Faith on the Blind Side

In the beginning there was "Big Tony" Henderson, whose dying mother urged him to pull his son Steven from a public school on the bad side of Memphis and take him somewhere to get a Christian education.But there was one big complication. Steven didn't want to abandon his buddy Michael Oher (pronounced "Oar"), a street kid who slept on their floor most nights. "Big Mike" was afraid to return to the bleak foster homes he knew after police tore him away from his mother, her crack pipe and her 13 … [Read more...]

So a reporter walks into a church (rimshot)

It's a law. Whenever the Vatican issues a papal encyclical, journalists have to figure out what the pope was trying to say.To do this, we contact scholars, politicos and clergy for background information and edgy quotes. Thus, a reporter recently called Father Richard John Neuhaus of the journal First Things to discuss Pope Benedict XVI's "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)."During this interview, Neuhaus referred to the pope as the "bishop of Rome." The reporter then said, "That raises an … [Read more...]

Baylor, Bibles, boots and education

Soon after David Solomon arrived at Baylor University in 1960, he realized that one of his new friends had a problem -- this rancher's kid had spent his life in boots."That's all he had," said Solomon, a philosopher who leads the Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture. "We went out and he bought his first pair of lace-up shoes. ... That's what Baylor was about, back then. Baylor was supposed to take Baptist kids from small-town Texas churches, knock the dust off them and hit them with the … [Read more...]

Freud, Lewis & God on PBS

Dr. Armand Nicholi of Harvard Medical School was caught off guard as he read evaluations of his first seminar on the life and philosophy of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis."Several of the students said the same thing," he said, recalling that semester 35 years ago. They thought the class "was good, but that it was totally unbalanced. They said it was one sustained attack on the spiritual world."Nicholi had a problem. He decided that the students were right, but he knew it would be … [Read more...]

Saving the Baylor brand name

WACO, Texas -- Looking out his window, athletic director Ian McCaw has been watching workers tear up the turf in Baylor University's football stadium one more time.The environment is brutal in there, and not just because the Bears play Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and other Big 12 powers. Central Texas offers searing heat and then its share of ice. Since 1950, Baylor has tried grass, various brands of fake grass, real grass again and now Prestige System artificial turf."We're committed to making … [Read more...]

A Hail Mary for Hollywood

In the Hollywood culture wars, Barbara Nicolosi is an army of one, a former nun turned screenwriter who constantly urges angry believers to love the artists who so frequently mock them."How many of you have complained -- or been enraged even -- in the last month by something you have seen on television or in a movie theater?", she asked a recent audience in Los Angeles.Hundreds of hands went up.Nicolosi gently pounced: "Now, how many of you, when you saw that something on the screen that … [Read more...]