Archive for October, 2009

Satan causes cavities and weight gain, too.

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

This year’s crop of Halloween candy is demon-possessed, according to Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network. Apparently, witches curse the sugar-filled confections before they’re shipped to grocery stores across America. These witches, I’m guessing, are part of a Prince of Darkness job-retraining program. Thanks to the rise of compact discs and MP3 players, the devils... »

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Have you seen the 'atheist' movie?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

My wife and I went and watched “The Invention of Lying,” which is billed as the “first ever completely atheistic movie with no concessions.” And I wasn’t looking forward to it one bit. I don’t like paying $8 per ticket to be preached at. But it turned out to be a fascinating film. Funny,... »

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NY Times big wig: Don't use the word 'famously' so much…

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Click here for the story. For what it’s worth, I think it’s time to ditch the word “famously” (and perhaps jettison the word “famous”, as well.) After all, if the subjective of an article is truly famous, the reader presumably already knows that. And if an incident “famously” occurred, sophisticated readers of the New... »

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"I Can't, I'm Mormon…" t-shirt unleashes controversy

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The woman in the ad is grinning — grinning a lot — as she models a t-shirt that reads: “I Can’t…I’m Mormon.” This Mormon Mona Lisa with a mythic smile never reveals precisely what she can’t do. Perhaps she can’t smoke or drink or vote for Democrats. Perhaps she can’t sip a Starbucks or... »

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In Europe, Scientology convicted of fraud

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

I suppose one man’s “one true faith” is another man’s “organized fraud.” … PARIS (AP) — A Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than euro600,000 ($900,000) on Tuesday, but stopped short of banning the group’s activities. The group’s French branch said it would appeal the verdict. The... »

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State Department releases religious freedom report

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The Axis of Evil is discriminating against people of faith, as are several other nations, according to this annual report from the U.S. State Department. The report is a great source of information on religious freedom around the world. »

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Is this fact or fiction? AP says it's fact

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The paragraph below was included in an Associated Press story about a controversial rabbinical ruling that bars the use of so-called Shabbat elevators — elevators pre-programmed to automatically stop on every floor on the Sabbath, so that Sabbath-observing Jews can use them without doing the “work” of pushing elevator buttons on the holiest day... »

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Key rabbi prohibits elevator use on Sabbath

Monday, October 26th, 2009

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Jewish day of rest has become a bit more labor-intensive for Yosef Ball. The Orthodox Jew and his wife are no longer using elevators custom-built for the Jewish Sabbath, ever since a rabbinical ruling last month outlawed them. Instead, they have been hiking up seven flights of stairs to get... »

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Benny Hinn: Most faith healers are frauds

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Faith healer Benny Hinn, a native of Jaffa, Israel, recently wrote a book about his native land. Blood In the Sand: Understanding the Middle East Conflict — the Stakes, the Dangers, and What the Bible Says About the Future is part memoir, part prophecy. The televangelist recently visited with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Religion Editor Frank... »

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Huckabee takes lead in GOP presidential race

Friday, October 16th, 2009

I’m not a bit surprised by this new Rasmussen poll, which shows Mike Huckabee moving ahead of the pack. With a strong organization and a decent fundraising apparatus, Mike Huckabee could definitely win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. But money and organization are crucial. And it’s unclear whether he’s willing to do what it... »

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Benny Hinn: U.S. Senate 'has the right to ask questions' of TV evangelists

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

ALEX DANIELS ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE OCTOBER 11, 2009 WASHINGTON — A multimillionaire televangelist who is fighting a federal investigation will preach at Little Rock’s Agape Church today . For the past two years, Senate Finance Committee investigators have tried to determine whether Believer’s Voice of Victory television star Kenneth Copeland has used his... »

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Episcopal Church releases statistics

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Membership — Down. Attendance — Down. Giving — Down. Membership and attendance have been dropping for most of this decade, but the drop in giving is something new. For a whole bunch of newly released statistics, click here. »

