology, theology collide | Factions within some churches debate global warming and the moral response (The Kansas City Star)

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  1. Evangelical Christian and environmentalist says change has to begin 'in your backyard' | Dr. Matthew Sleeth felt the need to apologize for the red Jeep Liberty he and his wife, Nancy, were driving around Waco on Thursday. They usually drive a Honda hybrid — and that as little as possible (Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex.)

  2. Science and salvation | E.O. Wilson hopes Christians will join in preserving all God's creation (The Washington Post)

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  1. A true believer in immigrants | "One day, we will gather for celebration. I believe that this takes time." The Rev. José E. Hoyos (The Washington Post)

  2. It didn't pay to follow immigration rules, couple says | Judy and Rodrigue Sleiman were married in a Hamilton church a year and half ago, but since then have been separated by 6,000 miles. He sought asylum here as a persecuted Maronite Christian, but he was denied (Journal News, Hamilton, Oh.)

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Race and ethnicity at church:

  1. Group says big churches attracting more blacks | Q&A on megachurches (The Orange County Register)

  2. Sundays still divided by race | Worship most highly segregated time in nation despite unifying identity that comes with being a Christian (Akron Beacon Journal, Oh.)

  3. Migrants fill empty pews as Britons lose faith | The rate of decline in church attendance has been slowed by an unexpected factor — the influx of Christians from Africa and Europe (The Telegraph, London)

  4. Also: Minorities prop up church-going | The long-term decline in church congregations has been slowed by people from ethnic minorities, a survey says (BBC)

  5. Better than sex | The growing practice of embryo eugenic (William Saletan, Slate)

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Church life:

  1. Church gets okay to leave Episcopal denomination | Christ Church Episcopal of Plano is now simply Christ Church. Congregation to keep its property, pay off debts in deal (The Dallas Morning News)

  2. Denominational dissident | Bishop embodies split in Anglican Communion sects (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Is Bellevue changing? | Some members say church leaving its traditional roots (Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

  4. Churches invest in downtown Dallas | The dedication of a gleaming new church building is no big deal in suburban Dallas. Downtown, though, it's almost as rare as real wine in a Baptist communion (The Dallas Morning News)

  5. Two churches, two Russias | One born of authoritarian centralism, the other of entrepreneurial regionalism (The Wall Street Journal)

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  1. Ed Young spreads his Fellowship to Florida | On most Sundays, the Rev. Ed Young takes the stage at Fellowship Church in Grapevine. And at Fellowship churches in Plano, downtown Dallas and Justin. And in South Miami, Fla. (The Dallas Morning News)

  2. N. Texas churches at center of controversy | Two North Texas churches are at the center of a controversy. It involves the right to expose alleged extra-marital affairs. One of the cases heads to the Texas Supreme Court next week and the battle could have national impact (KTVT, Dallas)

  3. Ministers at each others throat | The raging controversial debate over whether Christians, under biblical doctrine, are obliged to honour the giving of a tenth of their earnings to the church as tithe, has taken a new twist (Ghanaian Chronicle)

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Church buildings:

  1. Church gets city backing for move | Reversal spurred by federal statute (San Diego Union Tribune)

  2. Irish row over cathedral revamp | Under debate is a plan to reconfigure the church's interior (BBC)

  3. Nazarene headquarters campus up for sale | The Church of the Nazarene is seeking a buyer for its international headquarters at the Paseo and 63rd Street, its home for 50 years (The Kansas City Star)

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Church bells:

  1. Bells ring out—digitally—at Methodist church | Members of the First United Methodist Church of Miami held a special service to celebrate installation of a digital carillon bell system (The Miami Herald)

  2. Church's new sound is meant to be appealing | In Copley Square, Old South Church's bell gets a makeover (The Boston Globe)

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  1. Pope ignores German row on shared communion | The Protestants allow all Christians to take the Eucharist but the Catholics don't and this has become one of Germany's most pressing religious issues with growing impatience with the Vatican for not finding a solution (Reuters)

  2. Church may discipline wedded archbishop | Speaking Sunday night at a conference he organized for married priests, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo said that the head of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops has demanded that Milingo send a letter of repentance by Oct. 15 to Pope Benedict XVI or face "canonical suspension." (Associated Press)

  3. To reach out, O'Malley turns to blogging | Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who wears a friar's habit designed nearly 500 years ago and who eschews most material possessions, today is taking a giant leap into the 21st century: He is becoming a blogger (The Boston Globe)

