The Next Best Thing

Jesus says Vote … for Bush! Or, rather, the guy who played Him on TV says so. That’s right:Passion of the Christ Jesus, Jim Caviezel, has been enlisted by Redeem the Vote to tell Christians that Bush “shares their opposition to abortion, judicial activism and homosexual ‘marriage.'” Millions of emails repeating Caviezel’s near-divine support were sent out using mailing lists obtained from the marketing firms that promoted The Passion.

What Kind of Coexistence is this?

Surveys say: 40% of U.S. scientists believe in God. Unfortunately, that’s about all that can be taken from Stefan Lovgren’s feel-good report in National Geographic News, “Evolution and Religion can Coexist.” In Lovgren’s attempt to reconcile science and God, more than a little of each is lost to make the two — couples’ therapy style — realize how they need one another. Science becomes about “how” questions and “truth”; religion becomes about “why” questions and “ethics.” Science wants a beer after work; religion wants to be asked about her day…How to make this marriage work? Well, in part by representing religion as a non-denominational self-help book, quoting “deists” and believers who hold that the Bible is allegory, and ignoring tricky types like Creationists who believe they have both the why and the how.

Sikh Students in Court

Three Sikh boys in Paris have gone to court after being barred from school for wearing turbans, thereby violating France’s recent ban on conspicuous religious clothing.

Heresy

The Bush-Cheney campaign has funded the publishing of five full-page ads containing “AnOpen Letter from Fellow Catholics to John Kerry.” The ad challenges the sincerity of Kerry’s faith in light of his stance on abortion rights, and is signed by 38 prominent Catholics, including Sen. Rick Santorum, American Catholic Council President Connie Marshner and former Major League Baseball Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn. On another front of the attack on Kerry’s Godliness, the efforts of a conservative canon lawyer to have Kerry excommunicated as a heretic for his support of abortion rights will likely be thwarted as an unnamed Vatican official told the official Vatican news service that support for abortion rights itself was not grounds for automatic excommunication.

God and Kids at Desert Sands

Parents, grandparents and teachers in Desert Sands, California, protested to the local school board about “inappropriate religious activities” that had been taking place on district school campuses. Among their complaints were the presence of Christian posters hanging on school walls, and a Southwest Community Church youth minister who distributed pictures of church activities when he worked at the school as a lunchtime volunteer. Students who attend Southwest Church have also distributed its literature on school grounds and the parents claim that an atmosphere of “‘coercive proselytizing‘” has made their children feel unwelcome for not participating.