Separate church and state, not God and state

We hear so much talk from certain quarters about separation of church and state, and the Constitution. Certainly it was the founding fathers’ desires to prevent any particular religion from using the power of government to foster their own religious convictions. However, it was never the intent of our founders to cause a separation of... Continue Reading

Play about Colorado Springs’ evangelicals starts a dialogue

It was praised by the New York Times, the New Yorker and Variety, among other A-List media outlets. But on a Friday night early in December, “This Beautiful City” faced even tougher critics: The town that inspired the play about the schism between the evangelical community and well, the rest of Colorado Springs. “I have... Continue Reading

How December 25 Became Christmas

From Biblical Archaeology Review an interesting article on “How December 25 Became Christmas.” On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How... Continue Reading

Dissident Lutherans: bullying over gays

A decision to ordain actively gay clergy has caused deep fissures in the nation’s largest Lutheran church group, with some traditional Lutherans saying they have been subjected to threats and retaliation as they consider breaking away. Several disaffected members of the EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America (ELCA) say the decision made at the church’s national convention in... Continue Reading

Obama team seeks enlightenment on Muslim relations

The Obama Administration secretly sent staff to Melbourne last week to ask religious leaders about winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world. The State Department’s head of religious freedom, Peter Kovach, White House religion expert Mara Vanderslice and a Gulf states policy planning head arrived at the Parliament of the World’s Religions unexpectedly and... Continue Reading

French President defends Swiss minaret decision

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has voiced sympathy for Switzerland’s controversial decision to ban the building of minarets, calling on religious practitioners to avoid ”ostentation” and ”provocation” for fear of upsetting others. Mr Sarkozy said he was surprised by the widespread criticism of the outcome of last month’s referendum in Switzerland, when 57 per cent... Continue Reading

Web searches for religious topics on the rise

Religion is not just for churches, synagogues or mosques anymore — it’s a topic that is being actively searched for online, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers examined how people use search engines to locate religious information online. They analyzed more than 5.5 million searches collected from three Web search engines between 1997... Continue Reading

How a Faith-Based Strategy Pushed ‘Blind Side’ to No. 1 at Box Office

Not just any movie can unseat “New Moon” in its third weekend at the box office. So when “The Blind Side,” also in its third weekend, usurped the tween vampire blockbuster on Sunday by grossing $20.4 million to the “Twilight” sequel’s $15.7 million, more than a few eyebrows in Hollywood were raised. But then again,... Continue Reading

Appellate court difficult to read on cross case

A panel of federal appellate judges wrestled Wednesday, Dec 9, with the complex and conflicting legal claims over the fate of the Mount Soledad cross in the latest legal showdown in the long-running case. The 29-foot-tall cross in La Jolla has been the subject of litigation since 1989. After nearly 45 minutes of arguments, it... Continue Reading

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from ex-Gitmo prisoners

The Supreme Court has refused to take up an appeal from former Guantanamo Bay detainees who say they were tortured and denied religious rights. The justices rejected the appeal without comment Monday. Four British men say they were harassed while practicing their religion, including forced shaving of their beards, banning or interrupting their prayers, denying... Continue Reading