Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dobson Takes on New Colorado Law

Colorado’s governor has signed a bill into law this week designed bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in the state. James Dobson says it will allow men to use women's bathrooms, providing opportunities for sexual predators. Senator Jennifer Veiga, who sponsored the bill, says the Focus on the Family founder is wrong and is using scare tactics.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Peace Coalition

Rick Warren is hoping to get Evangelicals to re-think the group’s missionary culture.The author of the Purpose Driven Life invited the 1700 pastors attending a three-day conference to join him in the proposed PEACE coalition. It’s a move away from funneling aid through agencies that send trained professionals into the field. It’s designed to Christian churches into a giant "network of networks" dedicated to relieving the poverty and misery in the developing world. Warren has sent some 8000 of his own Saddleback Church to more than 65 countries in the last few years. The president of Rwanda has even described his country is the first "Purpose-Driven Nation."

Genome Resignation

The scientist who led efforts to decode the human genome is stepping down from his position as head of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Francis Collins is both an outspoken Christian and believer in evolution – combining the two ideas in his book The Language of God. He helped get President Bush to sign into law last week the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Manifesto

Some of the Christian leaders who did NOT sign the Evangelical Manifesto:

  • James Dobson, Focus on the Family
  • Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Church
  • Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
  • Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship
  • Richard Land, Southern Baptist Convention

Lieberman to Speak at Christian Conference

"I believe that Pastor Hagee has made comments that are deeply unacceptable and hurtful, I also believe that a person should be judged on the entire span of his or her life's works. Pastor Hagee has devoted much of his life to fighting anti-Semitism and building bridges between Christians and Jews."

Senator Joe Lieberman explaining why he plans to fulfill his commitment to speak at the Christians United for Israel summit hosted by pastor John Hagee. Pressure has mounted on the Connecticut Senator to skip the speaking engagement ever since remarks by Hagee surfaced critical of the Catholic church and that some critics considered anti-Semitic. Hagee apologized for the Catholic comments.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ORU Provost

Oral Roberts University is losing its provost. Mark Lewandowski says he’s leaving the post in about a month but will remain a faculty member of the school. Lewandowski says he was not forced to resign. He helped bring an end to Richard Roberts tenure as the school’s president last year and threatened to resign in November if Roberts won reinstatement.

Suspended over Harry Potter

A library worker claims she was suspended from her part-time job for refusing to work at an event to promote the last Harry Potter book. The ACLU of Eastern Missouri is going to court on behalf of Deborah Smith. The civic rights group has filed a lawsuit against Poplar Bluff, claiming the Southern Baptist had to quit on her doctor’s advice rather than continue working at library. After she returned from the suspension, Smith was given tasks like moving and emptying boxes of books which supposedly put a strain on her pacemaker. No response yet from the city.

Pick of the Week

Steven Curtis Chapman Cinderella is USA Today's Pick of the Week. His 5-year-old daughter, Maria Sue Chapman was the song's inspiration. She died last week. The newspaper calls the song
"emotionally devastating" now but still beautiful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Zondervan Makes Cuts

Zondervan is cutting jobs. The Christian publishing giant says it’s dropping 18 jobs as part of a restructuring effort. Nineteen year veteran VP Scott Bolinder is among those being laid off. The Michigan company is owned by News Corporation which also owns Fox.

City Motto

Voters in Porterville, California will decide a week from today whether to official change the city's motto to In God We Trust. It’s already on display around city buildings. The ballot measure would add it to city stationary.

Saved! Comes to Broadway

The 2004 indie movie Saved has been turned into a musical. The film makes fun of life in an evangelical Christian high school where a teenager gets pregnant after she sleeps with her boyfriend in an attempt to cure his homosexuality. The movie only pulled in $9 million. The stage production opens for a three week run starting a week from today in New York at Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Narnia Tumbles

Ticket sales for the second Narnia film fell 58% over the Memorial Day Weekend to about $28.6 million. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has taken in $96.7 overall. Industry watchers say the dip could be the result of the powerful opening of the new Indiana Jones movie. Caspian still held on to the number two spot.

Rapture Email

Want to let your friends know what happened to you after you are whisked away during the Rapture? There’s a new site that claims it will store your notes and then “automatically send the Emails after the Rapture of the Church has taken place”. Is a joke? It seems just as likely the operators of the site are hoping to make fun of pretribulationist Christians as they are to be sincere, since they don’t identify themselves and keep the name of the site's owner hidden. But then, since the service costs $40 for the storage space and sample email, maybe they just want to make money off believers' zeal.

Chapman Memorial

The two-hour memorial service for the daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman drew about 1500 people to Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Church. The five-year-old adopted girl was killed when her 17-year-old brother hit her while driving an SUV in the driveway of the family's home in Franklin, Tennessee. No charges are expected to be filed against the teenager. Here's a video tribute to Maria Sue Chapman.

Jakes to Daytime TV

A daytime talk show is in development for pastor T.D. Jakes. It’s being put together by Dr. Phil McGraw’s production company, Stage 29 Productions. Jakes appears frequently on CBS’s Dr. Phil. Jakes was named among the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America by Time magazine in 2005. His Dallas church, called The Potter’s House, now boasts more than 30,000 members.

Does God Hate Lawyers?

A study of first year law students in Minnesota shows the more religious of the group fared worse academically. Researchers say medium and low spirituality seemed to had no correlation. The study was conducted at the University of St. Thomas School of Law which has a strong Catholic tradition.