The pope and the Pentecostal smartphone

The image projected onto the giant screen above the recent Kenneth Copeland Ministries conference was not your typical clever smartphone video.Still, the crowd of Pentecostal Protestants was mesmerized because the shepherd vested in white who addressed them -- in Italian, with subtitles -- was one of the last men on earth they would have expected to warmly bestow his blessing on them.Pope Francis stressed that they "must encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together. ... These … [Read more...]

Goodbye to old-time mountain faith

Travelers who frequent the winding mountain roads of Southern Appalachia know that, every few miles, they're going to pass yet another small Baptist church sitting close to some rushing water.It's all about location, location, location.Why would a preacher want to baptize a new believer in a heated, indoor tank when he can dunk them in the powerful, living, frigid waters of the river that created the valley in which his flock has lived for generations? There's no question which option the … [Read more...]

Rights and wrongs of Pastor Terry Jones

The deaths of the 10 International Assistance Mission medical workers inspired headlines that were both shocking and numbingly familiar, since these are dangerous times for believers whose convictions steer them into Afghanistan.A Taliban blandly leader told the press: "They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all."If the gunmen had only waited a few weeks, they could have claimed that their victims were linked to a powerful global conspiracy to burn Korans.That's the kind of … [Read more...]

Farewell to Ashcroft urban legend

The satirical report on the Democratic Underground website may have seemed bizarre to outsiders, but it was old news to Attorney General John Ashcroft.According to a fictitious poll by CNN, Time and Cat Fancy Magazine, 52 percent of calico cats surveyed were afraid -- even deathly afraid -- of the attorney general and another 36 percent were "somewhat afraid." Some cats said they believed Ashcroft is, in fact, a sign of the devil."There have been reported cases of young kittens actually dying of … [Read more...]


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