Thursday, December 27, 2012

The challenge of hope in 'Les Misérables'

The takeaway of CNN contributor to the new film adaptation of Les Miserable here.

Congregation gives more than half-a-million in 2 days

A Miami megachurch has raised more than $600,000 in two days to help "the hurting and under-resourced in Miami and India." Christ Fellowship Church had hoped to raise $337,000, but the result was overwhelming. The church has six campuses and operates an organization called Caring for Miami which offers counseling, homeless assistance, medical and dental care, and other services to people living in the area. A large portion of the gives will go to fund that outreach. Children in the church raised more than $3800 by bringing pennies for helping children in need. Middle and high schoolers were encouraged to take their shoes off after a special service. More than 1,800 pairs of shoes were collected as donations to those in poverty living in places like Haiti, El Salvador. There is more information on the church here.

Millennials at church: A small but passionate flock

Read more at USA Today

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The world's religious make-up

A new Pew Research Center report finding is shown in this chart.


Into everlasting fire

The Economist takes a look at the concept of hell in different societies here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cali Gay Therapy Law on Hold

A California law banning therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of gays is on hold. The Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal group, asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the law's enforcement until the court decides on whether it violates the First Amendment rights of therapists and parents. One judge in the state has already declared it unconstitutional - while another decided the opposite. It was due to go into effect January first. An appeals court panel wants to wait at least until it can hear full arguments in the case. A lower court had turned down a request for an injunction by counselors who practice so-called "reparative therapy" along with two families who say the therapy helped their sons. If the law goes into effect, therapists using this technique could be disciplined by state licensing boards.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Former Pop Singer Sings a new Song

He was known for singing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, This Magic Moment, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight during the 60s. Now, he's a pastor in Kansas. Frankie Valens left the music scene after some pop hits and now serves the same church his dad preached at years ago - First Christian Church in Syracuse. Now in his 70s, Valens attended Bible college briefly, but this is his first time to step the pulpit. His new album is titled Just Give Me Jesus. Here's a video of Valen in action a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christian Colleges win appeal

An appeals court is ordering the Obama administration to revise its contraception mandate. Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College complained about rules requiring employers to provide access to contraceptive care. The schools said they should fall under a religious affiliation exemption. Lower courts dismissed their challenge. This decision reinstates it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Appeals Court: OK to fire HR Director for view on Gay Rights

It was perfectly legal for the University of Toledo to fire an HR administrator because she wrote an opinion piece challenging gay rights, according to a federal court. The appeals panel took a look at a lower court's decision to side with the school when Crystal Dixon was dismissed, based on her opinion essay. She had sued, accusing the public university of violating her constitutional rights. Specifically, her 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law by punishing her for expressing her views on homosexuality while other university employees were allowed to state views on homosexuality. The article came out in the Toledo Free Press in 2008. Dixon wrote “As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I takegreat umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil-rights victims'" because they have made "a life decision." In a school hearing, Dixon said her opinion did not prevent her from performing her duty and that she had even hired at least one gay person to work in her department. But the appeals court ruled that her expressed opinion conflicted directly with the policies she was supposed to enforce at the university and the fact her article was a statement of her own views as a private citizen did not matter.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Decline of Evangelical America

An Arizona pastor has written an opinion piece in the New York Times titled The Decline of Evangelical America in which he claims 2012 saw "a collapse in American evangelicalism." Read more here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Is ‘The Hobbit’ a ‘Christian’ film?

Religion News Service weighs in on the issue here.

Texas Church Explodes on Would-Be Thieves

Would-be thieves trying to take the copper wiring at a Houston, Texas church got more than they bargained for. Watch a video report from ABC News that shows what happened.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Counseling Suit against College Settled

A student who was expelled from her university for refusing to counsel a client about a same-sex relationship has settled her lawsuit with the school. Julea Ward told professors at Eastern Michigan University her Christian faith prevented her from supporting the sexual orientation of gay clients. She asked to have a gay client referred to another counselor. Instead, she was kicked out of school. The University will pay her $75,000, but the school’s curriculum requirements remain intact.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Judge finds NC 'Choose Life' plates unconstitutional

Here's a video report from WRAL-TV about a ruling concerning license plates.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Noah's Flood

An acclaimed underwater archaeologist says he has found proof that the biblical flood was based on real events. Robert Ballard says he is leading a team looking at a ancient civilization hidden underwater in the Black Sea near Turkey using robotic technology. In 1985, Ballard's team tracked down the Titanic wreckage.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Church Robbery Spree

A crime bulletin is out for two young white males believed to be behind more than 50 church robberies across the Midwest. The thieves have stolen money for the poor, gift cards for seminary students, musical instruments, and much more from churches in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

A first for Canada

Canada has its first deaf Catholic priest. Matthew Hysell lost his hearing as a toddler when he contracted meningitis. Raised a Baptist in Michigan, Hysell made the decision to become a priest as a teenager after reading about the priesthood in school. He graduated from City University in New York, then earned a master's in theology from a California program. He next moved to Edmonton to study at Newman Theological College. Hysell was ordained yesterday and is now assigned to St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Parish and will also serve as a parish priest at St. Thomas Church in the nearby community of Mill Woods. Hysell will celebrate mass using sign language and will hear confessions face to face.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Attempt to Ban Bell Ringers on Campus

There's an effort to ban the Salvation Army bell ringers from UC Berkeley by students who object to the group's stance on homosexuality. The student government at the California school past an anti-bell ringer resolution accusing the charity of discrimination and demanding the administration revoke the Army's permit to collect donations on campus. In response, the ministry denies the charges, saying the accusations are based on Internet rumors and not facts. The Army's says it does not require those it helps to agree with its doctrines, as the student resolution claims.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Religion and Same-Sex Marriage

If you opposed same-sex marriage, the odds are good it is because of religion, according to Frank Newport of the Gallup poll. A survey by the polling company finds 46% of those who opposed same-sex marriage say it because of their religious beliefs. Seven out of 10 weekly church attenders are opposed to same-sex marriage, while seven in 10 of those who seldom or never attend church are in favor of it. Read more about the survey here.

