Saturday, October 4, 2008

Chip Maker Sued Over Christmas Trees

A Utah truck driver is suing Frito-Lay. Richard Cleaveland of West Valley City says he was punished for refusing to deliver Christmas trees. Cleaveland says he was uncomfortable because of his Jewish faith and was put on difficult shifts and given less responsibility. Frito-Lay hasn’t commented yet.

Diocese Breaks Away

The Pittsburgh diocese voted today to break off from the Episcopal Church. The final talley was 240 to 102 with 121 Clergy voting in favor of the split and 33 voting against it. The Pittsburgh diocese follows in the steps of the the Diocese of San Joaquin, California which realigned with a wing of the Anglican church in South America. Similar votes are set for dioceses in Illinois and Texas. The most significant disagreement between the Episcopal Church and conservative dioceses is the Consecrated of gay clergy and bishops.

Palin More Generous Than Biden

Sarah Palin may make a lot less than rival Joe Biden but she gives a lot more to charity.

The Palin family has donated more money to charity in the last two years than Biden has in the last eight years - combined.

Palin's just released tax records show that her family made $127,869 in income during 2006 and donated $4,880 to charity. The next year, they took in $166,080 and donated $3,325 to nonprofits.

Biden, on the other hand, has donated just $3,690 since 1998. As a Senator, he made $320,000 last year but gave only $995 to charity. That’s less than 1% of his income.

Stop the Praying!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the National Day of Prayer. The atheist and agnostic group says it’s a government endorsement of religion. Named in the suit: President Bush, the governor of Wisconsin (the group is based there) and other government officials. The National Day of Prayer takes place on the first Thursday of each May and the lawsuit claims it makes for a "hostile environment for nonbelievers”. The wife of James Dobson, Shirley Dobson is chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Megachurch Pastor Has Heart Surgery

John Hagee is recovering from open heart surgery in a San Antonio hospital. Hagee's Cornerstone Church says the operation was a success. The megachurch is expected to be out of the pulpit for a month. In the meantime, Matt Hagee, his son, will take over in the pulpit. Hagee has been in the news related to the presidential campaign this year. After he endorsed John McCain, the presidential candidate rejected the endorsement when it came to light that the Texas preacher had suggested God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land.

McCain Support Less from Young Evangelicals

White evangelical Christians:
71% - McCain
23% - Obama

White evangelical Christians under the age of 30:
62% - McCain
30% - Obama

Palin Support:
46% - White evangelical women below 30
65% - White evangelical women over 30

Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Couple Arrested in Faith Healing Case

An Oregon couple will appear in court this morning on charges related to their son’s death. When she fell ill, they relied on prayer instead of medical care. Jeff and Marci Beagley, who attend Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, lost their son to bladder complications several months ago. A medical examiner says his death could have been prevented had his family taken him to a doctor. Several children from the church died in the 90’s. Another couple in the church already face charges involving the death of a toddler who passed away earlier this year. They are expected to go on trial next year.

Reaction to Baptist Store Yanking Magazine

LifeWay Christian Bookstores took the magazine Gospel Today off the shelves for its cover featuring five women pastors. WRCB-TV in Chattanooga spoke with one of the women on the cover about he controversy.

Former Pastor Gets Jail Time

A former Texas pastor is headed to jail. Donald Roger Clyde of Round Rock got a 5 year sentence for stealing about $700,000 from his church. He plead guilty to taking money from Fellowship at Forest Creek Church. Clyde turned himself in to police and has returned about half of the funds he stole to buy property, boats and go on expensive vacations.

Baptist Couple on BBC Show

A couple from Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama is appearing on a British reality show. Mark and Lynn Garnett are going will be featured on the BBC reality show World's Strictest Parents. They played host to two rebellious UK teens for eight days in July and August. They have three children of their own. The connection between the Garnett's and the reality show was Rick Burgess of the Rick and Bubba radio Show. He attends church with the Garnetts and recommended them for the program.

Falwell's University Gets Visit from Pro-Gay Group

WSET-TV in Lynchburg, Virginia reports on a pro-gay group's visit to the University founded by Jerry Falwell.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Amy's Tour

Six-time Grammy Award winner Amy Grant is planning a reunion tour this fall that features most of the band that accompanied her on the original Lead Me On concert tour. Grant will also be promoting her new release The Christmas Collection, just released this week. She’s hoping to get into the studio and record a few songs for her next album before the fall tour begins.

Pastor on Trial

A church trial started today and is expected to end tomorrow in Pittsburgh. At issue: whether a minister in the Presbyterian Church violated church law by conducting a marriage ceremony between two women. Janet Edwards was cleared in a her first hearing because charges were filed too late. The marriage ceremony took place in 2005.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Focus Cutting Jobs

James Dobson’s Focus on the Family plans to cut about 50 jobs in marketing, sales and distribution. Christian Book Distributors will take over the ministry's product distribution next year to cut costs. Orders for products have dropped as retailers (such as Wal-Mart) are moving into Christian product distribution.

Cult Leader Waives Extradition

Tony Alamo has waived his right to fight extradition to Arkansas from Arizona. The cult lead is accused of moving minors across state lines for sexual purposes. Sometime next week he’ll go back to Arkansas where his compound was raided last weekend. He was convicted of tax fraud in 1994 and served four years behind bars.

Students Confess Hanging Obama Image

George Fox University now says it will punish four students who confessed to hanging a likeness of Barack Obama from a tree on the Oregon campus. A fishing line was tied around the neck and a sign calling for the rejection of a scholarship program that helps minority students. But the issue may not be over with just the Christian school’s discipline. The FBI is looking into whether any civil rights were violated.

Jesus Poster at Public School

WJXT-TV in Jascksonville, Florida reports on a religious poster at an elementary school that's created controversy- because it mentions Jesus.

Complaints Filed against Churches

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed complaints against six churches, saying they violated IRS rules by endorsing a presidential candidate from the pulpit. The pastors deliberately made their choices public in an act of defiance against federal tax law, encouraged by the Christian legel group called the Alliance Defense Fund. The six are:

Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bethlehem, Georgia
Warroad Community Church, Warroad, Minnesota
Fairview Baptist Church, Fairview, Oklahoma
Calvary Chapel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
First Southern Baptist Church, Buena Park, California
New Life Church, West Bend, Wisconsin

The pastors of each church endorsed John McCain for president.

Image of Obama Hung at Christian College

The hanging of a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama is stirring controversy on the campus of George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. The image was discovered at the small Christian college by custodial workers last week. A sign attached to the cutout read, Act Six reject. That’s a reference to a scholarship program that benefits minorities. The student body is predominantly white. Fox was founded by Quakers more than 100 years ago.

Pastors Defy IRS

Churches across the country defied the IRS Sunday when pastors endorced presidential candidates from the pulpit. CNN files this report:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pastor with a Punch

Seattle's KING-TV reports on a pastor who preaches with a punch.

Fireproof Comes in at #4

The new film starring Kirk Cameron called Fireproof came in 4th this weekend at the box office. The movie took in a strong $6.5 million. That’s the most money of any film this year opening on fewer that 1000 screens except for the Hannah Montana concert movie. The Christian-themed movie was made by a Albany, Georgia Baptist church that made Facing the Giants. It’s about the marriage of a firefighter. Cameron also starred in the film Left Behind.