In the News: Pundits, Prophets, Politics, and more!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

In the News: Mad Men, Mormons, Monks, and more!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

In the News: Biomemes, Voodoo, Elie Wiesel and more!

A round-up of recent religion and media stories in the news. Continue Reading →

Our Daily Links

Way back, the Mormon Church coughed up a chunk of money to petition for Proposition 8 in California. With two presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, now officially in the 2012 race, everybody’s asking which candidate will get keys to the church and community’s coffers.  Catherine Elson at The Divining Blog recently wrote to tell us about her post on the Top 15 Blogs on Religious Studies. Check it out. Evolutionary Christianity is my current site of interest.  You can read a new study on anti-Muslim hate by the Southern Poverty Law Center here.  The council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has also released a report, “Same Hate, New Target.”  Patheos has a new “Progressive Christian” portal.  You can read a new piece by Becky Garrison there that argues for a distinction among so-called progressives according to positioning on LGBT issues.  The West Texas Catholic Diocese of San Angelo recently held a seminar on exorcism that drew hundreds of attendees.  Are you smarter than an atheist? Odyssey Networks just released a video that interviews two Presbyterian ministers about their opinion on the recent removal of “celibacy in singleness” requirement from ordained ministers.

(h/t Becky Garrison, PZ Myers) Continue Reading →

Jesus, Pop Idol: Capturing the Tween Market

by Kristina Loew

There was a time when popular culture was a bastion of rebellion, a place where America’s youth could forge a new identity and give the middle finger to their parents. Not so these days, where purity rings have become fashionable, pop stars are giving regular shout-outs to Jesus and raunchiness is in remission. Could it be that the Christian right has finally infiltrated youth culture or is it just a new way to sell wholesomeness to a precarious demographic that is bringing in billions of dollars in business?

Using family values to sell family entertainment is nothing new. Everyone from Ozzie and Harriet to Britney Spears has employed them to market their products, their shows and themselves. Back in the late 1950’s Mouseketeer Annette Funicello was carefully marketed by Disney as the quintessential “girl-next-door,” someone who was chaste and defined the morals of the time. Even Elvis and Aretha Franklin rose up through the ranks of popular music singing gospel. Continue Reading →