NEWS STORY: Sundance Film Festival Features Sex, Sex and More Sex

c. 2005 Religion News Service PARK CITY, Utah _ The opening days of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival have borne a curious resemblance to the poultry section of a supermarket. More than a few turkeys are on display, as well as more breasts, thighs, legs and wings than you could shake an X rating at. The films haven’t been especially wonderful, but all the sex and nudity have been so distracting that you mightn’t mind. Of a random sampling of 12 fictional features that screened in the first three days of the festival, 11 featured nudity, often frank and prolonged, and scenes of lovemaking that ranged from the quasi-poetical to the outright pornographic.

RNS Weekly Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Relief Agency Says Rebuilding After Tsunami Could Take Five Years MONROVIA, Calif. (RNS) The president of the Christian relief organization World Vision estimated Wednesday (Jan. 19) that it would take at least three to five years to rebuild the areas of south Asia devastated by the recent tsunami. The United Nations estimates as many as 165,000 people died in the Dec.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Religious Liberals Say Health Care Is a Life-and-Death Moral Issue WASHINGTON (RNS) Insisting that health care is a moral issue, religious liberals are demanding that Capitol Hill make it a priority when Congress takes up the president’s budget proposal, to be released Feb. 7. A letter to Congress signed by more than 75 nationally known religious leaders and scholars says they will evaluate the government budget to make sure it provides health care, education and housing for the neediest Americans. “The federal budget is a moral document,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said Tuesday during a panel discussion sponsored by a left-leaning think tank, the Center for American Progress.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Religious Liberals Say Health Care Is a Life-and-Death Moral Issue WASHINGTON (RNS) Insisting that health care is a moral issue, religious liberals are demanding that Capitol Hill make it a priority when Congress takes up the president’s budget proposal, to be released Feb. 7. A letter to Congress signed by more than 75 nationally known religious leaders and scholars says they will evaluate the government budget to make sure it provides health care, education and housing for the neediest Americans. “The federal budget is a moral document,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said Tuesday during a panel discussion sponsored by a left-leaning think tank, the Center for American Progress.

NEWS STORY: Claim: Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop Discovered in Florence

c. 2005 Religion News Service ROME _ A cartographer from the Italian Institute of Military Geography claims to have discovered Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop and home at the start of the 16th century, but art historians appear skeptical. Roberto Manescalchi, 51, told a news conference Tuesday (Jan. 25) that he made the discovery a year ago when he crossed the 18th century wall dividing the Florence institute from a convent, the Monastery of the Most Holy Annunciation. On his side of the wall was a fresco of three birds, and on the other side the remains of another fresco with a background of buildings and arches.

NEWS STORY: Claim: Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop Discovered in Florence

c. 2005 Religion News Service ROME _ A cartographer from the Italian Institute of Military Geography claims to have discovered Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop and home at the start of the 16th century, but art historians appear skeptical. Roberto Manescalchi, 51, told a news conference Tuesday (Jan. 25) that he made the discovery a year ago when he crossed the 18th century wall dividing the Florence institute from a convent, the Monastery of the Most Holy Annunciation. On his side of the wall was a fresco of three birds, and on the other side the remains of another fresco with a background of buildings and arches.

COMMENTARY: Surprise! You Can Be a Christian Without Hating SpongeBob SquarePants

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Every week there’s a news story that energizes the hard-core faithful, and it usually follows the same trajectory. First: proof of boundless perfidy on the other side. Stage two: muted reaction to a clarification, followed by stage three: “Yes, BUT!” The last part insists the story is somehow true on a metaphysical level, and thus accurate. A famous minister may not have called SpongeBob a godless proselytizing sodomite, but he probably doesn’t like gays, so the story’s sort of true.

COMMENTARY: Surprise! You Can Be a Christian Without Hating SpongeBob SquarePants

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Every week there’s a news story that energizes the hard-core faithful, and it usually follows the same trajectory. First: proof of boundless perfidy on the other side. Stage two: muted reaction to a clarification, followed by stage three: “Yes, BUT!” The last part insists the story is somehow true on a metaphysical level, and thus accurate. A famous minister may not have called SpongeBob a godless proselytizing sodomite, but he probably doesn’t like gays, so the story’s sort of true.

COMMENTARY: Freedom Requires Humility, Not Religious Projections

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) “You have time for a walk,” I tell an out-of-town visitor. Worsening weather suggests now or never. As she assembles boots and coat, I ask if she would like company. I’m guessing she would like time alone _ I would, if I were the guest _ but I don’t want her to get lost.

COMMENTARY: Freedom Requires Humility, Not Religious Projections

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) “You have time for a walk,” I tell an out-of-town visitor. Worsening weather suggests now or never. As she assembles boots and coat, I ask if she would like company. I’m guessing she would like time alone _ I would, if I were the guest _ but I don’t want her to get lost.

NEWS STORY: Bitter Pessimism of Sunni Muslims Threatens Election Turnout in Iraq

c. 2005 Religion News Service BAGHDAD, Iraq _ Khaled Dulaymi’s spacious house is filled with darkness and cold. He lost his job in the information ministry when the Americans arrived last year, and as a repairman of generators he has been having a tough time getting money to buy black market kerosene and electricity for his own home. His politeness masks a simmering rage. He is pessimistic about the future of his country, and like many members of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority, he says he stay away from the Jan.

NEWS STORY: Bitter Pessimism of Sunni Muslims Threatens Election Turnout in Iraq

c. 2005 Religion News Service BAGHDAD, Iraq _ Khaled Dulaymi’s spacious house is filled with darkness and cold. He lost his job in the information ministry when the Americans arrived last year, and as a repairman of generators he has been having a tough time getting money to buy black market kerosene and electricity for his own home. His politeness masks a simmering rage. He is pessimistic about the future of his country, and like many members of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority, he says he stay away from the Jan.

NEWS STORY: Canada Charts Less Religious Course on Gay Marriage

c. 2005 Religion News Service TORONTO _ Social conservatives in the United States won a huge victory last fall when voters in 11 states approved bans on same-sex marriage. But in Canada, they soon could lose a nation. Liberal leaders in Parliament plan as soon as February to pass a law guaranteeing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right on a par with freedom of speech or religion. In stark contrast with the United States, most people in Canada think that’s just fine.

NEWS STORY: Canada Charts Less Religious Course on Gay Marriage

c. 2005 Religion News Service TORONTO _ Social conservatives in the United States won a huge victory last fall when voters in 11 states approved bans on same-sex marriage. But in Canada, they soon could lose a nation. Liberal leaders in Parliament plan as soon as February to pass a law guaranteeing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right on a par with freedom of speech or religion. In stark contrast with the United States, most people in Canada think that’s just fine.