Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mercy Me Fatal Accident

MercyMe was involved in the fatal crash in Fort Wayne, Indiana early today when a car turned into the path of the group's tour bus as the bus was going through a green light. No one on MercyMe's bus was injured. But two people in the car were killed. The driver was an 18-year-old pregnant woman who is now in critical condition and has lost her child. The contemporary Christian music group, best known for the song I Can Only Imagine, cancelled its sold-out concert set for this evening at Six Flags St Louis. It has been rescheduled for September 5th.

Catholics by State

The results of a Gallup Poll show the distribution of Catholics across the states is heavily skewed toward the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

The state with highest percentage Catholic is Rhode Island at 53%, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Two Midwestern states, Wisconsin and Illinois, are also in the top 10 states in terms of the percentage Catholic.

The 10 states with the lowest percentages of Catholics are all in or close to the South, with the exception of Utah (with its high concentration of Mormons). Mississippi, with a 6% Catholic population, has the lowest proportion of Catholics of any state.

Racist Graffiti on Church

WPTY-TV in Memphis has a video report on what police are calling a hate crime.

Religion by State

Here's a graphic showing Gallup poll results of non-Catholic Christians -by state. They are heavily concentrated in the South and nearby states, while constituting only a minority of residents of Northeastern states, and of many Middle Atlantic and Western states.

Mississippi and Alabama are at the top with 81% and 80% Protestant/other Non-Catholic Christian.

The state with the lowest proportion of non-Catholic Christians is Utah. Other states that are low in terms of non-Catholic Christian representation are those with high percentages of Catholics, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Water Park Brawls

Fights broke out at a water park in Tulsa during a Christian event last night. The Waves of Worship event drew some 3500 youth was sponsored by Christian radio station KXOJ. Here's a video report from KOTV.

Ruby Tuesday Lawsuit

A Daytona Beach black pastor is suing Ruby Tuesday for discrimination. Loverso Walker wants $7 million from the restaurant chain. Walker and more than 50 church members from the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ were refused service two years ago, according to the lawsuit. Mediation between the parties has not resolved the matter. Here's more on the story from WPBF-TV.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sexual Orientation

When sexual orientation conflicts with religious faith, counselors are being told not to offer "reparative therapy" which seeks to change sexual orientation. A new report says there’s no evidence to suggest such a change is possible. The American Psychological Association’s governing council has voted 125-4 to accept the study and go on record against telling gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments. The group suggestions that mental health professionals should offer options ranging from celibacy to switching churches.

Psychologist Mark Yarhouse, who teaches at Regent University, will present a study that offers the opposite conclusion at Friday’s APA meeting. He studied people who went through programs with Exodus International. Yarhouse says most of the people switched to heterosexuality or pulled away from homosexuality.

Exodus is one of the largest organizations promoting change of sexual orientation. President Alan Chambers says parts of the APA report are encouraging. Chambers says, "It's a positive step.. simply respecting someone's faith is a huge leap in the right direction.”

Bono at Megachurch

U2 lead singer Bono will be among those who participate in a leadership conference at a Chicago megachurch. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is also on the bill for Willow Creek Community Church's annual Leadership Summit. It takes place tomorrow and Friday. Although many of the speakers will appear in person, Bono and Blair will reach the audience by satellite. Some 60,000 business and church leaders will crowd onto the church campus and tens of thousands of others will watch at other locations.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Survey on WW II Atomic Bombs

Do you think the US did the right thing or the wrong thing by dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Here are the percentages of those responding to this poll who say it was the right thing.

All Americans – 61%
White Protestants, Catholics and evangelical Christians – 70%
Jews – 58%

Source: Quinnipiac University poll

Baptist Leadership

Southern Baptists may get rid of their North American Mission Board president. Geoff Hammond has been at the helm of the denomination's evangelism arm for 2 years. But some members of the executive committee aren’t happy with his leadership. There will be a discussion of whether to remove him when the committee meets again next Tuesday.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Baker Book House

Here's a look at one of the significant but small evangelical publishers - Baker Book House.

Complaints about Church Feeding Homeless

Neighbors are complaining about a central Phoenix church feeding the homeless. KTVK-TV reports.

Elvis and Cash at Sun

A new release from Sun Records contains 31 gospel recordings from Sun's vaults- including tunes from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Charlie Rich. The CD retrospective from the Memphis studio is called Sun Gospel and starts with Presley’s informal Just a Little Talk With Jesus. It is being released by Germany's Bear Family records.