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Trends Archives

Watch the Latest VLog from the Set of ‘SPECTRE’

posted by Corine Gatti

Hey Bond junkies, get ready for the latest video from 007’ and, “SPECTRE “set for release in November. The footage will focus on a car chase with the elite Aston Martin DB10 and Jaguar C-X75 in Rome. What makes this action […]

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‘Little Boy’ is a Story for Everyone

posted by Corine Gatti

The question this father and son always have for each other during their adventures is “Do you believe we can do this?”  The answer is always “Yes, partner.” If you’re a big fan of a movie that has it all, adventure, love, faith, and […]

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Debbie Gibson Still Amazes

posted by Corine Gatti

Debbie Gibson stars as Jessica in an inspiring drama about a woman who gives up her singing career to take care of her aging parents. Sweeping her dreams aside Jessica discovers that her dreams of becoming a singer and songwriter […]

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Rick Warren Touts Upcoming Bible Video Game

posted by Corine Gatti

Cheesy Christian video games could become faint memory if the “Tornado Twins” reach their goals. In two weeks identical twins Ruben and Efraim Meulenberg raised half the funds they needed to create the first episodes of the “The Game Bible Series” through […]

Horror Flick Details Biblical End Times

posted by Corine Gatti

Faith based films have become a buzzword in Hollywood lately said writer and director Casey La Scala of “Donnie Darko,” and “A Walk to Remember.” La Scala new film is a horror flick based on biblical accounts of end times […]

Dolphin Tale 2 is a Reminder Never to Give Up

posted by Corine Gatti

The famous dolphin that won the hearts of the disabled all over the globe returns to offer us insight and encouragement again in “Dolphin Tale 2.” Winter was rescued after she lost her tail in a crab trap. She survived […]

J.K. Rowling Makes Magic Again

posted by Corine Gatti

Famed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling sent a letter to 15-year-old Cassidy Stay, whose parents and four siblings were killed in their Houston, Texas home in July by their uncle, Ronald Lee Haskell. Stay survived the ordeal by faking her death. […]

Another Hollywood Actress Leaves Us

posted by Angela Guzman

Lauren Bacall, born as Betty Joan Perske, died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89 after suffering a massive stroke. Bacall was an actress and model, known for her inviting voice and sultry looks. During her modeling career, in the […]

Anchor Stuart Scott Honored at ESPYs for Perseverance

posted by Corine Gatti

ESPN’s anchor Stuart Scott offers strength to many on air. It’s not only for his smooth delivery or a career that’s spanned over two decades-it’s fighting a deadly form of cancer since 2007. This week Scott, 48, was presented the […]

United States Advances to Round of 16 in World Cup

posted by Matthew Corbett

Despite a 1-0 loss to Germany, the United States Men’s National Team has advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. Expectations for the team this year were relatively low, especially given its placement in the “Group […]

Jeff Foxworthy’s Show Proves Faith Programming Works

posted by Corine Gatti

We need to laugh more as people of faith said host Jeff Foxworthy of “The American Bible Challenge” and who am I to argue with this advice? He’s still a comedian and a child at heart. “I am a comedian, […]

Is Fame Driving Actor Shia LaBeouf Out of the Biz?

posted by Corine Gatti

Actor Shia LaBeouf apparently doesn’t like fame, or answering reporters. During an appearance of the premier of his new film, “Nymphomaniac, Volume 1,” LaBeouf wore a paper bag over his head with cutouts for eyes to accompany his tuxedo. Written […]

What a Sister and What a Hero!

posted by Corine Gatti

US twin biathlete Tracy Barnes did one of the most selfless acts a sister could do. She gave up her spot on the Olympic Team so her sister Lanny could compete in Sochi. Lanny fell ill during trials in Ridnaun, […]

Lori Loughlin Heads West in New Series

posted by Corine Gatti

Lori Loughlin is sticking to her Catholic roots, taking on her first period drama in Vancouver, and yes, possibly reuniting with the Full House cast as Rebecca Donaldson. Loughlin stars with Erin Krakow, and Daniel Lissing as Abigail Stanton in the Hallmark […]

Susan Boyle Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome

posted by Corine Gatti

Vocalist Susan Boyle was reportedly diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome a year ago by a Scottish specialist.But she’s more than comfortable about the diagnoses and described it as “a relief.” Asperger’s syndrome is a high-functioning form of autism it usually impedes […]

Robin Quivers Breaks Silence on Cancer Battle

posted by Corine Gatti

Radio personality Robin Quivers announced to Sirius XM radio fans that she left the Howard Stern Show because she was battling cancer for the past year. Quivers was working from home despite undergoing chemo and radiation therapy. She broke her […]

Be Bold: What Diana Nyad Teaches Us

posted by Corine Gatti

Diana Nyad became the first person to not only swim without a shark cage from Cuba to Key West, Fla., but showed that at 64-years-old, anyone can achieve their dreams. Nyad clocked 53 hours to realize her 35-year dream to […]

Why Do You Believe?

posted by Corine Gatti

Why do you believe what you believe? If a person stands on a podium in fine suits and a microphone, is what he or she says automatically factual? What power do they really possess? Society is less likely to research […]

The God Squad takes Manhattan

posted by Donna Freitas

The front page feature for this Sunday’s Metropolitan section of The New York Times is about how it is becoming more and more common to be both a New York City hipster and a Christian these days. That, in fact, […]

So Touching! Soldiers Surprising Their Loved Ones

posted by agreyson

Hit “LIKE” above to support the troops and share with your friends! WATCH MORE GREAT VIDEOS! AMAZING! Christian Bikes Protect a Soldiers Funeral WOW! Carry Underwood and Vince Gill Sing “How Great Thou Art” CUTE! These twin boys are ADORABLE!

Christian Bikers Protect the Funeral of Fallen Soldier

posted by agreyson

Hit LIKE above if you support these bikers and to share with others!

A Royal Wedding Spoof

posted by agreyson

↑ Hit “LIKE” above the video to share with your friends!

Keith Green Sings “Easter Song” Hit Like to Share!

posted by agreyson

↑ HIT LIKE TO SHARE THIS VIDEO WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

WOW! Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill “Sing How Great Thou Art”

posted by agreyson

Be sure to hit “LIKE” just above this video to share! WATCH MORE GREAT VIDEOS! AMAZING! Christian Bikes Protect a Soldiers Funeral INSPIRING VIDEO! No matter what God is with you! CUTE! These twin boys are ADORABLE!

