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Religion

N.J. Atheist Sues for Reverse Religious Discrimination

8theist

It’s New Jersey: not even the last notch in the Bible Belt

For years, Christians — the ardent, serious ones, not the “fruits, nuts, and flakes” cereal crowd — have espoused that the only legal prejudice left on earth is against them. Anyone is allowed to hate on the Church, but let someone hate on [insert your alternate house of worship here] and it’s national news.

Fair? Another topic for another day.

This story, however concerns religious freedom and the right to not care to exercise it. So, there’s this woman who wanted the license plate above, and was denied by the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission. Concerned about that, she typed in “B-A-P-T-I-S-T” on the NJ MVC website, and it was accepted.

Annnnnnd then she called her attorney.

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STUDY: Is the Internet Losing Our Religion?

Computer button Enter - Christian crossSince the advent of the Internet, people have replaced it with many things.

Used to read the paper? Scroll a website. Ever gone out to get something to eat, or even use a phone? Pull up the website. Shopping much? Find a website. And then there’s too tired for going to church? Surf a sermon via website.

Countless churches that can afford the technology streamcast messages. Why? It’s sure not for the people who need an extra jolt of inspiration on a Tuesday afternoon. It’s for those who can’t roll out of bed on Sunday morning. Guilt-free viewing.

So, when I saw this study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about the correlation between the rise of the Internet and the decline, I wasn’t surprised. Just sad…

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Atlanta Archbishop has Catholics Rethinking Vow of Poverty

Gregory's House

Because that reeks of a humble rectory, right?

If you belong to a Catholic Church, you may know the three vows clerics take when entering the ministry – chastity, conformity, and poverty. Be the life cenobitic (in a monastery) or eremitic (as a hermit), anyone in the clergy is to take on a vow to personify and illustrate the life of Christ.

In terms of the media and PR, this hasn’t been the case for clerics with horrendous stories of altar boys and stuff. Conformity is also something that has been in debate, all the way up to the Pontiff discussing the rights of marriage in the clergy and among the congregation. And now, poverty has taken center stage thanks to Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta.

How? He owns a $2.2 million home and now, he’s being “asked” to sell it.  Read more

Another Robertson Put His Duck in His Mouth About Gays

willie-and-phil-robertson

Like Father. Like Son. 

While the Duck Dynasty marketing machine steamrolls every one into submission, you may have forgotten Phil Robertson’s rant on gay people when he said the following back woods, country witticism:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” he said. “That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?

And then he followed that gem up with a little rebel-flag-waving ignorance about Jim Crow laws:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person,” Robertson is quoted in GQ. “Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

And now, his son decided it was his turn at the Roberston Klan … clan lectern. Read more

Pope Francis Won’t Bless Noah but Did Have Some ‘Crowe’ for Dinner

Pope Francis is a positive mojo machine. In fact, we consider him the patron saint of PR. Because of his overwhelming humility to be tangible and his undeniable ability to be liked, everyone wants a piece of Il Papa’s garment and a little of that Jesus blessing on them.

Including Russell Crowe. No, really. He even tweeted the Pontiff:

Cagey. Effective. Almost begging. Did it work? Yes … and no.

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Holy Sticky Fingers: $600K in Donations Stolen from Lakewood Church

lakewoodWell, it was just a matter of time, right? America’s largest church, Lakewood Church, pastored by the well-coifed Joel Osteen, has been burglarized to the tune of $600,000! Last Sunday, according to the Houston Chronicle, something was afoot in the collections vestibule.

What’s that? Most churches have them. This is the holy of holies where designated church volunteers go to count the tithe for the bank deposit. While there is nothing morally, ethically, or biblically wrong with that, the shenanigans to come out in the news following this normal action were.

The ubiquitous quoted “church leaders” sent all members of Lakewood Church about the “missing” cash, checks, and written credit card statements. While that is responsible to keep church members aware about what’s happening with their donations, many more cynical people are focusing on something else.

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Finally, Jesus Gets Some Good PR During Sunday Brunch

sundays9n-1-webFULL DISCLOSURE: I love the Lord with all my heart. As some of you know, I went to Seminary and earned one of those Ph.D. thingies.

FULLER DISCLOSURE: I was a city trainer/head server for eight years at a certain restaurant known for having fun on “Fridays.”

FULLEST DISCLOSURE: The stereotypes are so very true. Many church folk exhibit their great suckage during Sundays at any dining establishment.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’d love to introduce Pastor Chad Roberts. He agrees that church folk can suck out loud and the worst shift at any restaurant in the country is Sunday brunch. (Ask any server if you don’t believe me and the good pastor.)

To wit, he created the above website (and we’ll talk about it after the jump): Read more

Pope Francis Gets His Own Weekly Magazine, Complete with Centerfold

POPE-master495Since his election to the highest post in Catholicism about a year ago, Pope Francis has captured both the hearts of his followers and plenty of worldwide attention for his progressive ways and social savvy. So, like those of any self-respecting international celebrity, his fans hunger for regular inspiration and inside access to the life of their favorite star.

Now, here to satiate that need is Mio Papa (My Pope), the pope’s very own magazine, which hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday.

The magazine’s editor, Aldo Vitali, told The New York Times, “It’s a sort of fanzine, but of course it can’t be like something you’d do for One Direction…We aim to be more respectful, more noble.”

But with 68 glossy pages boasting photos, papal pronouncements, sneak peeks into his holiness’ personal life, and a pullout centerfold, it’s pretty much exactly like what you’d do for One Direction. Read more

Today in Irony: Reality TV Snake Preacher Bit by Snake, Dies

jamie coots snake

Hey Pastor? Those snakes bite.

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 KJV)

That is a verse in the Bible. It’s meant to be a metaphor highlighting the power of the Cross in a Christ-follower’s life. It wasn’t said for fools to walk out in the desert, see a cobra, grab it by the tail and start dancing like a freak. Nonetheless, that happens, which is what gave this guy a reality show on the National Geographic Channel.

And today, he’s dead. Surprised?

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Pope Francis: ‘The Internet Is a Gift from God.’

pope-francis-internetThat sound you heard was St. Peter’s Basilica asking, “Has he ever heard of the Internet?” 

The Pope is no stranger to making friends. Our fearless leader has been enjoying “Pope Francis: The PR Guy” series since the puff of white smoke went sailing into the March sky of Vatican City making Jorge Mario Bergoglio into the man, the myth, the legend.

Il Papa has not only made himself a friend to the common man, but also the digital one with his handle @Pontifex, which now has more than 3.5 million followers. So, an acolyte of his would think he’s savvy about the Web. And then, he says that?! 

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