Alabama sheriff tells offenders to choose between going to church for a year, or going to jail
A controversial new sentencing program in Bay Minette, AL, is focusing a national spotlight on the small,
conservative, community. First-time, nonviolent offenders are told that they may choose between going
to jail and paying fines...or promising to go to church for a full year. The Bay Minette police chief calls
the initiative Operation Restore our Community. There is a problem, however: the program violates the
U.S. Constitution, according to the ACLU. The legal watchdog groups says that Bay Minette's good
intentions nonetheless run amok of the constitutional prohibition of government participation in religion,
in any form whatsoever. Be that as it may, the police chief in continuing the program....
Scandal-ridden pastor Ted Haggard is going to appear on tv's CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP program!
In a move that has stunned many observers evangelical minister Ted Haggard is going to be appearing
on the upcoming ABC-TV Celebrity Wife Swap show. The program's producers have told PEOPLE
magazine that Pastor Ted, as he is called, will be "swapping wives" with actor Gary Busey. Busey is
himself an evangelical preacher and a confirmed supporter of the Promise Keepers organization. In
2006, the 55 year old Haggard was forced our of his senior pastor position after paying a male
masseuse for sexual favors and also using the illegal drug, crystal meth.
Is your pastor preaching his or her own sermon...or using a "pre-packaged" talk widely available
today by internet?
A survey by The Love Church Worldwide reveals that most church-goers are unaware of the fact that
their pastors may not be preaching their own sermons. The internet has spawned a new "sermon
industry" where your pastor may go to obtain a homily written by someone else...someone who may
actually be using it as a form of "advertising" to get a particular point of view across to a large audience.
Not every pastor approves, though. The Rev. Daniel Darling, author and Pastor of Gages Lake Bible
Church in Chicago, says: "I read and listen to these sermons as commentaries, to get ideas of how to
structure and shape a sermon on a particular text and to get another man's "take" on a particularly
difficult passage. But I think it's a miscarriage of my duty if I simply preached someone else's sermon. I
think most pastors would agree to this." If only that were universally true.
Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcast Network says that it's okay to get divorced if your
spouse develops Alzheimer's
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, no stranger to controversy, has publicly stated that divorcing a
spouse suffering from Alzheimer's is okay. The minister and former presidential candidate said on his
700 Club that, "I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start
all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."
The program's co-host, Terry Meeuwsen, questioned Robertson about the marriage vows where we
promise to love and care for another "for better or for worse" and "in sickness and in health."
Robertson's answer was: "If you respect that vow, you say 'til death do us part...this is a kind of death.
Houston evangelist Hal Lindsey says that Syria may soon attack Israel, and then Israel may flatten
As Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad continues his brutal suppression of the freedom movement in his
nation, the world community is increasingly wary of his long-range missiles armed with both chemical and
biological warheads. It is no secret that these are aimed at Israel. It is also thought that Assad is close to
having nuclear weapons. According to Lindsey, the prophet Isaiah predicted that in the end times the
Syrian capital of Damascus would be destroyed in a day. You may smile, but the evangelist says, "I'd
think twice before buying property in Damascus." And, because it's no secret that Assad has the
publicly-stated goal of destroying Israel. Now, Iran is thought to be urging Syria to attack Israel and draw
in his Arab neighbors as a diversion from the battering he is giving his own citizens. This, of course,
would result in a counter-attack on Damascus by the nuclear-armed Israelis. Whether or not you
subscribe to the often-alarmist rhetoric of the end-time preachers, this is an actual situation that bears
Clergy starting to become concerned about the environmental and social impact of
natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region:
Leaders of many religious communities are beginning to band together to work for "shale gas" through
the process called Fracking.
A spokesperson for the increasing number of involved clergy is United Methodist Bishop Thomas
Bickerton of Pittsburgh, PA. Bickerton has gone on record as saying that the drilling on private lands
has resulted in an economic boon for many families. Yet, concerns about health, safety, and
environmental degradation stemming from the nearly 3,500 wells drilled so far in Pennsylvania alone are
Others involved in raising alarms include Roman Catholics, Jews, Protestants, and Evangelicals, as well
as academics. A Duke Divinity School professor, Norman Wirzba, has stated that merely speaking out
against social and environmental injustices, while important, is not enough. It is also important to provide
alternatives to commercial practices that may be causing problems for humans.