Priest Tweets the Stations of the Cross

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Think you don’t have time to particpate in this Holy Week? Think again. On this Good Friday there is a priest who will tweet the Stations of the Cross and you can follow him as he does. Father Paddy Byrne […]

Passover – Google Style

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I stumbled upon a great video that told the story of the Nativity using social media and now I have discovered an equally entertaining video for Passover. It tells the complete story of the deliverance of the Jews from Pharoah […]

Our Favorite April Fool’s Jokes!

posted by agreyson

Tech companies are famous for their online pranks. It’s gotten to the point where they just can’t fool anyone but that doesn’t keep you from laughing. Here are a few of our favorite from this year. ThinkGeek released their incredible […]

Enter to Win a Free Copy of “The Book That Changed the World: The Amazing Tale of the the King James Bible”

posted by Evan Derrick

Published in 1611 (which makes this year its 400th anniversary), the Authorized King James Version of the Bible became “the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language.” Regardless […]

Cute “Idol Chatter” from adorable twins!

posted by agreyson

This may be the cutest, most intense conversation about… well… you decide. The chatter seems anything but idol to these adorable kiddos! Hit the “LIKE” button under Cute in the title to share it with your friends!

Vampire Vanquishes Bank, Appears on CNN

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes, you read that right. A known Philadelphia vampire–and what I mean by that is a man who claims “vampire” as his, well, orientation–publicly took on a bank for failing to award him money he was owed from mistakes on […]

Russell Brand and TM

posted by Donna Freitas

TM stands for Transcendental Meditation and apparently celeb Russell Brand is the newest poster boy for this spiritual practice. The Style section of The New York Times just did a big feature on Mr. Brand and his new agey ways, […]

Buckeyes Coach Jim Tressel’s Job in Jeopardy

posted by Corine Gatti

Ohio State Buckeyes head football coach Jim Tressel reportedly knew of players selling memorabilia for money and other benefits eight months before they were suspended for infractions in December. It appears that the well-liked coach’s job could be in jeopardy, […]

Last Add From Oscars: “The Town” Was Overlooked

posted by Douglas Howe

Now that the Oscars have brought at end to the 2010 movie award season, I was reminded this evening of the movie which I feel qualifies as the Most Overlooked Movie of the 2010 movie award season. Each year, there […]

Charlie Sheen Needs “The King’s Speech”

posted by Douglas Howe

It takes a rare event–or series of events–to rival Oscar on the lifestyle pages and TV screens of our country, and this year there was a big one. Of all of the awards, gossip, parties, fashion, blogs, photos and other […]

TREVOR BAYNE’S DAYTONA 500 MIRACLE

posted by agreyson

By Chad BonhamIt was just four months ago when Michael Waltrip Racing dropped 19-year old Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne over sponsorship issues. Even though Bayne was ranked seventh in points and was clearly one of NASCAR’s rising stars, the […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

by Amy and Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas A Golden Globe-nominated actress helps clean up schools, a game show host says “come on down” to some four legged friends in need and an ’80s icon helps boost local spirits. Julianne […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by Corine Gatti

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas Some famous women don red dresses for heart health, other stars create tiny art for school kids and a legend is honored for philanthropy. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture […]

Confession App: Wow

posted by Donna Freitas

The other day my inbox was flooded with people sharing the news about the supposed, officially-approved, Catholic Confessions App for the iPhone. I kind you not–that is the word on the street. And I quote from one of the many […]

Yoga Heresy

posted by Donna Freitas

Last month I wrote about people who think of outsourcing their souls and the fact that there is now such a thing as stripper-pole yoga. If there is any type of yoga that can be considered heretical, I would think […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments Blog

posted by agreyson

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasThis week an Oscar contender supports Free the Children, a reality star shows her philanthropic side and an “Idol” gives a wake-up call (with flapjacks).Natalie Portman Announces Free The Children ContestThe last few […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasOne talk show host gets an uplifting birthday surprise while another finds a long lost sister, and an ex-“Bachelor” raises $100,000 for charity. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.Ellen Basks […]

Chris Medina Inspires with Unconditional Love on American Idol

posted by agreyson

Chris Medina walked on to the American Idol audition stage and all I could think was, “great, another grunge rocker, just what the world needs.” Shame on me, not because of his silky smooth voice but because the cover of […]

Twitter Reactions to the State of the Union

posted by agreyson

In the not so distant past, we had to wait for the paperboy to gauge reaction to the traditional State of the Union Address. Television changed that and the internet has now revolutionized it. On Twitter we truly see the […]

Paris Tassin Keeps Her Baby and Keeps American Idol Hopes Alive

posted by agreyson

You won’t see any videos of Paris Tassin singing on Youtube, she’s far too busy caring for her 4 year old special needs daughter, Keira. At 18 years of age, Paris was faced with an unplanned pregnancy and as if […]

Travis Orlando Goes From Shelter to Center Stage on American Idol

posted by agreyson

As the first episode of American Idol season 10 came to a close, a shy but calmly confident 16 year old from the Bronx took the audition stage. He’s not your average 16 year old kid. He has a twin […]

Regis Philbin Announces Retirement

posted by Corine Gatti

Regis Philbin, 79, announced Tuesday on his show “Live with Regis and Kelly” thathe’s retiring by the end of the summer. “It’s been a long time,” Philbin said during taping yesterday to a shocked co-host and audience. “It’s been 28 […]

Young, Hip, Jewish, and Yearning: Reboot

posted by Donna Freitas

Mormon youth have a super-tight culture informed by their faith. So do evangelical Christians. Catholics not so much. And unless you are Orthodox, apparently being young and Jewish may leave you longing for something more from your tradition as far […]

Microphone Glitch Inspires Hockey Fans, Country

posted by Corine Gatti

Elizabeth Hughes, 8, made her national anthem debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s, affiliate (AHL Norfolk Admirals) during a home game against the Connecticut Whale (Rangers) last Friday night. How it started was amazing. Hughes has a voice of an […]

Stripper-pole Yoga?

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes, you read that right. So yesterday I blogged about an article I found that discussed outsourcing the soul, and today, while reading the latest issue of New York Magazine I came across a big, splashy “best-of” yoga article, “Highly […]

Outsourcing the Soul?

posted by Donna Freitas

Um, what? At least that was my reaction when I read this phrase in the recent, very tongue and cheek New York Times article, “Searching for the Soul to Cleanse It” by Ariel Kamner, about the weird rituals that city-dwellers […]

Kirk Cameron ‘Monumental’ Prophet on CNN

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Kirk Cameron dishes on dead birds, end times and his new film with Anderson Cooper.

