Dallas Pilgrims Are Trekking from a Harry Hines Strip Club to Plano, Because Easter

Categories: Religion

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Justin Bass
Easter makes Christians do crazy things. Like giving up beer or chalking enormous Jesus faces on parking lots.

Right now, Easter is making 30 or so cross-bearing Christians march down Harry Hines Boulevard en route to Plano.

"We started at Pandora's strip club," says Justin Bass, pastor of 1042 Church in The Colony and the leader of the pilgrimage.

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In Grapevine, a Record-Setting Chalk Portrait of Jesus' Face

Categories: Religion

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Fellowship Church
Two thousand years ago, give or take, the Romans nailed Jesus to a cross and left him to die. Since then, he has become the centerpiece of one of the world's dominant religions, revered by billions, inspiring wars and reconciliations and serving as a muse for innumerable works, both quotidian and profound.

Somehow, during all that time, no one ever thought to chalk the Son of God's face across a 17,000-square-foot expanse of parking lot. Lucky for humanity that Ed Young, the sex-loving, attention-seeking pastor of Grapevine's Fellowship Church, noticed the oversight and took steps to address it.

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Despite Neighbors' Pleas, Collin County Judge Rules Living-room Synagogue Can Stay Open

Categories: Religion

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Welcome to your friendly neighborhood synagogue.
A synagogue operating out of a Far North Dallas home has won a preliminary victory over neighbors who want it shut down.

Collin County District Judge Jill Willis this morning denied the Highlands of McKamy homeowners association's request for a temporary injunction against Congregation Toras Chaim, which operates out of a single-family home in the neighborhood.

Liberty Institute spokesman Gregg Wooding says the ruling comes just in time to ensure that Rabbi Yaakov Rich and his congregants can celebrate Passover in their place of worship.

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Craig James, Fired From Sports, Becomes Fulltime Mouthpiece for the Religious Right

Categories: Religion

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Craig James, the former SMU football star and Senate candidate whose retrograde views on homosexuality, litigiousness and overall mediocrity have made him unemployable as a football analyst, has fallen into a new career as a mouthpiece for the religious right.

The Family Research Council, labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group, has hired James as an assistant to president Tony Perkins.

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The IRS Says Daystar, the Bedford-Based Televangelism Empire, Is Actually a Church

Categories: Media, Religion

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Daystar
Daystar founders Marcus and Joni Lamb
Daystar is that low-budget religious channel that you flip past when you're searching for something watchable on TV. You might have lingered for a few seconds once or twice, momentarily transfixed by Joel Osteen's hair, but only as long as it takes for your brain to kick back into gear.

Don't be fooled by appearances, though. The sprawling global television network, which is based in Bedford and boasts $233 million in assets, is not actually a television network. It's a church.

Never mind that it has none of the trappings traditionally associated with a place of worship. It has no members, at least none that are physically present on a regular basis. There's no Sunday sermon, unless you count those delivered by the televangelists who pay Daystar for airtime. The closest thing to a sanctuary is the gauche TV studio network founders Marcus and Joni Lamb broadcast from.

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Far North Dallas Rabbi Cries Discrimination as Neighbors Try to Close His Living-Room Synagogue

Categories: Religion

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Welcome to Congregation Toras Chaim. Sure, it may look like your typical Far North Dallas house -- 3,500 square feet, $330,000 on the tax rolls, a swimming pool in the back -- but it doubles as one of the area's newer and smaller synagogues.

This isn't exactly a secret. The congregation's website lists the home as its primary meeting place, hosting daily prayer services, Torah study, and various holiday services and social events. Also, it's hard to disguise the several Orthodox gentlemen who file into the home for the twice-daily services, or the families who walk to the home on the Sabbath.

Neighbors have certainly taken notice. As Fox 4 reported last night, David Schneider, who lives across the street from the budding synagogue, has sued Rabbi Yaakov Rich, saying he is violating the rules of their homeowner's association and is lowering property values. In the suit, Schneider demands $50,000 in compensatory damages.

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Baptists Are Seriously Discussing Robert Jeffress' Claim that Obama's Paving the Way for the Antichrist

Categories: Religion

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When First Baptist's Robert Jeffress proclaimed a couple of weeks back that President Obama is "paving the way for the antichrist," we dismissed it as a publicity stunt designed to sell copies of his new book on the end times.

Not everyone was so quick to call Jeffress' claim empty bombast. Take this Christian Post piece from over the weekend in which a reporter, apparently keeping a straight face, asks two Baptist biblical scholars -- or rather as the headline suggests "experts" on the Obama-antichrist link -- to weigh in on the controversy.

Darrell Bock, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, offers a slight rebuke to Jeffress, saying that while "believers are to keep watch and be alert" for the second coming of Christ and all that will entail, the timing is unknowable.

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Dallas Pastor Bucks Methodist Church, Says He Will Perform Same-Sex Weddings

Categories: Religion

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northaven.org
The United Methodist Church, much like the state of Texas, does not approve of gay marriage -- or, for that matter, of any divergence from the Adam & Eve model of human sexuality set down in Genesis.

The UMC's official rulebook says that "sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage" and that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

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Flower Mound's Big "Year of the Bible" Fight Was Nauseatingly Civil

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Damn you, Flower Mound. In December, your mayor, Tom Hayden, stops a Town Council meeting and proclaims 2014 the "Year of the Bible," thus setting the stage for a battle
that can only logically end in Jesus and Richard Dawkins brawling in a no-holds-barred MMA throwdown -- an event we were very much looking forward to covering -- and this is how you react? With a nuanced and respectful discussion of religion in public life?

Especially when Daniel Moran, a nonbelieving UNT student and Texas House candidate, began organizing a protest of Thursday night's Town Council meeting, it seemed that fireworks were inevitable.

Moran accused Hayden of violating the constitutional ban on the establishment of religion, sure, but he did so politely and spent most of his energy lamenting that the mayoral proclamation had made non-Christians feel unwelcome in Flower Mound. Other opponents -- mostly nonbelievers, one self-identified Muslim -- generally shared the critique that the proclamation was divisive.


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First Baptist's Robert Jeffress: Obama "Paving the Way for the Antichrist"

Categories: Religion

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Let's get one thing clear: First Baptist's Robert Jeffress doesn't actually think President Barack Obama is Satan, which would be ridiculous. However, he says, "Although President Obama is certainly not the Antichrist, his policies are paving the way for the Antichrist."

This isn't something Jeffress thoughtlessly let slip when he thought he couldn't be heard over the holy din from First Baptist's musical fountain; it's the money quote from the promotional materials for Perfect Ending, his new book.

The book doesn't actually have much to do with Obama. It's more of a general contemplation of the biblical end times, which marvels at the Bible's ability "to foretell with laser-like accuracy events that will occur hundreds and even thousands of years after it was written."

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