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Pope Francis never stops talking about the Devil; it’s constant.

"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!
posted by davidstandaford on Jun 1, 2014 - 64 comments

Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples?

A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.
Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on May 13, 2014 - 154 comments

Prayers get a new blessing

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]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 5, 2014 - 167 comments

That's right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.

Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 13, 2014 - 165 comments

Eppur si muove

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]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 comments

When is a church not a church?

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.

posted by audi alteram partem on Apr 2, 2014 - 44 comments

What's the opposite of (.)

Westboro church founder Fred Phelps has died. Fred Phelps -- the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals -- has died. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny on Mar 20, 2014 - 282 comments

A Catholic Showdown Worth Watching

The deep philosophical differences between the two main conservative factions of the Catholic Church, pitting adherents of John Courtney Murray against the followers of Alasdair MacIntyre is the root cause of the mixed messages being put out by the Church on public policy matters. It is the fight worth watching.
posted by reenum on Feb 11, 2014 - 108 comments

A History of Pain

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.
posted by reenum on Jan 22, 2014 - 56 comments

The Myth of the Medieval Repression of Science

In the academic sphere, at least, the "Conflict Thesis" of a historical war between science and theology has been long since overturned. It is very odd that so many of my fellow atheists cling so desperately to a long-dead position that was only ever upheld by amateur Nineteenth Century polemicists and not the careful research of recent, objective, peer-reviewed historians. This is strange behavior for people who like to label themselves "rationalists".-- The Dark Age Myth: An Atheist Reviews “God’s Philosophers”
posted by Pater Aletheias on Dec 29, 2013 - 95 comments

Where Are the People?

The waning influence of evangelical Christianity can be seen through the story of Orange County's Crystal Cathedral.
posted by reenum on Dec 16, 2013 - 59 comments

Bad sex, or good sex written badly? With added cheese.

In the UK Guardian: Eight passages of raunchy prose are in contention for Literary Review's bad sex in fiction award. [some passages are ikky to read] [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 3, 2013 - 40 comments

496 years ago, bittersweet day in church history, great for a potluck.

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]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2013 - 56 comments

Hell Houses

Evangelical churches 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]
posted by reenum on Oct 31, 2013 - 68 comments

Pope Francis Talks.... and talks... and talks

The setting is simple, austere. The workspace occupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also by the objects in the room. There are only a few. [more inside]
posted by lattiboy on Sep 19, 2013 - 76 comments

Fr. Flanagan and Mrs. Flanagan

The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church.
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 12, 2013 - 67 comments

Grace is this incredible power in the world

""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]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 8, 2013 - 23 comments

Dias v. Archdiocese

A jury has awarded teacher Christa Dias $170,000 in an anti-discrimination lawsuit in Ohio against the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 4, 2013 - 103 comments

Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity

"One might think that, once we know something is computable, how efficiently it can be computed is a practical question with little further philosophical importance. In this essay, I offer a detailed case that one would be wrong. In particular, I argue that computational complexity theory---the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems---leads to new perspectives on the nature of mathematical knowledge, the strong AI debate, computationalism, the problem of logical omniscience, Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's grue riddle, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economic rationality, closed timelike curves, and several other topics of philosophical interest. I end by discussing aspects of complexity theory itself that could benefit from philosophical analysis."

posted by cthuljew on May 5, 2013 - 31 comments

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

'Church,
I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re not familiar, here’s the song.' [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 11, 2013 - 80 comments

Atheists going to church

Sunday Assembly: an atheist service run by two comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans. [more inside]
posted by dilettante on Mar 8, 2013 - 66 comments

A Disturbing Sound.

If you ever wanted to hear James Brown give the full sermon, There’s this.
posted by timsteil on Mar 6, 2013 - 11 comments

Drop in For a Bounce

A pub can be the lifeblood of a neighborhood, a place of safety and comfort. But sometimes, you find yourself in a publess zone; sometimes you need one right here, right now. Sometimes you need an inflatable pub. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Feb 20, 2013 - 16 comments

‘Wonderful how one loses track of the days up here in the mountains.’

Megan Phelps-Roper, formerly one of the Westboro Baptist Church's most vocal members, has left the church.
posted by sendai sleep master on Feb 6, 2013 - 148 comments

Transgender Clergy in the Episcopal Church

Last summer, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church approved a measure affirming the right of transgendered members to be eligible for both lay and ordained ministry. Before the vote, pioneering Episcopal LGBT group Integrity USA distributed copies of "Voices of Witness: Out of the Box" to Convention delegates. The short video profiles several transgender Episcopalians, including clergy, as well as cisgender supporters. In other Episcopal LGBT news, the Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington DC announced last week that the Cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex weddings effective immediately.
posted by Biblio on Jan 18, 2013 - 55 comments

No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

Should A Church Be Treated Differently By The IRS From Other Non-Profits? The Freedom from Religion Foundation has sued the IRS claiming unequal treatment. Secular non-profit companies must file numerous and costly forms and reports to maintain their non-profit status. Religious companies even those that duplicate the functions of the secular non-profit are exempt from such requirements. The FFRF asks (pdf) that the laws be applied equally. Previously
posted by 2manyusernames on Jan 1, 2013 - 156 comments

THE EXPIATORY CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY

The Church of La Sagrada Familia is perhaps the most famous under-construction Catholic church in the world. Started in 1882 under the direction of Francisco de Paula del Villar, Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi took over construction in 1883, after which it became his life's work. La Sagrada Familia was dedicated in 2010, after the installation of the roof, and is scheduled to be complete in 2028 Let's look around: [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 24, 2012 - 27 comments

Latter-Day Lucre

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.
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Jul 18, 2012 - 296 comments

"It is while running or thinking of running, Hall said, that he feels most conversant with and dependent on God."