Saint James College Seminary's Department of Environmental Sciences offers a degree in the
theological responsibilities faced by religion in taking positive steps to preserve God's creation.
British man who has admitted raping two women is in a snit because he is being forced to share a
cell with a born-again Christian!
40-year old British bartender, Steven Relf, admitted raping two of his female customers after plying them
with drinks. Reif, an atheist, may have raped as many as forty women in total, according to police, who
aptly labelled him a "sexual predator." Much to his displeasure, Relf was locked in a cell with a prisoner
he calls "a Bible-thumping believer."
Police have stated to British reporters that Relf was "furious" at having to share a cell at Manchester
Prison with the Christian convict.
Trinity Lutheran is located not far from our chancellor's home. Snapping this picture and sharing
it with you seemed like a no-brainer!
Of all the catchy church signs that turn up across the nation, this one wins top honors in our book! It's
from Lake Placid, Florida. Trinity Lutheran is pastored by The Rev. Richard Norris.
Not only is it eye-catching, but it provides wonderful food for thought among sensible
Christians, Jews, and followers of other religions.
Think about what this sign says. You might get a great sermon out of this one!
How is God doing? Believe it or not, someone actually SURVEYED Americans' views on
God's Job Performance!
God's is doing a "pretty okay" job...but not overwhelmingly wonderful. The Public Policy Polling service
sampled 928 people and discovered that a narrow margin of 52% Americans approve of God's "job
performance." A total of nine percent voiced disapproval of the job that God is doing.
Even though God doesn't receive an overwhelming vote of support, Congress fares much, much worse,
with some polls showing that only three percent of Americans think that their representatives and
senators are going a good job.
Interestingly, God's approval rating beat that of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who got only a
33% approval rating.
The poll also asked participants to share their views as to how good a job God did when creating the
universe. 71% of those surveyed approved whereas 5% did not.
Is God showing displeasure at Bank of America layoffs? What does God DO when angered?
Bank of America is one of the banks that caused the American mortgage crisis and then asked to be
bailed out by the nation's taxpayers.
Lately, BOA has been experiencing decreased profits by the weakened economy that it helped to
create. It's plan? Make matters worse for the American people by laying off between 10,000 and 15,000
As the Bank of America's executives planed to impoverish thousands of the firm's loyal employees, God
may have voiced an opinion.
Last night, lightening struck the Bank of America tower in New York City.
The Lord works in mysterious but sometimes rather satisfying ways!
Atheists and Muslims more popular than the Tea Party -- New York Times Op-ed. Plus, the party's
story about its founding is alleged to be completely incorrect
The tea party clearly has the ability to hold cripple both the congress and the administration. But, they
are not all that popular among average Americans.
New University research shows that the tea party rates lower than other generally unpopular groups
such as atheists and Muslims.
Presenting the results of their survey research in a New York Times op-ed, Robert D. Putnam, a
professor of public policy at Harvard, and David E. Campbell, a political scientist at Notre Dame, indicate
that the tea party as not well thought of. The two professors indicate that their data indicate that the tea
party's popularity rates lower than 23 other groups, institutions, and individuals that were surveyed.
Professors Campbell and Putnam say that their research not only is the tea party not popular among the
general population, its "origin story" is now suspect.
During the early days of the tea party, its members were often seem as "nonpartisan political
neophytes." However, Campbell and Putnam wrote in the Times that, in fact, tea partiers are "highly
partisan Republicans".... They are anything but nonpartisan.
The study has found that the socially conservative tea party is tries to establish relationships with
"deeply religious" government officials.
The push to connect with religious elected officials is perhaps being demonstrated by Rick Perry and
Michele Bachmann's insistence that they are "religious people" who make very public shows of attending
prayer meetings and conducting long prayers at political rallies.
The survey included 3,000 participants.
Get your Bible quotation right...or get an electrical shock!
