“You have to change with the times,” says megachurch pastor Joel Osteen. “If Jesus were here he’d change with the times. He couldn’t ride around on a donkey. He’d drive a car.” And St. Peter, apparently, would lease a stadium in Houston…

Kansas fundamentalists mark the dedication of New York’s “Freedom Tower”: “When the group began singing, ‘God Hates America,’ a police officer assigned to protect them turned his back in disgust, while a pack of Hells Angels bikers revved their engines and made obscene gestures.”Read more…

Time teaches “reasonable religion”: A sidebar to its cover on Fahrenheit 9/11labels Michael Moore the flip side of Mel Gibson, and Moore’s fans just as “blinded by the light” as the true believers who flocked to The Passion. The moral of the story? Big newsweeklies must distance themselves from any popular argument that threatens the status quo.

“Words such as auras and chakras might lead many people to scoff, but researchers are starting to take these concepts seriously, translating them into scientific terms by measuring the body’s bioelectromagnetic fields and the effects of healing energy on plants, animals and people.”Jenny Hontz reports for The LA Times on the changing perception of “spiritual” healing in the mainstream medical establishment. Haven’t we heard this story before?

Muslims make the difference for Canadian liberals: Islam Online reports that Canada’s 700,000-strong Islamic community showed new political muscle by turning out in huge numbers to turn back Canada’s conservative tide. Foreshadowing of events come November? In 2000, Bush won the Muslim vote; will a shift in allegiance plus a big turnout make the difference in battleground states with large Muslim populations, such as Michigan and Ohio?

Must be a slow news day: NYT is running yet another story on kooky Christian commerce, as if aggressive marketing was a new discovery for the faith that brought us the crusades. One popular t-shirt available at a recent Christian pop festival, John Leland reports, “mimicked the Mountain Dew advertising logo, tweaking the slogan to read, ‘Do the Jew.'” Read more…