Half-naked dancers and public prayers in Oklahoma City

“Gonna wear my Thunderwear in Times Square.” My friend Randy Roper, the preaching minister for my home congregation in Oklahoma, came up with that winning slogan in a 2009 contest sponsored by the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a result, Roper earned a free trip to New York for the NBA Draft Lottery. (That was, of course, before the Thunder [Read More...]

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere: hymns and happy hour?

“Beer with Jesus” might have fallen off the country music charts, but the trend has legs — er, foam — apparently. You may remember the other half of our resident husband-wife team, GetReligionista Bobby Ross Jr., writing a post in November on the subject.  In summary, he looked at reports on churches offering services in pubs [Read More...]

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Got news? The one and only Caesar of Jewish humor

Remember all of those nasty charges by anti-Semites through the years that The New York Times is controlled by Jews and that it’s pages have been dominated by Jewish concerns? Yes, I know about the Sulzberger family. But if the Times team views the world through some kind of Jewish prism, then explain the following [Read More...]

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Hollywood’s ‘Noah’ wars: Why not quote the Bible?

Let’s face it. That Noah character in Genesis 9 is one pretty wired, complex fellow. I don’t know about you, but I can see the volatile actor Russell Crowe digging into some of this stuff: The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of [Read More...]

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Baring their souls: Seeking more coverage on naked church

Strip down this post to its bare essentials, and here’s the naked truth: Sometimes the Godbeat is more interesting than other news beats. Honest. Take, for example, the story by WWBT — an NBC affiliate in Richmond, Va. — that skinny-dipped all over social media this week. Before you click that link, though, heed the [Read More...]

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Got news? Can Christian and atheist swap lives for a month?

Half a world away from my Oklahoma home, an experiment just concluded in Australia. An atheist and a Christian who are friends agreed to trade places for a month and document the experience, with the summary promised later this week. According to a brief in online news’ The Blaze, believer Bentley Browning and non-believer Simon Capes [Read More...]

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Rolling Stone thinks it <3′s this pope (plus, Mark signs out)

For reasons probably more associated with my age than anything else, the old Dr. Hook song, “(On the) Cover of the Rolling Stone,” which equated placement on the front of rock’s top magazine with true accomplishment in life, ran through my mind when I first learned that Pope Francis would get pride-of-place in the magazine’s Feb. 13 [Read More...]

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Scoring spiritual points before Super Bowl Sunday

Every year about this time, we face a blitz of profile stories of coaches, athletes, owners, fans and even pets preparing to square off on Super Bowl Sunday (I’m a huge fan of Puppy Bowl, by the way). The big story in advance of the 2014 human installment: the frigid temperatures and whether or not [Read More...]

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