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  1. Argentina's outlaw 'saint' | Gauchito Gil is no saint recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. An itinerant Argentine cowboy and outlaw born in obscurity in the late 1840s, Gil nevertheless is revered as a kind of South American Robin Hood and is widely credited by Argentina's rural poor to have performed a miracle with his last breath (The Washington Times)

  2. The heart of a saint | St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney's heart leaves France for only the second time (Newsday)

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  1. Diary shows pope's opposition to Hitler | A 1938 diary written near the end of Pope Pius XI's papacy confirms his opposition to fascism was hardening as the outbreak of World War II grew closer, a historian said Tuesday after examining documents in the Vatican's just-opened secret archives (Associated Press)

  2. Also: Catholic Church reveals World War II secrets | The Vatican opens its secret vaults holding papers dealing with the controversial prewar era (ABC News)

  3. Dead Sea Scrolls: Wisdom of the ancients is delivered to modern scholars | Artifacts rested undisturbed for two millennia (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

  4. Nun who saved Jews in WWII is beatified | Sara Salkahazi was killed by the Arrow Cross — the Hungarian allies of the Nazis — on Dec. 27, 1944, for hiding Jews in a Budapest building used by her religious order, the Sisters of Social Service (Associated Press)

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  1. Bible now available on mobile phones | South African Christians seeking a quick spiritual boost will be able to download the entire bible on to their mobile telephones phones from Wednesday as part of a drive to modernize the scriptures (Reuters)

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  1. Nelson to acquire Integrity Publishers | The Integrity purchase is Nelson's first major initiative following its acquisition by a private equity group this summer (PW Daily)

  2. What fuels the faithful? | In Believers, ex-evangelical Jeffrey Sheler paints complex portrait of a movement in flux (The Denver Post)

  3. Authors seek to clarify Catholics' murky view of evangelicals | A look at Jeffery L. Sheler's Believers and Peter Feuerherd's Holy Land USA (Catholic News Service)

  4. One nation under God | A journalist argues eloquently for the separation of church and state. Alan Wolfe reviews The Holy Vote by Ray Suarez (The Washington Post)

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  1. Beliefs: Rowan Williams's "Writing in the Dust" | An archbishop suggests a pause to breathe deeply and to let some of our demons walk away (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)

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  1. Holy fools, detached in spasms of universal ecstasy and despair | Alain Platel's vision in this piece seems to be a commentary on religion today, especially at its despairing, ecstatic extremes (The New York Times)

  2. Daniel in the Lion's Den | Sir Peter Paul Rubens's "Daniel in the Lion's Den" (1614/1616) is a great baroque painting. There aren't many in Washington (The Washington Post)

  3. His heavenly act of faith | A former janitor's room-size 'Throne' is a dazzling piece of religious art (The Wall Street Journal)

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  1. Johnny Lang turns to God on new album | Blues guitarist Jonny Lang is moving into the Christian market with his new album, "Turn Around," due in stores Tuesday (Reuters)

  2. Third Day tries to break barriers | Despite not being able to reach out to non-Christians, Powell is comfortable with the audience that has connected to his music (Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.)

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  1. Serendipitous connections in the city of separate lives | "Six Degrees," the latest series from J. J. Abrams, which begins Thursday on ABC, is a religious drama of sorts (The New York Times)

  2. Body Worlds creator uses corpse for crucifixion | Anatomist Gunther von Hagens will use a real body to show how people died when crucified in the 90-minute film on Channel 4 (Evening Standard, London)

  3. NBC: No final decision on Madonna content | NBC says it has made no final decision on what will or won't be in its broadcast of a Madonna concert during the November sweeps (Broadcasting & Cable)

  4. The real Rosie is on display | Talk about extreme … Rosie O'Donnell takes a back seat to no one (Beloit Daily News, Wis.)