Sex among Unmarried Evangelicals Survey

Fewer young unmarried evangelical Christians are having sex than previously thought, according to the National Association of Evangelicals. 77% of evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 disagree with the statement “Having sex outside of marriage is morally acceptable for an unmarried person.” At the same time, 44% of unmarried evangelicals admitted having sex outside of marriage. That's lower than the finding of a estimate based on a 2009 survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The NAE says the difference is based the two surveys defined evangelical differently. Read more here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Misspelled words Commandments Monument

A newly 2,000-pound erected Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma state capitol grounds contains several typos. The misspelled words? Sabbeth instead of sabbath and maidseruent instead of maidservant. State Rep. Mike Ritze sponsored the original bill to put up the huge granite block and his family donated $10,000 for the monument. Another $10,000 came from private donations.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christian Motivational Speaker Dies

Zig Ziglar has passed away at the age of 86 after a bout with pneumonia in Plano, Texas. The motivational speaker was always upfront about his Christian faith as he crossed the country talking about what makes a good sales person and the positive thinking point of view he espoused. His first book, See You at the Top, was published in 1975. It sold well and was followed by many others. Here's a video sample of his home-spun humor and common sense recommendations.

Criticism of show shines light on Seventh-day Adventists

Watch a video about Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones and his criticism of his own show and its relationship to his becoming a Seventh-day Adventist below.

 

Russian Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'

Read or listen to the story at NPR here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Schuller Claim Slashed

Robert Schuller won't be getting the $5 million he claimed he deserved from the bankrupt church he founded. A California bankruptcy judge cut the claim against Crystal Cathedral Ministries down to about $600,000. The judge decided Schuller was only entitled to a year of compesation. He stepped down as senior pastor in 2005 in the midst of a scandal.

Monday, November 26, 2012

TV Star says he's now a Christian

One of the stars of Two and a Half Men says the show is "filth" and asks people to stop watching it.  Angus T. Jones, who has played Jake since 2003, says, "You can not be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't." Jones has been attending a Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Los Angeles area.  Here's the video.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

College Audit: Controller Embezzled Funds

Prosecutors say an employee at a baptist university embezzled more than $100,000. Melinda Okai is accused of taking the funds from Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis by issuing fake refund checks and issued emergency loans to her husband - without crediting the loans to his tuition accounts. The missing funds showed up in an internal audit. Okai became controller in late 2009.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Pope's Book on Christmas

Here's a CNN interview about a new book by Pope Benedict XVI, which claims to debunks several myths about the Nativity.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Women Bishops

The Church of England will not allow women to become bishops. A proposal in support of women bishops did not get enough support from church’s governing General Synod today. The church voted to approve women for the priesthood in 1992.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tyndale Gets Contraceptive Reprieve

A judge is stopping, at least temporarily, efforts to force a Christian publisher from providing its employees with contraceptives such as Plan B and intrauterine devices under the new health-care law. The judge gave Tyndale House the preliminary injunction it requested. The company equates these contraceptive methods with abortion. Tyndale sued the Department of Health and Human Services last month, saying the order violates their religious beliefs. The parties will meet in court to make arguments in the case on a yet to be determined date.

Nativity Lawsuit

Santa Monica won't be displaying a life-sized nativity scene this year in one of its parks. City officials decided to forego the decades old tradition involving a 14-scene display to avoid getting sued. Atheists forced the city to accommodate a variety of other holiday displays last year. Some were vandalized. Now, Christians are suing the city. Read more about the controversy here.

Teen Sentenced to Church

An Oklahoma judge has sentenced a teenager to attend church for 10 years after drunken driving led to a passenger's death. KTUL-TV has this video report.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two preaching giants and the 'betrayal' that tore them apart

CNN takes a look at the ministries of Charles Stanley and his son Andy on the 80th birthday of the elder Stanley. Read the story here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Radio Hosts Sued

Science Friday is suing Robert Enyart and Fred Williams who co-host a Christian radio program on a Colorado AM station called Real Science Friday. Science Friday says the name is a trademark infringement on the show it puts together for NPR.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Abuse claims at Bob Jones University

There are sexual abuse allegations at the Greenville campus of Bob Jones University. Here's a video report from South Carolina's WHNS-TV.

FOX Carolina 21

Baptists in Congress

Southern Baptists increased their numbers in Congress this election cycle. 35 members of the House and six Senators identify themselves as Southern Baptists - the highest number in recent history. All Southern Baptist incumbents held their seats and five new members join them.

Friday, November 9, 2012

GA Church Sign Controversy

The talk in Trenton, Georgia is about a sign out in front of a Baptist church. Here's a video report from WRCB-TV.

Church sign controversy

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sentenced for Crime

The 3 men who hijacked the car of a well-known Christian singer are going to jail. They beat, robbed and carjacked Marvin Winans. They will spend up to 20 years in jail for attacking the Detroit pastor and gospel singer back in May at a gas station.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Black Churches and Same-Sex Marriage

PBS takes a look at Black Churches and Same-Sex Marriage in the video posted below on ChristianNewsReport.com.

