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Page 2
Malaysia Says It will Appeal 'Allah' Ruling
Interfaith
Written by laika   
Monday, 04 January 2010 19:20

At The Wall Street Journal:

Malaysia is bracing for a potentially bruising linguistic battle after its government vowed to challenge a court ruling allowing local Roman Catholics to refer to God as Allah.

The legal tussle is raising tensions between Malaysia's ethnic-Malay Muslim majority, who represent about 60% of this resource-rich nation's population, and its large ethnic-Chinese and Indian minorities. Muslim groups are preparing demonstrations against a High Court ruling on New Year's Eve to overturn a three-year-old government ban on the Catholic Church using the Arabic word Allah as a translation for God in its Malay-language newspaper.

 
Rick Warren asks for $900,000, gets $2.4 million
Money & Finances
Written by laika   
Sunday, 03 January 2010 13:02

At The LA Times:

A year-end plea for $900,000 yielded $2.4 million for the Lake Forest mega-church led by Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor who gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration.

Warren had sent out the appeal via an online communication to Saddleback Church members Dec. 30. The money was needed, he said, to offset a deficit resulting from hard economic times. Giving among church members had declined at a time of greater need for church’s aid.

Now, the church will enter the year with an unanticipated surplus, officials said.

 
Early Volley in War on Easter
All Things Crack
Written by laika   
Friday, 01 January 2010 19:24

At UPI:

The appearance of chocolate eggs on British supermarket shelves so soon after Christmas and three-plus months before Easter is wrong, critics say.

While a TESCO grocery chain spokesman said the sale of chocolate eggs simply reflects customer demand, some consumers and religious leaders are arguing against the sales so far ahead of the Christian holiday, which falls on April 4 this year, The Sun reported Friday.

 
Church's influence on politics shifting
Politics
Written by holmegm   
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 12:03

From The Washington Post:

The clout of the local faith community, particularly the black church, in D.C. politics has been declining for decades. But with the council heading for a vote next week on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the near-certain passage of the legislation has come to symbolize both political and spiritual changes in the District.

 
The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Documentary Hypothesis
Archeology & Anthropology
Written by Entity   
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 12:50

Todd M. Aglialoro at Inside Catholic writes:

The question of the origins of the popular Christmas (or "Christmas") carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," has long divided carolers and carol critics alike. The mainline (though waning) opinion is that it is merely a colorful but nonsensical ditty flung together by some anonymous Victorian nursery-rhymer. A minority of addled fundamentalists imagine its verses to represent certain Christian dogmas, at one time employed either as a mnemonic device or as a code for use in unfriendly lands.

But modern source-critical methods of Christmas carol exegesis have greatly advanced our understanding of the true roots of the song (or "song"), allowing us to see, with academic certainty, just how it came about.
 
Secular Solstice Display OK'd at Arkansas Capitol
Law, Etc.
Written by laika   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 16:37

At The Associated Press:

A secular display celebrating the winter solstice and "freethinkers" such as Albert Einstein and Bill Gates can be placed at the state Capitol alongside a traditional Christian nativity scene, a federal judge said Monday.

The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers sued last week after Secretary of State Charlie Daniels rejected its proposal, saying it wasn't consistent with the Capitol's other decorations and displays. The group asked for a quick hearing before the winter solstice, which is Dec. 21.

 
Merry Marketing
Money & Finances
Written by laika   
Friday, 18 December 2009 13:24

Opinion from The Wall Street Journal:

I like Christmas as much as the next Christian. And by that I mean the Feast of the Nativity—the one with Jesus being born in a manger. The one Linus talks about every year on "A Charlie Brown Christmas." That Christmas I like.

The Christmas I don't like is the one most people don't: the commercial one. And this year what's been irking me are the slogans that companies are deploying in their December ad campaigns that hope to have it both ways: They're using religious themes without actually being religious. Call it faith-based advertising.

 
Church courts controversy with Christmas billboard
Church
Written by Jono   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 03:31

From stuff.co.nz:

An Auckland church is hoisting a mischievous billboard intended to provoke conversation about spiritual matters at Christmas.
St Matthew-in-the-City will be putting up a Christmas billboard tomorrow that will feature an illustration the church felt could disturb some.
On it, Mary and Joseph are in bed. Joseph looks down dejected. Mary looks sad. The caption reads: "Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 14:49
 
Group's Census Promo Called 'Blasphemous'
All Things Crack
Written by metallurge   
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 17:36

Spotted at USA Today:

A push to spread the gospel about the 2010 Census this Christmas is stoking controversy with a campaign that links the government count to events surrounding the birth of Jesus. The National Association of Latino Elected Officials is leading the distribution to churches and clergy of thousands of posters that depict the arrival of Joseph and a pregnant Mary in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.

[Ed note: yes, there is a graphic of the poster at the linked article]

 
Malaysia hearings start in Catholic 'Allah' fight
Law, Etc.
Written by holmegm   
Monday, 14 December 2009 11:54

From AP:

Lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church urged a court Monday to let Christians use "Allah" as a translation for God and overturn a government ban that has become a symbol of religious grievances in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

 
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