  5. Nippin' away at abortion | Life on F/X's Nip/Tuck (Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online)

  6. TV's healing powers | What ever happened to the televangelists of the 1980s? (Philip Kevin Goff, The Wall Street Journal)

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  1. New Fox unit to produce Christian films | The studio plans to produce as many as 12 movies a year aimed at religious audiences (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Also: Fox unveils a division for religious-oriented films | FoxFaith, a new division of 20th Century Fox, will release up to a dozen religious-oriented films each year (The New York Times)

  3. Studios push to clean up their act | Hollywood looks to family-focused Dove Foundation and others for favorable reviews (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Fox's new Jewish flick bad for the Jews? | FoxFaith, the new arm of Rupert Murdoch's empire devoted to releasing Christian films, is courting Jewish audiences with its upcoming movie, One Night With the King (Radar)

  2. Documentary throws fresh light on abortion | While 2 1/2 hours may sound like a long time for a documentary on one of America's most endlessly rehashed issues, the end credits may roll in "Lake of Fire" before viewers tire of it (Reuters)

  3. "Evil" priest film rattles ratings board | Lionsgate will release its upcoming documentary about child molestation scandals in the Catholic Church without a rating after the trailer garnered a restrictive tag from the Motion Picture Assn. of America (Reuters)

  4. Personal narrative is strength of 'Hand of God' | Documentary about sexual abuse by Catholic clergy focuses on a personal history that didn't need a lot of dressing up (The Boston Globe)

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Jesus Camp:

  1. Film shows youths training to fight for Jesus | New documentary features controversial Bible camp, evangelical movement (World News Tonight, ABC)

  2. Little terrors on rampage in "Jesus Camp" | Few personality-trait combinations are more obnoxious than narrow-mindedness and condescension -- especially in children (Reuters)

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These earnest, cynical young people today:

  1. A magazine for earnest young things | Good, a new magazine, wants to reach an earnest young generation (The New York Times)

  2. My satirical self | How making fun of absolutely everything is defining a generation (The New York Times Magazine)

  3. Archbishop warns of child crisis | Children today face too much "pressure to achieve", Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has said (BBC)

  4. Also: Archbishop says "climate of fear" kills childhood | Modern children are suffering increasingly from mental illness because they grow up in a climate of fear and are starved of love and affection by their parents, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Monday (Reuters)

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Sexual ethics:

  1. Conservative Anglican bishops to sign anti-gay pact | Conservative Anglican bishops largely drawn from developing countries are expected to agree on a pact condemning the ordination of gay clergy, Nigeria's archbishop said on Wednesday (Reuters)

  2. Uniting church at gay clergy impasse | The split in the Uniting Church of Australia over gay ministers is set to widen, with talks between conservatives and the church's hierarchy coming to an apparent stalemate (AAP, Australia)

  3. Inmate challenges W.Va. cohabitation law | A former inmate on Monday challenged a West Virginia law that prohibits unmarried couples from living together, alleging his parole was delayed for more than four months because he wanted to live with his fiancée (Associated Press)

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  1. Hot Christian sex? Amen! | Many readers like the sound of one minister's preachings (MSNBC)

  2. More sex please we're Scottish | The image of repressed Scots is a thing of the past as the nation embraces a sexual revolution that has seen a dramatic change in attitudes (The Times, London)

  3. Also: Attitudes to sex relax as more than half condone adultery | Scotland's traditional Presbyterian attitude towards sex appears to be loosening with a new survey showing a more relaxed approach to issues such as extra-marital sex, pornography and prostitution (The Times, London)

  4. Pastor's speech draws dissent | Protesters, local clergy react to Planned Parenthood chaplain's view on church, sexuality (State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.)

  5. Charges over church warden's corpse sex | A church warden in a small Swedish town on Monday faced criminal charges after allegedly having sex with a corpse at a church where he worked, a prosecutor said (AFP)

  6. Many men who have sex with men deny being gay | A substantial percentage of men who have homosexual sex still consider themselves "straight," a survey of New York City men suggests (Reuters)

  7. Vocal foe of same-sex marriage unseated | Parente only incumbent legislator to be defeated (The Boston Globe)

  8. Wrong again on same-sex marriage | A judge was wrong to read this summer's ruling by New York's highest court as altering the state's duty to respect same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions (Editorial, The New York Times)

  9. A bad amendment | Even if you oppose gay marriage, Virginia's ban would go too far (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  10. Defining families down | Marriage versus family diversity (Claudia Anderson, The Weekly Standard)

  11. Sex toys arguably approved by the Good Book | While Christians are often portrayed as up-tight and buttoned-downed when it comes to -- um, well, you know -- sex, a growing number of online storekeepers now promise as much exultation for the body as the soul (Thane Burnett, Toronto Sun)

