- Elizabeth Smart kidnapping suspect suffers seizure in court, halting trial: Brian David Mitchell, who is usually escorted from court after he begins singing hymns, yelled out in a strangled voice about 8:50 a.m. and fell under the defense table. His attorneys then shouted for EMTs, saying he appeared to have suffered a seizure.
- Judge issues permanent injunction on Oklahoma Sharia law ban: A federal judge in Oklahoma has issued an order putting on hold the certification of a ballot measure that forbids state courts from considering or using international laws, as well as Sharia, or Islamic law.
- A Smithsonian exhibit that includes a video of ants crawling on a crucified Christ has triggered an unholy backlash — with the head of the Catholic League fuming that the artwork is “hate speech.” “A Fire in My Belly,” by the late artist David Wojnarowicz, is included in “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” a show at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to run through Feb. 13.
- Dead leader kept in hut: Followers of a cult in the Solomon Islands did not want to bury their religious leader who died November 20. Apparently the cult leader himself has ordered them not to bury him.
- Buddhist Temple Purges Ghosts of 2,000 Aborted Fetuses
Hate Groups / Hate Crimes
- Spike in racist abuse of Jews in Australia
- More threat to Muslims in smaller towns, says UK report: Anti-Muslim sentiment and violence are seen as problems of big cities with large immigrant populations from countries where Islam is the official religion. But new research suggests that threats and intimidation are more of a problem in small market towns and suburban areas. See: Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies
- Sikh California cabbie beaten, mistaken for Muslim
Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
- How Willow Creek Is Leading Evangelicals by Learning From the Business World
- Should Airports Use Racial And Religious Profiling?
- Yoga’s appeal is universal says The Times of India in an editorial following the news that a group of Indian-Americas has launched a campaign labebed, “Take Back Yoga.” The paper also published an opposing viewpoint.
- Interview With Gay Theologian David Berger: ‘A Large Proportion of Catholic Clerics and Trainee Priests Are Homosexual’
- Progress Against AIDS Falters: Christians should make the moral case for sustaining aid programs.
- Gay Marriage Opinion and Religion: Very few cite religion as a top influence on their opinion of most political issues, including immigration, the environment and poverty. On gay marriage, however, religion still plays a very significant role with many Americans. More than a third (35%) cite religion as the top influence on their view of gay marriage. Opponents of gay marriage (60%) are far more likely than supporters (5%) to say religion is the most important factor in their opinion.
- Mohamed Osman Mohamud bust wasn’t entrapment by any legal definition
- Airport Security: Let’s Profile Muslims: In the wake of yet another Muslim terror plot, we can’t ignore the threat profile any longer—or the solution. Asra Q. Nomani argues the case for religious and racial profiling.
The Believers Around The Corner
- Aliens DO exist (or so half the British public believes)
- Church condemns topless waitresses
- Folks, Are Ye Lovin’ It? A review of McDonaldisation, Masala McGospel and Om Economics: Televangelism in Contemporary India by Jonathan D. James. In the book, James “look at religion in a transnational and global context and presents a systematic account of the methods undertaken by modern day missionaries to convert people.The author seeks to understand the outworking of the American phenomenon of televangelism in India, in a new historical, cultural, religious, political and economic setting. He likens global televangelism to McDonaldization , because of its standardized, one size fits all approach.”
- European Islam needed for dialogue, says German church head: A European form of Islam needs to develop before a meaningful interfaith dialogue can take place on the continent, the new leader of Germany’s 24 million Protestants has said
- China: Islam infused with aspects of the dragon
- Evangelist gives away cars, wins one
- Bush, on book tour, tells Rick Warren of faith: Amid scattered protests, former president admits ‘shamelessly peddling my book’ and says he read the Bible daily while in office. (He apparently missed the part where it teaches you should be doers of the Word. Illegal warfare, torture and other human rights violations are incompatible with being a follower of Jesus. Then again, earlier Bush admitted that he does not take the Bible literally)
Today in History