Homeless Man Finds God–Then the World Finds Him

posted by agreyson

Several days ago, I was stumbling around Youtube and saw a video of a homeless man who, literally, had a golden voice. It had been posted that day and already had 100,000 views. The video had over 12 million views […]

Hip to be Old, White, Religious, and Male?

posted by Donna Freitas

I read New York Magazine more or less every week. I think of it as hip, snarky, fashionable, funny, political, and a great guide to all-things-now. Rarely do they touch on the topic of religion, though (gee, I wonder why?), […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas A “Biggest Loser” pays it forward, a kid honors his dad’s musical legacy and a wrestling star pays tribute to the troops. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments. The […]

A Modern, Digital Look at the Nativity

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Check out htis new look at the Bativity through the use of various social media.

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

by Amy and Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasJack Black and Jason Segel — The Next David Bowie and Bing Crosby?One of our favorite Christmas traditions is watching Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s classic “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” performance. The […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasA rock star shares his family’s tragic history, a child star gives back and a TV network stands up against discrimination. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.Gene Simmons Share His […]

Is Walmart the Next Big Movie Studio?

posted by agreyson

Probably not, but when I caught up Director of Brand Marketing and Executive Producer, Ben Simon, he made their mission crystal clear. He called to promote their latest Family Movie Night film, “A Walk in My Shoes.” A Walk In […]

Enter to Win a “Christmas in Canaan” DVD!

posted by agreyson

Based on the book co-penned by country legend Kenny Rogers, “Christmas in Canaan” is set in the rural town of Canaan, Texas. It’s the story of a clash between two classmates – one, a tough farm boy, and the other, […]

AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ Zombies, and Higher Meaning?

posted by Donna Freitas

Everything’s coming up zombies lately! So much so that one of my favorite New York Times op-ed columnists, Gail Collins, devoted an entire column (“The Zombie Jamboree”) to these flesh-rotting creatures recently, calling this fall “the era of zombies” and, […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasA group of celebrities work to end hunger, some furry friends teach healthy living and “The Biggest Loser” has a huge week. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.Celebrities Work to […]

My Online Bar Mitzvah?

posted by Donna Freitas

Extravagant bar mitzvah’s (you know, Long Island extravagant) have been all the rage for years now. The parties for twelve and thirteen year old boys and girls that cost something approximating the price tag of a house in order to […]

Happiness: Why iPhones Hinder It

posted by Donna Freitas

Newsflash: the epidemic of distraction provided by technology today in the form of email, iPhones, blackberries, and other gadgets that foster multi-tasking seriously get in the way of our happiness. The ability to focus on a single task, to be […]

This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

posted by agreyson

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas A famous director shares more thoughts on aging, a musician rocks out on the golf course, and Movember gets hairy. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments. Nora Ephron: Telling […]

Twilight’s Renesme is Cast for “Breaking Dawn” Movie

posted by Donna Freitas

In my opinion, Renesmee, the part-human, part-vampire spawn of Bella and Edward (and really, I think spawn is the right word), is the creepiest, oddest character of everyone in Meyer’s “Twilight Saga.” Renesmee disturbs me and so many readers mostly […]

Study Shows that Meditation is Good for your Health

posted by Donna Freitas

Just the other day I posted about how meditation and happiness are connected, and the new book “Why Meditate” makes a case for how the practice fosters such positive outcomes. Now today in the Science section of The New York […]

Meditate Your Way to Happiness

posted by Donna Freitas

Meditation does not make me happy. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at it, though. Off and on throughout the last decade, I’ve dedicated myself to practicing daily mindfulness (for example) of the Tich Nhat Han variety, and usually […]

The New Hawaii Five-O: Lotsa Action But…

posted by douglas howe

The new “Hawaii Five-O” made its debut on CBS last night; it was fast-paced, action-packed, modern and current. It paid homage to the old show while creating far more depth in the main characters. If it was short on only […]

‘True Blood’ Takeaways: Godric (the vampire) as Angel, Salvation through Love

posted by Donna Freitas

The most depraved show on television, HBO’s vampire/fairy/shapeshifter-filled ‘True Blood,’ finished its latest season with a plethora of rather Christian-themed images and ideas about salvation, if presented in a somewhat blasphemous fashion. The first: Salvation through love. Godric, who is […]

Stephen Hawking: No Need for God in Physics

posted by douglas howe

It is rare when someone from the field of science–especially the kind of science that is almost impossible to understand–becomes a pop culture icon. But Stephen Hawking has long been known far outside the academic community as the Tiger Woods […]

Forget “Heat;” How ‘Bout “Love” Index?

posted by douglas howe

This post brings with it a bit of pop culture social commentary and I’m curious as to your opinion of the following: USA Today and usatoday.com should launch the Celebrity Love Index. What? Well, for quite a while now, USA […]

New Book Discusses “Fake” Christians, Not Paris Hilton

posted by douglas howe

I’ve posted (ranted?) before in this space about the ridiculous stuff that passes for “news” and/or “features” reported in and about our culture. I saw another wasted news item this week regarding Paris Hilton and her drug arrest. Really, who […]

What, Exactly, Is Glenn Beck?

posted by douglas howe

The fine line between talk show host, newsman, media commentator, pop culture icon and spiritual leader has rarely become more cluttered than during the performance of Glenn Beck at the Washington, D.C. “Restoring Honor” event. “Something beyond imagination is happening,” […]

‘True Blood’ & Rolling Stone

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh. My. Word. Have you seen this upcoming Rolling Stone cover for September? That magazine drives me nuts because of the way it portrays young women (often teen) pop stars–almost without exception–either naked, or almost naked, while (almost) never asking […]

New York Times Gets Readers to Unplug

posted by Donna Freitas

I write a lot about unplugging from technology and in particular, from the web here on Idol Chatter–from internet sabbaths to giving it all up for Lent. So I was particularly interested by this recent New York Times feature on […]

Cameron Dives Deep for Birthday, Plants Trees for the World

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

When you’re James Cameron, director of Avatar, how do you spend your birthday? If you said, “submerging yourself beneath a Russian lake,” you’re correct!