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  1. 3 tied to abuse case detained in Mexico | Immigration authorities on Wednesday briefly detained representatives of a man who says he was sexually abused by a Mexican Roman Catholic priest (Associated Press)

  2. Also: Mexico is haven for U.S. pedophile priests: group | Weak law enforcement and compliant Church authorities make Mexico a haven for U.S. pedophile priests fleeing justice, a victims' group said on Wednesday (Reuters)

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  1. Priests hear victims' tales of abuse | Cardinal Justin Rigali summoned hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese to hear from the victims of clergy sex abuse (Associated Press)

  2. Former priest accused of sex abuse dies | Former priest Donald Wren Kimball, who was once a charismatic, nationally renowned youth minister but was later accused of sexually abusing children, has died, authorities said Friday (Associated Press)

  3. Priest accused of sex abuse can travel for his mother's burial | Also in that case, Broward Circuit Judge Susan Lebow denied a motion by prosecutor Dennis Siegel to restrict private investigative activities being done on behalf of Neil Doherty. Lebow said she had no jurisdiction (The Miami Herald)

  4. Support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse sues monsignor, lawyer | SNAP claims the two tried to use the courts to improperly silence the support group's attempts to expose priests who are molesters (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Man alleging priest abuse sues cardinals | A 25-year-old Mexican man who says he was raped by a priest filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Roman Catholic church officials in Los Angeles and Mexico, claiming they conspired to hide evidence to protect the priest (Associated Press)

  6. Doubts cast on church abuse memoir | Harrowing tales of physical and sexual abuse at the heart of a best-selling memoir about growing up inside Ireland's Roman Catholic institutions are simply not true, the author's family said on Tuesday (Reuters)

  7. Let abuse victims' voices be heard in court | The cardinal and his dream team of attorneys should see the faces and hear the voices of the victims of the church's monstrous negligence. But in a courtroom, not in a seminary. (Editorial, Delco Times, Pa.)

  8. Church open, but empty after arrest | The Leolang Avenue church where Joseph Gary Torres preached remained open but empty Monday, days after police arrested him on suspicion of sexually abusing two girls, one of them for six years (Los Angeles Daily News)

  9. Archdiocese wants abuse case dismissed | Thirteen people who claim they were sexually abused by priests should not be allowed to sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia under federal anti-racketeering laws, church lawyers said Monday (Associated Press)

  10. Church cancels plans to keep accused priests in Larchmont | The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has canceled plans to have priests who are believed to have molested children live in a house in Larchmont, after the plan drew complaints nearby residents (The New York Times)

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  1. Suit says cardinals aided pedophile priest | A fugitive priest charged with molesting eight boys was shuttled by church authorities between Mexico and the United States, allowing him to prey on additional victims, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Johnston bound over | Trial could begin sometime next spring against a Granby pastor accused of ritually molesting young girls in his congregation (Neosho Daily News, Mo.)

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  1. Church minister shot dead at home | A NG Church minister was shot dead in his home in Westdene, Johannesburg, during a failed robbery, Beeld newspaper reported on Saturday (SAPA, South Africa)

  2. Katrina 'twins' scam unveiled | Woman arrested on fraud charges (The Daily Times, Salisbury, Md.)

  3. Facing death, convict testifies, but not of sins | Jessie Campbell steadfastly refused to discuss details of the shootings, saying his devotion to Christianity forbids him from reliving and "glorifying" the events of his past (The Hartford Courant, Ct.)

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  1. Christians fed to lyings: Irwin no convert | For a few days, the nation's born-again Christians were overjoyed: could it be that Steve Irwin, crocodile hunter, had become one of them shortly before a stingray's barb cut short his life? (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  2. Saint Stephen | The youngest Baldwin has been a cokehead, a womanizer, and the star of Bio-Dome. But as the Bible says, let he who is without sin get stoned (Radar)

  3. Clay Aiken offers vague response to gay question | "People are going to believe what they want," says singer after canceled Christian concert (

  4. Singer Amy Grant gets Walk of Fame star | "I see all my family, co-workers and friends and I have to say nothing happens alone," the 45-year-old singer told the crowd Tuesday (Associated Press)

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  1. Churches packed with grieving Montrealers | As students brace to return to Dawson College (Canadian Press)

  2. Also: Churches busy as Dawson students ponder return (CTV, Canada)

  3. Seminary professor, clergyman Kurt Erik Marquart dies at72 | Well known in LCMS circles (The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind.)

