John Burnett http://kbia.org en Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community http://kbia.org/post/statue-homeless-jesus-startles-wealthy-community A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.<p>The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban's Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.<p>Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.<p>The reaction was immediate. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 08:43:00 +0000 John Burnett 51238 at http://kbia.org Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community Obama Honors Victims Of Fort Hood Shooting http://kbia.org/post/obama-honors-victims-fort-hood-shooting President Obama is traveling to Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for those killed in last week's shooting. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 John Burnett 51051 at http://kbia.org Onscreen But Out Of Sight, TV Preachers Avoid Tax Scrutiny http://kbia.org/post/onscreen-out-sight-tv-preachers-avoid-tax-scrutiny Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block, coming to you this week from member station KERA in Dallas.<p>This week, we're bringing you two special reports that delve into the hidden finances of televangelists. Yesterday, we featured an investigation into Daystar Television, headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth. Daystar describes itself as the fastest growing Christian TV network in the world. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:16:00 +0000 John Burnett 50665 at http://kbia.org Can A Television Network Be A Church? The IRS Says Yes http://kbia.org/post/can-television-network-be-church-irs-says-yes Flip on <a href="http://www.daystar.com">Daystar</a> television at any hour of the day and you'll likely see the elements of modern televangelism: a stylish set, an emotional spiritual message and a phone number on the screen soliciting donations.<p>Based in a studio complex between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and broadcasting to a potential audience of 2 billion people around the globe, Daystar calls itself the fastest growing Christian television network in the world.<p>The Internal Revenue Service considers Daystar something else: a church.<p>Televangelists have a choice when they deal wi Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:06:00 +0000 John Burnett 50593 at http://kbia.org Can A Television Network Be A Church? The IRS Says Yes Awash In Cash, Drug Cartels Rely On Big Banks To Launder Profits http://kbia.org/post/awash-cash-drug-cartels-rely-big-banks-launder-profits The Sinaloa Cartel, headquartered on Mexico's northern Pacific Coast, is constantly exploring new ways to launder its gargantuan profits. The<a href="http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2013/vol2/204066.htm" target="_blank"> State Department</a> reports that Mexican trafficking organizations earn between $19 and $29 billion every year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines on the streets of American cities. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:13:00 +0000 John Burnett 49954 at http://kbia.org Awash In Cash, Drug Cartels Rely On Big Banks To Launder Profits At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South http://kbia.org/post/border-drugs-go-north-and-cash-goes-south The international drug trade goes in two directions: Narcotics go north and money goes south. All the drug profits made on the streets of U.S. cities like Chicago and Atlanta and Dallas are funneled down to ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border where they're smuggled back into Mexico. In 2012, one federal agency alone, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seized $411 million in cash hidden in vehicles, mostly heading south.<p>Once the bundles of U.S. banknotes are delivered to the cartel, the money flows in many directions. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:31:00 +0000 John Burnett 49909 at http://kbia.org At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South 'Saint Death' Now Revered On Both Sides Of U.S.-Mexico Frontier http://kbia.org/post/saint-death-now-revered-both-sides-us-mexico-frontier The intrepid tourist who visits the market in the border city of Matamoros will find her between the onyx chess sets and Yucateca hammocks. She looks like a statue of the Grim Reaper dressed in a flowing gown. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 12:56:00 +0000 John Burnett 49858 at http://kbia.org 'Saint Death' Now Revered On Both Sides Of U.S.