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The Only Miracle Jesus' Mother Asked For Was Wine

How New World Wine Resurrects Old Religion
I used to be a regular at a wine bar in San Clemente, a beach town in California where my wife and I lived when we were first married. The ‘Tuscan’ decor of the place was a little too vivid for my taste, but the wine was priced right and the owner was a great conversationalist. He would tell us stories from behind the bar about his travels to vineyards in Chile and New Zealand, and he had a charming populist streak. When people got too pretentious about the wine, he would roll his eyes and say: ‘Relax, it’s just a beverage.’ He was wrong about that, of course. Since its invention more than 8,000 years ago, wine has always been more than just a beverage.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 16, 2014 - 11 comments

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

Trusting God

Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf) that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
posted by zarq on Feb 18, 2014 - 154 comments

The Wars Over Christian Beards

To shave or not to shave? That is the question which has divided the Christian Church for 2000 years.
posted by cthuljew on Jan 26, 2014 - 40 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

The rise of the religious left

According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute [PDF], 1 in 5 Americans can now be defined as "religious progressives". These people, who eschew the current Republican agenda of religious social conservatism, have Republican leaders caught in the middle between an aging religious conservative majority and young religious progressives.
posted by reenum on Jul 24, 2013 - 183 comments

The Old Believers

Alaska is home to two small villages of Russian Orthodox "Old Believers," whose ancestors left the church and their home in Siberia in 1666 in the face of state-issued church reforms. They have traveled more than 20,000 miles over five centuries in the search for the perfect place to protect their traditions from outside influences. Now, assimilation into American culture is slowly overtaking them. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 5, 2013 - 49 comments

That's me in the corner

The findings for England and Wales from the 2011 British Census have now been released. The BBC provides a handy guide to changes by area while The Guardian has a neat infographic and a set of Top 10 Charts. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 13, 2012 - 18 comments

"Jake from Two and a Half Men means nothing. He is a non-existent character."

Angus Jones, better known as Jake on the show Two and a Half Men, has joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The young star has released a pair of videos urging people to stop watching the show.
posted by reenum on Nov 26, 2012 - 182 comments

"I went from God loves everybody to God saves everybody to God is in everybody."

From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader. Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working to help others who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 27, 2012 - 163 comments

The Bully Pulpit

Late last month, after vocally anti-gay evangelical author and blogger Jonathan Merritt's essay defending Chick-Fil-A appeared in The Atlantic, Azariah Southworth outed Merritt on his blog. An interview with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 13, 2012 - 237 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

The End of the Christian Right?

Historian Michael Kazin says that we are witnessing the end of the Religious Right's influence in American politics. Peter Montgomery of Alternet says not to declare the Christian Right dead quite yet.
posted by reenum on Feb 14, 2012 - 128 comments

Horror Stories From Tough-Love Teen Homes

Kathryn Joyce looks at unregulated Christian homes for troubled children.
posted by reenum on Dec 8, 2011 - 39 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

But what does God think?

How Christian is Terrence Malick's Tree Of Life? [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Jul 31, 2011 - 88 comments

God's Own Warden

Burl Cain, the warden of Angola, Louisiana's largest prison, uses religion to control and subdue the prison population.
posted by reenum on Jul 26, 2011 - 47 comments

WARNING: Please check in with a heterosexual “accountability buddy” before reading this article

How I Went Undercover at Bachmann's Clinic: Truth Wins Out (or TWO) activist John Becker took a hidden camera with him to five therapy sessions at a Christian counseling center run by Marcus Bachmann. Meanwhile, QUEERTY debates whether making fun of Mr. Bachmann's own decidedly "gay-sounding" voice (and theoretical repressed-gay tendencies) is fair game, or whether it counts as homophobic bullying.
posted by hermitosis on Jul 11, 2011 - 137 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

"I was 100 percent deceived. One hundred percent."

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]
posted by zarq on Apr 14, 2011 - 133 comments

"We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong."

The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice. "We will not be profiled or pigeonholed and we will not ‘Be Quiet.’ We’re Christians. We’re Liberals. Please get used to it. Thank you."
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit on Dec 14, 2010 - 145 comments

Fired For Fornication

Jarretta Hamilton, a teacher at a Christian school in Orlando, was fired after it was discovered that her baby was conceived before she was married.
posted by reenum on Jun 27, 2010 - 157 comments

The Return of Christian Terrorism

Threats of right wing violence have doubled in the past year. What is behind the latest upsurge in the movement to create a Christian theocratic state? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 8, 2010 - 94 comments

Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes - A preacher's daughter marries another preacher's son and offers an insider's perspective about youth leaders, tips and hawks, sexual jewelry, hot wives, drama teams, video games, Jumbotrons, coffee, graphic design, typography and more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 31, 2009 - 197 comments

