8:19 pm: From the leader of a land just like America, but with even more beer: “Let me say that faith, religion has no room in politics. The fact is that this government would never allow that. For this [politician] to raise that kind of issue in this room is the ultimate in prejudice and bigotry.” Sayeth Canadian PM Paul Martin. Those crazy canucks! How do they know what laws to pass if they don’t ask God? Douglas LeBlanc on “grimly secular” Canada in GetReligion.

6:44 pm: “At the Annual Meeting of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, church officials discussed the relevance of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, detailed the church’s financial status, and announced plans to cut costs at The Christian Science Monitor…” Apparently, Jesusdoesn’t care for the dailies. But readers should, at least this one. CSM is odd and good in a time when most papers strive to be ordinary and bad. We don’t know what Jesus would do, but we bet he’d read the Monitor.

6:30 pm: Democrats launch religion initiative, reports Christian Science Monitor. To where? No word in this article, but that doesn’t seem to be reporter Gail Russell Chaddock‘s fault. “Initiator” John Podesta is all bark, no bite, all we’re religious, no this-is-what-we-believe. And quote-monster Jim Wallis, as usual, gets the last word.

4:57 pm: The Birmingham, Alabama NBC affiliate reports on a Texas-based Christian group’s plan to move 12,000 activists to South Carolina, where they’ll try to withdraw the state from the union. South Carolina secedes — how original.

4:24 pm: Not long ago, the blogger behind Bene Diction, a smart Canadian Christian blog that occasionally features some first-rate original journalism about religion and theblogosphere, wrote us: “I’ve been so trashed lately I’ve been ready to pack it in. Being called a Hitler loving, liberal, pseudo Christian, terrorist appeaser etc., etc., is no biggy once in awhile, but it does have a way of wearing one down.” He’s still going. If Bene Diction is your kind of thing, stop by to show your support.

4:05 Tony Rossi offers a serious Christian appreciation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the new book, What Would Buffy Do?, on Busted Halo.

9:24 am: Book Babes make much of new NYT Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus’s decision to put a religion on the cover. Ellen E. Heltzel smells a trend, repeats unprovable canard thatNYTimes is anti-Christian; Margo Hammond diagnoses politics, not religion, as the new bottom line.

9:17 am: American mythology news: Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon to write a year’s worth of X-Men comic books, writes Gavin Edwards in New York magazine.

9:08 am: Oregon TV KGW reports that a Christian Coalition attempt to recall local officials supportive of same-sex marriage has failed. That’s a defeat not only for the Christian Coalition, notes blogger Chuck Currie, but also for The Oregonian, Oregon’s flagship newspaper — which had endorsed the recall drive.

8:57 am: Satanic panic: British Guardian reports teenage Italian murdered by plumber/dark metal musician/”antichrist” and his band of “Beasts of Satan. The group is suspected in the deaths of six others. True terror? Or — like so many of the Satanic hysterias of recent years in the U.S. — imaginative detectives?

8:51 am: Reagan funeral fallout: More money for stem-cell research? Salt Lake Tribunereports that conservative Senator Orrin Hatch and 54 others press the case.

8:46 am: Republican lawmakers propose new law to help churches break the law. New legislation would allow tax exempt churches to make three “oops!” political endorsements a year and two “to-heck-with-the-rules” violations. Dems charge that the timing of this proposal is no accident.