“That’s Simply Not True.”
Cheers to Anderson Cooper for breaking out of the “objectivity” mold that usually lets guys like Jerry Falwell present theology as fact.
God / Spy
Retired FBI Special Agent Jim Olhson reviews two new books about espionage: “From early in my involvement as a Christian working with national security, I have marveled at the striking analogy between intelligence work and missionary work…”
The God That Sucked
Ukraine: The bright colors, the all-night parties in the streets… it’s a revolution, baby! Which means you can forget tough questions. Since our Ukrainian is rusty, we’re in no position to ask them ourselves. But all we need is English to understand that the American media sees the Ukrainian dispute as a one-sided issue, with the people in the street 100% in the right. Well, it does seem that their guy won the election, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the other half of the country to consider. Which, we suppose, is what The NYT‘s C.J. Chivers is trying to do in this piece on Yanukovich-supporting miners. “Miners, you say? Why, they live under the ground! What do they know?” Not much, according to Chivers. Ukraine is “tugged between the past and the future, between its internal east-west divisions, between historic connections to Russia and aspirations to be European….” That’s right — miners are the “past.” And those folks wearing bright ski parkas in Kiev? So very European, they must be the future. Shagadelic. The split continues along religious lines. Chivers characterizes the divide as between Russian Orthodox and an “enduring” (read: fuzzy and quaint) Catholicism. But as the bulk of the coverage makes clear, the protestors in Kiev have a different god on their side — the very same deity adored by the editorial page of The NYT and nearly every right-thinking modern media elite pulling down a six-figure salary. Back in the ’90s, Dinesh D’Souza called him the “god of the market.” Tom Frank calls him “The God that Sucked.” Here at The Revealer, we believe in freedom of religion, so we’re not going to vote either way on the All-Mighty Market. But we do hate to see the press blindly practice the state religion without question.
Ahmadis in Pakistan
Two news items from Pakistan point to growing tensions surrounding the Ahmadis, a religious minority that considers itself the purest form of Islam, but which has been persecuted as a non-Muslim group by Pakistan’s Islamic government, which declared the sect beyond the faith by a constitutional amendment 30 years ago. One: A Pakistani political party, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), has filed a motion demanding a debate on the government’s deletion of religious information from electronic passports, claiming that the removal was an Ahmadi conspiracy to circumvent a ban on non-Muslims entering Mecca. Two: A Pakistani man, and recent convert to the Ahmedi sect, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for “being disrespectful to the Prophet Muhammad” under the country’s draconian blasphemy laws which Amnesty International has described as “‘so vaguely formulated that they encourage, and in fact invite, the persecution of religious minorities or non-conforming members of [the] Muslim majority.'”
The God-Gap, Baghdad-Style
According to the leaders of two Iraqi political parties, the January elections will be based on the struggle between religion and secularism, rather than the sectarian battle between Muslims that analysts have predicted. Hamid al-Kifaey, leader of the new secular party, Movement for Democratic Society, believes that voters will be drawn to the new parties because the alternatives are parties based on religious or tribal affiliation. “‘Politics is about serving the people, not showing them the way to heaven,'” said al-Kifaey. Saad Saleh Jabr, head of the Nation Party, agreed with al-Kifaey, and looked to the U.S. as a model for avoiding religious and ethnic division…
The Defense of Boy Scouts Act
Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has introduced legislation to protect Boys Scounts from “attacks by liberal groups,” by preventing any federal law or ruling from limiting federal support of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, including meetings held on federal property. A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Tom Delay said that “‘the Boy Scouts have protected more freedoms than the ACLU ever has and [Delay] is committed to taking whatever action is necessary to make the relationship between our scouts and our soldiers as strong as ever.'”
Christian Sleepers
“‘Evolution — is that the Darwin theory? I don’t know just what he was thinking!'” So said a sophmore at Dover Area High School, the Pennsylvania school district that has become the first in the country to mandate the teaching of “Intelligent Design” in public schools after a 6-3 school board vote last month (which prompted two board members to resign). Patricia Nason, of the Institute for Creation Research, told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Anna Badkhen that her organization — the world leader in “creation science” — was active in encouraging conservative Christians to occupy local school boards. “‘We Christians have as much right to be involved in politics as evolutionists,'” said Nason. “‘We’ve been asleep for two generations, and it’s time for us to come back.'”
Reasons to Believe

Hey Blue-Staters! Don’t listen to David Brooks. The reasons to “get religion” don’t all have to be about political calculation…

Happy Birthday, Ceausescu
Cult of personality: Angela Boteza asks God to forgive the late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu his evil deeds, clears frayed Bibles from his grave, and thinks fondly of the brute’s glory days, when he presided over the murder of 60,000 and stole $1 billion from his countrymen. And she’s not alone…
Panting, Drooling, Revealing, Killing: A Memoir of Faith
Evangelical memoirist Patton Dodd has panted and drooled about Francis Schaeffer,revealed his true feelings about DC Talk, and now he goes and kills Richard Roberts’ Buddha: “I believe that God slays people in the Spirit (it happened to King Saul and Saul/Paul in the Bible, after all) and I have friends who have had important spiritual experiences while being slain, but since my only slaying experience ended in my coming to grips with the fact that I only tried to be slain and did not really experience anything unusual, I am wary of it. I don’t want to trick myself into it again, and I surely don’t want to be tricked into it by a gung ho minister. I pray through all this as Roberts comes closer. If I experience You today, God, I want it to be real. Genuine. I don’t want to make anything up.” Read more.
Grand Inquisitor Brooks

NYT conservative columnist David Brooks says Jerry Falwell is not an “authentic” evangelical. Brooks, a Jewish writer who last we knew had never bothered to crack a Bible, also sees fit to excommunicate Al Sharpton from the faith. So who’s a “real” Christian? John Stott. Now, that isinteresting…