"A modern pope gets old school on the Devil
" by Anthony Faiola
"Witness to an Exorcism
" -An interview with Anthony Faiola
"The Exorcists Next Door
In their tidy suburban home, Marion and Larry Pollard have dug deep into the recesses of the Scriptures to save tortured souls—and command demons to get out. Get out now!
The Supreme Court ruled
(PDF) this morning that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month." [more inside]
The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown
is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn
to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf)
by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog
. [more inside]
NPR reporter John Burnett and investigator Samantha Sunne examine the finances
of Christian TV network Daystar
At NPR's request, the Trinity Foundation, a watchdog group in Dallas that monitors Christian broadcasters, compiled a list of the nation's 30 leading evangelist broadcasters. Twenty-two of them are designated churches, meaning they don't have to report anything to anybody. Of those, two-thirds have churches, while a third of them — including Daystar — hold no regular services.
As part of a settlement between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the victims of 30 pedophile priests, a cache of 6000 documents
has been made public, detailing the Catholic Church's efforts over many years to cover up sexual abuse and protect accused priests.
Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as The 95 Theses by Dr. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. or 496 years ago today. [Original Latin] [more inside]
across the country run "hell houses"
on Halloween. These attractions show how "sinful" activities
can ruin young lives
. Some churches are trying to be more positive
in their messaging. For those who are interested, you can now buy your own "hell house" outreach kit
. [more inside]
""Pastrix" is a demeaning term used to refer to female ministers by certain Christians who believe in male-only pastoral ministry. But Denver-based Lutheran Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber,
a tattooed yet traditional liturgist, has reclaimed it as a title for her brand of faith. “It was an insult, and anytime you can reclaim an insult as a good thing, you win,” says Bolz-Weber." [more inside]
The most recent issue of Businessweek contains an article about How The Mormon Church Makes Its Billions
. There has been a backlash
, mostly over the cover
A Runner’s Belief: God Is His Coach. [NYTimes.com]
"As he prepares for the London Olympics, the marathoner Ryan Hall has embraced an evangelical Christian faith and has found biblical reinforcement for his training."
Inside the creepy and controling world of Seattle's Mars Hill Church
, home of "real marriage"
On Saturday, Scott Anderson became the first openly gay person
to be ordained as a minister by the Presbyterian Church (USA)
, the nation's 10th-largest denomination. But the ceremony actually marked his second ordination, after he was forced to step down from the pulpit
, under threat of blackmail, 20 years before. At the time, Anderson had donated his pastoral stole to the Shower of Stoles Project
, including over 1000 items representing LGBT people of faith barred from the ministry. Saturday's ceremony also marked the first time that a donated object was returned to its owner. [more inside]
Irish PM condemns Vatican interference in sex abuse cases.
Enda Kenny, the new Taoiseach of Ireland, has scathingly criticized the Vatican, citing the Cloyne Report
and a recently-leaked Vatican letter
intended to prevent sex abuse cases from going public, despite their public policy of reporting all abuse claims to the authorities. (Similar claims of the Vatican not reporting recent child abuse cases have also been made in the US
.) Ireland's Minister for Justice has cited an extensive list of The Church's failures to comply with their policies
, and is supporting legislation to make it a crime not to report child abuse claims
. The Vatican's envoy was asked to report to Parliament and explain The Church's position on this matter quickly, with the implied threat that they might be forced to testify.
Today, the Church, citing "surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions"
has recalled their envoy. "(This) should be interpreted as an expression of the desire of the Holy See for serious and effective collaboration with the (Irish) Government."
The Truth About Race, Religion, And The Honor Code At BYU.
Deadspin has released an exposé on Brigham Young University's Honor Code
, which prohibits students from having sex or drinking alcohol. The article accuses the University of selectively punishing minority (and especially African American) athletes who violate the Code. Co-authored by Darron Smith,
a former BYU instructor. Responses from former BYU students at Religion Dispatches
, the Deseret News
and the Provo Daily Herald
. (Previously) [more inside]
Pope Benedict XVI has announced
the establishment of a new Vatican department
dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,
) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture,"
secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
- like Yelp
!, but for churches.
"All of which is a long way of saying that, to construct a new church of anatomical horror and to do so out of stone, as Al-Mehdari seems to be suggesting, is a fascinating idea. " - Body Baroque
Rasa von Werder
is the current name of one Kellie Everts [NSFW]
, stripper for God, bodybuilder, and church-founder. During the 70's she toured the nation on the novel concept that a stripper could save souls, and during the same time helped establish female bodybuilding as a legitimate sport. Nowadays she tends the followers of her female empowerment doctrines via the University of MotherGod Church, Woman Thou Art God! [NSFW]
website and her Matriarchy RAMANA MAHARSHI Mother God Worship Femdom YouTube channel
. [more inside]
in Tampa, FL has issued a 30-day sex challenge
: If you're married, have sex every day
(PDF of daily workbook). If you're not married, don't have sex at all
(PDF of daily workbook). There's a blog
, there's a billboard
, there's a lot of press
. [more inside]
I knew it would eventually happen. I didn't expect it so soon. The Church of Google.
A Month of Sundays.
Seattle's The Stranger
sends 31 writers to 31 houses of worship.