It’s Official: Teens Choose Vampires!

posted by Donna Freitas

The Teen Choice Awards were last night, and perhaps unsurprisingly so, it was pretty much all vampires, all the time, getting the love from teen voters. Most especially, everything Twilight related (Twilight garnered 12 awards!), but also ‘Vampire Diaries’ too. […]

The Path to Happiness is Minimalist?

posted by Donna Freitas

Books about happiness, talk of our happiness quotient and level and how to be happy is all the rage these days. And what, with the film adaptation of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ coming out on Friday, featuring Elizabeth Gilbert’s fantasy road […]

The Billionaires and Their Giving!

posted by Douglas Howe

The new stars of our pop culture are not coming from the typical places, whether that be movies, music, television or somewhere else. No, they’re coming from another place and being talked about everywhere from the tabloids to the tube […]

Mad Men Season Premiere

posted by Douglas Howe

“Mad Men” launches its Season Four this Sunday night, and, like several other ensemble dramas before it (“West Wing,” “24,” etc.), it’s moving beyond a cult-type audience to a wider viewership. The show had some more Emmy nominations and wins […]

Primetime TV, FCC and Court Rulings

posted by Douglas Howe

“Fade whatever is left of the family hour,” said the story. “It’s about to get even racier out there.” When it comes to primetime television, the gap between what’s in the public interest and what will profit private sector just […]

Death on Facebook: Not so Graceful Apparently

posted by Donna Freitas

I’ve occasionally wondered what happens to a person’s facebook account when they die. I suppose it’s up to family members and friends to deactivate the account–that is, if they know the password. Or maybe you contact the some administrator at […]

“Footnote” is a New Kind of Show

posted by Douglas Howe

We told you earlier this summer about “Secrets of the Mountain,” a family friendly TV movie from faith-based guys led by Brian Wells. It did very well, thanks also to the sponsorship of Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble and some key […]

Real Love Waits on ‘Pretty Little Liars’

posted by Donna Freitas

So I confess: I am pretty obsessed with ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Yes, it’s ABC Family’s newest high school soap, but it’s more or less a ‘Gossip Girl’ series with a mystery twist. And the girls are more likable (more or […]

Savior Sequels on the Way!

posted by Douglas Howe

This summer’s movies haven’t been doing it for me so far, so I was glad to read premiere.com’s recent news summaries about several sequels which are in the works. What all these projects have in common is this: they’re not […]

Nuns Singing and Dancing!

posted by Donna Freitas

Who doesn’t love nuns at the theater? I remember when as a kid, my mother took me to see “Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”, a comedic play (originally a book) about girls at Catholic school beginning to their […]

This is Your Brain on Technology

posted by Donna Freitas

Last week The New York Times published two riveting articles about how technology–the constant texting, connectivity, emailing, cell phones, and other interactive media we use constantly via our iPhones and other PDA’s–is making an impact on our lives, our families, […]

My Meeting With Coach John Wooden

posted by Douglas Howe

Today is the one week anniversary of the death of Coach John Wooden. I am amazed–and thrilled–that the accolades and chat about him continues to thrive throughout the media universe we live in. Somehow, this man of Christian faith, family […]

‘True Blood’ does the Love Triangle a la ‘Twilight’

posted by Donna Freitas

The third season of HBO’s vampire-centric hit ‘True Blood’ premiers a week from Sunday on June 13th. Crossover fans of ‘Twilight’ have a lot to look forward to since it seems a major story line of the show this summer […]

‘The Passage’ by Justin Cronin: Is It the Next Twilight?

posted by Donna Freitas

So unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that indeed, the bookshelves are still glutted with paranormal romances galore, and yes, the vampire trend still seems to be bearing itself out despite years of “Twilight” knockoffs (as I’ve […]

The Sands Moved Slow in ‘The Prince of Persia’

posted by Douglas Howe

While I waited to get home from a business trip to see “Sex and the City 2″ with my girls, I went in to see “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” I figured “hey, it’s a Jerry Bruckheimer film,” […]

Some Inspirational Reading for Summer

posted by Douglas Howe

Are you a reader? Does summer offer that awesome chance to get alone with a book and get lost somewhere near the beach, or at a coffee house, or just in that comfy couch in the living room? If you’re […]

The End of ‘Lost': Hated it!

posted by Donna Freitas

My Idol Chatter colleague, Esther, did a wonderful summary and analysis of why the ‘Lost’ series finale was disappointing, but I can’t resist chiming in for a few moments on this because while Esther feels disappointed, I feel even stronger: […]

New Jesus In Food Photo: Seitan Christ

posted by dross

It seems like images of Jesus and other holy figures have been appearing on all kinds of food lately–grilled cheese, pierogies, tortillas, just to name a few. Which is why I was skeptical, yet intrigued, when I received a press […]

Congratulations Miss USA Rima Fakih, On Your …??

posted by Douglas Howe

Ms. Rima Fakih. Have you heard of her? If not, you will soon, for the same reasons that you probably didn’t know about Carrie Prejean, last year’s Miss USA Pageant winner, until you heard later that she was a born-again […]

Mr. Trump’s Racy Photos Will Backfire…

posted by Douglas Howe

As the father of three girls who doesn’t see himself as that old-fashioned or out of touch, I can’t tell you how much Donald Trump and his enterprise are off base by requiring Miss USA pageant contestants to pose in […]

Yoga and the Price of Zen

posted by Donna Freitas

While some churches get a negative rep for conning dollars out of their community members, we don’t often talk about the money side of alternative spirituality–even though it’s big business. One of my favorite overviews of this subject is the […]

The Sexy Mormon Vampire: A History

posted by Donna Freitas

I’ve written a bunch about hot chastity in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series because, well, really, it’s difficult not to notice the erotic tension between vampire Edward Cullen and Bella, his beloved, even though they barely even kiss in the first […]

Give Me That Old-Fashioned Jewish Deli Any Day. . .

posted by Donna Freitas

I am a foodie, and so I was somewhat amused and somewhat distraught to see a recent New York Times article about the current updating of the old-school Jewish deli sweeping the nation (or at least some of its cities). […]

The Secrets of the Mountain

posted by Douglas Howe

TV Family Night is back! How cool! I encourage you to tune in to NBC for tonight’s “Secrets of the Mountain,” a made-for-TV movie that is really part of what I hope will be a new version of an old […]

Mr. Biden, F-Bombs and Our Fading Culture

posted by Douglas Howe

The second most powerful man in our country–the one who sits one heartbeat or motorcade crash away from the Presidency–dropped the F-bomb during one of the most historic and highly rated television news moments in history. You can hear it […]

Jesse James’ Apology: What Does it Matter?

posted by Douglas Howe

She gave an inspiring performance on screen. She won several awards including the Oscar. She praised her husband. Then a new story leaked. The alleged mistress gave an interview. The bride moved out. The husband issued a telepology. It joins […]

National Day of Unplugging: a Sabbath from Technology

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

This weekend marks a National Day of Unplugging: an organization called Reboot created the “Sabbath Manifesto,” which provides ten core principles to guide the unplugging.

