Faith in that Barack Obama brand

Here's good news for President Barack Obama: The slice of Americans who believe he is a Muslim is down to 11 percent, according to a new Gallup Poll.That number was up to 18 percent two years ago, in a Pew Research Center survey, after hitting 11 percent in 2009.This time around, 52 percent of Democrats knew the president is a Protestant Christian, as opposed to 24 percent of Republicans. Only 3 percent of Democrats said Obama is a Muslim, while 18 percent of Republicans thought so. The … [Read more...]

BBC leader says race trumps religion

The full-page New York Times advertisement by the Freedom From Religion Foundation was certainly blunt -- starting with its headline telling "liberal" and "nominal" Catholics that "It's Time to Consider Quitting the Catholic Church."Conservative Catholics were outraged and called the newspaper's leaders hypocrites, claiming they would never dare to run such a fierce and offensive ad that targeted believers in other faiths, especially Islam.Sure enough, a group called Stop Islamization of … [Read more...]

God, Allah and Rick Warren

At the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, centuries of Islamic doctrine have literally been carved into the shrine's walls.Two quotations on the northwest wall will be of special interest to anyone interested in the latest whirlwind of controversy linked to evangelical superstar Rick Warren and his giant Saddleback Church.The outer face inscription states, in part: "Praise be to God who has not taken a son and who does not have any partner in dominion. ..." On the inside, after a … [Read more...]

Religion 2010 — Rose petals in Pakistan

In terms of giant headlines and spilled ink, there is no question that the lightning strike by U.S. special forces that killed Osama bin Laden was the year's most spectacular news event, featuring a deadly brew of religion, politics and violence.Thus, it isn't surprising that members of the Religion Newswriters Association selected the death of the world's most infamous radical Muslim as No. 1 in their poll to name the year's top 10 stories on the religion beat. In addition to the symbolism of … [Read more...]

Fundamental Breivik truths

As journalists began digging into the who, what, when, where, why and how of Anders Behring Breivik, the deputy police chief of Oslo faced a media scrum and served up the day's hottest sound bite."What we know is that he is right wing and he is a Christian fundamentalist," he said, the morning after the hellish attack on Norway's Labor Party and on the children that were its future.That was the English version of the quote that jumped into American news reports and wire service stories … [Read more...]

Few celebrating Osama’s demise

In the hours after Osama bin Laden's death, cyber-scribes unleashed a Twitter storm of biblical proportions, posting epistles at rates reported to have hit 4,000 a second.Apparently, 140 characters is a great fit for Bible quotations. The most popular post-Osama Bible tweets, as charted by Stephen Smith at OpenBible.info, quickly divided into two theological camps.Some quickly offered passages such as Proverbs 21:15, which proclaims: "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but … [Read more...]

Define fundamentalist, please

Few hot-button, "fighting words" are tossed around with wilder abandon in journalism today than the historical term "fundamentalist."The powers that be at the Associated Press know this label is loaded and, thus, for several decades the wire service's style manual has offered this guidance for reporters, editors and broadcast producers around the world."fundamentalist: The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernist controversy within Protestantism. ... However, … [Read more...]

Dershowitz visits Oslo (sort of)

Ask Orthodox Jews in Norway where one can find a fresh shoulder of kosher beef and they will give the same answer -- nowhere.There is more to this obscure fact than a clash between Jewish tradition and the concerns of animal-rights activists in today's Europe, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz told a Jewish forum in Oslo. This is a symbolic fact about tensions that surround Jews in Norway."You live in the only country in the world today that does not permit kosher shechita," he … [Read more...]


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