-Mexico Frontier Pope's Propensity For Shaking Things Up Makes Him Man Of The Year http://kbia.org/post/popes-propensity-shake-things-makes-him-person-year Time magazine has named Pope Francis as its Person of the Year. The magazine cited Francis' willingness to take on thorny issues such as homosexuality, the role of women in the church, poverty and the nature of capitalism. At the same time, the pontiff has done so while projecting an air of humility and compassion, which has captured the world's attention in just nine months. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 21:33:00 +0000 John Burnett 45138 at http://kbia.org Televangelist Paul Crouch, Who Started Trinity Network, Dies http://kbia.org/post/televangelist-paul-crouch-who-started-trinity-network-dies Televangelist Paul Crouch, co-founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, died Saturday at the age of 79. The Pentecostal minister's broadcasting network came to be the world's largest Christian television system with Praise-a-Thon fundraising efforts that brought in as much as $90 million a year in mostly small donations. Tue, 03 Dec 2013 21:06:00 +0000 John Burnett 44705 at http://kbia.org Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix? http://kbia.org/post/texas-oil-man-commanded-bible-drills-israel They say an oilman has to be a gambler, but can he be a prophet?<p><a href="http://www.zionoil.com/%20" target="_blank">Zion Oil & Gas</a>, based in Dallas, is a publicly traded company that believes it is commanded by the Bible to search for oil in Israel, both to help the Holy Land and <em></em>make money for investors. The 22 employees of Zion Oil in Texas and Israel, and many of its 30,000 investors, believe the company is on a mission from God.<p>"God creates this. He provides the money and the place where to drill. Now why we haven't got the oil yet, I don't know. Wed, 27 Nov 2013 10:28:00 +0000 John Burnett 44423 at http://kbia.org Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix? To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer http://kbia.org/post/stave-decline-churches-attract-new-members-beer With mainline religious congregations dwindling across America, a scattering of churches is trying to attract new members by creating a different sort of Christian community. They are gathering around craft beer.<p>Some church groups are brewing it themselves, while others are bring the Holy Mysteries to a taproom. Sun, 03 Nov 2013 09:25:00 +0000 John Burnett 43161 at http://kbia.org To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer Serpent Experts Try To Demystify Pentecostal Snake Handling http://kbia.org/post/serpent-experts-try-demystify-pentecostal-snake-handling Two weeks ago, NPR <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/10/04/226838383/snake-handling-preachers-open-up-about-takin-up-serpents" target="_blank">reported on a group</a> of Pentecostals in Appalachia who handle snakes in church to prove their faith in God. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:43:00 +0000 John Burnett 42361 at http://kbia.org Serpent Experts Try To Demystify Pentecostal Snake Handling Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel http://kbia.org/post/church-songbooks-there-was-lined-out-singing <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrDLj_dmugE</p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 10:15:00 +0000 John Burnett 42112 at http://kbia.org Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents' http://kbia.org/post/snake-handling-preachers-open-about-takin-serpents Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.<p>Pastor Jamie Coots warns about the scent in the snake room behind his house in Middlesboro, Ky.<p>"It's strong, so I'll go ahead and tell you that," he says as he unlocks the squeaky door. We're greeted by the rattles of dark-complexioned pit vipers lying about in glass cages. Fri, 04 Oct 2013 21:24:00 +0000 John Burnett 41604 at http://kbia.org Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents' Deep-Fry Chefs Keep It Hot And Poppin' In Texas http://kbia.org/post/deep-fry-chefs-keep-it-hot-and-poppin-texas Every year, the State Fair of Texas awards the most original food that is battered and plunged into a vat of boiling oil.<p>And it gets weirder every year. The obvious choices came and went in previous competitions — concoctions such as fried ice cream, fried cookie dough and chicken-fried bacon. Mon, 02 Sep 2013 20:12:00 +0000 John Burnett 39821 at http://kbia.org Deep-Fry Chefs Keep It Hot And Poppin' In Texas Cowboy Church: With Rodeo Arena, They 'Do Church Different' http://kbia.org/post/cowboy-church-rodeo-arena-they-do-church-different It's Sunday morning at the Cowboy Church of Santa Fe County, N.M. You know you're there because of the chuck wagon parked by the highway.