Watch Black Churches and Same-Sex Marriage on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bible T-Shirt Report

Here's a video report from KDFW-TV about the Texas women who was told she could vote because her t-shirt about the Bible. Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Bible T-shirt Banned at Voting Booth

A Texas woman visiting her polling place to vote in Austin was told to cover up her shirt. Kay Hill's shirt had Vote the Bible written on it. An election official told her she might offend someone. She was made to put on a jacket before she could vote. Officials in Williamson County defended the decision, saying the poll worker was following federal law that does not allow "electioneering" in or near a polling place where someone is making a suggestion about how someone else should vote.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pastor Murdered in Church

A Texas pastor was beaten to death in his church with an electric guitar. Danny Kirk was inside the thousand-member Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church when he was attacked. The suspect later died inside a police car. Here's a video report from WFAA-TV in Fort Worth.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Campus Group May be 'Dde-recognized’

The student government at Boston's Tufts University is starting the process of removing a Christian group from official recognition. The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter called Tufts Christian Fellowship requires group leaders to be Christians themselves - and that's not acceptable to Tuft's SGA, which holds the reigns to money and campus access. The SGA says the requirement is a violation of the school's discrimination rules. Tufts Christian Fellowship points out the school's all-male a cappella group is allowed to be gender exclusive. The group plans an appeal to a Student Life committee made up of faculty members.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Do angels really exist?

An author talks about his new book on angles in this Fox News interview.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Christian Group Singing Final Songs

Barlowgirl is calling it quits. Alyssa, Lauren and Rebecca Barlow plan to retire after releasing a
final song the last day of this month titled Hope Will Lead Us On. The sisters haven't officially said why they are ending their music careers together. Barlowgirl released six albums over the course of a decade including the million selling self-titled album that started their journey.  Here's one of the group's music videos.

Church shooting suspect arrested

Atlanta police have a man in custody who is suspected of killing a man at a megachurch. They say he was once committed to a mental health facility in Maryland following criminal charges. Here's a video report from WXIA-TV.

Megachurch Shooting

Police are searching for a man who walked into an Atlanta megachurch this morning and shot and killed another man. It happened at World Changers Church International, a congregation led by controversial televangelist Creflo Dollar. Police say the suspect is a former church employee - 52-year-old Floyd Palmer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Text and tweet during services

A report on social media use during services at one Arizona church below.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baptist Pastor: Obama a Muslim, Romney in a Cult

WSAZ-TV reports on a Kentucky Baptist minister who set off a controversy with a sermon about politics. WSAZ NewsChannel 3

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Church Sign: "Obama is Muslim, Communist"

A Texas church is stirring controversy over its marquee message. WVUE-TV has this video report on the Leakey, Texas congregation, northwest of San Antonio.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Politics and Big Data

Both presidential campaigns are targeting Evangelicals through data mining. Read about it here.

Grahams Switch sides on Mormanism

Mormonism has been upgraded from cult status by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The ministry has removed Mormonism from its list of religious cults. Mormon Mitt Romney paid Billy and Franklin Graham a visit last week in North Carolina. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider themselves Christians but Evangelical Christians have typically designated the group a religious cult along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists and others. Franklin Graham recently wrote a column titled, Can an Evangelical Christian Vote for a Mormon? Not only did Graham answer affirmatively, his longtime spokesman is now a Romney adviser.

Christian College Prez resigns amidst scandal

The president of King's College is out. Dinesh D’Souza, perhaps best known for his recent film about Barack Obama, resigned from the position after reports surfaced that he was engaged to a woman while still married to his wife.  D'Souza says the couple has been separated for a couple of years. D’Souza put together the documentary 2016: Obama’s America, which has grossed more than $32 million, and says he has done nothing wrong. WORLD magazine, which has close ties to the school, reported a couple of days ago that D’Souza introduced his fiancee at a Christian values event in South Carolina. According to the report in WORLD, organizers confronted D’Souza because they believed the couple shared a hotel room. D’Souza says that is not true and that he filed for divorce before the conference. They have since reportedly called off the engagement. Board chairman Andy Mills will take over as interim president of King's while a predecessor is found. The college was based in the Empire State Building, until this year, when the college relocated to a new location in the Wall Street area of New York City.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Focus on Family Refocuses

An interview with the head of Focus on the Family on a change in direction for the radio ministry here in the Huffington Post.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

University Suspension for Signing Petition

Some 15,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Gallaudet Univeristy to bring back Angela McCaskill as its chief diversity officer. She was suspended for signing another petition calling for a vote in Maryland on gay marriage. McCaskill had just heard a sermon at her church on gay marriage when she responded to a call to sign the petition, as many fellow members did. Many groups on both sides of the issue are upset that Gallaudet opposes diversity in opinions. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins Gallaudet even called for the school's president, Alan Hurwitz, to resign. Thousands have "liked" a post on the FRC Facebook page calling on Gally to “Reinstate Dr. McCaskill.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley supports same-sex marriage has called for the school to reinstate McCaskill along with a the pro-gay marriage group Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Hurwitz has ignored the outcry and not released any comments since the controversy began. Here's a video report from WJZ-TV on the debate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rise in Religiously Unaffiliated Americans

One in five Americans doesn't have any religious affiliation. It's the fastest growing category of Americans, according to a new Pew survey. This group has jumped by a quarter in the last five years. That percentage is even higher when it comes to younger Americans. Some 35 million have no religious affiliation - with more than a third of that group labeling themselves atheist or agnostic. Still, more than two-thirds of the unaffiliated say they do believe in God and more than a third call themselves spiritual and a fifth say they pray each day. More than a third of younger millennials (18-22 year olds) have no ties to any religious group.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bookstore Drops Book over Controversy

The bookstore chain run by the Southern Baptist church won't stock a book because it includes the word vagina. LifeWay Christian Resources decided against stocking Rachel Held Evans book A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master. The author says she was advised by her editor to remove the word before it was published. She did - until an outcry from her readers changed her mind when they started an Amazon petition to keep the word in the book. The book comes out at the end of the month.