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."
posted by Fizz on Jul 15, 2012 - 158 comments

Pun intended.

The Pope's butler arrested following Vatileaks investigation. [telegraph.co.uk] Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler following an investigation into the leaking of sensitive church documents.
posted by Fizz on May 25, 2012 - 44 comments

A striking amount of gutter talk from this bunch of holy rollers.

Bowling alleys in churches are disappearing, the USA Today headline notes -- but how did they get there in the first place? [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo on May 10, 2012 - 37 comments

In the name of Defense.

In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall) of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church and Pike committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George H. White,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
posted by zarq on Mar 26, 2012 - 29 comments

Church or Cult?

Inside the creepy and controling world of Seattle's Mars Hill Church, home of "real marriage".
posted by Artw on Feb 2, 2012 - 81 comments

"Nothing compares to you, except maybe a banana, peeled or unpeeled, I don't care, though when they're unpeeled they can get awful messy"

Sinead O'Connor plays a concert in a church in Reykjavík at Iceland Airwaves last October. Icelandic state broadcaster, RÚV, recorded the concert and you can listen to it in full. There is some talking in Icelandic in the beginning, but the concert starts up at around three and a half minutes in. This concert was not long after her online jokes about her lack of companionship making her resort to bananas. She cracks many jokes about that and the fact that she's playing in a church. And she's in brilliant form as a performer and plays for almost two hours. As a bonus, here's not-very-high-quality video of that night's rendition of Nothing Compares to You, which includes a bit about bananas.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 31, 2011 - 11 comments

I dressed up as Martin Luther for Halloween

Besides Halloween, today also marks another holiday: Reformation Day. On October 31st, 1517 (warning: auto-playing video) Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, Germany essentially starting the Protestant Reformation. [more inside]
posted by Deflagro on Oct 31, 2011 - 46 comments

A slideshow of churches made of bones

Just something to kick off the Halloween weekend. I totally want that chandelier....
posted by Anima Mundi on Oct 28, 2011 - 14 comments

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that played bongos and overthrew the tables of the anti-capitalists.

St Paul's canon Giles Fraser resigns over plans to forcibly remove Occupy London protesters from outside the cathedral. A debate is building up about the role of the church and which side of the capitalist argument they should be on.
posted by pmcp on Oct 27, 2011 - 61 comments

Surely this..

A new BBC Documentary titled This World: Spain's Stolen Babies alleges that up to three hundred thousand Spanish infants were stolen from their mothers at birth over a fifty year period, and then sold by the Catholic Church through illicit adoption services.
posted by FatherDagon on Oct 17, 2011 - 64 comments

"I give thanks for those who disagree . . . yet know that we are one in Jesus Christ.”

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]
posted by Madamina on Oct 10, 2011 - 17 comments

Westboro Baptist Church vs. Foo Fighters

If ever a band demonstrated a sense of humor, it's the Foo Fighters. Watch them decide to take on the Westboro Baptist Church in a manner that completely confuses them. When the Westboro Baptist Church decided to picket a Foo Fighters concert, the Foo Fighters happily entertained then with a new tune, "Keep it Clean."
posted by kinetic on Sep 18, 2011 - 78 comments

Catholic? Had an abortion? Here's your chance to be forgiven.

Church forgives abortion during Pope's visit to Spain Special powers have been given to all priests in Madrid to absolve women who confess to abortion in the sacrament of penance during Pope Benedict's four-day visit to the church's World Youth Day event. [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae on Aug 18, 2011 - 267 comments

Irish stew. Papal hide the pickle.

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."
posted by markkraft on Jul 25, 2011 - 297 comments

Like Mystery Shoppers, but for God

Since 1998, Christian Humor Magazine Ship of Fools has been sending Mystery Worshippers to churches to write reviews. [more inside]
posted by Bulgaroktonos on Jul 25, 2011 - 30 comments

God told the church to go fuck itself

But I kept all of my gay theology books hidden in a box in the top of my closet, and I tore the book covers off in case someone should walk in while I was reading them. Gay man leaves fundamentalism, finds alcoholism, and is rescued by Anglicanism.
posted by newrambler on Jul 9, 2011 - 50 comments

Don't click before tomorrow

Vatican officials unveiled a new Internet portal Monday, a service that will aggregate the latest news from all its various media in a campaign to reach a growing online congregation across the world. [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on Jun 28, 2011 - 72 comments

Give me that old time religion - or not.

In 2002 a Mrs. Soile Tuulikki Lautsi, a Finnish/Italian woman and member of the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists objected to the crucifixes on the wall of her child’s public school. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jun 27, 2011 - 52 comments

New Reliquaries

Artist Al Farrow uses ammunition, parts from firearms, and selected other materials to build miniature churches, synagogues, and mosques.
posted by gman on May 9, 2011 - 11 comments

'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'

The Evangelical Adoption Crusade [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2011 - 137 comments

Westminster Abbey

How is abbey formed?
How is abbey formed?
How girl get regnant?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 27, 2011 - 256 comments

No Marriage Until Gay Marriage Is Legal

The Douglass Blvd. Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has voted to stop signing marriage licenses until gay marriage is legalized by the state.
posted by reenum on Apr 25, 2011 - 87 comments

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