Glenn Beck and his controversial pronouncements and conspiracy theories remain popular, but Fox News is cancelling his show. Glenn Beck and Fox News Channel formally agreed to end Beck’s daily program Wednesday, bringing a marriage beset by outside pressures and internal tensions to an end after just 27 months. Fox News Channel said it was dropping Glenn Beck’s afternoon talk show, which has sunk in the ratings and suffered financially due to an advertiser boycott. The conservative host and the… Read more

I can’t believe I missed blogging about this yesterday, April 6 being the Commemoration of Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Dürer: Christian Artists | CyberBrethren-A Lutheran Blog. Go to that link to celebrate by looking at some of their paintings and what they mean. Read more

President Obama formally threw his hat back into the ring, announcing that he will run for re-election. He’s got a lot of weaknesses and vulnerabilities, what with the economy, his new war in Libya, a reputation as indecisive, and a number of unpopular policies.  And yet, say Democrats, who can the Republicans put against him who would not be even less popular?  He at least, they say, comes across as presidential, unlike most of his Republican rivals.  The power of… Read more

My colleague Mark Mitchell on why Jane Austen still resonates with young people today and what they can learn from her: Reading Pride and Prejudice with a group of bright and interested students has been a delight. Austen can charm students in 2011 and, given the multitude of voices and volumes competing for their attention, this is no small feat. But what, exactly, is it that makes Austen such a good teacher today? The question, itself, suggests that Austen is… Read more

Fifteen states are considering banning abortions after five months of pregnancy.  Nebraska and Kansas have passed it, and Iowa may be next: The Iowa Senate will consider a bill that bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, following approval of the measure by the state House Thursday night, lawmakers said Friday. State Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa, a Republican, said the bill is a priority because a Nebraska doctor has said he plans to open a clinic in Council Bluffs,… Read more

This is apparently the traditional way: You don’t burn them. You never, ever burn them.  An unwanted holy book, be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or any other scripture, can be disposed of humanely and appropriately, but not burned.  A holy book is afforded the same respect as a human being in every religious tradition in the world — except, apparently, the one practiced by one pastor in Florida.  You bury them. via Jon M. Sweeney: How to Properly Dispose of… Read more

Earlier we blogged about the European Court of Human Rights ruling that Italian public schools could have crucifixes on their walls. Stanley Fish looks more closely at the decision and finds, as often happens in the United States too, that rulings that are seemingly in favor of Christianity actually end up eviscerating religion. The question at issue was whether an Italian law requiring the placing of crucifixes in public classrooms violates a clause of the European Convention On Human Rights… Read more

George Wills reports on a free speech case in St. Louis: [Jim] Roos responded [to repeated efforts by the local government to seize his property] by painting on the side of one of his buildings a large mural — a slash through a red circle containing the words “End Eminent Domain Abuse.” The government that had provoked him declared his sign “illegal” and demanded that he seek a permit for it. He did. Then the government denied the permit. The… Read more

Terry Jones, that Florida preacher, went ahead and burned a copy of the Koran, even though he had said that he wouldn’t.   So a mob in Afghanistan killed seven UN workers. Many more foreigners were injured and there are reports of other deaths in other incidents. See this vivid account. These killings are not by the Taliban but by the ordinary Afghanis we have been trying to liberate. I am enraged by them and also by the preacher whose… Read more

In many countries–especially China and other Asian nations–the preference for a boy baby is so strong that girls are routinely aborted.  But this is happening in the United States also!  The births among Asian-American populations are also heavily skewed to having more boys than girls.  Arizona has passed a law forbidding abortion for gender selection. Why aren’t feminists supporting laws like this? Arizona and the War on Baby Girls » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog. Read more

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