Some students at Yale have created a most unusual music video, starring Martin Luther.
Click here to see it.
Archive for October, 2008
Some students at Yale have created a most unusual music video, starring Martin Luther.
I just got this e-mail from Charisma Magazine founder Steve Strang. As Election Day nears, he’s not praying ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.’ He’s asked God “for a miracle to see John McCain get elected.”
I found this news nugget on the Kansas City Star’s website. See if you can spot the mathematical malfunction:
Obama, McCain: election will turn on turnout, new poll says
With less than a week to go before the vote, Barack Obama has either a 3 percent or 7 percent margin on John McCain, a new poll indicates.
So, once again, it’s looking like this race is coming down to who all heads to the polls. If voters are the same mix as usual, this vote could be a nail-biter (the poll has a margin of error of +/- 2, meaning a three point gap could be a dead heat, or even a slight McCain lead).
Click below for the answer…
When Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori talks about the ongoing schism in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, she often downplays it’s size and significance.
“A handful of our church leaders are still upset” she told a Vermont audience in Sep. 2007.
A “handful of primates” oppose the Episcopal Church’s positions on homosexuality, she told the New York Times in Feb. 2007.
Only “a handful of congregations” are leaving the Episcopal Church, she told the Associated Press in Dec. 2006.
Other than “a handful of bishops” and “some clergy” and “a handful of primates”, there’s little opposition to her denomination’s left-ward march, Jefferts Schori told the Boston Globe in April 2007.
The naysayers are a “handful of archbishops”, she told a Florida audience in April 2008.
So, how much is a handful? There are a few clues in Episcopal Fast Facts 2007, which were recently posted on the denomination’s website.
According to statisticians, the Episcopal Church lost 9 percent of its active members between 2002 and 2007. The decline in attendance is even higher. During the past five years, average Sunday attendance fell 14 percent.
In 2002, membership stood at 2,320,221. It’s now 2,116,749, a drop of 203,472. Five years ago, Sunday attendance averaged 846,640. It now stands at 727,822, a drop of 118,818.
The ‘handful’ of people who have left the Episcopal Church since 2002 = one out of every seven churchgoers.
Ouch! Elizabeth Dole is accusing her opponent, Kay Hagan of conspiring with ‘Godless Americans’ and using “Godless money’ to win Dole’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
NBC News, I think, has the best election team on television, but they’re wrong about the nation’s religious demographics. Here’s what he said today on First Read:
A brand-new NBC/WSJ/MySpace poll illustrates not only McCain’s challenge come Election Day, but also the challenge the Republican Party could face in future elections. In the poll, Obama enjoys a more than 2-to-1 advantage over McCain among first-time (read: 18-21 year olds) and lapsed voters, 69%-27%. These voters have a much more positive view of Obama (64%-27% fav/unfav rating) than average voters do (56%-33% fav/unfav in last week’s NBC/WSJ survey). What’s more, they have a much more negative view of McCain (29%-59%) and Palin (23%-54%) than average voters do. All of this suggests that a big turnout among these new and lapsed voters would benefit Obama on Election Day. The only question is: Will they turn out? In the poll, 66% say they are certain to vote — but that’s far less than the 90% of all voters who said that in last week’s NBC/WSJ poll. Dem pollster Peter Hart compares this (potential) Obama advantage among young voters with the evangelical advantage Bush built in ’04. Yet unlike Bush, Obama can count on this advantage in every state, not just in the handful of areas where evangelicals are concentrated. What does this mean? The young vote/new voter demographic could provide Obama a 3-5 point buffer with the rest of the electorate.
The Pulitzer-prize winning, but financially unprofitable newspaper, will stick to the Internet, except for a weekend edition. It’s hard to imagine a paper more suited for online only editions. The Monitor has done some extraordinary journalism, but it’s circulation has plummeted. It has no natural subscription base in Boston, where it’s based, and most people receive it in the mail. In the Internet age, it’s hard enough to convince people to buy Tuesday’s paper on Tuesday. If Tuesday’s paper doesn’t arrive until Wednesday or Thursday, it’s almost an impossible sell.
