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‘Homeless Jesus’ Provokes Debate on What It Means to be Christian

RNS-HOMELESS-JESUSIn a small college town 20 miles north of Charlotte, N.C., “Homeless Jesus” is provoking more conversation than a month of Sunday sermons. The life-size sculpture depicting a figure asleep under a blanket on a park bench lies outside St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. The nail-scarred feet peeking out from under the blanket are the only indication that Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz is making a religious statement about Jesus. [Read more]

Satan Makes You Stand

Today I was introduced to a lovely, quirky series called Adult Wednesday Addams. In honor of National Abortion Provider’s Day, which was on Monday – and because I just really want to share it with you – please enjoy Episode Six of Adult Wednesday Addams: Planned Parenthood.

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Czech Priest, Philosopher Tomas Halik Wins 2014 Templeton Prize

Tomas Halik at CTNTomas Halik, a Roman Catholic priest and philosopher, onetime Czech political activist and an advocate for religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, won the 2014 Templeton Prize on Thursday (March 13), for religious and spiritual progress. Halik, 65, a convert to Catholicism whose influences include religious figures such as Mother Teresa and author Graham Greene, has in recent years been increasingly active in building bridges between people of different faiths and between those who claim a religious tradition and those who do not. [Read more]

Islam 101 Recap (Russell and Tracie Double-Header)

Last week, I went with Tracie Harris, Beth Presswood, and Ben Weaver to an “Islam 101″ seminar at the North Austin Muslim Community Center. This is a recap of my experience and Tracie’s. [Read more]

Anti-Muslim Speakers Still Popular in Law Enforcement Training

John-G-427x240[1]Law enforcement officers in Virginia will no longer receive credit for a counter-terrorism course taught by a former FBI agent and anti-Muslim activist after the academy where the course was taught canceled its accreditation the day it was scheduled to begin. Nevertheless, the three-day course with John Guandolo, which Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins vigorously defended, proceeded at nearby Germanna Community College late last month. [Read more]

There Is Also a Secular Argument For Infanticide

American Atheists president David Silverman recently attended this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with the intention of reaching out to non-religious conservatives. [Read more]

How Russell Crowe’s Noah United Two Religions – Against It

Some Muslims don’t wan’t to see Darren Aronofsky’s new movie because Crowe plays Noah, a sacred figure in Islam. And it turns out that Christians aren’t too keen on watching it either. [Read more]

Oklahoma Fox Affiliate Cuts Evolution from ‘Cosmos’ Premiere

03-13-cosmos_full_380[1]Viewers in Oklahoma who tuned into watch ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,’ hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, missed about 15 seconds of the show, which just happened to be the one part where Dr. Tyson mentioned evolution. Instead, a local news promo was aired in the few seconds time slot. The station apologized, chalking it up to an “operator error.” [Read more]

Why ‘Cosmos’? Why now? A Q&A with Neil deGrasse Tyson

0310-cosmos-tyson_full_380[1]Thirty-four years after Carl Sagan brought the wonders of the universe into millions of living rooms, an epic follow-up to the long-revered “Cosmos” series is ready for launch. Space.com caught up with Tyson in February to talk about the series, Sagan, science popularization and his best friend, Bill Nye. [Read more]

Methodists Make History, Or, an Argument for Ecclesiastical Disobedience

bishopmclee_302[1]Rev. Thomas Ogletree, an 80-year-old Methodist minister, was going to face a church trial this week for presiding over the marriage of his son, Thomas, to Nicholas Haddad in October of 2012. Instead, on Monday, March 10th, New York area bishop Martin D. McLee dismissed the charges unconditionally, rocking the Methodist church, and marking a tipping point in the decades-old struggle over treatment of Methodist gays and lesbians. [Read more]

Can We Say ‘Christian’ When We Mean ‘Christian Conservative’?

In my last post, I took a few conservative writers to task for claiming that same-sex marriage will relegate conservatives to marginal status in American life. It was soon pointed out to me that using “conservatives” in such a sweeping, dismissive manner only serves to reinforce the simplistic and inaccurate dichotomy that poisons much of our discourse. [Read more]