‘Twilight’ Drops Off Bestseller List

posted by Donna Freitas

Well, sort of. The four books in Stephenie Meyers‘ mega-bestselling Twilight Saga, “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn” are still hanging on to USA Today’s bestseller list–just further down toward the bottom than usual. While it has become ubiquitous […]

Tiger: Only Thing Missing Was ‘Thank You, Mr. President.’

posted by Douglas Howe

I believe that history will show that Tiger Woods launched his professional political career today, with his well-crafted and publicized press conference. He is no longer the golfer or the celebrity or the superstar. He is the cultural icon who […]

Will Tiger Woods Repent in Public?

posted by Douglas Howe

The media world was abuzz this week with the news that Tiger Woods is going to hold a press conference (sort of) to answer questions (actually not) regarding the recent revelations about his indescretions (which has dominated the news) and […]

Twilight Cruise Anyone?

posted by Donna Freitas

No, this isn’t a joke. If you didn’t know already, there is actually a Twilight Cruise for Twilight fans. The New York Times was touting it in their special cruise review “Offering Whatever Floats Your Boat” in the Travel section […]

Taqwa + Core = Muslim Punk

posted by Donna Freitas

The Arabic word Taqwa means God-consciousness. You often hear the word hardcore when people are describing all thinks punk. But now there’s Taqwacore, which is something like “Muslim Punk” or hardcore, God-consciousness, mohawks, screeching music and all.Recently, Hussein Rashid, Kaitlin […]

Evolution of the Werewolf in Film

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh Stephenie Meyer, you’ve started two trends with Twilight: the vampire and the werewolf! Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black is perhaps the most famous movie werewolf at this point, but he’s one in a long line of other incarnations over […]

The ‘Sweetest’ Super Bowl!

posted by Douglas Howe

Well the Super Bowl has a life of its own and it keeps on living after the game! This weeks web is full of debriefs of the day, from the unlikelihood of the Saints’ victory to the most watched advertisement […]

The Scotland Monk-Wine Controversy

posted by Donna Freitas

Who doesn’t love wine made in a monastery? What better than a group of monks who make their living through a winery? Kind of like Holy Drinking Water, blessed by priests in CA, and sold in convenience stores on the […]

“The Church of Facebook”: Virtual Faith

posted by Donna Freitas

When I’m not blogging on religion and pop culture for Idol Chatter, my academic research centers on faith and youth, so when pop culture enters the picture in that realm, I pay attention. That’s why I’m excited to read “The […]

NFL’s Kurt Warner: A Classy Man of Faith

posted by Douglas Howe

One of the most unlikely NFL stars of the past (or any) decade has decided to retire. Kurt Warner, surrounded by his family, announced that he was leaving the NFL for a variety of reasons, and said it was what […]

Shame on You Pat Robertson

posted by Douglas Howe

He called Haiti’s earthquake a “blessing in disguise.” He calls it some sort of retribution for the Haitian people’s “pact with the devil” during the French Revolution. This is about as obnoxious as when he accused martial artists of “inhaling […]

Hollywood + Faith = Success!

posted by Douglas Howe

Movies are tapping into issues of faith more and more–and not just during the holidays–a topic which usatoday.com is exploring in its current article on the topic. “The Book of Eli,” in theaters now, kept its secret during a very […]

The Onion’s Hilarious, Twilight Spoof

posted by Donna Freitas

If you’ve ever read my posts on The Twilight Saga and its author Stephenie Meyer, you know that I adore Edward, Bella, and even Jacob, and think that both the books and the movie are great fun. I’m definitely not […]

Texting Aid to Haiti, $10 at a Time

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

An online campaign to text aid to Haiti $10 at a time through the Red Cross takes off on Twitter.

McGwire’s Confession…Finally

posted by Douglas Howe

Mark McGwire is the new Pete Rose. He is the new Jimmy Swaggart. He is the new Richard Nixon. I wish he could have been Charles Colson. Mark McGuire has made his place in history and its certainly not the […]

A Yeah for Brit Hume!

posted by Douglas Howe

I wish to formally nominate television newscaster and commentator Brit Hume for, well, whatever I can nominate him for! You’ve probably heard by now about the controversy and web buzz because a television commentator suggested that a public figure who […]

’24’ Is Back, and It’s Good in Several Ways

posted by Douglas Howe

As I noticed while watching football on Fox-TV this weekend, their annual campaign has gotten underway. For an entire decade, Fox has spent the majority if its Januarys by advertising one of its most original and culturally relevant shows: “24.” […]

The Decade’s Top Ten: Religious or Spiritual?

posted by Douglas Howe

If you are one of those who hangs out at the intersection of faith and culture, I’m sure you’ve seen a few of the “Top Ten” lists about religious and/or spiritual films. Of the “Decade’s Top Ten…” lists, these are […]

Make a Mess of Your Life…and Become a Star!

posted by Douglas Howe

Of all of the “best of” posts, articles, surveys and stories that have marked the end of this year and decade, perhaps none captured the state of pop culture more than USA Today’s headline story Thursday. “Nobodies walk the path […]

Carpe Diem: The Importance of Pleasure-Seeking in the Here/Now

posted by Donna Freitas

Are you one of those people that puts off vacations? Going to that fancy restaurant for the exact, right fancy occasion? Opening that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for the appropriate, equally special event to occur in your life? […]

Movie Review: ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Is Elementary

posted by Douglas Howe

Of all the reviews out there, I found myself agreeing the most with a guy named Matt Bronson of creativeloafing.com, who wrote that “Sherlock Holmes” was “not a great film by any stretch of the imagination” but granted that “director […]

Christmas 2009: Where are the Sequels?!

posted by Douglas Howe

I’ve been in a funk throughout the holiday movie season, and I’ve finally figured out why. I just haven’t been inspired much by this year’s fare. I mean, it wasn’t like there weren’t any decent movies out, but I haven’t […]

A Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sighting for 2010?

posted by shuang

Remember the grilled cheese sandwich made famous–and holy–by the face of the Virgin Mary when it was sold for $28,000 on eBay in 2004? That faith sighting, among others, was one of the more fun and funny faith-meets-food highlights of […]

7 Reasons Why Pop Culture Is Spiritual

posted by shuang

Russell Bishop over at the HuffingtonPost has a fascinating article (“7 Signs We Are Becoming More Spiritually Focused”) on whether a spiritual awakening has been happening over the past decade and if it will continue through the next decade. The […]

The Decade’s 10 Spiritual Pop Culture Trends

posted by dross

Whether you’ve realized it or not, religion, faith, and spirituality have permeated American pop culture over the past decade. Idol Chatter’s Ellen Leventry has created this wonderful gallery of the 10 Biggest Spiritual Pop Culture Trends of the Decade. From […]

Santa Claus: To Believe or Not to Believe

posted by Donna Freitas

I was horrified to learn recently that some of my friends who are also parents don’t even bother to pretend to their children about Santa anymore. Apparently, the danger of building up the whole Santa myth with your child is […]

‘The Advent Conspiracy’ Movement Grows and the Media Takes Notice

posted by Kris Rasmussen

“The Advent Conspiracy” – a new way to look at Christmas – has interest explodng on the internet.

