PHILADELPHIA — The lobbying entity of the nation's largest Protestant denomination has made it clear that it is against predatory practices that take advantage of the poor, having joined a broad coalition earlier this year organized to "raise awareness about families in financial crisis and how high-cost lending negatively impacts them." But what is the high-profile Christian ethics advocacy organization doing to protect vulnerable believers from preying prosperity preachers?
The question was posed to Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention that represents more than 15 million Southern Baptists in the public square. The outspoken ERLC president has been vocal about everything from abortion and gay marriage to racial reconciliation and Christian political engagement.
Moore, who has said that "payday lending is a form of economic predation and grinds the faces of the poor into the ground," told The Christian Post in an aside at the 2015 Religion Newswriters Association Conference in Philadelphia this past week that his SBC organization has long taken a stance against prosperity preaching. more >>
PHILADELPHIA — Sony Pictures Entertainment has closely linked its upcoming faith-based film "Risen," about the hunt for Jesus Christ's crucified body, to the controversial 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," claiming that the thriller picks up where Mel Gibson's top-grossing Christian film leaves off. But like its predecessor was accused by some critics of being anti-Semitic, "Risen" is also facing questions about perceived troublesome portrayals of some of its Jewish characters.
Rich Peluso, senior vice president of Sony's AFFIRM Films faith label, was challenged about depictions of Jewish leaders in "Risen" when, after screening three clips of the film, he opened the floor to questions from a room of religion reporters, some of whom were Jewish, last Thursday at the 2015 Religion Newswriters Association Conference at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia.
Peluso pitched the New Testament-inspired film as a fresh, never-before-seen big screen retelling of what happened to Jesus Christ's crucified body after it disappeared from its burial tomb. The first century story is seen primarily from the perspective of Roman military officer Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), who is "on the detective assignment of all time: to disprove news of Jesus' resurrection." more >>
Nicki Minaj, a rapper known for exhibiting explicitly sexual content in her songs and stage performances, thanked her pastor on Sunday after receiving the award for best hip-hop video at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California.
The songstress snagged the win for her "Anaconda" video which set YouTube records during its release last year.
"This is so random, you know who I want to thank tonight? My pastor," said Minaj. "Thank you, Pastor Lydia. I love you so much." more >>
The Reverend Franklin Graham has denounced recent remarks by Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton comparing Republicans to terrorists.
In a Facebook message posted on Saturday, the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association stated that Clinton "crossed the line" with her remarks.
"Hillary Clinton crossed the line this week when she said that GOP candidates were like 'terrorists,' because they were supporting the defunding of Planned Parenthood's abortion clinics across the country," wrote Rev. Graham. more >>
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin defended GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for refusing to name his favorite Bible verse in an interview, claiming it was a "gotcha question."
"You get hit with these gotchas, like most conservatives do, for instance 'what's your favorite Bible verse?' And I ask 'Did they ask Hilary [Clinton] that? What does it have to do with running for the office of the presidency? Is it anybody's business? These personal gotcha questions really trying to get you, us, anybody running for office off game," Palin told Trump in an interview on One America News Network.
Trump responded, "I love the Bible, I'm Protestant, I'm Presbyterian, and they were hitting me with different questions, one after another, and look, I don't know if it's a 'gotcha,' but it probably is." more >>
HBO host Bill Maher challenged GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum in an interview on his show on Friday to explain why Maher, as an atheist, backs Pope Francis in his stance on climate change, and why Santorum, as a Roman Catholic, does not.
"What I want to ask is, I mean, I'm not a Catholic, I'm an atheist," Maher said. "But I like the pope better than you do. You're saying the pope should stick to what he knows, and I find that ridiculous."
In June, Pope Francis released the 184-page "Laudato Si,'" or "Praise Be to You" encyclical," which tackled the way man-made climate change affects the world, such as the damage it inflicts on the poorest populations. more >>