Blog Against Theocracy
--a blogswarm dedicated to the separation of church and state, ... Easter Weekend, April 6-8, 2007.
Also see the non-profit joint venture between The Interfaith Alliance Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, First Freedom First.
ATMs for Jesus.
A Georgia pastor has created a business that brings churches further into the digital age- for a few grand and a $50 monthly fee, now your congregation can have the convenience of a debit kiosk inside your church. (via Pandagon)
The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience
This is the question this article from Christianity Today
asks. It shows some scary stats for anyone involved in the Protestant church, that the lifestyles of Evangelical Christians is not really all that different from the rest of society.
In the first open trial
for the Eastern Pennsylvania United Methodist Church Council in more than 50 years, the Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud was accused of violating church law
by openly living with her partner in a committed relationship.
Jurors were instructed
that they had a duty to "hold a good pastor accountable to the standard with which we all live'' under the Methodist Book of Discipline.
The jury voted
7-6 to withdraw Stroud's ministerial credentials at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia.
She was defrocked
, so to speak. Laicized. Ostracized. Demonized.
Coming Out for One of Their Own.
How an Oklahoma town overcame anti-gay bigotry... to help overcome anti-gay bigotry. (WashPost, login req. Via Pandagon)
The real Vatican is in Kansas.
"On July 16, 1990 the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church elected David Bawden as Pope Michael, ending an almost 32 year long interegnum."
Ecclesiastical Architecture, Stained Glass, Church Monuments and other Funerary Monuments such as Cast Iron Grave Markers.
Interactive Church Music Player
The LDS Church has created a cool new tool for exploring its hymnbooks: a Flash application that not only shows the sheet music, but allows transposition, tempo changes, part selection, and all kinds of other nifty things.
Church of fools
No time for church? Like sleeping in on Sunday? Worship the virtual way with Church of fools. Wander the crypt and sanctuary, chatting with Ned Flanders looky-likey's. For real, and sponsored by the Methodist church
required. via linkdup
Man Wants Church Donation Back
A man, in the midst of a serious bout of depression, gives away almost his entire life savings, $126,000, to a local church. He later realizes that this was not the smartest thing to do. He asks the church for the money back. The church, not surprisingly, says they've already spent it and so he can't have it back.
Bust out the lawyers!
The Panacea Society
is a small group in England that has existed since the 1920s, waiting for Jesus to return to Earth and move into the house they've set up for him in Bedford - the new Jerusalem. Built on the prophecies of Octavia, a vicar's widow obsessed with the prophecies of 18th/19th century English prophetess Joana Southcott
, the Panaceans are the keepers of a box of prophecies left by Joanna. "War, disease, crime and banditry will increase until the Bishops open Joanna Southcott's box
" is still being placed in newspapers on their behalf as they send out linen squares, breathed upon by Octavia before her death, that will, if placed in jugs of water, will heal and protect. Harmless neighborhood church group
or money-grubbing cult
? As they receive more attention (including a documentary
shown on Channel 4) and their members slowly die off, it'll be interesting to see what happens...
Web Project Seeks to Digitize Religious Images for Theological Libraries
The American Theological Library Association's Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative aims to create a large database of religious images to spare research librarians the expense of digitizing documents that other institutions have already scanned
US quietly eases rules for faith-based groups.
The Bush administration has quietly altered regulations for the nation's leading job training program to allow faith-based organizations to use ''sacred literature,'' such as Bibles, in their federally funded programs. Further, the change made by the US Labor Department last month, could allow faith-based groups to use religious books as historical texts. (via dp)
The Vatican's publishing a new 900-page dictionary
of "Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms about Family Life and Ethical Questions," such as "reproductive health" and "conjugal love." Some groups
are looking forward to the tome...I personally would like to look up "pedophilia
" in it.
UnificationChurch Under Siege in Brazil
Rev. Moon's massive land purchases lead to major search-and-seizure operation. Money laundering and other no-no activities. This cult, the Avis to Scientology's Hertz, has paid President Bush I handsome money to speak in their behalf when they began operations in Brazil. They also own the Washington Times, Insight Magazine and many many other businesses, including a university, jewelry stores nationwide, and a ballet company. Their found, Rev. Moon, a convicted felon (taxes). Rumored to get money from Japanese mob to do their conservative activities, and now want to open car plant in China. Gone the days of merely selling roses.
Amy Hughes spent a lot of time building a church. For her cat. Out of legos
Catholic church plays hardball in the courts.
[NYTimes link, login metafi/metafi] "The dioceses have on the whole acted little differently from commercial institutions confronted by explosive litigation risks. They have tried aggressively to limit exposure to claims by setting up parishes as individual corporations, invoked the statute of limitations, subjected plaintiffs to days of grueling depositions and settled claims in secret." Should the church be behaving just like any private company? What would Jesus do?
Carmelite nuns in Indy respond to the child sex abuse cases
currently plaguing the Church. (from NPR) Great to see the perspective of the other half of the Holy Orders - these nuns are ballsy and discard the notion of the (Roman Catholic) Church as a superpower. The dedication of nuns always blows my mind - and breaks the mean-ol'-bitch stereotypes that linger in my head... ...meanwhile the Archdiocese of New York gives a D. A. abuse accusation records from the past 30 years
(from NYTimes - requires login, etc.)