The Real War on Christmas

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Beginning its article with “Attention, culture warriors,” Time magazine briefly recounts the history of the War on Christmas in this week’s issue, noting that while the Puritans were not so big on celebrating the coming of the Christ child, their […]

Waiting for Word From Tiger’s Pulpit

posted by Douglas Howe

If there was ever a person at the intersection of culture, sports, faith and the public view, it is Tiger Woods. In our time, he has been the single most famous sports celebrity, the most successful spokesperson and endorser of […]

Tiger’s Trangressions…and Redemption?

posted by Douglas Howe

“What we have here is the first superstar athlete chased down by a digital posse,” says Rick Reilly of ESPN Magazine. “Rightly or wrongly, the tabloids and the gossip sites got their man in breathtaking speed,” he continues. “To bring […]

Turn the Other Neck: ‘Twilight,’ Vampires and Christianity

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Last week Donna blogged about the new novel “Thirsty,” by Tracey Bateman, a Christian take on the vampire vogue spurred by the success of the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. Bateman’s vampire, like Meyer’s Edward, is a sympathetic fiend: a […]

Christian Vampire Novels: Finally Joining the Twilight Trend (sort of)

posted by Donna Freitas

The runaway success of Twilight long ago ensured that bookstore shelves would become saturated with vampire novels from authors and publishers hoping to hit the Twilight jackpot again. A little over a year ago I wrote a feature for Publishers […]

Oprah’s Show To End; Her Influence…?

posted by Douglas Howe

CNN and other outlets are reporting today that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will be ending after 25 seasons. The last show will be coming up soon: on September 9, 2011. Okay, so it’s not so soon! Mrs. Winfrey has followed […]

‘The Road’ Takes a Bend into Christian Marketing

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Entertainment Weekly and the usually astute, if crabby, Get Religion blog did their best to raise a kerfuffle last week about news that Dimension Films is hoping to market “The Road,” the new apocalyptic movie thriller, to conservative Christians. Dimension […]

Twilight Author Stephenie Meyer: A Biography (Graphic Novel-style)

posted by Donna Freitas

Everything you wanted to know about Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga that has turned into a world-wide vampire-loving phenomenon–is available today, Wednesday, November 11th, and it’s illustrated. A graphic novel biography series called “Female Force,” which has featured […]

Carrie Prejean Discusses ‘The Biggest Mistake of My Life’

posted by Douglas Howe

Ms. Carrie Prejean is either a humble servant of the Lord who’s learned from her prior mistakes, a courageous champion for Christian values, an opportunistic young diva who’s ingeniously combining a conservative mindset with risqué acts caught on tape, a […]

New Sports Inspiration Page!

posted by Douglas Howe

“I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” “I just wanna go the distance.” “You’re an impertinent man, Mr Hobbs!” Perhaps you remember one of these quotes from a certain kind of movie. A special kind […]

Internet Sabbath Software: Need Some ‘Freedom’?

posted by Donna Freitas

There’s a new software program out called Freedom and it’s the answer to my prayers: it blocks your computer from any and all internet use for upwards of eight hours per day. You may be thinking: but that’s crazy! If […]

Director Paul Haggis Leaves Scientology

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Oscar winner Paul Haggis is leaving Scientology over their opposition to Proposition 8 and because of the rift it caused in his family.

Twilight ‘New Moon’ Cast Tour: Coming Soon to a Mall Near You!

posted by Donna Freitas

Do you love Edward Cullen? Can you not get enough of Robert Pattinson’s channeling of this vampire heartthrob? Or are you Team Jacob (boo!) and dream of Taylor Lautner at night? Well, lucky you: to gear up for the November […]

J.J. Abrams Introduces Yet Another Guru, this time on ‘Fringe’

posted by Donna Freitas

I can count way too many JJ Abrams television shows in my repertoire of TV addictions both past and present, but with Felicity as his only exception (unless you count Noel as a guru of sorts–he was an RA after […]

It’s Not ‘Death Wish,’ but ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ Does Well

posted by Douglas Howe

A new vigilante movie made a bigger splash than expected this weekend, and I think the reasons for it are, well, timeless. “Law Abiding Citizen” hearkens back to the great vigilante renaissance of the 70’s, but really goes back to […]

Faith in Sports: Authentic or Superstitious?

posted by Douglas Howe

“And I’d like to thank God Almighty,” reads the headline in a current USA Today.com feature. “In big-time sports, God often gets a prominent place on the field of play,” it goes on to say. “A shout-out here, a prayer […]

‘Twilight’ vs. ‘Wuthering Heights’

posted by Donna Freitas

Since I know that Idol Chatter readers are BIG fans of all things Twilight and Stephenie Meyer, I can’t resist pointing you to a podcast/radio show I did for the Penguin Classics series, “Vampires on Paper: The Enduring Appeal of […]

Re: Jon and Kate; The Learning Channel Needs to Learn

posted by Douglas Howe

By now you’ve probably heard that TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus 8” is being turned into “Kate Plus 8,” as Jon is out of not only the marriage but, beginning in November, he’ll be out of the show itself. Idol […]

Movie Review: ‘Couples Retreat’ Is a Winner During and After

posted by Douglas Howe

Idol Chatter hangs out at the intersection of faith and culture, and such is the exact location of the current film “Couples Retreat.” This has enough laughs to get you through, enough awkward moments to make you squirm, enough drama […]

Roman Polanski: Forgiveness or Accountability?

posted by Douglas Howe

There are certain things that we Americans tend to forgive. And things that we don’t. So, where does Roman Polanski fall? Hmmnn. I don’t think we, as a culture, are sure. You’ve probably heard that he was arrested in Switzerland […]

It’s ‘The Love Boat’ Again! (Or at Least Captain Stubing…)

posted by Douglas Howe

What is it about shows and stars from the 70’s that give them an everlastingness? Perhaps it’s because we only had three networks. Perhaps it’s because there were so many of us boomers growing up at that time? Or, more […]

ABC Nightline’s Relevant Question: ‘Are We Born to Cheat?’

posted by Douglas Howe

An episode of a show that sounded lame, one that aired during a time that wasn’t really convenient, aired Thursday night.  I recommend you watch it online here at ABCNews.com. Were we born to cheat? Is adultery an outdated concept? Should […]

10Q Tackles Repentance’s Biggest Problem

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

10Q, a project of Reboot, helps repentance by sending this year’s promises back to us next year to see how we did at fulfilling them.