More Suits against Mandate

A couple of Baptist colleges are suing the Obama administration’s mandate about contraceptives. East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University say the Health and Human services requirement would force the schools to violate their religious beliefs related to providing their employees with access to what they call abortion-causing drugs. Tyndale House Publishers, Hobby Lobby, and other schools have filed suits as well. Lawsuits filed by Wheaton College and the Catholic Belmont Abbey College have been dismissed. The judges in those cases said the legal action was premature because the government hasn't actually said these groups aren't covered by a religious exception yet.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Plan to Firebomb 50 churches thwarted

An Oklahoma man is behind bars for planning to burn down some 50 churches, according to Ottawa County prosecutors. Gregory Weiler attended Bradley University in Illinois but left to join a religious group in Missouri. Authorities say he had already bought materials for putting together Molotov cocktails in his hotel room. Family members say both of his parents committed suicide while he was a young teenager, he had been hospitalized for mental illness and become addicted to heroin and alcohol. He is believed to have been acting alone.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Singing Instead of Praying

KXNW-TV reports on a school where preschoolers are singing Bible verses instead of praying because of new federal laws. Here's the video.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Touchdown Jesus" gets Replaced

A large statue of Jesus now looms at an Ohio megachurch. The Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio dedicated the new "Lux Mundi" (The Light of the World) statute yesterday. It replaces the sculpture commonly known as "Touchdown Jesus." In 2010, it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The new statue has lots of safety features designed to prevent that from happening again. The dedication drew a few protesters who said the statue amounted to idol worship.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

'America for Jesus' campaign

CNN offers a video report on the 'America for Jesus' campaign below.

TBN in Israel

TBN sets up shop with a camera on the Mount of Olives. Read about the building Christian TV broadcasters bought in Jerusalem here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jesus Wife Fragment Authenticy Questioned

Baptist Press takes a look at what scholars are saying about a small, newly translated Coptic manuscript fragment indicating that Jesus may have had a wife here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Warren Hospitalized

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren is in a California hospital. The Saddleback pastor said he was having pain in his arms and numbness in his fingers. He's now undergoing tests. He has canceled plans to lead a church event tomorrow (Thursday).

Suit over Muslim attack in Michigan

A group called the Bible Believers are suing a Sheriff's office in Detroit, Michigan for not protecting two of its members from being attacked by Muslims. The group claims the Wayne County Sheriff and two of his deputies stood by while the Christian men were hit by bottles, rocks and other debris while they were witnessing at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn this summer. Here's a video of what happened.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Banner Controversy

NBC News offers this reports on a story we told you about last week - run-through banners at football games at a Texas school.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, September 21, 2012

Update on TX Verse Ban

The ban on Bible verses on banners at a Texas school we told you about yesterday is on hold. A judge has stepped in, issuing a temporary restraining order while he considers a lawsuit filed by parents of cheerleaders. The parents claim in the suit that the ban amounts to speech censorship. Cheerleaders at Kountze High School in Beaumont were told to stop by the school superintendent.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bible Verses on Banners Banned at TX Football Games

Texas educators are telling cheerleaders to stop putting Bible verses on banners for high school football games. The Texas Association of School Boards told the Kountze Independent School District to get rid of the verses after a resident complained that the banner one of the teams runs through at the start of games has a Bible reference. The cheerleaders say no school money was involved and the signs were not designed on school property.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fragment: Jesus Married?

A Harvard professor says she has identified a scrap of papyrus suggesting some early Christians believed Jesus was married. Read the story here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Baylor Prof wins Philosophy Award

C. Stephen Evans is winner of the C.S. Lewis Book Prize Competition. The Baylor Philosopy prof took the award for the best book published in the philosophy of religion or philosophical theology written for a general audience in the last five years with his Natural Signs and the Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments. Minnesota's University of St. Thomas hands out the award which is funded by the John Templeton Foundation. It includes a $15,000 prize.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wal-Mart: You Can't Sing God Bless American Here

Wal-Mart officials are now apologizing to an elementary school choir after one of its Florida stores would not allow students to sing God Bless America inside the store on Sept. 11. Here is video report from WSVN-TV. WSVN-TV -

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Winan operated Scam

One of the Winans gospel music family is facing fraud charges in Detroit. Authorities say Michael Winans Jr. operated a Ponzi scheme, where investors lost more than $8 million. Winan's lawyer says his client plans to plead guilty and try to repay the people who lost money. He sold the bogus oil bonds, knowing they were worthless, to more than one thousand church-goers. Michael Winans Jr. is the grandson of Mom Winans and Pop Winans and the son of a member of The Winans, a quartet of brothers. Authorities say the scam did not involve other members of the Winans family.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Christian Album Tops Pop Chart

TobyMac is the first to put a Christian album on the top of the Billboard chart in some 15 years. Eye On It is the first since 1997 to hit number one when LeAnn Rimes’s You Light Up My Life – Inspirational Songs made it. Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses made it to number one earlier that year. Several Christian albums have reached #2 in the last two years. That list includes: Casting Crowns’ Come to the Wall, Red’s Until We Have Faces and David Crowder Band’s Give Us a Rest all peaked at number two.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Toby Ready to Take over #1

Billboard predicts that TobyMac's Eye On It will soon hit #1 on the Billboard 200. The album took #1 on iTunes when it was released and currently holds the #7 spot, ahead of One Direction and Usher. The Christian hip hop artist and former member of DC Talk explains the song Made For Me in the video posted below.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cult Leader Sun Myung Moon dies

Sun Myung Moon is dead at the age of 92 in South Korea. He had been battling pneumonia. Millions joined his Unification Church, which hoped to replace Christianity. He was known for holding mass weddings, holding anti-communist views and building a global media empire that included the Washington Times in the U.S.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Church told not to Change Sign more than Twice

A strange and seemingly petty law is pitting a northern Virginia church against the county where its located. Read the story in the Washington Posthere.

Atheist Prayer Set

KTUL-TV has a video report on an atheist who will be giving the opening prayer at the Tulsa City Council meeting this morning. KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Growing disbelief

The Economist looks at atheists in America who are "getting both more numerous and louder" in an article here.

TobyMac: Music for the Masses

Fox News interviews Christian musician TobyMac in the video below.

American Bible Challenge

Fox News interviews Jeff Foxworthy about his new Bible show. The video is posted below on ChristianNewsToday.com.

