The Christian Century

Founded on January 4, 1900, The Christian Century is a biweekly magazine published by The Christian Century. Its subject is religion. The Rev. John M. Buchanan is Editor and Publisher and David Heim is Executive Editor.

Articles from Vol. 123, No. 19, September 19

A Pioneer Figure in Church-State Rulings
WHEN JUSTICE Hugo Black wrote in 1948 for the majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, "The First Amendment has erected a wall between the church and the state which must be kept high and impregnable," he was acting to bar required religious classes from...
Barnyard Behavior
IN THE SPIRIT of St. Francis, I have begun to recognize that my nearest neighbors are not the Woodards or the Blacks--although they are very good neighbors indeed--but the various creatures with whom I live my life on a daily basis. These include the...
Call Me Nestor
HAVE YOUR ever played a game in which participants identify themselves with an animal, biblical figure, athlete or Greek hero, and others try to guess the connection? I learned how hazardous this can be not because of the hero I chose but because someone...
Church Drops Woman Sunday School Teacher
An American Baptist church in Watertown, New York, has dismissed an 81-year-old female adult Sunday school teacher, citing a biblical passage that prohibits women from teaching men. Timothy LaBouf, pastor of First Baptist Church, said in a statement...
Emerging Model: A Visit to Jacob's Well
THE WESTPORT NEIGHBORHOOD of midtown Kansas City, Missouri, is a mix of avant-garde youth and aging hippies. If bumper stickers are any indication, political views range from the muscular left ("Veterans for Kerry") to the forthrightly left ("Peace...
FDA Makes 'Plan B' Pill More Available
After a three-year debate, the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved wider distribution of a "morning-after" contraceptive, angering some religious conservatives. FDA officials say they have approved nonprescription sales of "Plan B,"...
Florida's Harris: Church-State Separation Is 'Lie'
Representative Katherine Harris (R., Fla.) has caused a major stir with comments, published in a Southern Baptist state newspaper, suggesting that the separation of church and state is a lie and that failing to elect Christians to public office will...
Living by the Word: Search and Restore
Sunday, October 1 Mark 9:38-50; James 5:13-20 IF YOU ARE reading this column hoping to get some insight into Mark 9:49-50, you can stop now. These verses are intensely obscure; the commentaries offer little help; neither I nor anyone I know has...
Living by the Word: Wisdom Works
Sunday, September 24 James 3:13--4:3, 708a; Mark 9:30-37 WHAT IS THE POINT of pursuing wisdom? Well, to become wise. That is, wisdom is its own end, or its own reward. This sort of answer may suffice for philosophers (those who are "lovers...
Poll: GOP Seen Less Friendly to Religion
The number of Americans--particularly white evangelical Protestants--who view the Republican Party as friendly to religion has fallen from 55 percent last year to 47 percent, according to a poll released last month. And less than half of the population...
Red Cross Got Half of Katrina Donations
A year ago, Americans started signing checks and clicking on Web links to raise an estimated $4.2 billion in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the most they have ever donated in response to a natural disaster, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy....
Religious Aftershock: Earthquake Relief in Pakistan
NEW FAULT LINES are complicating the already daunting challenge of recovering from last October's killer earthquake in the Himalayan foothills of northern Pakistan. As tens of thousands of survivors brace for the coming winter, relief groups are caught...
Silent Treatment: Contemplative Worship
FOR SOME people, Memphis, Tennessee, conjures visions of southern religion: folks hootin' and hollerin' about God, eternal damnation and hell; sweating preachers thundering on about sex, drinking and Democrats. Southern religion is all heat and fire,...
Taking God to the Mat: The Biblical World of Pro Wrestling
THE LURID AND violent world of World Wrestling Entertainment, which claims an audience of 50 million worldwide, includes microphone-grabbing diatribes by rival wrestlers, "candid" camera shots from the locker rooms, the ringside connivance of wrestlers'...
Under Siege: Letter from Jerusalem
I AM AMONG those Israelis who are ready, in principle, for almost any concession that would end our conflict with the Palestinians. In the late 1990s I undertook, as a religious Jew, a journey of prayer and meditation into Islam and Christianity in...
Unrehearsed
THE FIRST ACT of the satirical comedy Little Miss Sunshine has an affable scattershot loopiness. Frank (Steve Carell), an English professor hospitalized after a suicide attempt (he broke down upon losing his male grad-student lover to an academic rival),...
Watching and Listening
SUMMER VACATION for me and my family means the beach. Every year, with one or two exceptions, we find a way to travel to the ocean. The place we have settled on is a quiet barrier island in North Carolina. It has no boardwalk, nightclubs or amusement...
Welfare Agenda
LAST MONTH marked the tenth anniversary of President Clinton's welfare reform law, which imposed time limits for receiving cash assistance and required welfare recipients--including single mothers with young children--to work. Highly controversial...
Will New Method of Stem Cell Extraction Solve Ethical Concerns?
Scientists unveiled last month a new way to derive potentially life-saving stem cells from an embryo without destroying it, but some abortion opponents said they regard the proposed method as unethical. In the online version of the journal Nature,...

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