Most of us remember being drilled in Bible verses by a well-intentioned adult, priest,or minister who was
trying to help us learn important scripture passages. Although they may have gotten a bit grouchy when
we failed to remember correctly, nothing beats the approach of a Baptist minister in Grand Rapids,
Michigan. When kids failed to remember a quote correctly, The Rev. Dwight Rymer applied electric
shocks to the offending children. The minister told young "volunteers" to sit on a stool that had wires
running to a six-volt lantern battery. The idea, according to the preacher, was to show the kids God's
"power" to "shock you into hearing His Word!"
Jewish Rikers Island inmate is denied his own Matzoh
A federal judge rules that inmate Christopher Henry has no constitutionally protected right to
a personal supply of daily matzoh and Sabbath grape juice.
Judge Shira Scheindlin has ruled that Henry, charged with first-degree sodomy, has no
inherent right to the matzoh and that the jail's budget would be inappropriately impacted by
such special treatment.
Henry has sued for roughly $10-billion in damages, claiming permanent trauma and
malnourishment. His suit cites a violation of his First Amendment right to religious freedom.
The judge said, "providing individualized meals to a single inmate might well foster an
impression of favoritism, which could lead to jealousy and resentment among the inmate
population, which in turn could cause tension and threaten prison security." She added:
"Similarly, providing individualized meals to one or several inmates would involve a substantial
increase in administrative costs."
Buddhists set lobsters free
Even though their act may sound overly-quaint and simplistic to non-Buddhists, a group of Buddhist
monks freed 534 live lobsters this week in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The 30 monks and supporters purchased the lobsters with the full intention of returning them to the
Atlantic Ocean as a part of Wheel Turning Day on the Tibetan lunar calendar. This day commemorates
the anniversary of Buddha's first sermon, a day during which any positive action's benefit is multiplied.
Wendy Cook, former director at the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies in Medford, north of
Boston, told Reuters that, "Even if they get captured again, they've had a longer life."
"It's rethinking the way you normally see these creatures," according to graduate student, Victoria Fan,
who spoke of how we should see other living things.
"You're supposed to view them equally. Their happiness is as important as your happiness, their
suffering is as important as your suffering," she said.
Visit Daily Religion News ARCHIVE
Saint James College Seminary
The Women's College Seminary
American Chaplain Training Institute
Stoles and religious garments at Spotted Dog Fabric Arts Studio
US Concerned about Fate of Iranian Pastor and Deteriorating Conditions for all Religious
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is expressing deep concern about
the fate of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who this week has appeared daily before an Iranian
court demanding that he recant his faith or face execution for apostasy. USCIRF also is concerned
about deteriorating conditions for all religious minorities in Iran. Despite finding that he had not
converted as an adult, an Iranian court this week demanded that Mr. Nadarkhani recant his Christian
faith because of his Muslim ancestry. An official fatwa issued in Iran gives a defendant three days to
recant his or her faith after which a (death) sentence can be implemented any time thereafter
Sad News from Iran: Kids are being arrested for having fun
A group of young people got together in Tehran to have a water fight with squirt guns and big water
spritzers. The kids were having a lot of fun squirting each other in the wilting Iranian heat when,
suddenly, the moralitry police swooped in and arrested some of the kids. Three main justifications were
given for the government's action:
1. This was a mixed-gender event with both boys and girls playing together and having fun
2. The kids organized the event by using social media, which frightens the Iranian power structure.
3. And, the very act of having fun makes the government nervous. The chief of police in Tehran said,
Hossein Sajedinia, said the participants behaved ”abnormally” and disobeyed Islamic principles
Religious leaders beginning to join Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, not only in support, but
as actual participants
After 23 days without significant clergy participation in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, suddenly
religious leaders began turning up churches, mosques,and synagogues. Interestingly, the clergy are
making it clear that they are not on hand to provide support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters but,
instead are getting involved because they now consider themselves to be an actual part of the growing
Firedoglake quotes The Rev. Michael Ellick of Judsom Memorial Church in New York: "There can be no
such thing as justice until there is economic justice."The group carried a golden calf, they say a symbol
of our spiritual poverty, a false idol.
Marcie Agee, who arrived with her pastor, stated: "Jesus stood with the 99% ... Jesus believed in
equality for the masses, the rights of workers for everyone having their fair share."
Firedoglake.com photo by
Daily Religious News that you won't find anywhere else
AMERICAN CHAPLAIN TRAINING INSTITUTE