Friday, March 9, 2007

New York Times (NY): San Franscisco is poised for some 22,000 Christian teens attending a BattleCry rally on the front steps of City Hall. According to BattleCry's website, this rally and others like it were organized in response to a crisis: "A stealthy enemy has infiltrated our country and is preying upon the hearts and minds of 33 million American teens. Corporations, media conglomerates, and purveyors of popular culture have spent billions to seduce and enslave our youth. So far, the enemy is winning. But there is plenty we can do. We need to take action. We need to answer the Battle Cry." A counter protest has been organized to speak out against the organizations anti-choice, anti-gay agenda. A local paper warns that "BattleCry indoctrinates teens against the evils of secular music, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, disobedience to authority." Politically, the group advocates for a theocracy based on a "literalist interpretation of the Christian Bible replacing the secular rule of law in every sphere of life."

The South End Newspaper (MI): Wayne State University's Society of Agnostics, Non believers and the Enlightened (SANE) displayed biblical passages around the university that implied God might hate women. Such quotes included Genesis 3:16 and Deuteronomy 5:21, which the group translates as: "Women are possessions of men, just like his house or his ox."

Church Executive Magazine (AZ): Church leaders debate the value of Rick Warren's popular model "The Purpose Driven Life," which has been accused of having more connection to the self-help genre than the Bible. Warren explained to ABC's Nightline: "When you're preaching and teaching the good news, you walk a very fine line where you're taking the world of the Bible and the world of today, and you're building a bridge between those [worlds]. Now, it's easy to be biblical if you don't care about being relevant … And it's easy to be relevant if you don't care about being biblical. I happen to want to be both." See full Nightline video here.

Hopkinton Crier (MA): The Bible is full of enduring stories of family dynamics.

Reuters: Investigators are searching for a suspect in Chicago who has mailed threats to U.S. financial houses since 2005. The perpetrator mentioned the figure $6.66, the Biblical sign of the beast, in some of the letters.

People's Daily Online
(China): As communist China grapples with how to approach religion, they may come to view religion as King David might advise: "A lamp at my feet."

US News: Another interview with Stephen Prothero about America's religious illiteracy and the need for Bible and world religion courses in public schools.

Sun Sentinel (FL): Talmud, the musical, comes to Houston to promote a deeper understanding of Judaism.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bible Bending Item of the Day: The Solar Powered Talking Bible

Denver Post (CO): The Bible should be taught in U.S. schools because it is a part of American cultural life. "As a writer, I'm all for more widespread biblical knowledge, for my work is simpler if I can refer to "the patience of Job" or "the wisdom of Solomon" when appropriate. In that respect, I also support more widespread knowledge of all prominent ancient literature, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, because there are times when "the wrath of Achilles" or "the virtue of Penelope" can be useful. The same holds for classical mythology, as with "the Midas touch" or "Echo and Narcissus." However, the Bible should not be taught in the school if educators wish to teach that the Bible is the foundation of the American government.

WBIR (TN):Meanwhile, Stephen Prothero is troubled by American's Bible illiteracy. In his new book "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--and Doesn't," Prothero tries targets the
Casa Grande Valley Newspapers (AZ): An examination of the "virtuous woman" portrayed in Proverbs. "The time has come for even pious women to realize God never intended for them to limit their lives to suit another person's demands. Rather, married women must use all their talents to be partners with their spouses and good citizens of the world. This is their service to God." (DC): America's foreign policy must return to its biblical roots and heed the command to "love thy neighbor as thyself." On the war on terror, leaders should remember the prophet Balaam who refused to curse the Israelites saying:
"How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?
or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
For from the top of the rocks I see him,
and from the hills I behold him:
lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be
reckoned among the nations." Numbers 23:8,9

Shrevport Times (LA): In response to a previous article on biblical contradictions, a reader responds that the writer is "blinded by his own intellectualism and condescension." Christianity is about "faith, hope and love."

AP News: National Geographic Chanel will air two specials on the Bible: "Decoding the Dead Sea Scrolls," examines the modern day impact of "the most important archaeological find in modern times." Meanwhile, "Cain and Abel" will grapple with the question: "Why would God prefer one
brother over another?" Hilary Swank stars in Warner Bros. 'new supernatural thriller', The Reaping, a twisted tale on the ten biblical plagues apparently assaulting a small Louisiana town. Swank plays Katherine Winter, a "miracle debunker" who, as a result of a tragic accident, has rejecter her former faith in Christianity and now seeks to prove that there is no God.

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA): Steve Moss' new novel "Marked" is a retelling of the gospel story that Moss views as his chance "to finally get even with all of the right-wing, neocon, fundamentalist, holy-rolling snake-handling crazies whom I feel have co-opted Christianity."

The Daily Titan (CA): On why God can't be all-knowing and all-powerful.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Bible bending music group: Suburban Kids with Biblical Names

Virtue Online (PA): Archbishop Drexel Gomez noted that the fundamental issue in the rift between US Episcopal Church and the Anglican communion is maintaining the biblical teaching on what God teaches us about sex and how it is to be engaged.

Daily Sun (Nigeria): John Ede's book "Wanted! Leaders who lead!" explores what leadership means according to the Bible.

Caribbean Net News (Cayman Islands):Former CNN host, Andria Hall, will host a "faith tourism conference" for women in the Caribbean. Women who attend the conference, "will benefit from powerful guest speakers, talk-show style sessions, money management workshops, biblical aromatherapy and a gospel concert."

Raleigh Biblical Recorder (NC): The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is teaming with Crown Financial Ministries to offer individuals through their churches personal financial counseling because the "debilitating burden [of debt] causes tensions that breaks up families and keeps them from expressing biblical stewardship."
Bible bending Campaigns:
Barack Obama: I am part of the "Joshua generation"
"I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. I thank the Moses generation; but we've got to remember, now, that Joshua still had a job to do. As great as Moses was, despite all that he did, leading a people out of bondage, he didn't cross over the river to see the Promised Land. God told him your job is done. You'll see it. You'll be at the mountain top and you can see what I’ve promised. What I’ve promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. You will see that I’ve fulfilled that promise but you won't go there. We're going to leave it to the Joshua generation to make sure it happens." Read more.

John Edwards: Jesus would be appalled at [American] selfishness
"If you took every reference to taking care of the least of these out of the Bible, there would be a pretty skinny Bible. And I think I as a Christian, and we as a nation, have a moral responsibility to do something about this." Read more.

Up Next: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will vie for the Jewish vote.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bible Bending Quiz: The Bible, The Quran or "Mein Kampf"?
Identify the passages belong to these three influential books!

Bible Bending Image: Is there something "biblical" about this poster? According to a review of the film "Black Snake Moan" this image "meets at the crossroads of biblical symbolism and exploitation cinema."

New York Times (NY): Wedding couples are lining up in droves and paying a premium price to secure July 7th, 2007 as their wedding date. According to the Bible, the number 777 represents perfection. Peter Birkenhead's scathing review of Oprah Winfrey's promotion of the self-help program "The Secret." The book claims that positive thinking yields positive results and that desires can come to fruition is one only thinks about them in the right way. As an example the book claims, "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Jesus were not only prosperity teachers, but also millionaires themselves, with more affluent lifestyles than many present-day millionaires could conceive of." (CA): "Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International, a Christian organization that uses the Biblical basis of sexuality to denounce homosexuality, will be a guest panelist on the Montel Williams show."

The Republic (Canada): The documentary "Jesus Camp" reveals how leaders of Christian youth camps use the Bible to "mentally download emotionally-charged mythological schemas capable of overriding their critical faculties."