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Morality at the Movies

An article in today’s New York Times confirms the trend in Hollywood to make movies that are faith and family friendly. Sharon Waxman reports that producers, directors, studio executives and marketing specialists have been looking to either mollify or entice an audience that made its power felt with last year’s “Passion of the Christ.” That film, directed by Mel Gibson, took in an astonishing $370 million at the domestic box office when released by Newmarket Films in February 2004 and – along with the empowerment of a Christian conservative bloc after the last presidential election – helped change attitudes and practices in an industry usually known for its secularism. Continue Reading...

Not in Uzbekistan

Remember what I said about the relationship between charity and evangelism? Here’s a tip: Be careful in Uzbekistan. Forum 18 relates the story of a woman who runs a charity in Uzbekistan, and has been the target of harassment by the secret police. Continue Reading...

Running Out of Stones

Who needs sustainable cities? It appears that China does. Slashdot reports that a leading architect of the sustainable city movement, William McDonough, has been commissioned by the Chinese government to create “a national prototype for the design of a sustainable village, an effort focused on creating a template for improving the quality of life for 800 million rural Chinese.” A quick survey of McDonough’s clients includes Ford Motor Company, Fuller Theological Seminary, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and IBM Corporation. Continue Reading...

Up in Smoke

Cigar Jack passes along this story about “faith leaders” soliciting the government to place tobacco regulation under the auspices of the FDA. The proposed legislation, which has twice been left languishing in the U.S. Continue Reading...

Faith Makes a Difference

“In the first nationwide study that specifically measures how faith relates to the organization and delivery of human service programs, initial results indicate that faith-based or religious charities do indeed conduct their operations in ways that markedly set them apart from secular organizations.” This is the first of several studies highlighting results from the 2004 Samaritan Award survey. Continue Reading...

You Know the ONE

“We don’t want you to give your money. We’ll just take it instead.” That commercial, the one where all the celebrities and guys in collars and habits are talking about raising your “voice” for the world’s poor, has been nominated for an Emmy award for best TV commercial. Continue Reading...

Bastille Day

On this date in 1789, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison, sparking the French Revolution. Here’s a quote from Lord Acton comparing the American and the French revolutions: “What the French took from the Americans was their theory of revolution, not their theory of government — their cutting, not their sewing.” He also says of France, “The country that had been so proud of its kings, of its nobles, and of its chains, could not learn without teaching that popular power may be tainted with the same poison as personal power.” For more, see “Lord Acton on Revolution” by Russell Kirk. Continue Reading...

Scamming Society through the Courts

The Wall Street Journal editorializes today (subscription required) on a rare bit of good news from the world of tort law: If the criminal investigation of class-action titan Milberg Weiss is anything to go by, prosecutors may finally be starting to hold the trial bar accountable for its legal abuses. Continue Reading...

Virtual World Project

For a very cool tool for anyone interested in archaeology, Biblical studies, or ANE history, check out The Virtual World Project hosted by Creighton University. To see the site I worked on in the summer of 1999, check out Israel: Galilee: Bethsaida (on the north side of the Sea of Galilee). Continue Reading...