Bible Show Ratings

The first show of the Game Show Network's American Bible Challenge gave the TV network a record rating. Some two million viewers tuned in. Hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, the program bested the last GSN record by more than half a million viewers.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pakistani Girl Remains in Jail

The young girl, beaten and jailed in Pakistan over accusations she burned parts of the Koran, is not being allowed to see her family or her lawyer. The 11-year-old, identified only as Rashma, suffers from seizures. Her attorney says her family is Christian and would not have had a Koran in the home - and even if they did, the girl cannot read or write. Blasphemy is punishable by death.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Teen Fired for Refusing To Wear Pants

A Texas teen is suing Burger King for firing her when she refused to wear pants because of her convictions as a Pentecostal. Read the story here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

American Bible Challenge

A new TV game show about the Bible is hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy is the focus of a Washington Post article here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Which States Give the most?

Here are the U.S. states where people gave the most to charities and the percentage of income they gave after taxes:

1. Utah - 10.6%
2. Mississippi - 7.2%
3. Alabama - 7.1%
4. Tennessee - 6.6%
5. South Carolina 6.4%
6. Idaho - 6.4

The rankings are based on IRS information on people who made at least $50,000 in 2008, analyzed by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The nonprofit organization says it found that "Religion has a big influence on giving patterns. Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not."

The bottom two states were New Hampshire (2.5% of income) and Maine (2.8% of income).

Disaster victims in Haiti

The New York Times looks at the work two U.S. Christian groups are doing for the deaf in Haiti here.

More on Young girl held in Pakistan

We told you yesterday about the young girl being held in Pakistan, accused of burning pages of the Quran or some other Muslim holy book. CNN reports on the confusion surrounding the case.

Calvin Miller Passes

Christian writer and professor Calvin Miller died yesterday following open heart surgery. Miller was best known for the more than 40 books he wrote, including The Singer Trilogy. He last served as writer-in-residence at Samford University's Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.  Miller was 75 years old.

Jefferson Book Gets new Publisher

Glenn Beck may publish David Barton's controversial book about Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Nelson Publishers dropped The Jefferson Lies last week after secular media and some Christian professors criticized it as inaccurate history. The History News Network labeled it the least credible history book in print last month. But former Fox News host Glenn Beck's publishing arm, Mercury Ink, is in talks to pick it up. If the new deal goes forward, Barton plans some changes to the text that he says will clear up some confusion about his position. Beck wrote the introduction to Barton's book where he said Barton "proves once and for all that our Founding Father was no secularist."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bankruptcy sheds light on Catholic Church in America

The Economist looks at financial mismanagement in the Catholic Church here.

Young Girl Arrested for Blasphemy

Police in Pakistan have arrested the 11-year-old daughter of Christian parents for allegedly committing blasphemy. Rifta Masih reportedly burned pages of an Islamic religious text. She suffers from Down's Syndrome and lives in a village close to Islamabad. One newspaper in the region says she was beaten by locals, though police deny it. Rifta was jailed, along with her mother, after Muslims surrounded the local police station demanding action. Hundreds of Christians living in the area have gone into hiding because of the incident, according to Pakistan's Daily Times.

Fox News interviews CeCe Winans

Mark of the Beast?

A Louisiana elementary school is running into opposition implementing a school program involving a palm scanner. KPLC-TV has a video report. KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FRC Prez on Shooting

The president of the Family Research Council is speaking out on the shooting at its headquarters. Here's an interview with Tony Perkins on Fox News.

DC Shooting Suspect Charged

We're learning more about the man accused of shooting a guard at the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, DC. Here's a video report from CNN.

police captain sues department over mosque assignment

Read the story at Fox News here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CNN report on DC Shooting

More on DC Shooting

DC police have identified the man who they say shot a security guard at a Christian organization this morning as Floyd Corkins of Herndon, Virginia. He showed up at the The Family Research Council headquarters and began shouting about the group's views. He pulled out a gun and shot a guard who tackled and subdued him until police arrived. The guard was wounded in the arm. Corkins was not injured. He's a volunteer at the DC Center for the LGBT Community (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered). Here's a report from Fox News on the shooting, which is being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism.

Guard Wounded at FRC

A man walked into the lobby of the headquarters of the political advocacy group founded by James Dobson and shot a security guard. The guard scuffled with the man this morning and wrestled him to the ground at the Washington, DC location of the Family Research Council. The guard is now in the hospital. The situation is being investigated as a possible case of domestic terrorism.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pastor guilty in Custody case

WFFF-TV has a video report on a Virginia pastor convicted of helping a woman flee the country to avoid turning her daughter over to her one-time partner in a Vermont civil union. FOX44 - Burlington / Plattsburgh News, Weather

What the Ryan Pick Means for Religion and the Romney Campaign

TIME magazine's article on religion and Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate here.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shedding Bigotry

CNN interviews a former white supremacist who found faith in Christianity.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The 'Noah' floodgates openeth

USA Today takes a look at a new movie about Noah here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Christian Publisher Pulls Book

Thomas Nelson is dropping a bestselling book over questions about its contents. The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson was written by Texan David Barton. Many historians have taken issue with it, especially calling Jefferson a "conventional Christian." WallBuilders, Barton's own organization, will continue to make it the book available.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Prof Makes Accusations against Theology School

A professor says his theology school is inflating grades. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins is accusing the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta of changing 10 grades of his 54 students last semester. It's just one of the complaints he made in an EEOC filing last month, after he was fired. Hopkins says the issues stem from his faith as an Evangelical. His dismissal followed a prayer meeting where he shared a book that opposes a gay lifestyle. The Interdenominational Theological Center is an organization representing eight seminaries in the Atlanta area. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools gave the Center a warning last year for not meeting some of its academic standards.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Social Media Use

Only 6% of Americans say they're part of a spiritual group on Facebook - and only 5% say they follow a spiritual leader on Twitter. That's according to a survey released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute. Nevertheless, several Evangelical leaders are using social media extensively. Here's the number of Twitter follows of three of them:

1. Joel Osteen - 834,419 followers
2. Rick Warren - 684,144 followers
3. Mark Driscoll - 262,935 followers


Half of the respondents said they don’t post their religious affiliations on Facebook.

