Sightings

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March 29, 2004
Sightings sees so many things that we who write it are not easily surprised by what we read. Surprised I was, however, by the penultimate paragraph and punch line in a David Brooks op-ed (New York Times, March 22), which seemed to be leading to a pitch for prayer in public schools. At the last moment the columnist drew back and came up with a more promising, if more radical, proposal.
March 25, 2004
Those who partake of the lonely occupation of listening to late-night radio know that this sector of American media can be rather squalid. Much of what occupies the AM airwaves during those hours when normal people are sleeping is divided between droning repetitions of the day's inevitably dreary news, and airings of vociferous, and often egregiously uninformed, opinions on call-in shows.

Author: Jeremy Biles
March 22, 2004
"This is not your usual kind of venue, is it?" "Are you going to write it up?"
March 18, 2004
Martin Marty argues that self-proclaimed “free-thinkers” in America have been small in number and marginal in influence -- largely bogeymen conjured by religious groups to tar their enemies and fill their coffers ("Tracking the Nones," Sightings, 2/16/04).
March 15, 2004
Where are the protesting and dissenting voices of the church? We often hear that question asked, sometimes tauntingly, sometimes plaintively. Decades ago, Catholic, Jewish, Mainline, and sometimes Evangelical religious leaders were up front in demonstrations.
March 11, 2004
Is Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ, anti-Semitic? Can any account of the death of Jesus which is based on the gospels not be?
March 8, 2004
"Problematize" is not in my dictionary and is inelegant, but you can figure out what it means and might know that theologians sometimes use it. Example: they/we have problematized "narrative" and "conversation." An old cartoon in the New Yorker shows three people with a well dressed chimp at a restaurant table. Of course, he can't converse. They are looking at him.
March 4, 2004
Founded in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), like other Christian World Communions (CWC), functions as an alternative to conciliar ecumenism in the maintenance of international denominational links. Through it, Baptist church bodies from around the world can meet periodically to network and share ideas about issues of common interest.
March 1, 2004
"Sensible Center Is Lost in Gay Marriage Debate" headlines a column by Cokie and Steven Roberts, who have the misfortune of not having been born or having developed as ideologues. Their approach is rare in these days when politically the fire-power and firing come from hard-liners on both extremes, and will grow more rare as this year of political destruction continues.
February 26, 2004
Several mainline Christian denominations are worried about gay marriage. Should the church bless a union between adults of the same gender? Can the church bless a union that the government does not recognize?

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