RNB Religion News Roundup: a compendium of blurbs and links to, for the most part, religion-related stories and religion research resources.
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Laywers Hope Alamo Won’t Speak At Sex-crimes Trial
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — A judge has interrupted the sex-crimes trial of evangelist Tony Alamo to give his lawyers a chance to talk him out of testifying.
The 74-year-old pastor has told reporters he wants to speak with jurors directly, but his legal team has recommended against it. Defense lawyers sought a break until 1 p.m. Wednesday and planned to meet with their client.
Jurors could get the case later Wednesday.
Sentencing in set in corpse case
MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) — A religious leader accused of hiding the body of a dead follower in a bathroom faces sentencing in Mauston Wednesday.
59-year-old Alan Bushey of Necedah pleaded no contest to one count of being a party to hiding a corpse in February in a deal with prosecutors. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Alan Bushey led a six-member religious cult called the Order of the Divine Will. One of the group’s members, Tammy Lewis, had power of attorney for 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth, who lived with her. When Middlesworth died, Bushey told Davis not to report the death, claiming that prayer would bring the woman back to life.
They stored the body in Lewis’ bathroom. Meanwhile, Bushey kept collecting the woman’s social security checks. At her trial, Lewis said the older woman had used all of her money to support their six-member religious group.
No deal on polygamous sect rape charge
Attempts to settle a rape charge against an FLDS man, whose marriage to Elissa Wall led to the conviction of sect leader Warren S. Jeffs, have so far failed and his attorney now plans to ask a Utah judge to dismiss the charge.
During a brief hearing Tuesday in St. George, defense attorney Jim Bradshaw questioned whether the statute of limitations had expired, thus preventing the state from prosecuting Allen G. Steed for rape. He told 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham he will seek to have the case dismissed.
Steed and Wall were married in 2001. He was charged with rape Sept. 26, 2007 — a day after a St. George jury convicted Jeffs of rape based on various actions related to the marriage.
Wall testified during the trial she told Jeffs and other church leaders she objected to the marriage, which took place when she was 14, but was pressured to go ahead with it.
Wall said that nonconsensual intercourse occurred about three weeks later and continued throughout the marriage, which ended in 2004.
Duplicitous Affair Alleged Against Houston Pastor
HOUSTON (CN) – While providing marriage counseling, two associate pastors concealed that a third pastor was having an affair with a man’s wife, and the adulterous pastor had the gall to pray with the husband, asking God to reveal the identity of his wife’s lover, the cuckolded husband claims in Harris County Court.
David Molina claims the Rev. Johnny McGowan carried on the affair with Molina’s wife for years. Molina says the affair began in 1998 when his wife began working with McGowan’s construction company.
He says he and his wife sought marriage counseling from associate pastors Leo Tyler and Paul Osteen in 2003. Molina sued all three pastors, and the Healthy Soul Network Inc. and Lakewood Church. […]
After an attempt at reconciliation, the Molinas divorced in April. Molina seeks punitive damages for fraud by nondisclosure, conspiracy to commit fraud and gross negligence. He is also suing on behalf of his non-biological daughter, whom he is raising as his own.
Judge drops charge against white supremacist
A federal judge in Chicago has dismissed a charge against an avowed white supremacist accused of threatening a juror.
Hale is serving a 40-year prison sentence for his conviction on charges of soliciting the murder of a federal judge.
Long known for dancing along the line between free speech and illegal threats, Roanoke neo-Nazi leader William A. White has won the first round of his bout with the federal government.
In an opinion issued Tuesday in Chicago, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed a charge that White used his Web site to encourage violence, ruling that his actions were protected by the First Amendment.
White had been charged with posting the name, address and telephone number of the foreman of a Chicago jury that convicted a fellow white supremacist in 2004.
Although the post made no direct threats against the juror, federal prosecutors had argued that White published the information with the hope it would prompt readers of his racist Web site, overthrow.com, to threaten or harm the man. In an attempt to prove that intent, authorities filled the indictment against White with examples of other, more hateful and inflammatory posts.
But White broke no laws in obtaining information about the juror, Adelman wrote in a 35-page opinion. As for using passages from overthrow.com to interpret White’s motives, “an intimidating context alone does not remove the protection of the First Amendment,” the judge ruled.
White, commander of the Roanoke-based American National Socialist Workers Party, remains in jail despite the judge’s opinion, his immediate fate unknown. […]
Ever So Briefly
Among breast cancer patients, a positive religious attitude is not linked to measures of well-being, but a negative religious or spiritual outlook can lead to worse emotional and mental health, a recent study suggests. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine.
Communion wine is not being offered in some UK churches amid fears over swine flu. Across the world, fears of the spread of swine flu are also affecting churchgoers. In New Zealand, the Roman Catholic Church banned priests from placing communion wafers on the tongues of worshippers, while Chilean authorities suspended a northern religious celebration, prompting protests from the faithful.
Religion News Blog’s editors twitter religion news. Follow us for stories like these:
Ex-Christian Coalition firebrand looking for redemption with broader venture: http://bit.ly/dQi5a
Charge against Roanoke neo-Nazi leader Bill White dismissed: http://bit.ly/xRuy9
Laywers Hope Evangelist Won’t Speak At His Sex-crimes Trial: http://bit.ly/3IqAQ4
Apologetics roundup: Does God exist?; Answering New Atheists; Prosperity teachers; more: http://bit.ly/10mMsT
Churches stop offering communion wine to halt spread of swine flu: http://bit.ly/RiAKk
China says Falun Gong ban ‘works’ http://bit.ly/16MQHg
Faith healing trial jury unable to reach verdict after 4 days: http://bit.ly/19Xagv
Duplicitous Affair Alleged Against Houston Pastor: http://bit.ly/D2WbH
Pastor on trial gives defense witness a thumbs-up http://bit.ly/1Eg3wJ
Judge orders Joyce Meyer Ministries to cooperate in Coleman murder case http://bit.ly/ygrsH
Swine flu may force Muslims to abandon Haj pilgrimage to Mecca: http://bit.ly/3OSvCZ
Tourist gripes hush songs of praise in Samoan church: http://bit.ly/o1NtY
Report on Catholic Church’s cover-up of child abuse in Dublin shows `horrific acts of depravity’ http://bit.ly/SZLqL
Report into alleged sexual abuse of 450 children by Irish priests: http://bit.ly/q6QBX
Atheists choose ‘de-baptism’ to renounce childhood faith: http://bit.ly/UlwGQ
Christian group’s billboards denounce separation of church and state:http://bit.ly/3PnPiU
Jury in Ava Worthington faith healing death trial still deadlocked: http://bit.ly/QY00H
Prosecution rests at Tony Alamo trial: http://bit.ly/fJh3H
Trial set for pastor charged with killing wife: http://bit.ly/2Rv6Qn
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