9:50 pm: “They almost thought I was one of them or something,” said Macaulay Culkin of the young Christians he met while researching his latest role, as a paraplegic skeptic among the Saved! Culkin and Saved! director Brian Dannelly talked with NPR’s Terry Gross today about the teen-flick satire that’s been called both “brilliant,” and a “hateful, politically correct movie” (and also just kindof weak).
9:40 pm: Commentator Marion Winik explains how current events have intensified her religious convictions, convincing her to trade agnosticism for atheism.
5:30 pm: “God is Electric, Jesus is Electrochemical” — Michael Allen Potter goes in search of his biological mother and finds religion — or is it schizophrenia? “When I went to visit my mother for the second time in my life, she gave me a list, a chronicle of all the visions she had experienced since the late 1960s. She also gave me a letter addressed to Oral Roberts. I stood in the snow outside of her apartment, around the corner from where I had once lived in college, and debated whether or not to put the envelope into the mailbox.” Read more…
2:15 pm: Scroll down TomDispatch.com to read Robert Manoff‘s attack on “moral clarity.” For Bush, argues Manoff — director of the Center for War, Peace, and the News Media at NYU and a former editor of CJR — “Reality is not a touchstone; reality is a morally compromised domain which is to be transformed by will acting at the behest of faith.”
1:07 pm: Washington Post reports that Francis Brooke, the Pentagon’s point-man with fallen favorite Ahmed Chalabi, may be on the run, dodging an Iraqi arrest warrant for obsctructing the U.S. raid on Chalabi’s HQ. Brooke, you will recall, is the Virginian who waxed eloquent last year to Charles Glass, a TV correspondent writing for Harper’s: “Francis Brooke says he would support the elimination of Saddam, even if every single Iraqi were killed in the process. He means it. ‘I’m coming from a place different from you,’ he says in the soft southern drawl one hears from preachers and con men. ‘I believe in good and evil. That man is absolute evil and must be destroyed.’ … He says he believes in Jesus and in resurrection and in eternity. If all the Iraqis die, he says, they will live in eternity.”
10:10 am: The real roots of neoconservatism — and Islamic fascism — may be a 19th-century,French, Islamo-occultist movement. Don’t tell Wolfie.
10:08 am: WNYC reports that New York City MTA subway conductor Kevin Harrington has been reassigned to the rail yard because he refuses to stop wearing his turban. Harrington, a Sikh, has been driving trains — and wearing his turban — for years without incident.
9:58 am: Beliefnet resurrects Jerry Falwell‘s 2002 paean to “My Christian Hero”: Ronald Reagan, whom he describes as the first evangelical president. So much for Jimmy Carter. Reagan’s death will further obscure the religious significance of the real first evangelical president.
9:38 am: Pope-Watch: An African successor to John Paul II? Not likely, according to the Nigerian This Day. But the possibility raises the question: How will the succession reflect the changing demographics of Catholicism?