By DENISE LAVOIE
Associated Press Writer
BOSTON (AP) — The Christian Science Monitor said Tuesday it will become the first national newspaper to drop its daily print edition and focus on publishing online, succumbing to the financial pressure squeezing its industry harder than ever.
Come April, the Boston-based general-interest paper — founded in 1908 and the winner of seven Pulitzer Prizes — will print only a weekend edition after struggling financially for decades, its editor announced Tuesday.
The Monitor’s circulation has fallen from a peak of 230,000 in 1970 to about 50,000 now, while its online traffic has soared. The newspaper gets about 5 million page-views per month, compared with about 4 million five years ago and 1 million a decade ago.
The Monitor was one of the first newspapers in the country to put content online, beginning in 1995, when correspondent David Rohde was taken prisoner in Bosnia.
“Obviously, this is going to help with our costs, but it also enables us to put much more emphasis on the Web and basically put our reporting assets and our editorial assets where we think growth will be in a very tough industry in the future, which we think is the Web,” said Editor John Yemma, who was The Boston Globe’s multimedia editor before he moved to the Monitor in June.
Cutting print editions also will help the paper reduce its dependence on sizable subsidies from its owner, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, which now provides more than half its operating budget, Yemma said.
Yemma said the move to “Web-first” publishing will likely result in some job cuts, but it is unclear how many.
It is known for its in-depth international reporting, particularly in the Middle East.
In 2006, Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Monitor, was kidnapped in Baghdad and released safely after nearly three months in captivity. Carroll, who was made a staff writer while she was still being held hostage but has since left the newspaper, described her ordeal in an 11-part series published in the Monitor.
Like many other newspapers, it has suffered as more people get their news from the Internet — which offers newspapers much less revenue even when it brings many more readers.
Andie Tucher, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School Of Journalism, said the Monitor has traditionally been a newspaper people read for in-depth articles after they get local news from a local or state newspaper. With even small newspapers being squeezed by the Web, it makes sense that a “second read” like the Monitor would be harder hit.
“That’s the real crisis for papers like this. Rather than reading that as my second or third paper, I now go online and browse Slate and Salon and the political sites, and I can read any other paper I like. It becomes much less urgent to indulge in the Christian Science Monitor,” said Tucher, who teaches a course on the history of American journalism.
The paper is not the first but is the most prominent to scale back its print version in favor of online news. In April, The Capital Times, of Madison, Wis., switched to publishing mainly on the Internet. The Daily Telegram, in Superior, Wis., announced in July that it would print only two issues a week and its Web site would become the primary source for daily news. In Ohio, several local papers plan to print their final Monday editions next week.
Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, said it’s tough to draw too many conclusions from the Monitor’s decision because it is so unusual: It’s owned by the church, has a small but national circulation and sells relatively little advertising.
Still, the industry will be watching, he said.
“I think to the degree they are successful … that could be important for others looking at that action down the road,” he said.
The newspaper was founded in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church. Despite its background, it is not considered a religious newspaper, though it continues to publish a daily religious article at Eddy’s request.
Yemma said moving away from daily publication makes sense financially and journalistically.
Yemma said the newspaper has been operating at a loss for years, and has received a subsidy from the church to fund the deficit. In the current fiscal year, the newspaper’s operating costs were about $25.7 million, but the church paid about $13.3 million of that.
Over the next five years, the church wants to move to a break-even point where it does not have to subsidize the newspaper anymore, said Yemma. To do that, the newspaper needs to focus on the Web, Yemma said.
“There’s no magic bullet on the Web. There’s only doing what essentially works … doing high-quality journalism and doing it continuously so that your site becomes a destination, a place where people can expect newly updated news the way you do it,” he said.
The new weekly newspaper will be a 44-page publication that reads like a news magazine, and looks like a hybrid between a newspaper and a magazine, Yemma said. (more…)
The church’s founder, Robert H. Schuller, has sacked his own son, Robert A. Schuller, due to what is described as a “lack of shared vision.”
