Just in time for the Elena Kagan Supreme Court nominee hearings. Recently we surveyed our readers this question: “Do you feel a Supreme Court nominee’s religion should be a part of the public discussion?”. The majority, 56%, said religion should not be part of the public debate and 44% said yes.
Below are people polled responses on the Elena Kagen question…
Georgene Rice of KPDQ-FM talks with Donald Miller, author of Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation. He provides practical advice for anybody whose dad may not have been around, either physically or emotionally. The book raises awareness of America’s fatherlessness epidemic. He describes what it is like to grow up without a dad, struggling with what it means to be a man. He provides practical advice for readers of any age to avoid the mistakes that hold people back when dealing with subjects such as dating and friendships.
Georgene: This is a tough book to read, but one of my favorites because it is so personal for you in sharing what it was like to grow up without a dad in your own life. Why write such a personal account?
Donald: There are millions who have also had a dad who was absent or neglectful emotionally. I wanted people to identify with that and people can’t identify with you unless you tell the truth, which means being vulnerable and open. But, this has also been my funniest book. I try to bring in a lot of humor to lighten what some of us know is a pretty dark world.
Georgene: Today, in sitcoms, they often project dads as buffoons and not really essential. Why was growing up without a dad so important to you?
Donald: You’ve brought up a very good point. I think there are a lot of dads today who, themselves, think they are expendable and really not that important in the lives of their children. But, that is not what psychologists show at all. Dads are enormously impactful on their kids. When a dad says to their child “I love you” or “great job” they could have make the greatest impact on a human being they will make in their entire life.
DALLAS, June 23 — With the release of the fourth and final volume of his award-winning Eye Witness graphic novel series coming in July, author/illustrator Robert James Luedke’s, Unknown God, will complete a passion-driven mission to share the story behind the birth of the Christian Faith, which he began eight years ago.
In a literary format which has grown over 400% over the last ten years, but is largely dominated by overly muscled men dressed in leather and spandex, scantily clad women and zombies, Luedke’s time-hopping Biblical based action-adventure story has truly stood out from the crowd!
Grown Ups—Meandering, scattershot comedy, of interest mainly to devoted Adam Sandler fans, in which co-writer Sandler and director Dennis Dugan set out to tell the tale of five friends (Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider, along with Sandler), all once members of a championship private-school basketball team, who reunite with their families at a New England lake cabin after their coach dies, but this weak entry mostly offers up stale riffs and physical comedy in lieu of a strong story. Some mild sexual and scatological humor, including a running gag about a 4-year-old boy who still breastfeeds, brief rear nudity, fleeting crude and crass language, a few instances of innuendo. A-III — adults. (PG-13) 2010 Full Review
Knight and Day—This good-natured, though intermittently violent, action-and-romance combo sees an everyday woman (Cameron Diaz) unwittingly caught up in the conflict between a highly skilled but apparently rogue CIA agent (Tom Cruise) and his former colleagues (led by Viola Davis and Peter Sarsgaard) as they battle each other and an evil Spanish arms dealer (Jordi Molla) for possession of a recently invented (by young geek Paul Dano) energy source with revolutionary potential. Director and co-writer James Mangold’s breezy diversion takes a largely bloodless toll on the extras while the adroitly portrayed central relationship progresses, for the most part, innocently enough. Frequent, though mostly nongraphic, action violence, at least one use of profanity and of the F-word, some crude language, a few instances of sexual humor. A-III — adults. (PG-13) 2010 Full Review
Mormon influence, imagery runs deep through `Twilight’
By Angela Aleiss
Religion News Serve
LOS ANGELES (RNS) Ever since Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” began haunting the imagination in 1897, popular culture has identified Christian symbols—crucifixes, holy water, Communion wafers—as weapons to ward off a blood-thirsty vampire. The “Twilight” novels and film franchise have religious associations, too—but most of them come from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). As the film’s “Twi-hard” fans get ready for the third “Twilight” installment, “Eclipse,” to open in theaters on June 30, few are likely to recognize the religious references in the film based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer, herself a Mormon.
“I think people make up all these Mormon references just so they can publish `Twilight’ articles in respectable publications like The New York Times,” actor Robert Pattinson (Edward, the film’s central vampire character), told Entertainment Weekly. “Even Stephenie said it doesn’t mean any of that.”
The road to bring Manel home from Haiti was a long one, but one we would travel again and again.
After deciding that international adoption was the answer for us, Scott and I quickly chose Haiti. At first, we were leaning more toward Ethiopia since our niece is from Liberia. Once we read about Holt’s Haiti program, however, we both felt pulled in that direction and knew in our hearts that this was meant to be. After applying to Holt in April 2008, we were quickly matched with Manel who, at that time, was nine months old. I remember seeing his big brown eyes in the photo that Mike Noah sent to us, and I knew that Manel was my little boy!
Georgene Rice of KPDQ-FM interviews Dale Fincher, co-author of “Coffee Shop Conversations: making the most of spiritual small talk”. Dale and his wife Jonalyn speak and write through the organization Soulation.
Georgene: A study done in 2008, released by the PEW Forum on religion and public life, notes the number of people creating their own interpretations of faith and culture is growing. There are as many styles of faith as there are ways to order a latte’. How does a Christian have normal conversations about their faith without sounding bigoted or intolerant? In “Coffee Shop Conversations” readers find a conversation style that can honor Christ in terms of attitude and approach, yet respectfully engage co-workers, neighbors, and friends that may not share their views.
Why are so few of us are willing to step out and be open about our faith?
Dale: I think there is a long history of that being the case. For quite some time we’ve thought that our faith was merely a matter of opinion and that when we bring it into the public sphere it doesn’t have a lot of evidence to back it up. So, we may not have the confidence we need to share our faith.
Georgene: We’re fearful that there will be some sort of confrontation or questions we may not be able to answer. In your introduction of the book you refer to “humble confidence” as the two things we should bring into conversation.
(RNS) In many religious circles, the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay members is considered practically a done deal. But Southern Baptists, who have many more active-duty military chaplains than any other denomination, are not giving up without a fight. The Southern Baptist Convention is battling the expected repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell on a number of fronts: its agencies are contacting Congress and the Pentagon, retired chaplains are sending letters to President Obama, and a resolution likely to be adopted at the denomination’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., this week (June 15-16), condemns allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.