- With New Violence, More Christians Are Fleeing Iraq: The flight — involving thousands of residents from Baghdad and Mosul, in particular — followed an Oct. 31 siege at a church in Baghdad that killed 51 worshipers and 2 priests and a subsequent series of bombings and assassinations singling out Christians.
- Belgian football club declines Catholic shirt sponsorship deal for fear of attracting ridicule, Belgian media report
- Anti-Muslim US preacher Terry Jones could be banned from UK: Home secretary Theresa May under pressure to close borders to Florida pastor who threatened to burn Qur’an
- France’s Le Pen under fire for Muslim ‘occupation’ claims: The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen came under fire for comparing Muslims praying in the streets outside overcrowded mosques in France to the Nazi occupation.
Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
- Manhattan Declaration signers resubmit tweaked app to Apple
- Leaky Weeks: Joseph, the hero of this week’s parasha (Torah reading), could teach Wikileaks’ Julian Assange a thing or two about personal responsibility
- Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper Guilty, But Not Insane: What is striking for me is the line drawn by prosecutors between delusional and non-delusional states. Mitchell should be found not insane, they argued, because his beliefs did make some kind of sense within the longer history of Mormon culture, even if he manipulated our culture to harm others Mormon Church leaders have been unequivocal in their denunciation of abuse. However, as Mormon feminists also point out, elements of traditional Mormon culture and belief—including polygamy and explicit patriarchy—can create conditions of power disequilibrium and vulnerability that contribute to abuse. It’s a sobering topic for reflection on the day that Brian David Mitchell was found guilty but not insane in the context of Mormon culture.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: This passable adaptation disappointingly lacks the awe and wonder of the book. With both previous films, fans have nitpicked about whether the movies have remained true to C. S. Lewis‘s books. Such are the challenges of big screen adaptations, and the Narnia series is no exception, especially with its Christian themes and nuances. But Voyage would seem a better fit for a movie treatment than the comparably dull and straightforward plot of Caspian. Call this one a step in the right direction, but a mixed bag nonetheless.
- New ‘Narnia’ film doesn’t challenge ‘Potter’: Directed without obvious enthusiasm by veteran Michael Apted — whose career runs from the “7 Up” documentary series to “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and the James Bond thriller “The World Is Not Enough” — “Voyage” is more suitable for young children than the previous film, or the last couple of Harry Potter movies for that matter. It’s been a serviceable series, but a mild disappointment to those of us who grew up with these books, and it never seriously challenged the Harry Potter films for hearts or minds.
- Sacred Brands: Consumerism as Modern Religion: The cover of Steve Bruce’s book, God is Dead: Secularization in the West, features a busy West Yorkshire street corner where a shuttered church sports the sign “Mike’s Carpets.” An iconic metaphor for our times: Religion retreating in the face of a relentless consumerist onslaught. With increasing numbers of people being married at Disney World and buried in Harley Davidson coffins, brands as modern religion may not be all that implausible.
- The Line Where Religions Collide: Journalist and poet Eliza Grizwold says we can learn a lot about Christianity by surveying the region where they have clashed for 200 years. Mark Galli interviews the author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam
- UB40 drummer Jimmy Brown’s daughter has opened the UK’s first halal beauty shop
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