Bauer’s sojourn in e-mail hell

The walls and shelves in Gary Bauer's new office are bare, since he only left the presidential campaign trail a few primaries ago.But his e-mailbox is bursting and his fax machine is still humming, after his endorsement of Sen. John McCain's long-shot insurrection.Bauer has been hearing from Christians "in Timbuktoo" who hope he spends eternity in a sizzling location -- ASAP. But he has been just as stunned by the reaction of Beltway insiders, folks he has known since his Reagan White House … [Read more...]

Just another Sunday at Saddleback

LAKE FOREST, Calif. -- The Saddleback Community Church bleachers were still filling up when the jazzy Latino pre-service music faded and, with a "One, two, three!" countdown, the 13-piece band rocked into their opening hymn."I wanna be like You. Live everyday, the way that You want me to," sang the throng, watching the JumbroTrons. "It's getting better. I read Your letter. These are the words you said to me. Love the Lord with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the things … [Read more...]

White House religion — words and deeds

The more Richard Nixon talked about his faith the more his enemies complained about it.Critics of the troubled president accused him of hiding behind a smokescreen of "White House religion," which an Associate Press report described as "personalized piety detached from its social demands." Liberal church leaders said Nixon was using Christianity as a shield. Critics said he needed to get some new religious advisers, instead of surrounding himself with clergy who would only tell him what he … [Read more...]

He was God’s man, not God’s coach

On Friday afternoons, Tom Landry and his secretary used to work their way through hundreds of letters from Dallas Cowboy fans around the world, answering every one of them.A few years before owner Jerry Jones shoved him out the door, Landry received a letter that left him shaken and speechless. A mother was worried because her 10-year-old son was still depressed, even though it had been weeks since the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs. Could the coach help?"I really didn't know what to say," … [Read more...]

Because Ideas Have Consequences

The powers that be at Hillsdale College applauded when Chuck Colson delivered his lecture that was, with a nod to Fyodor Dostoevsky, entitled "Can man be good without God?"But there was one problem. When the Christian apologist reviewed a version of his text prepared for Hillsdale's "Imprimis" newsletter, he saw that all of his references to Jesus were missing. When Colson protested to Lissa Roche, the college president's daughter-in-law and strong right hand, she said it was campus policy not … [Read more...]

The Third World Anglicans act

For the worldwide Anglican Communion, July 29, 1974, was a day when old ties were broken and new bonds were formed.That was when four Episcopal bishops broke tradition by ordaining -- without permission from their hierarchy -- the "Philadelphia 11" as the first female Anglican priests. Liberals said they had to violate one tradition, to obey a higher tradition of equality and justice. Traditionalists said this radical action would only create more schisms.Now, Anglican historians have to … [Read more...]

Amish choices in Y2K

HINKLETOWN, Pa. -- It was hard to see William and Minnie Stauffer in their traditional black clothes, since the only light inside the Pike Church came from a crimson winter sunset over the Amish Country hills.It was hard to hear the story of how the Old-Order Mennonites came to Lancaster County, since there was no pulpit microphone the cold wooden pews were full of squirming young visitors. But it was easy to hear one of modernity's signature sounds, when a cellular telephone sang out over on … [Read more...]

Got those born-again feelings, again

Journalists rarely get to use terms such as "White House," New Age" and "seance" in the same story.But they did in 1996, when the news broke that Hillary Rodham Clinton and her "sacred psychologist" Jean Houston were using meditation and visualization techniques to chat with Eleanor Roosevelt. Commentators smirked and said this behavior was wacky, if not "cult-like."For scholar Wade Clark Roof, this ruckus was perfectly timed to aid his ongoing research into the Baby Boomer soul. Out in … [Read more...]