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Missions & ministry:

  1. New law changes charitable contributions | Americans are going to have to keep better records of their charitable contributions if they want to claim them as tax deductions in coming years. Older Americans, meanwhile, will get a break on taxes when they make donations from their Individual Retirement Accounts (Associated Press)

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  1. Women flock to rallies to refocus their lives | Millions of women and girls nationwide are attending Christian rallies and gatherings with feminine themes and atmospheres (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

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  1. Religion draws more tourists to Scotland | Religious tourism to Scotland is set to treble in the next decade, according to experts (Sunday Herald, Glasgow)

  2. At a shrine, inspiration and memories | Her husband's most visible legacy grew out of his religious faith and rises more than 30 feet near a stoplight on Route 40 on the edge of Landisville (The New York Times)

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Money and business:

  1. Some bosses see the virtues of a long break | Sabbaticals — once considered the exclusive bailiwick of academicians, who are often granted an entire year to pursue research — now come in many sizes and shapes. They often carry the imprimatur of the top of the corporate chain marking away-from-work time as good for the body. Some companies believe it is also good for the soul (The New York Times)

  2. Vatican believes in Pfizer spinoff | A church group bought the firm, a specialist in experimental cancer treatments (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Faith grows as market force | Funds that choose their investments with the view that companies' products or practices should be in accord with religious or moral beliefs are attracting clients, and rewarding them (Chicago Tribune)

  4. God & money | We're all one faith in the religion of getting rich (Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch)

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Baylor religion survey:

  1. Americans see one God, but in different ways | Researchers identify four distinct viewpoints in poll results showing how the deity's nature and connection to the world are perceived (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Multiple-choice God | New survey reveals that Americans believe in four basic types of deity (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)

  3. Keeping the faith | Indifference to denominational labels may well be a sign of vitality, not faithlessness (Editorial, Austin American-Statesman, Tex.)

  4. Religion study is instructive to politicians, journalists, and voters | Once more the world doesn't divide up so neatly (William McKenzie, The Dallas Morning News)

  5. Bakker seeks sweet, redemptive revival in second coming | Nice God vs. Mean God (Tony Messenger, Springfield News-Leader, Mo.)

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  1. Divining the brain | Andrew Newberg discusses what happens in our brains during prayer, meditation and mystical visions. Yet understanding the brain, argues the neuroscientist, does not close the book on the nature of religious experience (

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  1. Let there be light | Science and faith can coexist happily as long as neither tries to take on the functions of the other (Editorial, Scientific American)

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Other stories of interest:

  1. Hard-hat hardliners' anti-U.S. rant | The Islamic world may be roiling over remarks by the pope, but in this remote patch of eastern Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez suggested yesterday that a little revolutionary fervor - and perhaps a lot of oil - is all it takes to unite Christians and Muslims (Newsday)

  2. AIDS bill advances despite complaint | A spending bill that would send more AIDS money to the South passed a House committee Wednesday despite opposition from some big-state lawmakers who said it shortchanged their states (Associated Press)

  3. Scientology's scourge | A Clearwater man isn't about to let a dubious past stop him from spreading his views about the church (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

  4. Believers say atheism no longer a 'dirty word' | Horrified by escalating religious violence and alarmed by the Bush administration's "faith-based initiatives," which make government money available to religious organizations, atheists are coming out of the closet -- and organizing (Contra Costa Times, Ca.)

  5. Halloween outfits 'create fear' | Retailers who sell traditional Halloween merchandise, such as scary masks, are creating a "climate of fear", the Bishop of Bolton has said (BBC)

  6. Religion news in brief | A Vatican-ordered review of Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States has been completed; Eighth Episcopal diocese rejects national leader; Southern Baptist president calls for unity; and other stories (Associated Press)

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Disclaimer: When I put the opinion articles under such topics as "Blame the Pope" or "Blame Islam," I'm not suggesting that these articles have no criticisms of "the other side" in the conflict. It's just that, after a quick read, they seemed on balance to be more critical of one side or another. They're certainly not perfect categories, but I had to break up this mammoth list of links somehow.

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What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

September 15b | 15a | 14
September 6 | 1 | August 29
August 25 | 24 | 23
August 15 | 11 | 10
August 4 | 1
July 28 | 27 | 26
July 21 | 19
July 14 | 13 | 12b | 12a | 10

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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