Spin zone: The Iraq war was not the first one to be encouraged by sectors of the media. The Spanish-American War was set off when an explosion destroyed a U.S. warship while it was docked in Havana. Publisher William Randolph Hearst was itching for a fight with Spain. He sent hordes of reporters to Cuba to cover the explosion and within days was spinning the news to blame Spain. War against Spain was soon declared (Columbia Journalism Review, March/April).
In upholding a federal ban on a rare kind of late-term abortion procedure, the Supreme Court may have begun undermining its key abortion precedent. Activists on both sides of the abortion issue said the court’s 5-4 decision on “partial-birth” abortion was a possible turning point in the court’s abortion jurisprudence.
Five years after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted within the Catholic Church, Southern Baptists are confronting their own allegations of abuse and calls for greater steps to protect minors from predatory pastors.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that he will visit the United States this September after U.S. Episcopal bishops declared an “urgent need” for a meeting with the spiritual leader of world Anglicanism.
A recently retired conservative Episcopal bishop from Albany, New York, has left the church to become a Catholic. DanielW.Herzog, 65, bishop of Albany from 1998 to January 2007, was an outspoken critic of the Episcopal Church’s liberal trend, especially its 2003 election of an openly gay bishop.
It happens every time a U.S. soldier or marine dies in Iraq. Internet connections are shut down. Commanders don’t want word of the death to reach the soldier’s family before military officials can personally deliver the news.
White mainline Protestants who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters favored Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.) slightly over Senator Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.), 27 percent to 24 percent, as the party’s nominee for president in a late March national survey.
Speaking from St. Peter’s Basilica on Easter Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI offered a global survey of natural and human-made disasters, including military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and called on Christians to be “apostles of peace.”
Make videos, not war: Ava Lowery, 16, is a Methodist peace activist in Alexander City, Alabama. Rolling Stone magazine called her one of the great mavericks of 2006. Lowery makes homemade videos that juxtapose images from the Iraq war with popular music and provocative quotes (her Web site is www.peacetakescourage.com). One of her best-known videos is “WWJD?” which pairs the song “Jesus Loves Me” with images of grieving and wounded Iraqi children. (Chicago Tribune, April 4).
The openly gay Virginia man who was at the center of a high-profile court case after he was denied membership in a United Methodist church has been accepted into membership under the church’s new pastor.