Saturday, November 7, 2009

Charity Founder Fired

Feed The Children has fired founder and president Larry Jones. He admitted that he put hidden microphones in executive offices. Jones says he did nothing wrong and plans to file a lawsuit to get his job back. Prosecutors haven't said whether they are going to charge him with a crime. He's been battling the directors, along with his daughter, for more than a year. Jones tried to have his opponents fired last year but a judge reinstated them. He receives more than $230,000 from the Oklahoma-Based Christian relief organization which gets about one billion in donations each year, mostly from its television pleas featuring Jones.

Reader's Digest Project Dropped

Rick Warren and Reader's Digest magazine have called it quits less than a year after starting a multimedia project called the Purpose Driven Connection. Warren's Saddleback Church is taking over the operation and the quarterly print magazine will be completely discontinued. Reader's Digest filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. Rick Warren is author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.

Breakaway Church

A church in Bessemer City, North Carolina is leaving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Members of the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church are troubled by the denomination's acceptance of same-sex relationships, voting 559-451 to break away.

Fastest Growing

Americans with no religious affiliation are the fastest growing segment of the religious landscape. Trinity College researchers say about 15% of the adult American population has have no religious affiliation. The number was 8% in 1990. They are more likely to be young and live in the Northeast or Pacific Northwest. And in Vermont, they comprise the largest single “denomination.” A majority of them believe in God and about a third pray each week. Less than 10% call themselves atheists.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dad: God Is Punishing Her

Lindsay Lohan's dad says God is taking her career from her. Michael Lohan is quoted in the New York Post as saying, "She's forsaken everything He's given her and she's done nothing but misuse all the gifts she's given."

Atheists Gather

Atheists and agnostics are gathering in Seattle this weekend. Some 600 people are expected at the annual convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Ron Reagan is among the speakers and events include the Nonprayer Breakfast planned for tomorrow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

GMA May Shut Down

The Gospel Music Association may not be around much longer. The option to close has been put on the table due to financial problems (debt around $800,00). The future of GMA week, held annually in Nashville, is in doubt even if the organization survives falling membership and interest.

Winans on Oprah

Oprah Winfrey says she won't let Gospel singer BeBe Winans back on her show any time soon. He appeared on her talk show last week as part of her show's karaoke challenge. But Winan's ex-wife is complaining that since Oprah said she would let Chris Brown on the show because of his domestic abuse, she should have waited until Winan's case is settled as well. He's charged with domestic assault and will be back in court at the first of the year.

Haggard Opening Church

Ted Haggard is stepping into the pulpit again. He's starting a church out of his house in Colorado Springs. The megachurch pastor was dismissed after an alleged a cash-for-sex relationship was revealed. The first gathering is this Sunday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maine Vote

Maine will not be the first state to approve same-sex marriage at the ballot box. Voters rejected a referendum that would have repealed the state lawing allowing same-sex marriage that had passed the Legislature and was signed by the governor. In every state in which gay marriage has been put to a vote (31) it has lost. The 5 states allowing gay marriage have done so through the courts or legislation.

Grapes of Galilee

Adam Haroz came back with more than just stories from his trip to Israel. Along with his father, who founded Haroz Vintners, he’s offering Grapes of Galilee, a wine that comes from Israel. The grapes are grown next to Nazareth by the Sea of Galilee. The wine is being pitched as something for Christians who “seek a physical connection to their spiritual homeland.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hidden Mics

Feed The Children founder Larry Jones placed hidden microphones in the organization’s headquarters in Oklahoma City. A private investigator found the devices planted in the ceilings of three offices used by leaders in the organization - executives Jones has been fighting with over control of the organization - including his daughter. Jones tried to fire all of them last year but a judge reinstated them to their positions. The director of Feed the Children was later let go and is suing over his dismissal. The charity pulls in more than a billion in donations each year.

The state has no law against secretly recording your own conversation but recording conversations you are not a part of is illegal.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Evangelical March

More than one and a half million Evangelicals took part in Brazil's annual March for Jesus today. It is organized by the Reborn in Christ Church, operated by a couple who just finished serving five months in prison and five months under house arrest in Florida for failing to declair $56,000 in cash they were carrying on a flight from Sao Paulo to Miami. While Brazil has a larger Roman Catholic population than any other country, the number of evangelicals continues to grow.

Book Burning "Sucess"

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church says its book burning was a "great success." Pastor Marc Grizzard says a video of the event will be up soon. Local authorities in Canton, North Carolina. had warned the congregation that it would be against the law. Grizzard and his followers said they planned to burn versions of the Bible other than the King James translation along with books by Billy Graham and Rick Warren.

On the Ballot

Maine and Washington state voters will decided tomorrow whether to give marriage rights to gay men and lesbians. Washington's Referendum 71 would give same-sex partners and unmarried seniors who live together the same rights as married couples. Although the proposed law explicitly states, "a domestic partnership is not a marriage." The Maine measure called Question 1 would remove a law from the books that allows same-sex marriage. The state also has a ballot measure on medical marijuana. It would increase the number of conditions that qualify for patients to buy marijuana.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Largest Building Program Ever

It's perhaps the largest church building program in modern history. First Baptist Church of Dallas has approved a $130 million plan to build a 3,000-seat worship center and a religious education building downtown near the city's arts district. The effort includes a glass concourse and a sky bridge. The congregation currently meets in a sanctuary built in 1890. Five buildings on the old campus will be destroyed to make way for the new facilities.