Southern Religion

What really happened to Lou Dobbs? Curious birthers want to know

From the New York Times this:

Months ago the president of CNN/U.S., Jonathan Klein, offered a choice to Lou Dobbs, the channel’s most outspoken anchor. Mr. Dobbs could vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN.

For a time, Mr. Dobbs did tone down his TV rhetoric, but on Wednesday he made a more drastic decision: He chose opinion.

Some mourned Dobbs departure more than others.

Media Matters even put together a brief memorial retrospective:


November 12, 2009 Posted by | Satire, WWW | Comments Off on What really happened to Lou Dobbs? Curious birthers want to know

Ungraceful Baptist church book burning

Did you miss the Amazing Grace Baptist Church Halloween book burning?

Tony was on burned up about it.

Although he reportedly did not make the pilgrimage to Canton, N.C., for the conflagration. So we’re [tongue in cheek] dedicating this video of that gathering to him:

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, Satire | , | Comments Off on Ungraceful Baptist church book burning

So much heat, so little light over D.C. Catholic standoff

Still researching our own assessment, we find ourselves in agreement with tmatt at GetReligion:

Read the top of this A1 Washington Post report about the collision between the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and government officials here in the District of Columbia. Now ask this question: Is the heart of this story (a) civil rights for a new protected class of gays and lesbians, (b) religious liberty in America or (c) both?

The answer, of course, is “both.”

And more, with unanswered questions galore, even for those of us who have been following the story.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Law | , , | Comments Off on So much heat, so little light over D.C. Catholic standoff

Immigrants in detention being denied spiritual care

The number of U.S. migrant detention beds has risen 200% since 2000 as detention of illegal immigrants was employed in the war against terror. Catholic bishops believed imprisoned migrants have a right to spiritual care. Cindy Wooden reported:

Representatives of Jesuit Refugee Service and others “have found that detainees in the United States do not have access to religious literature, such as the Bible or Quran,” [Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, told the Vatican’s World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees], and they seldom have access to a religious leader from their own faith.

Wester said the church “must insist” on delivering full pastoral care:

[T]hat access to detention centers and detainees [be] provided so that sacraments can be administered regularly; that pastoral workers can ensure detainees are being treated properly; that detainees can receive spiritual comfort and counseling; and that church workers can inform family members about how the detainees are doing.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Immigrants in detention being denied spiritual care

How hungry the homeless for the holidays in D.C.?

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC has threatened to withdraw its social services from the District of Columbia (DC) absent change in the proposed same-sex marriage law. This amid criticism (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), applause(1, 2) and some | neutrality.

The impact would be considerable, as the Washington Post reports:

Catholic Charities, the church’s social services arm, is one of dozens of nonprofit organizations that partner with the District. It serves 68,000 people in the city, including the one-third of Washington’s homeless people who go to city-owned shelters managed by the church. City leaders said the church is not the dominant provider of any particular social service, but the church pointed out that it supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers.

After the DC City Council’s Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary narrowed the exemption for religious freedom under the bill legalizing marriage between same-sex couples, the archdiocese issued a press release which says:

Under the bill, religious organizations do not have to participate in the “solemnization or celebration” of a same-sex marriage ceremony. An earlier version of the bill also exempted them from “the promotion of marriage that is in violation of the entity’s religious beliefs.” The revised language significantly narrows that exemption to the “promotion of marriage through religious programs, counseling, courses, or retreats.”
As a result, religious organizations and individuals are at risk of legal action for refusing to promote and support same-sex marriages in a host of settings where it would compromise their religious beliefs. This includes employee benefits, adoption services and even the use of a church hall for non-wedding events for same-sex married couples. Religious organizations such as Catholic Charities could be denied licenses or certification by the government, denied the right to offer adoption and foster care services, or no longer be able to partner with the city to provide social services for the needy.

City Councilman David A. Catania said he would rather end the city’s relationship with Catholic charities than give in to the Church’s demands.

Thus far it appears the D.C. City Council agrees with Atrios:

Good. Someone else who [cares] can run them with federal tax dollars.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Economy, Law, Politics | , , , , | Comments Off on How hungry the homeless for the holidays in D.C.?

When journalists fumble

Mollie doesn’t like it when journalists fumble, attributing to entire organizations words that they didn’t say.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Politics | | Comments Off on When journalists fumble

Will Gingrich surf his way of the cross to the White House?

Newt Gingrich is on a spiritual journey back to power in the Republican Party and perhaps a run for president.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank writes about Gingrich’s conversion Catholicism, noting that it “says much about the transformation of the Republican Party that even Newt Gingrich is now carrying the cross.” Milbank says that even though Gingrich has never been close to the religion right, former speaker “is calculating that everything will get easier for him politically as a religious conservative.”

Gingrich was a Southern Baptist, but had previously followed a brand of New Age philosophy, according to Milbank.

“But as his presidential aspirations swelled in recent years, Gingrich took the road to Damascus. He went on James Dobson‘s radio show to talk about his adultery. He spoke at Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University. He appeared on GodTV. He converted to Catholicism. He wrote a book, “Rediscovering God in America,” and produced two related films. He’s at work on a documentary about Pope John Paul II‘s role in defeating communism.”

Matt Bai looked at Gingrich’s resurgence in New York Times Magazine.

Bai describes a Republican retreat for congressmen in Virginia earlier this year, where Gingrich was the keynote speaker. Gingrich told inspiring stories from history and sports and even lightheartedly referred to himself as Moses, saying he’d help the GOP cross the Red Sea again only if it stayed on the other side.

Bai notes that Gingrich has “gone to great lengths to placate Christian conservatives.”

“The family-values crowd has never completely embraced Newt, probably because he has been married three times, most recently to a former Hill staff member, Callista Bisek. In 2006, though, Gingrich wrote a book called “Rediscovering God in America” — part of a new canon of work he has done reaffirming the role of religion in public life.”

Gingrich spoke at a conference in June that shares the book’s name, according to a post by Dan Gilgoff in the U.S. News and World Report’s God & Country blog.

Gingrich told the conference attendees that the nation’s “first great challenge is spiritual.”

“This is a country in hunger for another Great Awakening, a wave of belief which has again and again swept this country and fundamentally changed us.”

Gingrich is positioning himself to ride that wave.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion | , , , , | Comments Off on Will Gingrich surf his way of the cross to the White House?

Hasan’s calculated distortions of the Koran

Pamela K. Taylor, co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, writing at On Faith, offers a thorough exegesis “Maj. Nidal M. Hasan’s calculated distortions of Islam,” ending with:

While I am not a psychologist, I can’t help but feel that Hasan’s final slides in the presentation are a plea for help: “Muslim soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk of hurting/killing unbelievers unjustly,” he wrote, recommending that the “Department of Defense should allow Muslim soldiers the option of being released as ‘conscientious objectors’ to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.”

The fact that he identifies the potential hurting/killing as unjust makes it quite clear in my mind that he knew any suicide attack is in no way justified by Islamic teachings.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Religion | Comments Off on Hasan’s calculated distortions of the Koran