The New Spiritual Cowgirls

posted by Donna Freitas

Full disclosure: I am friends with (and proudly so) two of the women featured in the New York Times Style feature, “Seeing Yourself In Their Light,” about today’s new young women spiritual gurus, and how “there is a new role […]

Religions Raise Awareness of Poverty, Other Afflictions Through Uniting Concept: Sabbath

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

One Sabbath is an initiative designed to use the concept of Sabbath, across multiple religions, to raise awareness of global poverty and disease.

Angels are the New Vampires

posted by Donna Freitas

Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit, Twilight (that’s an understatement, of course), its corresponding movie series, and merchandising of everything you could possibly think of and more, originated from the genre of fiction known as YA (young adult). Since Twilight, it seems […]

‘True Blood’ Season Finale: Nice Day for a White Wedding

posted by Donna Freitas

So there’s no singing, but the grotesque and the bizarre mixed with the comic is how I’ve finally come to see HBO’s most popular new series, True Blood. The season finale on Sunday came with a heavy dose of ridiculous, […]

Jennifer Aniston, Relationship Expert: On Failure

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

I used to hate romantic comedies starring Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer is beautiful, funny and has a winning personality – if the premise of a movie was “Jennifer Aniston has trouble finding a man,” then what kind of shot did the […]

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Starts Tonight!

posted by Donna Freitas

Question: Is it possible that we’ve gone a little vampire overboard? Answer: Naahhhh. Not according to me at least. When LJ Smith’s “The Vampire Diaries” series of books came out in the very early 90’s, I read them as an […]

No ‘Stairway': Heaven’s Reign Has Ended

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Last year I wrote about the predictability of rock radio’s holiday countdowns of the best songs ever, which, seemingly by an Act of Congress, year after year anointed Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” the Greatest Tune Ever Played. This Labor […]

Ramadan Is a time for Prayer, Fasting, and…TV?: ‘Freej’ and Grannies in Veils!

posted by Donna Freitas

I learned something new today. Apparently, at least in Dubai, Ramadan is a time for more than daily prayer and fasting, it’s a holy time for television, too: “it is also the Middle Eastern equivalent of sweeps month,” according to […]

The United States of Qur’an?

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Can the Qur’an, a book that is indelibly, even necessarily, Arabic, have a place in American culture? Sandow Birk, a “vaguely Presbyterian” American artist from Southern California presents that question in “American Qur’an.” In an exhibit of works on paper […]

‘True Blood': HBO’s Biggest Hit Next to ‘The Sopranos’?

posted by Donna Freitas

Despite (or perhaps because of?) all the cannibalism, orgies, blood-sucking, and shape-shifting in season two of HBO’s vampire-centric ‘True Blood,’ surveys say that ‘True Blood’ is a bona fide hit–HBO’s biggest in the history of the network next to ‘The […]

Attention Team Jacob: Get Your Werewolf Shoes in time for ‘New Moon’!

posted by Donna Freitas

Team Jacob (as in Jacob Black, the werewolf hottie best friend of Bella in ‘Twilight’) fans have long been gearing up for the fall release of ‘New Moon,’ since it’s probably the most Jacob-focused book out of the four in […]

A Vampire, A Werewolf, and a Ghost Meet in a Bar: The BBC’s ‘Being Human’

posted by Donna Freitas

Have you seen the BBC’s new tv series, ‘Being Human‘ yet? It’s the latest entry in a growing list of television shows (think HBO’s ‘True Blood’ and CBS’s one-season wonder, ‘Moonlight’) trying to capitalize on the phenomenon of people everywhere […]

Is Merchandising Ruining ‘Twilight’?

posted by Donna Freitas

Is it possible for merchandise to ruin something altogether? Are the stars of “Twilight” overexposed–or at least ridiculing Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit beyond the tolerable? I’m starting to think so.

Can Rush, Oprah and Dr. Phil Serve Two Masters?

posted by Douglas Howe

If the top twelve media personalities (including Rush Limbaugh, Oprah, Simon Cowell, etc.) alone banked a total of $829 million last year–then when will our culture wake up to the fact that what we see on the air is not so much a reflection of culture but a reflection of what generates money for media stars and all of those who make money off of their shows?

Can’t Find Work? Move to an Ashram

posted by Donna Freitas

With our economy in tatters, an interesting trend is occurring: folks who have been laid off, but even more so, those job-hungry post-grads, are turning to spiritual work to tide them over until they get that coveted investment banking job […]

Focus on Inspiring Celebrity Relationships Over Break-Ups

posted by Douglas Howe

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” -Genesis 2:24 “…as long as we both shall live.” -traditional wedding vow Apparently, vows don’t count much […]

The Church of ‘Twilight': Are you a Cullenite?

posted by Donna Freitas

Have you heard of Cullenism? Apparently, it’s been around for a while now, but I just learned of it today. Yes, that’s right: Cullenism, and its followers are called Cullenites. As in Edward Cullen, the star vampire from “Twilight,” the […]

Respects to All, Including Mr. McNamara

posted by Douglas Howe

Apparently death isn’t a strong news story if there’s too many at one time. I fear our pop culture has become such a strong force in our nation that it may have more of an impact than it should upon […]

Faith-based Sarah Palin is a Media Star

posted by Douglas Howe

You may like her. You may not. But regardless of what the majority of politicos and pollsters are saying about her, Sarah Palin is emerging as one of the most recognizable pop culture icons of our time. She is the […]

The Church of Twitter Gets Randy: To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

posted by Donna Freitas

Christian church groups and all types of faith-based organizations and communities that have jumped on the Twitter and Facebook bandwagons as an albeit abbreviated online forum for everything from evangelization to basic connection have been in the news a lot […]

‘True Blood’ Marathon This Weekend on HBO

posted by Donna Freitas

On Sunday, HBO will re-air the first three episodes of the second season of “True Blood.” So if you’re behind or just caught up from Netflix, or you simply love vampires, this is the night to wind down the Fourth […]

10 Oscar Nominees for Best Picture: I Like It!

posted by Douglas Howe

I read with interest the post by fellow Idol Chatter blogger Kris Rasmussen, as well as several other articles regarding the news from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences that they’ll now nominate ten movies for the Best Picture category […]

Michael, Farrah, Ed, and Billy: Where Are They Now?

posted by Douglas Howe

My heart goes out to the families, friends and fans of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and Billy Mays. I’m not sure I can remember a time when four celebrities passed away so close to each other, and it’s […]

