Friday, December 17, 2010

New Plates for KY

Kentucky plans to issue In God We Trust auto license plates as an alternative to the Unbridled Spirit already available. Both plates would run $21.

Food Court Flash Mob

Moving Sign Battle in Texas

An atheist group is running ads on public buses in Fort Worth that read, "Millions of people are good without God." Meanwhile, a van, paid for by local businessmen, is driving around those buses with signs reading, "I still love you. -- God," with another line that says, "2.1 billion Christians are good with God." The atheist ads are paid for by the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason. Some black ministers have organized a bus boycott while other pastors have asked the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to ban religious advertising on public buses.

Warren Makes Top 20

Rick Warren and the Dalai Lama were the only religious figures to make Forbe's list of the top 20 most influential Twitter celebrities. Topping the list was 16-year-old singer Justin Bieber with more than 6.3 million followers. Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life , has more than 209,000 followers, putting him at number 20. Along with some personal tweets, Warren mostly offers challenges, Scripture verses, mentoring advice and encouragement to his Twitter followers. You can follow him here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pastors flock to Facebook, Twitter

A story from USA Today about the impact of social networks on the church. Read it here.

Bank Told to Get Rid of Bible References

Federal Reserve examiners are demanding a small bank in Oklahoma get rid of a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say Merry Christmas, God With Us. With the help of local Congressmen and the Oklahoma Bankers Association, the bank hopes to be able to continue its use of Scripture.

Cultural Trends in Books

The word “God” peaked in usage in the world’s books about 1830. That's according to Harvard researchers from a survey of Google's 5.2 million digitized book library. Preachers wrote a greater percentage of books in the early 1800s which may explain why “God” peaked that year, when it represented 12.5 of every 10,000 words. By the year 2000, its prevalence had dropped to just 2.6 times out of 10,000 words. Details are in the journal Science where the researchers conclude, "'God’ is not dead, but needs a new publicist."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Carol of the Bed Intruder

Antoine Dodson became an internet sensation when a video of him giving a interview to a local TV station showed up on YouTube. The reporter spoke to him after he chased a rapist from his sister's bedroom.

An Auto-Tune remix, a political ad, and a dog's Halloween costume have all followed. Now, students at Liberty University in Virginia (founded by Jerry Falwell) have come up with their own version of Dodson's rant.

Silent Night Ritual

Indiana's Taylor University has a basketball ritual known as Silent Night. Around Christmastime, students at the Christian college pack the school's gym dressed in pajamas and remain quiet until Taylor scores its 10th point of the game. Watch what happens.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Church Promoted Alleged Scam

Atlanta megchurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long is being linked to a questionable mortgage venture that is being investigated by the feds. Matrix Capital promised to cut mortgage payments of its customers, but investigators say most of them ended up in bankruptcy and losing their homes. It was at Long's church where church members were told in seminars to pay Matrix instead of their mortgage holders. Long has issued a written statement saying he no longer allows Matrix to hold seminars at the church, but he is also not planning to do anything to help people who the feds say were swindled.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christians Flee Iraq

The New York Times takes a look at Christians leaving Iraq here.

Jones No Longer Welcome

The Florida pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Koran has been dis-invited to a UK rally. The English Defence League now says Terry Jones is no longer welcome because it has "reservations" about his views that appear "homophobic and racist." Jones says the group has bowed to government and media pressure. Jones says he'll still come to the UK in February as planned.

Prof Sues School over Views on Evolution

An astronomer claims the University of Kentucky refused to hire him because of his Christian views related to evolution. Martin Gaskell is suing the school after he was denied a job as director of an observatory even though he was the leading candidate for the post. Gaskell is now a research fellow and lecturer in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin who says he believes evolution can be reconciled with the Bible but the theory has major flaws. The university admits his views and willingness to express them to religious groups played a role in the hiring decision and tried to get the suit dismissed. A judge denied the motion. The case goes to trial in February.

Billy Graham & Richard Nixon

A piece of audio released by the Richard Nixon Library this past week revealed a conversation the former president had with Billy Graham. The previously unheard 8 minute phone conversation that took place April 11, 1973 showed that Graham predicted the investigation into the Watergate scandal would blow over. Graham assuring Nixon of his support. He also asked Nixon to consider a particular candidate to lead the Postal Service. Here's part of what Graham said:
“I really just wanted to reassure you of my support and prayers and love and backing and just tell you if there’s anything I can ever do, I want you to consider me a member of your team. We don’t know everything, but we know you, and that’s enough for us, and that’s what I intend to say publicly.”
It was later reported that Nixon said, “Don’t let Billy Graham near me, I don’t want him tarred with Watergate.”

Oral Roberts

One year ago, Evangelist Oral Roberts died at the age of 91. He had been hospitalized after a fall at his California home. He died of complications from pneumonia. He founded Oral Roberts University in 1963.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

#1 on the Big Screen

The new Chronicles of Narnia movie took the top slot in box office charts. The third installment in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, sold about $24.5 million in its first weekend, enough for No. 1 but on the low end of expectations. Unless it picks up, the series based on the CS Lewis books could end here.

TIME's Top Religious Stories of 2010

1. The "Ground Zero Mosque"
2. The Vatican and the Child Abuse Scandal
3. The Bankruptcy of the Crystal Cathedral
4. Franklin Graham vs. the Muslims
5. The Rev. Terry Jones Threatens to Burn Korans
6. Women Priests, In Spite of the Vatican
7. The Pope Doesn't Quite Endorse Condoms
8. Christians Under Attack in the Middle East
9. Obama Decides Not to Visit the Golden Temple
10. The Vatican and Homer Simpson

Read more at TIME

Preacher May Get UK Ban

A Koran-burning American pastor may not be allowed in England. Terry Jones backed off his threat to burn the Koran, but not before the Florida pastor gained worldwide attention. Now, he wants to speak to activists in Britain but the Home Secretary says she is considering whether to ban him from entering the country. Jones is scheduled to speak at an English Defence League rally "against the evils and destructiveness of Islam" on February 5th in Luton, an area which has a large Muslim minority.

A Christmas Quiz

1. What did the angels sing to the shepherds?
2. In what direction did the Wise Men see the star in the sky?
3. Where did the wise men go to see the baby?
4. How many wise men were there?
5. In which season of the year was Jesus born?
6. What did Mary ride on to Bethlehem?
7. What did the wise men ride on?
8. In what country did the Christmas tree originate?
9. In what century did Christmas celebrations begin?
10. Was there ever an original, real Santa Claus?
11. What Christmas tradition commemorating the birth of Jesus
did St. Francis of Assisi begin?
12. Did Jesus tell us to remember his birth?

Answers Here