Sightings

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February 15, 2002
Where does one begin to discuss the actions of Mayor Carolyn Risher of Inglis, Florida? She is the public official who, last Halloween night, used official stationary to write a proclamation banning Satan from her town. Her story appeared in the St.
February 11, 2002
"I propose, fellow citizens, a new sort of union, or, if you please, a Christian party in politics." Speaking was Ezra Stiles Ely, who rounded up evangelicals' votes for Andrew Jackson. Moderator of the Presbyterian Church and head of the American Sunday-School Union, he was big time. (He won political points for his party by beating back anti-Jackson attacks by Baptists in 1823.)
February 7, 2002
Those who watched Sunday's Super Bowl were treated to a seemingly miraculous game. After appearing to fall apart in the game's final two minutes, the New England Patriots, fourteen-point underdogs, defeated the St. Louis Rams on a last-second field goal.
February 4, 2002
It is one thing to speak of pluralism in scholarly fashion, and another to deal with its outer reaches when confronted with its manifestations. It is one thing to advocate governmentally-supported "faith-based" ventures, and another to deal with the outer reaches of faiths that get supported.
January 31, 2002
Of the many images associated with the year now past, the one that haunts me most is the box cutter. It is such a familiar object, one that I associate with the pleasure of unpacking books. The scenes of collision, fire, and rubble are so extreme that they seem distant by comparison. But the box cutter is everywhere: in supermarket aisles, offices, and household mail baskets.
January 28, 2002
Commentators have begun to assess the new phase of responses to terrorism. One hears and reads in many places stories matching what Jon Steinman noticed in his recent article "Enthusiasm Wanes for Flags" (Chicago Tribune, 24 January). Flags have been seen in superabundance since September 11.
January 23, 2002
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life at the University of Chicago Divinity School is sponsoring a conference entitled "A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty" to be held on January 25, 2002. For more information, please visit: www.pewforum.org/deathpenalty.
January 21, 2002
No, it has not been a slow week on the public religion front; there is always more to sight than Sightings has room or time for. But, in response to some requests in your responses -- and we do profit from them, even when we do not answer them -- we are occasionally asked for perspective and elaboration.
January 17, 2002
The major religions of the world have outlasted empire, country, nation-state, and business. Cultures continually address them with new information and fresh worldviews. Religions are not static; they change constantly, though deliberately and, as a rule, very slowly.
January 14, 2002
This Wednesday, January 16, is the 216th anniversary of the Virginia General Assembly's 1786 adoption of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This weekend the Council for America's First Freedom held its annual celebration of the event. (I am writing this before leaving for Richmond.

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