Jail a new church-state option for bishops?

No one is surprised that the man who will soon lead the Archdiocese of Glascow opposes Scotland's plans to legalize same-sex marriage. Still, Archbishop-designate Philip Tartaglia raised eyebrows with his prediction of dire consequences if he kept defending church teachings on marriage and sex after the legislation went into effect."I could see myself going to jail possibly at some point over the next 15 years, if God spares me, if I speak out," the 61-year-old bishop told STV News.The … [Read more...]

Super Bowl holy wars — 2011

The ill-fated "Feed Your Flock" ad is, without a doubt, the most famous 30 seconds of video that no one will see during Super Bowl XLV.For the few who didn't catch it online, the ad features a worried pastor -- in a clerical collar -- who has empty pews and too many unpaid bills. Thus, he prays for inspiration and God responds with the sound of crunching chips and fizzing soda.Soon hungry souls -- Jewish, Amish and Hare Krishna included -- are lining up in church for Doritos and Pepsi MAX in … [Read more...]

Hallelujah, saith the masses

As millions of YouTube viewers know, the "Hallelujah Chorus" is even hotter than usual this year.The wave started with a flash-mob performance by the Opera Company of Philadelphia and hundreds of local choristers. Dressed as shoppers, they sang the best-known anthem from George F. Handel's "Messiah" oratorio at noon in the downtown Philadelphia Macy's, which was already decked out for the holidays on Oct. 30th.Then came the Nov. 13th performance that sent this viral-video trend into … [Read more...]

When did Baptists stop making news?

The Southern Baptist Convention has passed scores of blunt resolutions in recent decades urging America's leaders to reject the sexual revolution and defend marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman.But something different happened during this summer's convention. In a jolting statement on the divorce crisis, leaders from America's largest non-Catholic flock looked in the mirror and decided that their own sins were just as bad as everyone else's sins."Studies have indicated that … [Read more...]

Culture wars 2008

If you could erase one moment from Sen. Barack Obama's White House campaign, which would you choose?That's an easy question for evangelicals, Catholics and other religious believers who back Obama. Most would happily erase all evidence of his speech last spring to a circle of insiders behind closed doors in San Francisco. For those who have ignored national news in 2008, Obama talked about meeting voters in rural Pennsylvania, where hard times have crushed hopes and fueled resentments."So it's … [Read more...]

PG or not PG?

When it comes to "Facing the Giants," the one thing the players in Hollywood and the Bible Belt agree on is that this Christian indie flick deserves a PG rating.That PG rating isn't what has ticked off talk radio, Christian bloggers and some Capitol Hill conservatives. They want to know if the Motion Picture Association of America thinks the "P" in PG stands for " proselytizing" and the "G" for "Gospel."The bottom line: Salvation can be as offensive as sex and swearing."We're seeing something … [Read more...]

Catholic college culture wars

Anyone trying to understand the Catholic college culture wars can start with last spring's commencement address by Cardinal Francis Arinze at Georgetown University.Media coverage was guaranteed, since many list the Nigerian prelate as a top contender to succeed Pope John Paul II. Who knew he would dare to mention sex and marriage?"The family is under siege," said Arinze. "It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and … [Read more...]

Goodbye, Democrats. Hello, what?

It was sometime during the hearings into whether Judge Priscilla Owen was fit to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals that Father John F. Kavanaugh faced a hard question.All 10 Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted against her and killed her recent nomination, even though the Texas Supreme Court Justice received the American Bar Association's highest ranking. The problem was that she favored restraints on abortion rights, including parental-notification laws."This was the first … [Read more...]