HBO’s ‘True Blood': It’s All About Being Saved This Season

posted by Donna Freitas

Finding salvation, redemption, forgiveness–HBO’s second season of the vampire-centric “True Blood” seems to be dripping with these themes in its premiere episode last Sunday, “Nothing But the Blood.” Of course, the forms of salvation, etc., may vary. Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s […]

Koogle: The Search Engine for Orthodox Jews

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

If there’s one thing that’s threatening to the Orthodox Jewish community–aside from assimilation, intermarriage, single Jews marrying later and having fewer kids, women’s singing voices, etc.–it’s the internet. The internet can provide lots of information, but there’s lots of immodest […]

Madonna, ‘Mercy,’ and International Adoption

posted by Douglas Howe

Madonna’s media representative released the news that the pop star has been approved by a Malawian court to adopt another child from that country. I can’t tell whether I hate or love all of the press she is getting. In […]

David Carradine: Death, Life, Stories…But No Suicide

posted by Douglas Howe

David Carradine, the well-known, well-remembered and well-misunderstood actor, died on the other side of the world recently, and news emerged that his death was the result of either suicide, personal experimentation gone bad, or foul play. Now the news has […]

More Vampires! HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Returns

posted by Donna Freitas

In my opinion, the jury’s still out on whether season two of HBO’s “True Blood“–premiering this Sunday, June 14th–is worth the commitment. Whereas season one started off promising–Sookie Stackhouse meets vampire Bill, who is not only good looking but old-fashioned […]

HBO’s ‘True Blood': Season Two Trailer

posted by Donna Freitas

While you’re counting down the days (hours and minutes–HBO actually has a countdown on the “True Blood” homepage), definitely check out the trailer for Season Two. Some of it’s rather sexy and romantic (i.e. promising), some of it is, well, […]

A Video Game for People of Faith

posted by Douglas Howe

“Allow me to be blunt for a moment,” said Max Phillips, in a recent Escapist Magazine article. “Most games avoid anything having to do with the subject of religion.” That got my attention! And it should have. “In most cases […]

Colbert from Iraq: More Relevant Than We Expected?

posted by Douglas Howe

Every time I travel to Los Angeles I love picking up my beloved L.A. Times. When I can’t, I read it online. A recent story on Stephen Colbert caught my attention. What do you think Stephen Colbert would have to […]

Most Inspiring Celebrities on Twitter

posted by dross

From “Heroes” star Greg Grunberg who tweets for epilepy awareness to rap legend and reality TV star Rev Run who offers daily spiritual wisdom, Beliefnet has selected the 10 most inspiring celebrities using Twitter in positive ways. Check out the […]

Jennifer Hudson is…Preggers?

posted by Douglas Howe

One of my teenage daughters recently asked me if I’d heard that “Jennifer Hudson was preggers?” Being the responsible journalist that I am, I was able to confirm the report at several sites including ones here and here. I believe […]

Sean Penn Withdraws His ‘Arrogant’ Divorce Petition

posted by Douglas Howe

Fox L.A.’s morning show reported in an oh-so-brief clip last week that the pending divorce between Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn is off, as Mr. Penn withdrew the divorce petition he had filed. I’m glad it got a mention […]

Pope Goes Online with ‘Pope2You’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

The oldest social network–after all, who but the early Christians invented the idea of “friending” even your enemies?–made a first tentative move onto the latest social network when the Vatican announced their new papal Facebook app yesterday. Part of a […]

Amy Grant Helps Promote Cancer Research

posted by Douglas Howe

One of the most interesting media stories of our generation–in terms of personal development, professional growth and spiritual relevance–has been the journey of Amy Grant. From Evangelical Christian Music Star to Pop Music Crossover Success to Country Singer to Celebrity […]

‘The Higher the Hair, the Closer to God’? The Prom as Sacred

posted by Donna Freitas

As someone who both writes and adores YA (young adult) novels, and has her own share of prom-going experiences to draw on, I get a bit nostalgic this time of year when I see a limo pull up at a […]

‘Me So Holy’ App Too Much for Apple

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Christians are supposed to see Jesus in everyone, but might not appreciate seeing everyone in Jesus. Or so say the iPhone gatekeepers at Apple. This week Apple rejected a new application that allowed users to crop a picture of their […]

The Donald Says Carrie Prejean Not Fired!

posted by Douglas Howe

CNN (as well as just about every news agency and tabloid under the sun!) is reporting that Miss California USA Carrie Prejean will be allowed to keep her crown, despite the recent controversies surrounding her title, her contest answer to […]

A Good Read: ‘The Last TV Evangelist’

posted by Douglas Howe

There’s a new book out that may provide some of the most compelling reading in years for those who are interesting in spirituality, pop culture, and faith-based television. “The Last TV Evangelist” is authored by Phil Cooke, a veteran producer […]

Is the Christian Music Industry Dying?

posted by Douglas Howe

Recently I was checking some concert schedules to see if my favorite Christian musicians are touring this summer. My family and I love Third Day’s current stuff and we’re nostalgic for the likes of Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis […]

‘Gladiator’ as Robin Hood? A New ‘ Star Trek’?

posted by Douglas Howe

For movie fans who love a truly inspiring movie, there are some wonderful and curious upcoming mega-films for which I’m still awaiting my Premiere invitations. (See more upcoming trailers on Premiere.com.) First up is “Star Trek,” the prequel that brings […]

‘Baby Shaker’ Baby Killing App Pulled; Violent Video Games Still Popular

posted by dross

Even if you don’t own an iPhone or iTouch you’ve probably heard about the plethora of “apps”–downloadable programs–created for the iPhone. There are apps to help you find recipes, get directions, read books, and up until earlier this week, practice […]

‘State of Play’ Pays Homage to a Time Gone By

posted by Douglas Howe

I was engaged, thrilled, and entertained while watching the wonderful “State of Play” recently. And whether it was the Easter season on my heart or some classic traditions on my mind, it hit me that “State of Play” is as […]

Tony Dungy’s ‘Off-field’ Coaching Career

posted by Douglas Howe

How wonderful to see the choice for the cover story at USAtoday.com–and on the cover of Monday’s print editions! Tony Dungy, former Super Bowl coach of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts made headlines not for what was happening on a football […]

Jon & Kate Plus Sustainabilit-eight

posted by Ellen Leventry

Just last week I was bemoaning the fact that shows featuring abnormally large families, at least by today’s standards, such as “18 Kids and Counting” and “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” are sending irresponsible signals in an era striving for […]

Susan Boyle Stuns ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Audience and Even Simon Cowell

posted by Douglas Howe

The evening and morning news shows–as well as 5 million YouTube viewers–are abuzz over a lesson we all need to learn. And the first live audience was enthusiastically willing to do so, as their judgmental laughter and eye-rolling turned into […]

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