Saturday, September 5, 2009

Envy Map

A map based on the number of thefts per capita from Kansas State University Geography. Green is lower, red is higher.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Convert Stays in Florida

The runaway teen is staying in Florida – for now. Fathima Rifqa Bary fled Ohio because she says her Muslim family would harm or kill her for converting to Christianity. The 17-year-old is staying with a pastor and his family while the courts sort out what to do. Her family wants her to return. But an Orange County judge has decided to let her stay in Orlando until an investigation is completed into the alleged threats. He’s encouraged the party's involved to work things out through mediation and ordered information about the case to be temporarily sealed. Her father denies there is any threat and Ohio child services say they have not found a reason for her not to return home. Activists held a news conference outside to rally against their view of Islam, exchanging shouts with an angry Muslim man from the area.Her next hearing is set for September 29th.

Wrath Map

A map based on the number of violent crimes (murder, assault, and rape) per capita from Kansas State University Geography. Green is lower, red is higher.

Crumb Art

The comics artist behind Keep On Truckin'  and Fritz the Cat is now looking to the Bible for inspiration. Robert Crumb’s latest work is titles The Book of Genesis Illustrated. The subject of a 1990’s documentary called Crumb, he is given credit for starting the so-called underground commix movement of the 1960s.

Billy Graham Sued

Billy Graham is being sued by a former employee of his Evangelistic Association. Kimberly McCallum says she was fired after complaining that the organization was not reaching out to African-American churches. McCallum’s suit says when she was hired in 2007, she was the only black employee working in the executive offices. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, now runs the offices in Charlotte.

Focus Lay Offs

Focus on the Family is cutting 75 jobs. That's about 8% of its 860 member work force. More than 50 vacant positions will remain unfilled. The orginization founded by James Dobson is suffering from a drop in revenue. The group is 5% short of its $138 million budget. The biggest fall off came from large donors. Last year, Focus cut more than 200 positions.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Translation

Here's a report from KRIV-TV in Houston on a new Bible translation.

Convert From Islam

The Muslim father of a runaway teen is speaking out. She left their Ohio home and fled to Florida after converting to Christianity. She accuses him of threatening to kill her and says his Mosque has ties to terrorism. WOFL-TV in Orlando has this video report.

Ancient Wall Found

A wall has been discovered in Jerusalem that is believed to be about 3700 years old. That would make it the city’s oldest and largest fortification. Archaeologists say the 26-foot-high wall was built by Canaanites who lived in the area before the Jewish conquest. It runs from a hilltop fortress to a spring that served as the city's only water source at the time. It’s the first complex building project that’s pre-Herod and indicates a large population at the time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Secret Service Investigates Pastor

The Secret Service is looking into an Arizona pastor who said he’s praying for the death of President Obama. Tempe pastor Steven Anderson drew criticism for his sermon titled Why I Hate President Obama. He preached the sermon Faithful Word Baptist Church a few weeks ago, while Obama was in the state. This past Sunday Anderson said, I hope he dies of brain cancer today."

Petitions to Oust Pastor

Petitions calling for the ouster of a megachurch pastor have been turned in to the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Some members want to get ride of new pastor Tullian Tchividjian and they want to put the issue before the congregation. The church is part of the Presbyterian Church in America. Denominational laws require a congregational meeting on the issue within one month of such a petition.

Meanwhile, church leaders are moving forward with a disciplinary process that could lead to the excommunicate of the six decedent leaders. Among them, the daughter of D James Kennedy who founded the church.

Pastor Gunned Down

Drug task force agents shot and killed a Georgia pastor when they tried to stop his car at a convenience store in a town about 100 miles northeast of Atlanta. Jonathan Ayers pastored the Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia. Agents claim he struggled with them and then drove off. But there are reports he took money from an ATM machine and saw men running at him. Afraid he was about to be robbed, Ayers supposedly ran for his car. Ayers blog offers and the church's website offered no information on the shooting as of this posting.

Homeschooling Rejected

A New Hampshire judge is ordering a home-schooled girl to attend public school over the objections of her primary-custody parent. The 10-year-old’s father, Martin Kurowski, wants her to go to a public school in Meredith, New Hampshire. But her mom, Brenda Voydatch, wants her home schooled. Despite the fact that Voydatch had enrolled her daughter in three public school courses as a concession to her ex-husband, the judge declared that was not enough. In her ruling, Judge Lucinda Sadler basically said a child cannot be adequately educated at home regardless of the circumstances. Court documents criticized the girl because she "appeared to reflect her mother's rigidity on question of faith."

Study of Religious People

A new study says religious people view themselves as more fit, in better health, having more energy and experiencing less pain than the nonreligoius. The religious are also more likely to have supportive friends and say they are treated with respect. Angus Deaton of Princeton says that women and the elderly are more religious than men in almost all cultures. Deaton reviewed Gallup data to reach his conclusions.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

T-NIV Scrapped

The so-called "gender-accurate" NIV is being scraped. A team of scholars will go back to the 1984 NIV update (the original was published in 1978) and start over. The New International Version or T-NIV eliminated masculine or feminine nouns and pronouns that the scholars believed were unsupported by original manuscripts. The result created a firestorm of protests. The T-NIV will be taken off the market when the new Bible is released. A website has been set up so that the publishers can get feedback from anyone interested in the project.

Former Miss Cali Sues

The former Miss California USA is suing the pageant. Carrie Prejean is accusing officials of telling her to stop talking about God. She created a firestorm with her remarks against gay marriage. They say she was fired for missing scheduled appearances. She says it was because of her comment that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Facebook Religion

Two years after the launch of Facebook, a religious views box made its debut in 2006. The format let users type in whatever they wanted. It proved so popular that Facebook changed its political views box to free-text as well. MySpace also offers a religion box but it's a drop-down menu limited to 14 choices.

A list of the most popular religious identities reveals some interesting information. Christian is the most popular religious designation on the social networking site (that includes anyone who put down Christian, Protestant, Catholic or Mormon or a Christian denomination). The second most popular religious identity is Islam followed by Atheist. Jedi put in an appearance at the 10 spot. And a surprising number of people online claim they are Amish.

Not Standing for the Pledge

A Florida high school student is serving a suspension after she told a Muslim student to stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance and to remove her head covering. A teacher overheard the confrontation at Springstead High School. Lawrence was handed a five-day suspension for bullying and harassment. Even though she now says she regrets telling the girl to "take that thing off" her family is considering legal action against the school located in Springhill, Florida, north of Tampa.

Surgery for Robertson

Pat Robertson is recovering from heart surgery. The 10 hour operation on the 79-year-old Christian broadcaster took place at the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in North Carolina. Robertson's recovery is going well so far. He's expected to be back on the job at the Christian Broadcasting Network in the next few weeks where he hosts the 700 Club.

Pastor Wants Obama to Die

An Arizona pastor says he's praying for Barack Obama to die. Steven Anderson, pastor of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, says he's recieved death threats since he preached a sermon titled, "Why I hate Barack Obama." Picketers showed up at yesterday's services and Anderson says many of his congregation are now bringing guns to church. Anderson says:
"If you want to know how I'd like to see Obama die, I'd like him to die of natural causes. I don't want him to be a martyr, we don't need another holiday. I'd like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer."

Evolution T-shirts

A Missouri school is recalling its band’s t-shirts. Administration officials at the Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia say the shirts promote evolution. The shirts show the image of a monkey holding a brass instrument and progressing through various stages of evolution until eventually becoming a human. Parents complained after the band marched in the Missouri State Fair parade. New t-shirts are now being designed.