For many Americans Fred Rogers, famous for his character on PBS' long-running children's television series, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," was a nostalgic staple whose feel-good quotes continue to be propagated by those who grew up watching him on their living room TV sets as children.
According to one author, however, Mr. Rogers shouldn't just be considered a wholesome TV star from yesteryear, but also a radical counter-cultural figure.
Michael G. Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College, has written a book titled Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers. more >>
A church on the gulf coast of Florida has lost its tax-exempt status after authorities discovered that its building was being used to host nude parties with "the sexiext ladies on the beach" and served as an after-hours nightclub to avid college party-goers visiting the town while on spring break.
Beginning on Feb. 28, the Panama City Church Life Center: A Spiritual Community, run by pastor Markus Bishop, opened its doors to the Spring Break crowd by hosting a week-long event, which has been labeled as "Spring Break Amnesia: The Tabernacle."
According to a schedule for the tabernacle obtained by the Panama City News Herald, events hosted in the church included a "slumber" party with a dress code of pajamas and lingerie, an "anything but clothes" party, a "Mardi Gras" themed party where the schedule asks "what will you do for your beads?" The week-long event also included the "wet and wild" party, a rave-style event, and was capped off with an all-night-long party on Friday. more >>
In a recent sermon, Texas megachurch pastor Matt Chandler proclaimed that showing favoritism and partiality toward the rich while turning a blind eye to the weak and poor is as much of a sin as murder or adultery.
Preaching on the first chapter of James on March 1, Chandler challenged his congregation at The Village Church in Flower Mound not to "cuddle" up with the rich and powerful just because they have elite status and are seen as relevant. He explained that Jesus called on his followers to help the poorest and weakest in society and it "dishonors God" for his followers to be more interested in cozying up to the wealthy.
"We hear about partiality, we hear about favoritism, and the unregenerate heart says, 'I didn't kill nobody. I didn't commit adultery. I didn't break any major law.' And James' point is, so what if you didn't murder or commit adultery, if you are showing impartiality, you have broken the law," Chandler asserted. "You discriminate; you broke the law. [If] you are a racist, accidentally or not, you have broken the law. If you avoid the poor, you have broken the royal law of love. You have sinned against God." more >>
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States is only seven votes away from having enough regional bodies favor changing its official definition of marriage to include homosexual unions.
At last year's general assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA) approved an amendment changing their Book of Order's definition of marriage from being between "a man and a woman" to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman."
A 55-year-old Boston, Massachusetts, pastor who was allegedly running a drug ring at a local high school while working there as a coordinator was charged with multiple crimes, including attempted murder after he reportedly shot a 17-year-old student "execution style" in the back of the head.
The Rev. Shaun O. Harrison Sr. was arraigned in Roxbury District Court Thursday on charges of armed assault with intent to murder and other offenses stemming from last Wednesday's shooting of the teenager on Magazine Street, according to The Boston Globe.
Harrison, who was reportedly mentoring the teenager in English, also had him selling marijuana as part of his drug business. The allegations against the man of God come in stark contrast to a pastor who's known for organizing gun buybacks and speaking out against violence. Police officials said he hid gang tattoos below his clerical collar. more >>
A Texas organization that has investigated financial fraud in the American religious community is in the process of expanding their efforts globally.
The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation recently announced their plans to investigate religious fraud on a global scale following the release of research earlier this year indicating that religious fraud globally may total $100 billion in the next decade.
In a recently released statement, the Trinity Foundation noted that for 2015 alone it's estimated that international religious fraud will exceed donations to global missions. more >>