Church Apologizes

A Mississippi church is apologizing for refusing to allow a Black couple to marry in its sanctuary. The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs released a statement that said in part:
“We, the church, realize that the Hendersons and Wilsons should never have been asked to relocate their wedding. This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions. As a church, we express our apology to Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson for the hurt that was brought to them in the hours preceding their wedding and beyond. We are seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with our Lord Jesus Christ, Te’Andrea and Charles, family and friends of the Hendersons and Wilsons, our church family, and our community for the actions and attitudes that have recently occurred,
Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson were asked at the last minute to move their ceremony last month. The pastor performed the ceremony at a nearby church. They said they haven't directly heard from the church.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sent to jail for holding Bible studies at home

Fox News has a video report on the Arizona man put in jail for holding a Bible study.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Voting for an Atheist

Most Americans says they are willing to vote for a qualified presidential candidate who is an atheist. A Gallup poll finds 54% would do so - the highest percentage since the question was first asked in 1958. Back then, only 18% said they would vote for an atheist. The 54% mark is still less than the percentage that say they would vote for gays/lesbians (68%) and Muslims (58%).

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gabby lets her faith be known

Right after she became the first black woman to win an Olympic all-around individual gymnastics gold medal, Gabby Douglas told a television a
udience, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.” She had blogged for ESPN, “Gotta give God the Glory! Thank you everyone for praying for me! It means so much to me!” During the first round of competition, one of the NBC commentators said one of ways she prepares for the pressure is “meditating on Scripture.” After the contest Douglas tweeted, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me.”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day

It was a record setting day at Chick-fil-A. CNN offers a video report below on ChristianNewsToday.com.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Newsboys take Legal Action

A Christian band is suing a hip hop group for trademark infringement. The Newsboys say the music of the California-based duo calling themselves New Boyz is “sexually charged and the lyrics are sexually explicit in content,” and its name has led to “several instances of actual confusion." The Newsboys have been playing Christian music for more than a quarter century but the New Boyz formed just three years ago. Adding to the confusion is that the New Boyz have an African-American lead singer while rap artist Michael Tait is now the new lead singer of the Newsboys, the first non-white member of the Christian band. Representatives for the groups are due in court at the end of August.

Megachurch Pastor Fired

An Indiana megachurch has fired its pastor for committing "a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor." The First Baptist Church of Hammond says police are investigating former pastor Jack Schapp and his involvement with a teenager associated with Hyles Anderson College, which is run by the church. She was allegedly 16 years old when she became involved with Schapp. First Baptist has 15,000 members and claims to have the nation's largest Sunday school. Here's a video report from a Chicago TV station.

Chicigo Pastors respond to Mayor's Chick-fil-A comments

Fox News offers an interview with a Chicago church leader over a stance by Rahm Emanuel.

Is American a Christian Nation?

Most Evangelical leaders say the U.S. is not a Christian nation. A survey of some 100 leaders by the National Association of Evangelicals found 68% said "no." However, many of them said they had hope that missionaries could make it more Christian.

Land Leaving Post

The top ethics official for the Southern Baptist Convention is stepping down. Richard Land says he'll retire next year. By that time, he'll have been president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for 25 years. Land quite his radio show after he make controversial comments about the Trayvon Martin shooting. He said that black leaders were exploiting case for political gain. Ironically, Land was one of the chief architects of a 1995 resolution by Southern Baptists apologizing for their role in supporting slavery and racism.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Church responds to Wedding Controversy

WLBT-TV speaks with members of a Mississippi church where the wedding of a Black couple was not allowed. WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

The "right to pray" Ballot Measure

The St. Louis Dispatch takes a look at Missouri's Amendment two. Supporters say the measure would protect Missourians' right to pray in public. Critics says it is unnecessary because the right is covered in the constitution and that could lead to frivolous lawsuits. Read the story here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bible Museum in the Works

A Bible museum may soon open in Washington, DC near the National Mall. A group called The Museum of the Bible says it has agreed to buy a building for the proposed museum. It would be housed in what is now the Washington Design Center. The nonprofit organization says the museum will take a "non-sectarian, scholarly approach that makes the history, scholarship and impact of the Bible on virtually every facet of society accessible to everyone." Planner hope to open the doors in four years, starting with the collection from a family of Oklahoma billionaires with more than 55,000 items including biblical artifacts ranging from Dead Sea Scrolls and scrolls that survived the Holocaust.

Church Support Wanes

A new Gallup poll shows confidence in churches or organized religion is at a new low. Only 44% of Americans who were asked said they had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence. During the 1970s, the positive response to the question reached as high as 68%.

Evangelicals on the march

From The Week magazine: In a sign of the exploding popularity of evangelical Christianity, at least 1 million evangelicals turned out for this year’s “March for Jesus” in Brazil. Over the past decade, Catholics have dropped from 74 percent of the country’s population to 65 percent, while Protestants have jumped from 15 percent to 22 percent, mostly evangelicals and Pentecostals. These sects are spreading rapidly through megachurches, the Internet, and an army of pastors. The Assemblies of God alone has 50,000 ordained pastors in Brazil, compared with some 25,000 Catholic priests.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Couple Turned away by Church

We told you earlier today about a Baptist church in Mississippi that refused to allow a Black couple to marry in the sanctuary. WBRC-TV has a video report below.

What Religion is the President?

