Posted by Daniel Dillard

NEWS: More Hubbub Over Art and Islam

Once again, an artistic representation of Islam by a non-Muslim is making news. Similar to the Danish cartoon scandal a few years ago (and going back at least as far as Dante’s depiction of Muhammad in his “Divine Comedy”), the latest uproar centers on Californian Sandow Birk’s “American Qur’an” project. Birk, who has achieved some … Continue reading

NEWS: Freethinking Camp Headed for Texas

Camp Quest, self-described as “the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view,” is heading to Texas later this month. The camp was founded by Edwin … Continue reading

NEWS: Update: The Episcopal Church and Gay Rights

Though it has been only a short time since the Episcopal Church’s July convention, where members voted to end the freeze on ordaining openly gay men and lesbians into the institution’s hierarchy (see the original post from July 17 here), church leaders in Minnesota and Los Angeles have already taken advantage of the kinder, gentler … Continue reading

NEWS: Rev. Ike and the Gospel of Wealth

Right Reverend Dr. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, better known as “Rev. Ike,” died earlier this week at the age of 74. Born in 1935, Rev. Ike – an evangelical minister who quickly became an icon of pop-culture – preached over the course of his life a message of prosperity using every available form of media: … Continue reading

NEWS: H1N1 and the Hajj

At a meeting in Cairo earlier this week, Arab health ministers and the World Health Organization decided to ban certain groups of people from making the hajj this year because of fears the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as “swine flu,” would spread more quickly. The hajj – an annual pilgrimage to the holy cities … Continue reading

NEWS: Survey Reveals Palin Alienated Voters

According to the polling firm Public Religion Research, a post-election survey they administered to voters last fall reveals Sarah Palin is doing more harm than good to the Republican Party. John McCain’s running mate on the 2008 ticket, Palin resigned recently as governor of Alaska and there are rumors she might run for president in … Continue reading

NEWS: Guns and God in Kentucky

Approximately 180 people attended recently a gun celebration at the New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky, a state where residents may carry firearms in most places, including churches. Ken Pagano, the Assembly of God pastor, spoke from the pulpit and proclaimed that America would not exist “but for a deep-seated belief in God and firearms,” … Continue reading

NEWS: Anti-Semitic Group’s Adopt-a-Highway Renamed for Rabbi Heschel

Last year the National Socialist Movement, an anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi group, adopted a half-mile section of Missouri’s highway to remove litter. Like other organizations that volunteer to pick up roadside trash — including controversial hate groups such as the white separatist National Alliance in Kentucky (whose founder influenced Timothy McVeigh) and the anti-immigrant San Diego … Continue reading

NEWS: Amish Group Battles Sewage Laws

The Swartzentruber Amish sect of Cambria County, Pennsylvania is involved in another legal dispute regarding the separation of church and state. Last seen in court in 2003, where it succeeded with the ACLU’s help in appealing a court order to affix orange reflective signs to their horse-drawn carriages, the group is now battling the state’s … Continue reading

NEWS: Obama Downplays Muslim Diversity?

In a recent New York Times op-ed article, Philip Bowring argued that President Obama’s recent Cairo address, while “finely crafted” and “well-delivered,” exaggerated the divide between Muslims and non-Muslims and, moreover, downplayed Islam’s diversity. This diversity is not limited to the commonplace Sunni-Shiite divide; we see it mainly in the Muslim population living outside the … Continue reading