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.
"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!
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?
To shave or not to shave?
That is the question which has divided the Christian Church for 2000 years.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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.
with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star
. [more inside]
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."
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]
Burl Cain, the warden of Angola, Louisiana's largest prison, uses religion to control and subdue the prison population.
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
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]
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."
"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]
of David Kaufmann
, Jewish scholar extraordinaire. Wonderful illuminations
, inventive typography
and even a little bit of naughtiness
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.
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
How MySpace creates born-again Christians.
The link between MySpace, nacissism and religious fundamentalism.
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."
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. ...
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.
...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?
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?
"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
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.
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?
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?
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.
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”...
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.
"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate
, 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
, John Ruskin
, Mikhail Bulgakov
, Monty Python
. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence
about him. His role in the death
of a certain
healer and apocalyptic
preacher is still being debated today
and historians alike
. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator
, 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)
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."
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
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."
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. "
Christians for Cannabis.
It's a religious high...
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.
Who wants to be a saintly millionaire?
I thought stealing was wrong...or is this just a homage?