Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shea Gets Award

The group that presents the Grammys is giving George Beverly Shea a Lifetime Achievement Award. Shea will be 102 next month when he picks up the award. Best-known for singing at Billy Graham's crusades, he has recorded more than 500 vocal solos and more than 70 albums. He has 10 Grammy nominations and won one Grammy. The Guinness Book of World Records says Shea holds the mark for singing in front of the most people (220 million). His first wife, Erma, died in 1976. In 1985, he married Karlene and now live near Billy Graham in North Carolina.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kardashian Tithing

Kim Kardashian told CNN's Piers Morgan last night that she tithes her yearly income. The reality star said, "Whatever it is, I give 10% away to the church, and that's what I was taught." Her sister was asked whether she tithes and Kourtney Kardashian said with a laugh, "I'm going to now. I was taught that, too, but I forgot about it."

More Happiness for Couples that Wait

Researchers at Brigham Young University say they've found evidence to support abstinence. They asked survey participants about their sexual activity in their marriage, how often they attended church, pray, and whether spirituality was an important part of their lives. They found people who delay having sex had better relationships in four ways: Better communication, sexual activity, relationship satisfaction, and stability. Details are in the Journal of Family Psychology.


Films about faith and religion are prominent at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Two that are attention are Salvation Boulevard where Pierce Brosnan stars as a corrupt charismatic preacher of a Christian spiritual community and Farmiga, which tells the story of an Iowa farm girl who becomes a born-again Christian in the 1970s.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Muslim Growth

If trends continue, more than one person in four will be a Muslim by 2030, according to a study. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found the number will reach 2.2 billion. of Muslims in the US will more than double in the next 20 years.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hall of Fame Inductees

Johnny Cash was among those inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame Monday. Joining him were the Golden Gate Quartet, DeGarmo & Key, and disc jockey Bill "Hoss" Allen. Larry Gatlin and comedian Chonda Pierce served as hosts for the ceremonies at the Trinity Broadcast Network's Trinity Music City Auditorium in Hendersonville, Tennessee.. Performers included Ricky Skaggs, the Oak Ridge Boys, Trace Adkins, Russ Taff and Jeremy Camp

Haggard: I'm Bisexual

Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard says he's a bisexual. Haggard was forced out of his church after his relationship to a male prostitute became public. In an interview with GQ magazine, he talks about the man and his use of drugs. Haggard told the interviewer he would likely call himself a "bisexual" if not for his belief system and family. Haggard is back in Colorado Springs where is is leading a small independent church.

Pastors Protest BP

A group of 40 people including many Black pastors protested at the Calvary Baptist Church in Kenner, Louisiana against BP. They are complaining that the oil company was slow making payments to their churches. The pastors say the spill cut into their donations.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Billy Graham Regrets

Billy Graham says he regrets getting into politics. During an interview with Christianity Today, Graham spoke about what he would had done differently in his life:
I ... would have steered clear of politics. I'm grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now."
President Obama visited the 92-year-old evangelist at his log cabin in North Carolina in April of last year.

Dog Killed for Chewing on Bible

A South Carolina woman is facing charges she abused her nephew's dog for chewing on her Bible. Prosecutors say Miriam Smith of Spartanburg used an electrical cord to hang the dog and burn its body. Police say she called it a "devil dog." She had apparently left the Bible on her porch. Smith could get as much as five years in prison.

Osteen on CNN

Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen will appear tonight on Piers Morgan's new CNN show. In the prerecorded interview, Morgan asked Osteen about homosexuality. Here's a clip.

Cutting Ties with Interfaith Group

Southern Baptists are parting ways with an interfaith coalition that works against discrimination against Muslims in the building of mosques. The Interfaith Coalition on Mosques was started by the Anti-Defamation League. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, announced his intention to withdraw from the group this past Friday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Rite

Anthony Hopkins says he used to be an atheist but now, "I'm not sure what I believe. I think there's something at the back of everything. And I think the film presents an interesting debate, and I respect people's beliefs, whether they're atheists or believers." The film the actor is referring to is titled The Rite. He reprises his role as Hannibal Lecter in the movie that opens Friday. Hopkins says a real exorcist, a priest, was on the set for consultation during the production. The story focuses on a young deacon played by Colin O'Donoghue who isn't sure there is a God, or a Devil.

Hopkins has told reporters in interviews this week, "If someone believes in God, who am I to argue with that? Who am I to question the faith of people like Einstein, Kepler, Charles Darwin, who were themselves great scientists and yet believed in a deity? I do read everything I can. For this project, I read On the Origin of Species, and I've read the Psalms of Bonhoeffer, and his life story. I've read everything I possibly can. The only certainty is death. My only philosophy is that if this is it, if this is the only life there is, I may as well enjoy it. And if it's not - maybe there's something beyond this, and this is all a dream - then I may as well enjoy it as well. It's a double-win situation."