About half of all Americans don't know which religion their President professes. Just 49% said that Barack Obama is a Christian, according to a Pew Research poll. Nearly a fifth (17%) said he was a Muslim. About a third said they had no idea, even though he's been office for three years. About a third of Republicans claimed Obama was a Muslim. Six out of ten Americans knew Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

Black Couple Denied Access to Church for Wedding

A black couple says a Baptist church in Mississippi refused to allow their wedding to take place in the sanctuary. Below is a video will the couple from the Clarion Ledger or read the story here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lundstrom Passes

Evangelist Lowell Lundstrom has died at the age of 72. He had a long battle with Parkinson's disease and passed away at his home in Savage, Minnesota. His wife, Connie, died just seven months before him. They had been marred for 55 years. Lundstrom founded Celebration Church and was known nationally for his crusades, music, and radio and television programs.  He was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Megachurch make close

A Canadian megachurch is facing foreclosure. The CBC has a report on the prosperity teaching that lead to the falter.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Celebrity priests

The Economist takes a look at a "new bred of clergyman" in Africa here.

Walking in Jesus' Steps

The Jesus Trail now has competition. In 2010, two hikers conceived the 40 mile trail that retracing the steps of Jesus in Israel. But the country’s Ministry of Tourism has opened a rival trail. The Gospel Trail is a few miles shorter than the Jesus Trail which also journeys through more Arab villages. For more information click here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Concert Threatened by Suit

An atheist in Utah is trying to stop a performance by Christian singer Michael W. Smith. Here's a video report from KSTU-TV about the lawsuit.

Linsanity Comes to Texas

Jeremy Lin is now a Houston Rocket. The outspoken NBA player who made a splash last season in New York with his clutch play, plans to wear the number 7 because he says it represents God to him. At his introduction press conference, Lin said, "I want to make sure I play hard and I play for God. Everything else I can be OK with. I just want to make sure as a person and as a player I'm consistent in what I believe in. The biggest thing for me is waking up every day trying to glorify God. The only thing I can really promise is I'm going to give my best effort. I'm going to do my best to be a great playmaker, a great decision-maker. I'm gonna try my best to be a humble leader and serve my teammates."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kathie Lee Gifford on Broadway

Kathie Lee Gifford has a musical she has written headed To Broadway. It's about early 1900s evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Here's more on her announcement.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wheaton Challenges Obama Care

Wheaton College is joining America's Catholic bishops in their legal fight against Obama Care. The Evangelical group objects to the Affordable Care Act's requirement to provide contraception. Their lawsuit, filed in DC says it "forces both institutions to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay severe fines. There is an exception for churches and religious schools but not faith-based organizations.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Scientology may face new troubles

USA Today takes a look at Scientology after the Tom Cruise divorce here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jailed for Bible Study

An Arizona pastor is in jail for holding a Bible study. The City of Phoenix raided the home of Michael Salmon because he was in violation of a city law related to occupancy. His home Bible study only brought together about 20 people. He's held the studies on his more than four acres of property for some seven years. While Salmon applied for the required permits related to fires, the city says he must commercially incorporate in order to receive a grant. He's now serving a 60 day jail sentence for his crime.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cain on the Big Screen

Will Smith is reportedly lined up to direct his first film - The Redemption of Cain. He will also play a role in the movie about the sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and his brother Abel. The original title was changed from the The Legend of Cain to the Redemption of Cain to offer a more sympathetic portrayal of the Biblical character.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Noah

Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins have signed on to play parts in the new movie from Paramount about Noah. Crowe will play the title role while Hopkins has been cast as Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah. Darren Aronofsky's big budget biblical epic also includes Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Ray Winstone. The film is set for a March of 2014 release.

Beer vs Church

People Tweet about church more than beer, according to a new study. Floatingsheep.org says the numbers are different for different regions of the country. Tweets about church popped up most in the Southeast. Tweets about beer were more common in the Northeast. The survey reviewed some 10 million tweets during a week in June. Church got more than 17 thousand tweets while beer was mentioned some 14 thousand times. People living in San Francisco talked about beer the most, while Dallas was the most focused on church.

Faith drives new political movement

The Tennessean offers a look at Tea Party Evangelicals here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Westboro: We'll Picket Andy Griffith's Funeral

The Westboro Baptist Church may have missed its chance. The group that thrives on picketing funerals had said it planned to picket the funeral of actor Andy Griffith. But Griffith was buried on North Carolina's Roanoke Island just hours after he died. The star of The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, Griffith also won a Grammy for a Gospel album. Margie Phelps, spokesperson for Westboro, called him a "twice-divorced adulterer who taught sin.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Counseling Gays Ruling

A student who says her Christian beliefs prevented her from counseling gays has lost her lawsuit against Augusta State University. A federal judge says the school's counseling program was justified in throwing Jennifer Keeton out of the program. Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, which has not decided whether to appeal the decision. An appeals court had already refused to block her expulsion from the program, saying her lawsuit was likely to fail and she was looking for special treatment. In a similar suit, an appeals court told Eastern Michigan University that it should not have expelled Julea Ward for referring gay clients to other counselors who did not share her Christian beliefs. The Michigan House passed a bill recently that would stop programs at public schools from taking action against students who did the same. The Michigan Senate hasn't weighted in on the legislation yet.

Cruise Divorce Filing

The wife Tom Cruise says members of the Church of Scientology are following her, since she filed for divorce from him. A lawyer for the group denies the claim. Katie Holmes is asking for sole custody of their daughter, 6-year-old Suri. There are reports she is afraid he will send her to a Scientology camp. Raised a Catholic in Ohio, Holmes has reportedly enrolled in a Catholic school in New York.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Presidential faith

CNN offers a perspective on "Why a president's faith may not matter" here.