Gays: Vibrating Gatekeepers to Another World

"You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers." The Dagara people of Burkina Faso. [more inside]
posted by pinothefrog on Feb 10, 2009 - 49 comments

RaDaK

The manuscripts of David Kaufmann, Jewish scholar extraordinaire. Wonderful illuminations, inventive typography and even a little bit of naughtiness.
posted by tellurian on Jan 21, 2009 - 8 comments

You've Been Left Behind & I Nailed Your Wife

We all know The Rapture is coming soon (although "no one knows the day or hour"), and many of us will want to send out appropriate taunting messages from our heavenly perch to our loser buddies that didn't get chosen. At last, a service provider has arisen to serve this need. At You've Been Left Behind, you can store up to 250 MB of documents to be sent to up to 62 separate emails addresses in the event of the Rapture. Rapture is determined to have occurred when 3 of the 5 team members fail to log in to the site over a 3 day period.
posted by jonson on Jun 3, 2008 - 146 comments

Faith-Based Weight Loss

Gwen Shamblin's faith-based weight loss program, The Weigh Down Workshop, has been so successful that in 1999 she spun off her own Evangelical church, now found in over 100 cities worldwide. Her weight loss methods are not without controversy, and her church has recently been in the news.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 27, 2007 - 24 comments

Narcissism 2.0

How MySpace creates born-again Christians. The link between MySpace, nacissism and religious fundamentalism.
posted by bobbyelliott on Mar 20, 2007 - 109 comments

The Wisdom of Solomon

Wake County, NC: Solomon Kamil invited to speak at a public school in Raleigh tells the students to shun Muslims "You may be excited that you found the 'tall, dark, and handsome man' you have been looking for. His sweet words and attention may blind you regarding the power, importance, and influence of his culture and Islamic faith."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Feb 22, 2007 - 79 comments

... the replacement of my secular education with a curriculum guided by God. ...

Through a Glass, Darkly How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history--from Harpers. ...producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history. ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 12, 2007 - 111 comments

P2P is a sin

P2P is a sin [bugmenot]
posted by PenguinBukkake on Oct 10, 2006 - 35 comments

Baylor Survey of Religion

The Baylor Religion Survey (PDF) has been released, and - big surprise - Americans are religious. Just how religious? Although nearly a quarter of Americans believe in a "Distant god" - an essentially deist view - only 5.2% consider themselves atheist and 89% subscribe to some kind of organized religion. More stats: There are more evangelical Protestants (33.6%) than mainline Protestants or members of traditionally black churches put together. Of all people affiliated with a religion, 93% are Christian. And those considering themselves biblical literalists are twice as likely to support a pro-military, anti-crime political agenda.
posted by Saucy Intruder on Sep 11, 2006 - 42 comments

"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn't mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn't work?"

...a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment....Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait. By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. ... "Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse." Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?
posted by amberglow on Apr 10, 2006 - 95 comments

...resources that could prove pivotal to understanding and better contending the central struggles of our time are underutilized ...

Talk To Action and Mother Jones mag team up for e-conference tomorrow: ...a day of thoughtful reflections on, and vigorous discussion of the role of religion and government -- as intended by the framers of the constitution, and the situation we face today. (MoJo's December issue is all about the role of religion and government, including this on Reconstructionists: A Nation Under God.) New and old media officially collaborating to highlight specific issues and futher debate--a first?
posted by amberglow on Nov 28, 2005 - 15 comments

Follow the Leader

"I felt like hurting someone before, now I feel like hugging people". Only weeks after professing his belief in Jesus Christ, former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch was baptized in the Jordan River last Saturday. With “Jesus” tattooed across his knuckles and “Matthew 11:28” along his neck, Welch received full immersion in the historic river, along with 20 other white-robed Christians from a Bakersfield, CA church. Welch said the ritual baptism, “washed away his anger.” "My songs are God saying things to me, him talking to people. He's going to use me to heal people and people are going to be drawn to it, just watch, they will be.” For the latest information (and a free mp3) go to Welch's personal website, http://www.headtochrist.com/
posted by matteo on Mar 10, 2005 - 148 comments

Al Hartley

The 50-year career of Al Hartley. Part of Stan Lee's early stable of writers at Timely-Atlas, Hartley's perhaps best remembered as the creator of Spire Christian Comics. The series, which included comic book adaptations of popular Christian narratives such as God's Smuggler [pdf], and original stories like The Gospel Blimp [pdf], and Hansi: The Girl Who Loved The Swastika [pdf], also included 19 titles starring Archie [pdf], Jughead and the gang.
posted by RockyChrysler on Jan 9, 2005 - 6 comments

