Religion News Blog Roundup for Feb. 7, 2008

“RNB Roundup” is a collection of clippings, snippets, links, commentary and other items that, in one way or another, relate to the topics normally covered in Religion News Blog.

Note: This page may grow throughout the day€¦ Too, linked items may be online for a limited time only. Get them while they’re hot.


Bill Would End Separation of Church and Super Bowl
This item may make no sense to churchgoers outside America. You see, church in America is a bit different. It is…. oh, forget it!

Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced a bill this week that would allow houses of worship to show football games on big-screen televisions.

The legislation was among a flurry of action taken this week as the result of an article Friday in The Washington Post reporting that churches were canceling Super Bowl parties out of fear of lawsuits from the NFL if they showed the game on jumbo TV screens.

The league has sought to enforce its copyright of the Super Bowl by sending letters to churches warning them that showing the game on big-screen sets violates the league’s copyright. The NFL allows sports bars to show the game on large TV sets but objects to similar viewings by other out-of-home large assemblies.
– More in the Washington Post


Anonymous vs. Scientology Protests
Coming Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, marks a day of protests outside Scientology buildings throughout the world.
Those playing along in the USA can find event locations on an interactive map
Anonymous vs Scientology map

A video posted to YouTube provides suggested guidelines to keep in mind during protest actions.

Oral Roberts University

Spiritual pride no longer codified in ORU’s bylaws
Oral Roberts University has accepted a $62 million donation that came with some strings attached, which requires the college to adopt shared governance, in which professors, administrators and trustees jointly run the university.

The power of “spiritual regents” and ultimate leadership by the founder and his family are gone in Oral Roberts University’s revised articles of incorporation and bylaws.

The new documents usher in shared governance… The revised bylaws give ORU’s new governing board the ultimate authority over the college and state that the president serves at the pleasure of the board.

Previously, the president essentially had power over the board…
– Source: Tulsa World

Note that the old bylaws described how Oral Roberts and his son Richard viewed themselves and their teachings:

When the university first accepted students in 1965, founder Oral Roberts served as the president, and his son Richard Roberts succeeded him in 1993. Richard Roberts resigned in November, following a lawsuit, a storm of publicity and allegations he mismanaged the university and misused its money.

He denied wrongdoing.

Both men, along with their wives, were ORU’s spiritual regents, who had ultimate authority within ORU’s old board of regents, according to the old bylaws. They were considered ORU’s “spiritual prophets, seers, pastors, leaders and ministers.” Teachings of the chairman and vice chairman of the spiritual regents “represent(ed) the teachings” of Jesus as applied to modern times “and must be followed” by leaders and staff. ORU “is essentially and fundamentally a religious organization,” the old bylaws stated.
– Source: Tulsa World

Cult Headlines

It’s a dangerous world out there:
‘Cult’ is a popular — though much misunderstood and often misapplied — term. For the history of the term, along with definitions and a look at some of the controversies surround its use and application, see Cult FAQ

Food and Drinks

Praying for coffee

Coffee drinkers have begun congregating at the cafe from heaven, where drinks can be paid for with a prayer.

They only need say four Our Fathers for a cappuccino or five Hail Marys for a cola at the newly opened Jedro cafe in Zagreb.

The shop is run and financed by local parish authorities in Zagreb’s Jarun district.

The Virgin Mary Pancake

Two weeks before National Pancake Day, one Houston area family celebrated by preparing some ‘flapjacks.’ They were stunned when they saw a sacred Christian image on the egg-flour product.

“Someone has found a Virgin Mary out here,” reports Houston Fox 26’s Melinda Spaulding.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday February 7, 2008.
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