Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pastor Accused of being "Of the Devil"

A jury has awarded $4.6 million to the former pastor of a Torrance, California church. Nancy Johnson claimed to have been slandered by the current pastor of the Prairie Avenue Foursquare Church, Erik Kirk, said she was "of the devil." Kirk also said she misappropriating building project funds. Johnson's husband, the late George Johnson, was fired during the 1990's when his two daughters accused him of sexual abuse. He was later reinstated, and the church agreed to pay back salary. The trial got off to an disturbing start when the first witness was murdered before she could take the stand on behalf of Johnson.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tops Stories... One Year Ago

A survey of more than 100 religion journalists found these to be the top stories of 2009:

1. Barack Obama's June speech in which he pledged a new beginning in Muslim-U.S. relations during a visit to Cairo.

2. Health care reform and the role of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other faith groups played in shaping the debate.

3. Because Maj. Nidal Hasan, the accused gunman in the Fort Hood massacre, was considered a devout Muslim, the role of that faith in terrorism again comes under review; some fear a backlash.

4. Dr. Carl Tiller, regarded as the country’s leading abortion doctor, is gunned down while ushering in his Wichita Lutheran church. Scott Roeder, charged with his murder, is described as a man suffering from delusions and professing radical religious beliefs.

5. Mormons in California come under attack from some supporters of gay rights because of their lobbying efforts in the November 2008 election on behalf of Prop. 8, which outlawed gay marriage. Later in the year, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire approve gay marriage, but it is overturned by voters in Maine.

6. President Obama receives an honorary degree and gives the commencement speech at Notre Dame after fierce debates at the Roman Catholic university over Obama's views on abortion.

7. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America votes to ordain gay and lesbian clergy who are in a committed monogamous relationship, leading a number of conservative churches -- known as the Coalition for Renewal -- to move toward forming a new denomination.

8. The recession forces cutbacks at a great variety of faith-related organizations -- houses of worship, relief agencies, colleges and seminaries, publishing houses.

9. The Episcopal Church Triennial Convention votes to end a moratorium on installing gay bishops, ignoring a request from the archbishop of Canterbury. At year’s end Los Angeles chooses a lesbian, Mary Glasspool, as assistant bishop. Earlier, an elected bishop in Upper Michigan, Kevin Thew Forrester, is rejected because of his extreme liberal views.

10. President Obama’s inauguration includes a controversial invocation by Rick Warren and a controversial benediction by Joseph Lowery, as well as a pre-ceremony prayer by gay Bishop Gene Robinson.

Source: Religion Newswriters Association

McCartney Apologizes

Bill McCartney is apologizing for referring to homosexuality as "an abomination against almighty God." The Former University of Colorado coach and founder of Promise Keepers is once again up for the head football position. Some have opposed hiring him because of his comments. The 70-year-old McCartney announced that he would like to return to the job he held from 1982 to 1994. McCartney now says:
"The Bible says the whole gospel is found in the first two commandments, and those commandments are love God and love your neighbor as yourself. What I regret is that I did not communicate that. I didn't communicate that well that day, and I regret that. I ask the forgiveness of anyone who thinks I judged them or look down on them. I don't."
School administrators fired Dan Hawkins from the coaching position last month.

Japanese Poster

This Tokyo subway poster shows Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper confronted by umbrellas forgotten on the train. It's part of a larger series designed to get riders to gather their belongings before leaving the subway car.

Penalized for thanking God

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Star of David Discovery

Google Earth has revealed there is a Star of David on the roof of the Teheran airport. Iranian government officials are reportedly incensed at the discovered at the headquarters of Iran Air, Al- Arabiya. More than 30 years ago, the building that houses the national airline of the Islamic Republic was constructed by Israeli engineers. Before 1979, there were regular flights between the Shah’s Iran Teheran and Tel Aviv. A few months ago, it was discovered that there was a Star of David on the roof of a building in Teheran’s Revolution Square.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blaming God for Dropped Pass

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson is blaming God for dropping a game-winning touchdown in the end zone Sunday. After the overtime game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Johnson tweeted:


The NFL fined Johnson $5,000 last week for wearing a t-shirt under his jersey that had a Batman-inspired quote from the Joker, "Why so serious?" He showed the shirt after scoring a touchdown. He praised God on Twitter for helping him to make that catch.

Televangelist Admits Affair

The founder of the Daystar Television Network had told his TV audience that he had an affair. Marcus Lamb says he was forced to go public with the matter after several people allegedly tried to blackmail him. Lamb's wife appeared with him when he made the announcement during the his Celebration TV program. Daystar operates more than 70 television stations. The organization claims an audience of 80 million homes.

The Manhattan Declaration

Apple has removed an app called the Manhattan Declaration from its iTunes store. Some 7000 people had signed a petition to get it deleted, saying it is anti-gay. Launched in October, the 4000 word statement has been signed by more than 400,000 people and is described as 'a call to Christian conscience.' Read the Manhattan declaration here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Woman Burned Alive

The UK's Daily Mail is reporting that five men are behind bars in Ghana for burning to death a 72-year-old woman. Authorities say they accused Ama Hemmah being a witch before drenching the grandmother with kerosene and setting her on fire. One of the men is believed to be an evangelical pastor. He claims they were anointing her body with oil when it caught fire.

Controversial Billboard

A large billboard outside the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel shows a manger scene with the caption “You KNOW it’s a Myth." The ad is sponsored by a group called American Atheists.

Is Sarah Palin Right?

Sarah Palin says that most college professors are unbelievers. She writes in her new book America By Heart, "Most of those who write for the mainstream media and teach at universities and law schools don’t share the religious faith of their fellow Americans." But a survey published last year in the journal Sociology of Religion found less than 10% are atheists. Here is a breakdown of the survey.
  • I don’t believe in God: 9.8
  • I don’t know whether there is a God: 13.1
  • I do believe in a higher power: 19.2
  • I find myself believing in God some of the time: 4.3
  • While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God: 16.6
  • I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it: 34.9
  • No answer: 2.2