Southern Religion

Legion of Christ manual seems revealing

Legionaries of Christ

The Legion of Christ has in the past filed lawsuits when copies of its various documents were published on the Web. Had them taken down.

ReasonWeekly says it knows, and offers for download “the leaked internal manual of the order [.pdf].

ReasonWeekly says the “document reveals a totalitarian and intrusive outlook on the congregation by its leaders,” and that seems fair, but read the manual yourself. And if one manual is not enough, you can supplement it by downloading the censored Legion of Christ sect personal exams from WikiLeaks.

We await your considered assessment.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, WWW | , , , | Comments Off on Legion of Christ manual seems revealing

Where the Wild Things Are

First, leaked footage:

Now, your link to the official trailer:

If you loved Where the Wild Things Are, you will not be disappointed by the movie trailer.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Movies | | Comments Off on Where the Wild Things Are

Evangelicalism’s: ‘Collapse’ or rusting decline?

The Four Evangelists by Jakob Jordaens

The Four Evangelists by Jakob Jordaens

Because evangelical Christianity is visibly breaking down, Internet Monk’s widely discussed prediction of the movement’s “collapse” a decade hence, resonates in the minds of all who are concerned.

The animating core of his prediction — that identification of evangelicals with the culture wars and political conservatism at the expense of faith was a historic mistake — is a long-simmering cause of general unhappiness (the New York Times wrote about it well last June.).

The political sellout by the Religious Right is especially important among evangelicals under 40, a Barna survey found, while other research says some “don’t even want the label any more.”

More broadly, in August 2008 a Pew Forum survey found that 52 percent of Americans agreed that houses of worship should keep out of politics.

Or when he predicts the money will dry up, whether you’re a religious broadcaster or pastor of an average Southern Baptist Church, you’re having that experience or probably fear it. Although catastrophic collapse of a going evangelical enterprise, is rare.

Each element he cites has some gut-level or analytical validity for those who are involved in or close to the movement.

Collapse is a powerful word. The concept of collapse may also sell well among people whose faith speaks of “the end times.” Although we agree with, Tony Cartledge, associate professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School and contributing editor to Baptists Today, who isn’t buying:

Spencer has clearly seen the spiritual hollowness that pervades much of evangelicalism, and I believe he is correct that elements of the movement will fade in influence as years go by. The idea that evangelicalism will collapse within ten years, however, appears clearly overstated. Methinks the monk has underestimated the power of inertia.

Like newspapers which are printed on paper, evangelicalism will persist and appear to be wonderfully influential during a long decline, while its eminent death is persistently forecast. And while saving reforms are persistently resisted.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Cultural, Politics, Religion | , | Comments Off on Evangelicalism’s: ‘Collapse’ or rusting decline?

Honesty is also a Catholic value

Richard Viguerie brings a refreshing clarity to the Notre Dame uproar refreshingly by combining high dudgeon with fiction:

Barack Obama is a pro-abortion extremist. He supports elective abortion at any point during pregnancy, and even afterward; he opposes protecting children who survive abortions. He supports using U.S. taxpayers’ money to pay for elective abortions in our country and in other countries. He is working to strip medical professionals of their right not to perform abortions.

After the word “pro-abortion,” everything he said was a distortion and calculated to inflame his audience.

Viguerie echoes arguments made elsewhere and closely examined by Beth Dahlman.


Dan Gilgoff notes that Notre Dame’s president is unwavering in his defense of the invitation.

As for the student body, Notre Dame campus newspaper, the Observer, reported “in an Oct. 8, 2008 article that Obama led the student body with 52.6 percent of the vote in a mock election held by student government, in which 2,692 undergraduates and graduate students voted.”

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Honesty is also a Catholic value

‘Coal’ Land linked

Global temperature graph

Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, is in the spotlight as the global-cooling coal man of the hour.

It all started when that Associated Baptist Press noticed that coal had gotten religion, after a fashion.

George Frink has it all here.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | environment, Religion, Science | , , , | Comments Off on ‘Coal’ Land linked

Civil prayer on the North Carolina docket

Squared off since 2006 over civil prayer’s wording in Forsyth County, N.C., are the Americal Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).

The issue: Forsyth County local government meetings are opened with prayers which which as a matter of policy may be sectarian. They may, for example, enjoin Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Charlie Davis, pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem. is one of the plaintiffs. He explains “that sectarian prayer excludes people, which isn’t good. The government guarantees religious freedom and that applies to non-believers as well.”

It didn’t have to go to court. The county commissioners ignored the advice of their own attorney by refusing to ensure that invocations were non-sectarian.

A judge could rule on the lawsuit next month and legally, the smart money is with the ACLU:

In 1983, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Marsh v. Chambers that if a legislative body chooses to open its meetings with a prayer, such prayer must not be “exploited to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other, faith or belief.” The prayers before the legislature that were upheld in the Marsh case were nonsectarian – in other words, the prayers were not specific to any particular religion. In addition, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes North Carolina, has repeatedly and recently upheld this principle of government neutrality in religious matters by insisting that legislative invocations be nonsectarian in nature.

More important is the message of pluralism in America sent by pursuit of this lawsuit others like it.

Protestant prayer of the sort being defended by the ADF was the standard, especially in the South, until late in the last century. No more. Objections to the informal establishment of this Protestant civil religion, where it persists, are being adjudicated.

Bill Leonard, the dean of the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University told the Winston-Salem Journal:

This is the death rattle of implicit religious establishment in America that has been in existence since the Colonial period.

Is it constructive to adjudicate a cultural transition? As the Rev. Laura Spangler, the pastor of Winston-Salem’s historic Lloyd Presbyterian Church, put it, “. . . prayer, the main way we communicate with God, is becoming a tool for conflict. And I don’t feel good about that.”

March 25, 2009 Posted by | History, Law, Religion | , , , | Comments Off on Civil prayer on the North Carolina docket