The World Wide Religious Web for Thursday, January 19, 2012

MEGARICH MEGAPASTORS? Best Paid Pastors Make Hundreds Of Thousands To Millions Of Dollars Annually. Check out today’s Daily Word devotional, which addresses the theme of pastoral compensation: Appropriate, but Potentially Dangerous. I’m not happy Rick Warren was included on this list. Yes, The Purpose Driven Lifemade beaucoup bucks, but he and Kaye live simply and reverse tithe. They also don’t take a salary from Saddleback. That matters, doesn’t it?

FAITH & POLITICS: Why Religion Should Matter When We Vote.

To people of faith, religious belief profoundly influences our professional lives. If it does not, it is only a shadowy outline of what faith should be. As voters, we should not pretend otherwise, and with overtly Christian candidates we should support those who reflect prayerfully, live with integrity, and whose faith guides them to positions we support.

CAN CONSERVATIVES SUPPORT AN ADULTERER? CAN LIBERALS (AFTER CLINTON) OPPOSE ONE?  Exclusive: Gingrich Lacks Moral Character to Be President, Ex-Wife Says.

Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.

WITHER THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT? The Passing of the Evangelical Old Guard.

The standard argument goes something like this: the culture war is either over or increasingly irrelevant to younger generations of evangelicals, who respond to a much broader array of appeals than to the old ‘hot button” issues.  They care about social justice and about climate change, not just abortion and same-sex marriage.

David French doesn’t quite go down this path.  Rather, he argues that once there’s broad agreement on a particular stance toward social issues (as there is among the GOP presidential aspirants), evangelicals ask a different array of questions.

NOT OBVIOUSLY. Is LDS polygamy history relevant to 2012 campaign? Try these two statements out for size: From a conservative perspective, Mitt Romney is no more tainted by LDS polygamy than Rick Santorum is tainted by the Crusades. From a liberal perspective, polygamy can’t be wrong as long as partners enter it willingly and without coercion. The only way polygamy could be relevant is if Romney adovocated it, which he doesn’t, or if liberals thought marriage is the only moral sexual arrangement, which they don’t.

SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION & INFANTICIDE: The Three Deadliest Words: “It’s a Girl.”

UPON THIS ROCK…IN ANTIOCH? The Other Successors of Peter: The Patriarchs of Antioch.

Gregory III Laham, the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, has joked that if the Apostle Peter had just stayed put, he himself would be the earthly head of the Catholic Church today. For tradition has it that St. Peter headed the Church of Antioch, where “the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26), for seven years before sojourning on to Rome. The Patriarchs of Antioch, therefore, have from the beginning considered themselves to be successors of Peter, albeit without the universal prerogatives of the apostle’s ultimate successor in Rome.

COMPARISON IS NOT GOOD FOR THE SOUL: A Problem with Today’s Widespread Celebrity Culture.

The problem arises when we compare ourselves against celebrities. If they are among the best at something, then we’re making quite an uphill comparison, and it’s difficult not to become discouraged. Even if we think we could be as good as the celebrity, their having tens of thousands of people watching them makes them just seem more important than us.


The candidate who can speak with that kind of moral clarity to the American people about the decisions we face is the candidate who should take the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, 2013.

GOOD FOR HIM! U.S., The “American Pope’s” super diet

The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, has sought the help of a medical “guru” in order to lode weight. “I am not doing this because I was appointed cardinal, but in order to serve the Lord better”

GET ‘EM AT REDBOX: The Most Redeeming Films of 2011.

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