The L.A. Times has plenty of details in this morning’s paper.
Church members, apparently, aren’t being given many details. Even the church spokesman says he’s in the dark about the reasons behind the breakup.
The question has never been whether most Jews will vote for Barack Obama. The question has been will enough Jews support Obama to really help him, particularly in Florida. (more…)
Weeks after being deposed by liberal Episcopal presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, conservative bishop Robert Duncan has met with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace in London, Episcopal News Service is reporting.
(Click here to read all about it.)
Many Anglican primates have come out in support of Duncan.
This story from Politico.com isn’t getting a lot of play yet, but it will. Believe me, it will. Apparently, the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 to buy clothes, makeup and accessories for vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her family. The tab at Nieman Marcus alone was more than $75,000. The McCain campaign has issued a statement questioning the relevance of the disclosure, saying it was “remarkable” that people would focus on the issue.The clothes will all go to charity, once the election is over, they added. Click here to read the story. HuffingtonPost.com says Palin has spent more on clothes in the past two months than the typical American family spends in 80 years.
One other weird election related story. A poll in Investors Business Daily claims that young voters have shifted their support from Barack Obama to John McCain. (Click here to see the poll.) According to this poll, McCain has a 10 point lead among voters ages 18-24 and does better with that demographic than any other age group polled. Every other poll I’ve seen claims Obama has a lock on the youth vote…
It’s quite an irony. John McCain, the candidate who once referred to leading white evangelicals (Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) as “agents of intolerance,” is far-and-away the favorite candidate of white evangelical churchgoers.
According to the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, 74 percent of white evangelicals who attend church weekly plan to vote for McCain on Election Day. Only 17 percent plan to back Barack Obama.
[Click here to see the entire poll.]
John McCain, who was vilified by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson throughout the GOP primaries, now finds evangelicals — and few others — in his foxhole, if the Pew Center is correct.
In the past month, white mainline churchgoers (think Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans (non-Missouri synod), have shifted from McCain (+10 points) to Obama (+5 points). Catholics have gone from backing Obama by one percentage point to 16 points. Black Protestants favor Obama (+92 points). So do religiously unaffiliated Americans (+42 points.)
“Fireproof”, that movie by a Southern Baptist church in rural Georgia, is continuing to rake in the money. In its fourth weekend, it brought in $2,578,271, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com “Religulous,” the Bill Maher mocumentary, took in $1,446,221 in its third weekend. Since opening, “Fireproof” has made $20.6 million at the box office. “Religulous” has collected $9.1 million. The Billy Graham biopic, on the other hand, continues to tank.
Click here to see the charts.
Supporters of gay marriage have said that a loss in California would set their efforts back a generation.
I’m in the Show-Me state for about 24 hours. Saturday, my son and I went to the Obama rally beneath the Arch (we drove six hours from Little Rock and got in roughly 10 seconds before the candidate began to speak…) They say 100,000 people were in the crowd.
Today, we’re making our annual pilgrimage to see the Dallas Cowboys play. In between now and the opening kickoff, I’ll be reading the Sunday paper and trying to catch up on the religious and political news that’s popped up while I was on the road. I understand Colin Powell endorsed Obama on “Meet the Press” a few minutes ago, and that polls are tightening with Election Day 16 days out.
Apparently, Obama raised $150 million in September. I can definitely believe it. Kicking back at the hotel, eating a Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza, we watched a few hours of television and probably saw more than a dozen Obama commercials (most of them on cable networks such as the History Channel, but also on network affiliates and TBS during the Rays-Red Sox games…) I’ve been in Iowa before the caucuses and I was in Michigan and Florida on primary night early this year. I’ve never seen such a non-stop bombardment of commercials. So far, I haven’t yet seen a McCain commercial — and Missouri is a key battleground state.
I’ve got a bunch of good religion stories I’m working on when I get back to Little Rock. I’ll post more when I get back. — Frank