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. 6, March 21

Abortion Rights: Frontal or Piecemeal Attack?
A wide-ranging abortion ban recently passed by South Dakota is aimed ultimately at the U.S. Supreme Court. Members of the South Dakota House of Representatives gave final approval February 24 to the bill, sending it to the desk of Republican governor...
Acting Methodist
MARIO CUOMO, no mean rhetorician, is no expert on Christian denominations. Analyzing Hillary and Bill Clinton's rhetorical styles, Cuomo said: "She is more a Methodist and he is more theatrical." I scurried to the Yearbook of American and Canadian...
Altar Recalls
LIKE THE title of Jon Sweeney's book Born Again and Again, reviewed in this issue along with three other memoirs dealing with fundamentalism. My own religious experience includes several trips to the altar as a youngster, one in a Baptist church, another...
Card-Carrying Ecumenists
THE THEME OF the World Council of Churches Ninth Assembly, held last month in Porto Alegre, Brazil, was the prayer, "God, in your grace, transform the world." A recurrent question for many observers is whether the WCC can transform itself. The WCC...
Catholic Democrats Seek Room to Differ with Church Stances
Reviving a religious issue from the last presidential election, a coalition of 55 Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives acknowledged the "moral leadership" of the Catholic Church but said they will remain "in disagreement with the church"...
Christian Megastar: Bono on Record
WHEN IT EMERGED in the 1980s, the Irish rock group U2, with its lead singer Bono, displayed a spiritual passion that countered the big-haired, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" synthesizer pop of that era. The band was sincere and idealistic, and its lyrics...
Churches Urged toward Visible Unity
THE APPEALS for visible church unity made at the recent World Council of Churches assembly in Brazil were not new, but the longtime obstacles remain a sore point for many--especially limits on celebrating communion in each other's churches and the...
Identify Yourself: Christians among Others
HOW DO WE as Christians identify ourselves? We carry the name of Christ. We are the people who are known for their loyalty to the historical person who was given the title of "anointed monarch" by his followers--Jesus, the Jew of Nazareth. Every time...
IRS Finds Cases of Church Politicking but Few Feel Sting
In an ongoing investigation of 2004 partisan politicking by churches and other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, the Internal Revenue Service said that it found violations in 59 of 82 cases as of last month. Only three organizations--none of them...
Justices OK Use of Hallucinogenic Tea
In a case related to religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously sided with members of a small New Mexico sect in their bid to use hallucinogenic tea in religious rituals. Chief Justice John Roberts, in his first such case, said the...
Living by the Word: Just as I Am
Sunday, March 26 Ephesians 2:1-10 ON LARRY KING LIVE the other night, a well-known Christian musician was telling his life story, and it was exactly the kind of story I prefer not to hear from the pulpit. As King peered at him through his owlish...
Living by the Word: What God Wants
Sunday, April 2 Hebrews 5:5-10 LAST YEAR, just in time for Easter, Mel Gibson released an edited version of his controversial film The Passion of the Christ. A few brutal scenes had been cut and camera angles had been changed, all in an attempt...
Lowbrow Wisdom
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX--does the name ring a bell? Described by the London Times in 1919 as "the most popular poet of either sex and of any age, read by thousands who never open Shakespeare," she wrote upbeat verses that endure mainly in needlepoint kits...
On the Waterfront
IF PRESIDENT BUSH were running for reelection, he would probably be opposed to letting an Arab company run six American ports. Most likely he would listen to the advice of his political strategist, Karl Rove, who recently gave candidates his game plan...
Port Paranoia
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS from both parties responded quickly to White House approval of a deal that allows Dubai Ports World company, owned by the United Arab Emirates, to control shipping operations in New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New Jersey,...
Responses to Hurricane Boost Hopes for Faith-Based Funding
As criticism of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina continues, praise of faith-based groups that have responded is providing new momentum in a campaign to expand federal funding of religious social services. Religious groups were some...
Road Lessons
YOU MIGHT EXPECT that a movie with the teasing title The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada would deal with issues of redemption and resurrection. The film does brush up against themes of spiritual rebirth at times, but it is primarily concerned with...
Star Power: The Limits of Celebrity Activism
IN NAMING BONO Person of the Year, Time labeled him a good Samaritan. But this powerful biblical image misses the point of Bond's significance as a celebrity leader. He goes beyond being a high-profile good Samaritan--he stretches the moral imagination...
'You Are Dust'
THE ASH WEDNESDAY service in the state psychiatric hospital where I work was hardly an elegant affair. The sterile, brightly lit multipurpose room, with its white plaster walls and the floor smelling faintly of cleaning solution, hardly qualified as...
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