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Kindergartener's art censored by NY school

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The child drew a picture of Jesus, complete with beard and flowing robe. And it caused an uproar. A court will decide whether the censorship was appropriate, ChristianPost.com reports. »

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Foul-mouthed comic: Sell the Vatican

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Writer ROME (AP) — Comedian Sarah Silverman has a new proposal for ending world hunger: Sell the Vatican. In a new profanity-laced monologue making the rounds on YouTube in time for U.N. World Food Day on Friday, Silverman suggests that it’s time for the pope to “move out of... »

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Kenneth Copeland and Cookies from Heaven

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Frank Lockwood Arkansas Democrat-Gazette The Bible is full of jaw-dropping dreams, visions and divine visitations, but none quite like this one, shared by televangelist Kenneth Copeland during a sermon at Little Rock’s Agape Church. “The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night,” Copeland told worshippers on Sunday. “There stood Jesus with... »

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Gay marriage throws monkey wrench in ECUSA plans

Friday, October 9th, 2009

You can’t make this stuff up. The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church reached an impasse over plans to meet in Salt Lake City because of objections to Utah’s “one-man, one-woman” definition of marriage. Utah, like 43 other states, has not changed the traditional definition of marriage. Like two dozen or so other states... »

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Presiding bishop hides membership/attendance statistics

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The Episcopal Church has compiled its membership and average Sunday attendance (ASA) figures for 2008, but is declining to release them. Membership and attendance figures have dropped every year since the consecration of the church’s first openly-gay bishop, the Rev. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire, in 2003. Church spokesmen originally said the... »

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Fascinating story, great religious quote in NY Times

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The New York Times has an extraordinary story about Michelle Obama’s ancestors, tracing one of them all the way back to slavery. The earliest ancestors are shrouded in the mist of time, nearly vanished. But with the help of census records and other tools, the paper has done some amazing detective work. The piece... »

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ECUSA gets new membership, attendance figures

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Memphis this week, is slated to receive the 2008 attendance and membership figures for the denomination. The Episcopal Church, which was growing slightly in the 1990s, has seen sharp drops in both categories since the election of openly-gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003. Since then,... »

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A resurrection at Oral Roberts University

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Jay Blossom has written a fascinating article for In Trust magazine about Oral Roberts University’s near-death experience and it’s renaissance. Basically, prosperity gospel preachers pretty much ran the place into the ground, letting the property go to seed and running up millions in debt. But one of America’s richest families came to ORU’s rescue.... »

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Utah artists portrays Jesus with U.S. Constitution

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

and Satan with a journalist… The artist is named Jon McNaughton and he’s pretty good with a brush. He wouldn’t be the first to try to link the media to the prince of darkness… Back in 1994, when I was a brand new journalist, I lived in Eden, Idaho (population roughly 300) and went... »

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Suicide bomber blows self up in front of Saudi prince

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The bomb was concealed somewhere inside the terrorist. Perhaps in his stomach. Perhaps further down the digestive tract. Apparently, it was activated via cell phone — and there’s a tape recording of the phone call. The prince was reportedly only slightly wounded. This is one of the spookier stories you’ll see this week. »

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Diocese of N. Michigan gets assisting bishop

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

The Rev. Tom Ray, retired bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan, has been named assisting bishop by the Diocesan Standing Committee, according to the Church in Hiawathaland, the diocesan newspaper. »

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In Pittsburgh, a graceful parting of the ways

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

It’s been ugly, sometimes, in the Anglican wars — lawsuits, depositions, denunciations. But the folks in Pittsburgh are apparently trying to handle things with a bit more civility. Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the details. »

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American martyr honored in outer space

Monday, October 5th, 2009

This is one of the neatest stories I’ve seen lately. A space shuttle astronaut brought a sliver of a martyred missionary’s plane into the heavens. The missionary, Nate Saint, and four other Christians were killed while attempting to befriend an indigenous tribe in Ecuador in the 1950s. »

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