We’ve blogged about how radio preacher Harold Camping is predicting that Christ will return on May 21 of this year.  Journalist Kimberly Winston interviewed Mr. Camping and asked him how he calculated the date with such precision: If preacher Harold Camping is right, that’s the exact date Jesus will return and the righteous will fly up to heaven, leaving behind only their clothes. That will be followed by five months of fire, brimstone and plagues, with millions of people dying… Read more

Oh, great: Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”. Mr… Read more

The King’s Speech, the account of King George VI’s stuttering problem that won the Academy Award for best picture, is coming out in a PG-13 version in April.  The original was rated R because of a scene in which his speech therapist was trying to get the monarch to loosen up and let the words flow by using some bad words. It isn’t clear how the new version, which will be the only one in theaters, will handle that scene. … Read more

New word department. . . Actually two new words: “Retronym” is a word coined by Frank Mankiewicz, George McGovern’s campaign director, to delineate previously unnecessary distinctions. Examples include “acoustic guitar,” “analog watch,” “natural turf,” “two-parent family,” and “offline publication.” Bob Woodward’s new book, Bush at War, introduces a new Washington retronym: “kinetic” warfare. . . . In common usage, “kinetic” is an adjective used to describe motion, but the Washington meaning derives from its secondary definition, “active, as opposed to… Read more

So it looks like there will be another Narnia movie.  The next one in the novel sequence would be one of my favorites, The Silver Chair, but instead the next movie will be The Magician’s Nephew, Narnia’s origin story.  Here is an interview with the head of Walden Media, which is producing the series:    Interview: Walden Media President Michael Flaherty on Narnia 4 Film, Christian News, The Christian Post. Read more

We haven’t talked about basketball!  My alma mater, the University of Kansas, is in it to win it.  My current home state of Virginia has two teams in the Sweet Sixteen, not only in the same state but in the same city  (Virginia Commonwealth and Richmond University, both in Richmond).  My former home of Milwaukee is in it with Marquette. So what are your predictions for the Final Four? For the final two? For the championship? My prediction for the… Read more

The Lutheran journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto has written a piece about the current apocalyptic mood and the religious weirdness this is inspiring.  You should read the whole article.  What struck me, though, was this account of some original reporting of his, in an interview with a leader of that Japanese cult that unleashed the sarin gas a few years ago.  Here is another kind of syncretism: In Japan in the 1980s, a semi-blind charlatan by the name of Shoko Asahara founded… Read more

From Freakonomics: Just how important is Mom during a child’s first year of life? A new working paper by the economists Pedro Carneiro, Katrine V. Løken, and Kjell G. Salvanes exploits a recent reform in Norway to answer that question. The reform, which increased paid and unpaid maternity leave, “increased maternal leave on average by 4 months,” but had no effect on family income. The authors found that more time with Mom led to lower high school dropout rates later… Read more

The European Court of Human Rights has overturned a lower court’s decision to outlaw crucifixes in Italy’s public schools.  Not only that, the court ruled that Christianity is, in fact, the religious foundation of European civilization, a fact that need not be hidden. The Grand Chamber ruling. . .recognizes that “human rights must not be placed in opposition to the religious foundations of European civilisation”. rules The decision is an affirmation of the respect owed to each country of the… Read more

In an article about sociologist Bradley Wright’s book  Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media journalist Adelle M. Banks discusses his findings that Christians who go to church regularly have lower divorce rates, contrary to the assertion of other researchers that Christians have the same divorce rate as everybody else. We’ve talked about that topic, but what I’d like us to consider is another issue raised in the… Read more

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