<p>You couldn't find a more nonreligious-looking building. The church is a charmless metal warehouse on a concrete slab. Sun, 01 Sep 2013 21:04:00 +0000 John Burnett 39794 at http://kbia.org Cowboy Church: With Rodeo Arena, They 'Do Church Different' Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor http://kbia.org/post/life-prayer-singing-nuns-ann-arbor <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GScyqXchS6c</p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:06:00 +0000 John Burnett 38772 at http://kbia.org Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor Should Military Chaplains Have To Believe In God? http://kbia.org/post/should-military-chaplains-have-believe-god The United States military chaplaincy program has a proud heritage that stretches all the way back to the Continental Army during the American Revolution.<p>"They are rabbis, ministers, imams and priests who serve our nation's heroes and their families as committed members of the U.S. Army," according to <a href="http://www.dvidshub.net/video/283830/us-army-chaplain-corps-spiritual-leadership-army-family#.UflLt9Kcc3M">one video</a> produced by the U.S. Wed, 31 Jul 2013 19:46:00 +0000 John Burnett 38050 at http://kbia.org Should Military Chaplains Have To Believe In God? Shout Bands Stir Up Tubular Fervor In Charlotte http://kbia.org/post/shout-bands-stir-tubular-fervor-charlotte <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS9IdoLkUuU</p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:38:00 +0000 John Burnett 37101 at http://kbia.org Shout Bands Stir Up Tubular Fervor In Charlotte Abortion Rights Activists Plan Challenge To Texas Measure http://kbia.org/post/abortion-rights-activists-plan-challnge-texas-measure In a major victory for the anti-abortion movement, the Texas state Senate passed a sweeping bill early Saturday that has become a flashpoint in the national abortion debate. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in short order.<p>But the fight is not over. Abortion rights supporters say that the new law attempts to overturn <em>Roe vs. Sat, 13 Jul 2013 04:49:00 +0000 John Burnett 36991 at http://kbia.org Abortion Rights Activists Plan Challenge To Texas Measure Texas Gov. Calls Special Session, Reigniting Abortion Debate http://kbia.org/post/texas-gov-calls-special-session-reigniting-abortion-debate Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.<p>The battle over a new abortion bill in Texas will resume now that Governor Rick Perry has called a second special legislative session. It's scheduled to begin on Monday. This past Tuesday night, an audience far beyond Texas watched as a Democratic state senator filibustered an anti-abortion bill for 12 hours. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 21:44:00 +0000 John Burnett 36172 at http://kbia.org Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual http://kbia.org/post/controversy-brews-over-churchs-hallucinogenic-tea-ritual A small church in Santa Fe, N.M., has grown up around a unique sacrament. Twice a month, the congregation meets in a ritualized setting to drink Brazilian <em>huasca</em> tea, which has psychoactive properties said to produce a trance-like state.<p>The Supreme Court confirmed the <a href="http://www.udvusa.org/">UDV church</a>'s right to exist in 2006. The church doesn't seek new members and prefers to keep a low profile. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 20:59:00 +0000 John Burnett 32669 at http://kbia.org Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual Two Decades Later, Some Branch Davidians Still Believe http://kbia.org/post/two-decades-later-some-branch-davidians-still-believe Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.<p>Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.<p><strong>The Raid</strong><p>Most people born in an earlier generation know the outlines of the story. David Koresh was the self-appointed prophet of a small religious community. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 09:21:00 +0000 John Burnett 32360 at http://kbia.org Two Decades Later, Some Branch Davidians Still Believe Search And Rescue Ongoing After Texas Plant Explosion http://kbia.org/post/search-and-rescue-ongoing-after-texas-plant-explosion Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>We're learning more about last night's fire in the Texas town of West. The fire started in a fertilizer plant, and a father in a vehicle nearby was taking video of the flames when the plant exploded.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)<p>UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you OK?<p>UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yeah.