Every time the Southern Baptist Convention does something "in-your-face," the organs that its defenders call "the media" swoop in on them. Sometimes comprehendingly and sometimes uncomprehendingly, they criticize the assumptions and pronouncements of the largest Protestant church in the country.
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December 17, 2001
December 10, 2001
Last Thursday the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released data on a sure-to-be-noticed-poll. It assesses American attitudes to matters religious after September eleventh. To the degree that one trusts such polls, one can walk away with much interesting data.
December 6, 2001
George W. Bush has taken a stand on the true nature of Islam, calling it, for instance, a "religion of peace." As strange as this is to hear from the president of the United States, Bush's declarations have given rise to a good deal of useful public discussion about Islam.
December 3, 2001
"Islam Gets Spot for the Holidays," headlined the November seventeenth issue of The Chicago Tribune. The subhead read: "Minaret to Join Manger, Menorah." Similar headlines appear in newspapers across the country.
November 29, 2001
In Florida, Orange County property appraiser William Donegan wants to tax Christ's tomb. One can only assume that his position is not an elected one.
November 26, 2001
What or who killed the Pilgrims? I don't mean what literally killed them. Disease, want, and the perils of the wilderness -- not the Native Americans -- claimed many during the seasons "before Thanksgiving" after the Mayflower landed. I mean "what" and "who" killed them as icons, as legendary figures behind the day of national Thanksgiving just observed?
November 22, 2001
After the events of September eleventh, it is both harder and more necessary than ever before to renew the sense of gratitude associated with the Thanksgiving holiday. The feast is often associated with the seventeenth- century Pilgrims at Plymouth, joined in a fall festival by Natives who welcomed them to these shores and rescued them from peril.
November 19, 2001
"How many Muslims (or Jews or Mormons or Christians) live in the United States?" For decades the Census has not been allowed to count noses to determine who is what religiously. So observers of American religion are left to their own devices to assess the size of denominations, and of claimed affiliations and preferences.
November 15, 2001
As if to remind us that in every victory there is also defeat, another airplane fell from the sky on Monday, killing all on board, and an undetermined number on the ground. Pushed from largest-font status in the headlines Tuesday morning was what counts as good news these days, the retreat of Taliban forces from Kabul.
November 12, 2001
Sightings does not usually "do" international politics. We report on domestic implications, but the two come together more frequently these days.
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