Two web series focusing on the lives of pastors have caught on with viewers and won awards, showing a shift in viewing from mainstream TV to online viewing.
The first series "Plant" is a mockumentary web series filmed in New York City. The show follows the lives of Rev. Todd Lawn and his wife Tammy as they leave the safety of the suburbs to develop a new ministry in the heart of the city. However, things are not quite as they seem in the city, and the pastor must deal with the threats from the pastor of a mega-church who wants his job. It's a "David vs. Goliath" story told in a modern day setting.
"Plant" was recognized for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing at the Los Angeles Web Series Festival. Actresses Liz Days, Susannah Jones, and Peggy Queener were also recognized, as was writer Andrew Nielson. more >>
A church and state watchdog group has warned that the recent controversy over Houston city officials subpoenaing sermons from pastors may create a major conservative fundraising effort.
Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State wrote that Houston's legal move against pastors who oppose their recently passed LGBT ordinance will create a conservative backlash.
Writing for the Washington, D.C.-based group's blog "Wall of Separation," Boston argued that the incident "will launch a thousand right-wing fund-raising letters." more >>
Feeling confused about the Houston sermon subpoena scandal? Here are answers to five questions you may have.
Q: What happened?
A: In May, Houston city government passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) to ban discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. After passage, opponents began collecting signatures to add a ballot measure to repeal the new law. more >>
Stop bullying people of faith. That's the bottom line of a harshly worded letter written by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to Houston City Attorney David Feldman.
Feldman's office sent subpoenas to five Houston pastors last month demanding that they turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality and gender identity issues. They also wanted sermons or correspondence that referenced Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor.
The subpoenas were issued in a response to a lawsuit related to Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), also known as the "Bathroom Bill." more >>
The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups have expressed concern over Houston officials subpoenaing sermons that may have been critical of an LGBT discrimination city ordinance.
Recently the city subpoenaed various pastors' sermons due to their objection to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, a recently passed law that has strong conservative opposition.
A Satanic Temple group is petitioning Florida's State Capitol to include a display depicting the angel Lucifer descending into hell among other holiday stands. Florida denied the group's same request last year, deeming it "grossly offensive."
Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent the letter Wednesday on the Satanic Temple's behalf, arguing that the group deserves representation under the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
"Members of the religious majority are sometimes offended by the beliefs of religious minorities, and vice/versa," the letter states. "But the Satanic Temple is not required to censor itself in order to take advantage of a forum supposedly open to all." more >>