<p>UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You OK?<p>UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yeah. I can't hear.<p>UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Cover your ears.<p>UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I can't hear. Get out of here. Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:22:00 +0000 John Burnett 32273 at http://kbia.org Thousands Trek To New Mexico Chapel On Good Friday http://kbia.org/post/thousands-trek-new-mexico-chapel-good-friday Driving in northern New Mexico requires special caution on Good Friday. Tens of thousands of people — some walking all night — are converging on the village of Chimayo to pray inside a 200-year-old chapel before a carved wooden image of Jesus.<p>As it does every year, the highway department has put out portable toilets, orange barriers, and signs warning motorists of "Santuario walkers."<p>The man in the fluorescent orange shirt and striped sneakers, walking determinedly along the shoulder, is Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a Democrat who represents this area. He started in Santa Fe. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 23:55:00 +0000 John Burnett 31235 at http://kbia.org Thousands Trek To New Mexico Chapel On Good Friday As Islam Grows, U.S. Imams In Short Supply http://kbia.org/post/islam-grows-us-imams-short-supply Islam in America is growing exponentially. From 2000 to 2010, the number of mosques in the United States <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-02-29/islamic-worship-growth-us/53298792/1" target="_blank">jumped 74 percent</a>.<p>Today, there are more than 2,100 American mosques but they have a challenge: There aren't enough imams, or spiritual leaders, to go around.<p>The Mid-Cities Mosque in Colleyville, Texas, has two modest minarets that distinguish it as a sacred building here in this sedate suburb between Fort Worth and Dallas. Sun, 10 Feb 2013 20:29:00 +0000 John Burnett 28643 at http://kbia.org As Islam Grows, U.S. Imams In Short Supply Juarez Priest Finds 'Hand Of God In The Midst Of Mayhem' http://kbia.org/post/juarez-priest-finds-hand-god-midst-mayhem Father Kevin Mullins steers his old Chevy pickup up a steep road to a hilltop dominated by a large statue of the virgin. She has a commanding view of this troubled corner of Christendom.<p>Here, the states of Texas, New Mexico and and Chihuahua, Mexico, intersect amid barren hills freckled with ocotillo plants and greasewood.<p>Getting out of the truck, the graying Catholic priest with the kind, ruddy face squints north. "From up here you can see across the I-10 there into El Paso. Also, you see the border fence down there. Fri, 11 Jan 2013 19:46:00 +0000 John Burnett 27167 at http://kbia.org Juarez Priest Finds 'Hand Of God In The Midst Of Mayhem' In Faith, Finding Answers To 'The Mystery Of Evil' http://kbia.org/post/faith-finding-answers-mystery-evil When a human tragedy occurs on the scale of the Newtown shootings, clergy are invariably asked an ancient question: If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and benevolent, why does he allow such misfortunes?<p>There's even a word for reconciling this paradox: theodicy, or attempting to justify God's goodness despite the existence of evil and suffering.<p><strong>A World Both Beautiful And Shattered</strong><p>Steven Folberg, senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, Texas, has been asked this question before. Wed, 19 Dec 2012 23:03:00 +0000 John Burnett 26189 at http://kbia.org In Faith, Finding Answers To 'The Mystery Of Evil' From A Life Of Crime To Designing Jewelry, All In A Nairobi Slum http://kbia.org/post/life-crime-designing-jewelry-all-nairobi-slum After covering East Africa for five months, a profound problem I encountered in every country was what will happen to the continent's exploding cities.<p>The U.N. predicts that by 2040, six in 10 Africans will live in cities — an estimated 1 billion people. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 17:16:00 +0000 John Burnett 25866 at http://kbia.org From A Life Of Crime To Designing Jewelry, All In A Nairobi Slum A Battle For The Stolen Childhoods Of Kenyan Girls http://kbia.org/post/battle-stolen-childhoods-kenyan-girls Life can be especially cruel for girls growing up on Kenya's Swahili Coast. Some families sell their daughters to earn the bride price, while others encourage them to become child prostitutes for tourists. The girls drop out of school and have babies, and their childhoods are stolen. Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:21:00 +0000 John Burnett 25368 at http://kbia.org A Battle For The Stolen Childhoods Of Kenyan Girls