RNS Daily Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Progressive Church Leaders Warn Bush, Congress on Budget Cuts WASHINGTON (RNS) Citing an “obscene” 2006 federal budget that hurts the poor, progressive church leaders warned Monday (Nov. 21) that President Bush and Republicans will pay a price at the polls next November. A bill that includes $50 billion in spending cuts barely passed the House on Friday in a 217-215 vote. GOP leaders say the cuts are needed to rein in federal spending, but critics _ including many church leaders _ say the cuts only hurt the poor while extending tax breaks to the rich.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Progressive Church Leaders Warn Bush, Congress on Budget Cuts WASHINGTON (RNS) Citing an “obscene” 2006 federal budget that hurts the poor, progressive church leaders warned Monday (Nov. 21) that President Bush and Republicans will pay a price at the polls next November. A bill that includes $50 billion in spending cuts barely passed the House on Friday in a 217-215 vote. GOP leaders say the cuts are needed to rein in federal spending, but critics _ including many church leaders _ say the cuts only hurt the poor while extending tax breaks to the rich.

COMMENTARY: Faith an Important Weapon in Battling AIDS

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) If ever faith was needed, it is in the fight against HIV/AIDS. As Monday’s (Nov. 21) release of more daunting statistics by the World Health Organization and a United Nations program on HIV/AIDS illustrates, the pandemic continues to thrive, especially among the poorest and most marginalized people in the world. To see the full report, go to http://www.unaids.org.

COMMENTARY: Faith an Important Weapon in Battling AIDS

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) If ever faith was needed, it is in the fight against HIV/AIDS. As Monday’s (Nov. 21) release of more daunting statistics by the World Health Organization and a United Nations program on HIV/AIDS illustrates, the pandemic continues to thrive, especially among the poorest and most marginalized people in the world. To see the full report, go to http://www.unaids.org.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Cardinal Warns Parents About Giving Wireless Devices as Christmas Gifts WASHINGTON (RNS) A leading Catholic cardinal is warning Catholic parents to be careful when buying iPods and other wireless devices as Christmas gifts because they could be used by minors to access pornography. Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, who co-chairs the Religious Alliance Against Pornography, said iPods, PDAs and video cell phones can easily send and receive pornography, much of it unsolicited. “Sadly, unwanted pornography often leads to wanted pornography,” Keeler told members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 15).

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2005 Religion News Service Cardinal Warns Parents About Giving Wireless Devices as Christmas Gifts WASHINGTON (RNS) A leading Catholic cardinal is warning Catholic parents to be careful when buying iPods and other wireless devices as Christmas gifts because they could be used by minors to access pornography. Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, who co-chairs the Religious Alliance Against Pornography, said iPods, PDAs and video cell phones can easily send and receive pornography, much of it unsolicited. “Sadly, unwanted pornography often leads to wanted pornography,” Keeler told members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 15).

NEWS ANALYSIS: Pope Faces Struggles, Resistance to Implement New Rules on Gay Priests

c. 2005 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Pope Benedict XVI could face the first major test of his authority as the Vatican prepares to enforce instructions that bar openly gay men from entering seminaries and the priesthood. In giving his personal approval to a document outlining the ban, Benedict has made it clear that Rome intends to rein in local practices that have in recent decades led to a perceived prevalence of homosexuality in the American priesthood. There are serious doubts, however, as to whether the document actually compels church leaders to carry out Benedict’s wishes. According to the forthcoming document, which has been widely leaked to the media in anticipation of its official release on Tuesday (Nov.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Pope Faces Struggles, Resistance to Implement New Rules on Gay Priests

c. 2005 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Pope Benedict XVI could face the first major test of his authority as the Vatican prepares to enforce instructions that bar openly gay men from entering seminaries and the priesthood. In giving his personal approval to a document outlining the ban, Benedict has made it clear that Rome intends to rein in local practices that have in recent decades led to a perceived prevalence of homosexuality in the American priesthood. There are serious doubts, however, as to whether the document actually compels church leaders to carry out Benedict’s wishes. According to the forthcoming document, which has been widely leaked to the media in anticipation of its official release on Tuesday (Nov.

Kansas School Board Chairman Defends Faith, Attacks Evolution `Dogma’

c. 2005 Religion News Service ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. _ At the Sirloin Stockade, the state school board chairman leading an assault on “neo-Darwinian biological evolution” bowed his head and prayed aloud before eating his buffet lunch. A veterinarian and farmer, Steve Abrams makes no secret of his Christian faith or his belief that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. “I am a young Earth creationist,” Abrams said as country music played in the background.

Kansas School Board Chairman Defends Faith, Attacks Evolution `Dogma’

c. 2005 Religion News Service ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. _ At the Sirloin Stockade, the state school board chairman leading an assault on “neo-Darwinian biological evolution” bowed his head and prayed aloud before eating his buffet lunch. A veterinarian and farmer, Steve Abrams makes no secret of his Christian faith or his belief that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. “I am a young Earth creationist,” Abrams said as country music played in the background.

Town Still Ridiculed for Christian Beliefs 80 Years After Scopes Trial

c. 2005 Religion News Service DAYTON, Tenn. _ Eighty years ago, media coverage of the Scopes “Monkey Trial” branded this town a backwater haven of the Bible Belt, a place where ignorant Christians gave blind faith precedence over scientific discovery. It’s still ridiculed for its literal biblical beliefs, recently by Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” but its residents make no apologies. Nestled on the Tennessee River, Dayton offers gospel music at McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants.

Town Still Ridiculed for Christian Beliefs 80 Years After Scopes Trial

c. 2005 Religion News Service DAYTON, Tenn. _ Eighty years ago, media coverage of the Scopes “Monkey Trial” branded this town a backwater haven of the Bible Belt, a place where ignorant Christians gave blind faith precedence over scientific discovery. It’s still ridiculed for its literal biblical beliefs, recently by Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” but its residents make no apologies. Nestled on the Tennessee River, Dayton offers gospel music at McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants.

`Evolutionary Evangelist’ Takes Show on the Road

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) For the past three years, Michael Dowd has traveled the country with his wife, science writer Connie Barlow, sleeping in their van or at friends’ homes and preaching a 14-billion-year-old gospel. “The Great Story,” as Dowd calls it, presents the epic of evolution as sacred and meaningful, rather than as a mechanized process of random improvements. It combines the discoveries of science with a reverence for God and a reinterpretation of Christianity. Dowd was ordained as a United Church of Christ minister but is no longer connected with a specific denomination.

`Evolutionary Evangelist’ Takes Show on the Road

c. 2005 Religion News Service (UNDATED) For the past three years, Michael Dowd has traveled the country with his wife, science writer Connie Barlow, sleeping in their van or at friends’ homes and preaching a 14-billion-year-old gospel. “The Great Story,” as Dowd calls it, presents the epic of evolution as sacred and meaningful, rather than as a mechanized process of random improvements. It combines the discoveries of science with a reverence for God and a reinterpretation of Christianity. Dowd was ordained as a United Church of Christ minister but is no longer connected with a specific denomination.

Vatican Astronomer: Don’t Use Science to `Prove God Did Something’

c. 2005 Religion News Service SYRACUSE, N.Y. _ From Brother Guy J. Consolmagno’s perspective, the latest chapter in the evolution vs. creationism debate focuses on the wrong question. “The idea of insisting God did something misses the whole glory of the universe,” the Vatican astronomer said in an interview. Consolmagno recently discussed the connections between science and religion at Le Moyne College here.