Christian License

When a developer asks 'don't use TYPO3 for NewAge publications, anti-christian messages, sexually explicit material, extreme political propaganda' , would you use the software? Would you respect his wishes?
posted by dprs75 on Jan 7, 2005 - 86 comments

Yes Virginia, There are Christian ACLU Lawyers

A call for Christian lawyers who have worked for the ACLU. The ACLU tries to be balanced , but considering the amount of effort they have put forth to inhibit Christian influence from/to the government, should a Christian lawyer work for them?
posted by urlnotfound on Dec 27, 2004 - 65 comments

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? WTF? That's what I thought when I first read it. I read more and again I said: WTF? This can't be right! So, I looked around a bit and I realised some people had already a different perspective on this.
posted by acrobat on Nov 25, 2004 - 38 comments

...to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family...

Meet the WallBuilders --an organization that promotes the return of American public life to its religious-based heritage, according to USA Today. And the Congressional Pastor's Briefings may be of interest too: WallBuilders has been privileged to bring ministers from across the nation to Washington, DC, for an intimate briefing session with some of the top Christian Senators and Representatives now serving in Congress. The Members brief pastors on a variety of issues related to Biblical values as well as share their hearts regarding their own faith and its application to public office. ...
Wallbuilders or Mythbuilders provides a debunking of 8 historical fallacies of the group, concluding that:...In that sense, then, the name “Wallbuilders” is correct: the organization is building unnecessary walls of prejudice in an onlooking world, a word desperately needing to hear about the One who has “broken down the middle wall of division”...
posted by amberglow on Oct 28, 2004 - 24 comments

Calling all Hot Women of the LORD!!!

Hello, my name is Tamara! As you can probably tell, I'm a Christian who loves Jesus and cares for all humans, even the wicked. What you probably don't know is that I'm hot.
posted by loquacious on Aug 19, 2004 - 68 comments

Pontius Pilate contracted his brows, and his hand rose to his forehead...

"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea, is the only historical figure named in the Nicene Creed -- Coptic saint or eternally damned, his role in the greatest story ever told has been debated by many of history's greatest minds: St Augustine, Dante Alighieri, Tintoretto, John Ruskin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Monty Python. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence about him. His role in the death of a certain charismatic Galilean healer and apocalyptic preacher is still being debated today by theologians and historians alike. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator of Judea, the classic short story (complete text in main link) by Anatole France. (France's magnificent story has lately been tragically neglected by publishers, even if the author was one of his era's most acclaimed writers in the world -- he won the Nobel Prize in 1921 over Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, and Proust, and when he died in 1924, hundreds of thousands of people followed his funeral procession through Paris). These last 2,000 years of fascination with Pilatus can be explained, some argue... (more inside, for those unwilling to wash their hands of this post)
posted by matteo on Jun 24, 2004 - 37 comments

The Hillbilly Housewife.

The Hillbilly Housewife. "I am just a humble, barefoot, hillbilly woman with too many irons in the fire like most folks...You will not find nutrional information with these recipe because I do not beleive that God intends normal, everyday eating to be a burden for His children."
posted by bingo on May 15, 2004 - 78 comments

Is it just me, or does this stink?

Johnny Hart at it again? "B.C." creator Johnny Hart is getting some negative publicity (again) for a comic that some say is anti-Islam. See the comic here. An outspoken Christian, Hart has had brushes with religious controversy in the past. Are people reading too much into this, or does it look like bigotry to you? (via Atrios)
posted by Gilbert on Nov 21, 2003 - 115 comments

The Almighty $

Christians become aquainted with the Almighty. "When the Wheat Ridge man got laid off from his computer-programming job in June, his friends and family asked what they could do to help. He asked them to pray for him and offered a daily reminder: an automated text message on cellphones and pagers. Now, Wostenberg, a devout Catholic, is offering that same technology to anyone who wants a psalm sent to him each day at 3 p.m. He's selling the service online at PsalmWeaver.com He charges $19.95 a year, plus a $4 setup fee."
posted by crasspastor on Dec 16, 2002 - 16 comments

The Rapture Index

The Rapture Index This rather bizarre site is the Dow Jones of the end of the world. From the site, "You could say the Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we're moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture. " Whacked...
posted by Coop on Sep 20, 2002 - 23 comments

Christians for Cannabis.

Christians for Cannabis. It's a religious high...
posted by Rastafari on May 6, 2002 - 21 comments

Know the one about the two nuns in the bath?

Know the one about the two nuns in the bath? As far as religious humour goes - I don't think it gets any better than Life Of Brian.
posted by zimbobzim on Mar 25, 2002 - 7 comments

Who wants to be a saintly millionaire?

Who wants to be a saintly millionaire? I thought stealing was wrong...or is this just a homage?
posted by kirkaracha on Feb 11, 2002 - 5 comments

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