Southern Religion

A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18 – 25)

As the week approaches, Fr. Richard McBrien despairs of progress:

Over the years, the ecumenical movement has made a marked impact at the upper levels of church life (bishops, theologians, priests, ministers, religious, and certain key lay people), but little among the so-called rank-and-file or grass-roots membership.

A brief history of the effort.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Religion | Comments Off on A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18 – 25)

‘Christian Voice’ raised against atheist bus ads


Complaints have been filed against atheist bus ads with the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority.

Christian Voice and others, says the British newspaper Guardian, argue “that the atheist campaign broke the advertising code on the grounds of substantiation and truthfulness.” Or as Voice’s Stephen Green put it:

There is plenty of evidence for God, from people’s personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it.

Atheists of course say it’s all just the voice of unreason.

The ASA is apparently not tripping over itself to process the complaint.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Cultural | | Comments Off on ‘Christian Voice’ raised against atheist bus ads

How many Baptist minister sexual predators? How many victims?

How many? Christa Brown at Stop Baptist Predators answers:

Most people who sexually abuse kids have multiple victims, often dozens. But again, let’s calculate this on the conservative side. Even if you count only the currently active 3,030 Southern Baptist pedophile ministers, and even if you only count 3 victims for each of them, that’s still 9,090 kids who will be molested and raped by Baptist ministers.

Where is the tracking database that would do so much to fence clerical predators away from Baptist young people? Nowhere. Failure to create it is one Time Magazine’s top underreported stories of 2008.

Read Brown’s entire post.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Religion | , , , , , | Comments Off on How many Baptist minister sexual predators? How many victims?

Rick Warren: Anvil of reconciliation


Our first black president-elect, whose campaign was fraught with both false and real issues of religion, has created for his inauguration a faith collage of the culture wars which have racked the nation for four decades.

Together, the voices he has chosen to pray and preach compose the elements of needed and otherwise unlikely dialog toward reconciliation.

Those voices are gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Rick Warren, black United Methodist minister Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and Christian Church president Rev. Sharon Watkins.

Now that the table is set, it is clear that Warren’s inclusion created both dramatic contradictions and through them an opportunity for greater reconciliation.

Warren, then will be through his presence and in his two-minute prayer the anvil upon which is forged that reconciliation.

Read it all.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rick Warren: Anvil of reconciliation