Recent reports indicate that the California-based Christian radio network Family Radio, run by evangelist Harold Camping, may be facing dire economic straits, as seen by public tax documents and alleged interviews with former Family Radio employees.
The evangelical radio network, which has been on-air since 1958, has reportedly sold its three largest FM radio stations: WFME in Newark-New York City, WFSI in Annapolis, Md.-Washington, D.C., and WKDN in Philadelphia. Additionally, the Associated Press reported Monday that "tax records show the nonprofit network saw its net assets drop to $29.2 million by the end of 2011, from a net worth of $135 million four years earlier."
The past year has seen a bevy of faith-based reality programming from major networks like TLC, Lifetime and BET. Now, Oxygen Media is joining the pack with its own reality show looking at the lives of Southern California pastors, tentatively titled "Pastors of L.A."
The "authentic new docu-series" starring Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon and four other high-profile Christian ministers is scheduled to debut in the fall of this year, and appears to follow in the vein of BET's "The Sheards" and WE tv's "Mary Mary" – promising viewers an inside look at the lives of popular and otherwise inaccessible men of faith.
"'Pastors of L.A.' will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world renowned mega-pastors in Southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives, from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit," according to a press release from Oxygen. more >>
Transgender students in California are one step closer to playing on their school's one-sex sports team of choice or have access to a bathroom based on their chosen gender identity, not their physical sex at birth. The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would mandate school districts allow transgender students their choice.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) Assembly Bill 1266 is aimed at prohibiting "discrimination against transgender students" in the state's school districts, Ammiano said.
Several school districts, including in Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have policies that allow students to participate in activities and use facilities for the gender they identify with, according to local news reports. Should the bill also pass in the state's Senate and signed by the governor, it would ensure that all students have equal access, according to Ammiano. more >>
Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins is set to moderate a panel examining what the American Humanist Association says are the harmful effects of religious fundamentalism on children at its 72nd annual conference in San Diego.
Sean Faircloth, director of Strategy & Policy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, said in a post announcing the news about the June 1 event that in his experience as assistant attorney general in Maine handling child protection cases, he has seen how "disheartening" it is for religion to be "used as a justification for policies that would never be acceptable – but for the imprimatur of religion."
In addition to Faircloth, some of the speakers who will be participating on the panel moderated by Dawkins include Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children, and Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment. more >>
Dallas Willard, an American philosopher, professor and author specializing his studies in Christian spiritual formation, died early Wednesday morning at age 77 after enduring a battle with stage four cancer.
Willard, a philosophy professor at the University of Southern California and prolific writer, passed peacefully, uttering his last words, "thank you," from his hospital bed.
"Early on the morning of May 8, 2013, Dallas Albert Willard awakened to a full experience of the reality of the Kingdom of the Heavens he described so beautifully. Fittingly, his last two words were, 'Thank you,'" Gary Moon, executive director of the Dallas Willard Center at Westmont College, wrote on the Dallas Willard Center for Spiritual Reformation's website. more >>
Tim Lambesis, co-founder and lead singer of heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, has been arrested for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrested the singer "without incident" Tuesday afternoon after he solicited an undercover detective to commit the murder, a press release from the department states. Authorities received word on May 2 that Lambesis was allegedly soliciting another person to carry out his plot against the Encinitas, Calif., woman, prompting them to immediately launch an investigation.
"The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy," Jan Caldwell, a sheriff's department spokesperson, told Reuters. Caldwell said she was unable to disclose certain details about the case, including Lambesis' potential motive, because the investigation is ongoing. more >>