Sentenced to read the Bible

A South Carolina women was ordered to read the Bible as part of her DUI sentence for driving the wrong way down a road and causing an accident that severely injured two men. Her blood alcohol content was more than four times the legal limit. Judge Michael Nettles gave Cassandra Belle Tolley eight years. When she gets out, Tolley has five years probation, counseling - and an order to read and write a summary of the book of Job.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Singapore church scandal

CNN offers a video report about a megachurch pastor in Singapore who is accused of misusing church funds to help his wife's singing career.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Salem Suit

A concert promoter is suing the largest Christian radio broadcasting company. LMG Concerts out of Vancouver, Washington (near Portland) claims Salem Communications has a monopoly that restricts competition in the religious media market. Salem has 4 Christian radio stations in the Portland area. Salem's Fish Concerts is a competitor of LMG. The suit says all the major Christian artists have switched from LMG to Fish Concerts.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jesus Banned from Police Prayers in Charlotte

Charlotte police are taking the name of Jesus out of prayers that are offered during official ceremonies. A notice went out last week about the policy. Employees and chaplains are warned to only give nonsectarian prayers. WBTV has a video report below.

Pastor Accused of Gamibling Away $430k

A Texas preacher and his wife are facing charges related to gambling with church funds. Prosecutors accuse the couple of gambling away $430,000. Read the story here.

Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit

Read the story hereat CNN.com.

Friday, June 22, 2012

TBN Accused of Covering Up Sexual Assault

The granddaughter of the founder of TBN says she was drugged and raped by an employee of the broadcasting network when she was just 13 years old. Carra Crouch, now 19, is suing the Trinity Broadcasting Network in a Southern California court, though the alleged attack took place in Atlanta during an April 2006 telethon. In the lawsuit, she claims TBN founder Paul Crouch hushed up the crime to avoid bad publicity and Jan Crouch, her grandmother, told Carra Crouch that the attack was her own fault. Although the alleged attacker, Stephen L. Smith, was fired the next day, TBN denies the accusations, saying the organization is "stunned to learn of the allegations now being made by Ms. Carra Crouch, coming more than six years after her initial report."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guilty Verdict for End Times Preacher

A preacher we claimed the end of the world was near has been found guilty of tax evasion. Read about it here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tebow Gets Award

The Professional Football Writers of America has given Tim Tebow its annual Good Guy Award for the way he has handled intense media scrutiny. The group gave its George Halas Award for overcoming adversity" to New England Patriots Chairman Robert Kraft. He played a significant role in the collective bargaining negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association while his wife battled cancer.

Baptist Name Change

Southern Baptists churches can now refer to themselves as Great Commission Baptists. Leaders of the denomination voted for the change while meeting in New Orleans. Just over half of the 4800 ballots cast voted for allowing the option. The vote by ballot came after a show of hands was too close to call.

Church sign: "Ultimate Racism"

A sign outside a South Carolina church is getting a strong reaction from passersby. Read about it here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Luter Profile

Here's a PBS profile of Fred Luter, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Watch Rev. Fred Luter Jr. on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

A First for Baptists

It's official: The Southern Baptist Convention voted to install its first African-American president leader today. Fred Luter Jr. was unopposed. He was selected by delegates at the denomination's annual meeting of church leaders in his hometown of New Orleans. Luter is pastor of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church - which he turned into a megachurch.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tebow Encourages Fathers

CBN offers a video report on Tim Tebow's Sunday talk in San Diego that brought out more than 26,000 people.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sou Baptists losing members

The numbers are down - again, for Southern Baptists. It fell for a 5th straight year to less than 16 million. That's a drop of about one percent from last year, according to Lifeway Christian Resources. It was the second lowest year of Baptisms in the last half-century.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Movie Banned from Christian Stores

The Blind Side will no longer be sold at LifeWay Christian Stores. The Southern Baptist-owned stories pulled the Sandra Bullock movie about a black college football player accepted into a white family because the issue will come up during the denomination's annual meeting in New Orleans that starts Tuesday. A Florida pastor has proposed a resolution protesting its sale because the PG-13 movie contains profanity and a racial slur. Rodney Baker, pastor of Hopeful Baptist Church in Lake City, was able to get the Florida Baptist Convention pass a resolution similar to it last year. He says the movie is not "family friendly."

Evangelicals & undocumented immigrants

A discussion on MSNBC about a group of Evangelicals who've signed a document concerning undocumented immigrants.
 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Protest against Billy Graham

The infamous Westboro Baptist Church has set its sights on Billy Graham's Charlotte-based library yesterday. Members protested what the church's website calls the "lying whore false prophet Billy Graham" because he should tell people "that it's not okay to be a fag, it's not okay to divorce and remarry, it's not okay to fornicate, it's not okay to kill your babies." The group declared Graham's wife is in hell and he will go there as well. Graham has publicly supported a proposed state amendment that would ban gay marriage.

The Candy Cane Case

The Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider a lower court ruling known as the candy case case. Two Plano, Texas elementary school principals refused to let students hand out cane pens with a Christian message. Four families sued, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled the two were protected from liability. At the same time, the Appeals court ruled the First Amendment rights of the children might have been violated by the principals. Some other aspects of the case have not been settled by the courts yet.

Tool for Outdoor camp ministry Gets Student in Trouble

How a pocketknife got a Bible college student arrested in New York here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pledge Suit Tossed

A New Jerson judge has thrown out a suit filed by an atheist couple against the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. The couple, whose children attend school in the district and refused to be identified, claimed the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is a violation of their children's rights.

Creflo Dollar addresses battery charge

Here's a CNN video about the arrest of Creflo Dollar on child abuse charges.

Parents Outraged over Decision

A school principal in Coney Island, New York says her students can't sing Lee Greenwood's “God Bless the USA” at their June 20th graduation even though kindergartners spent months learning the patriotic tune. Greta Hawkins, principal at Edna Cohen School did, however, approve Justin Bieber's song Baby. The kids were also planning to wave small flags as they sang that America, “still stands for freedom.” Hawkins told staffers, “We don’t want to offend other cultures.” A Department of Education spokeswoman says the department supports the decision because the lyrics “too grown up” for 5-year-olds. A student sung the song a year ago - and got a standing ovation. Hawkins is a Jehovah’s Witness who does not recite the pledge of allegiance.