John Burnett http://wrvo.org en Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community http://wrvo.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 54200 at http://wrvo.org Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community Obama Honors Victims Of Fort Hood Shooting http://wrvo.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 54023 at http://wrvo.org Onscreen But Out Of Sight, TV Preachers Avoid Tax Scrutiny http://wrvo.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 20:03:00 +0000 John Burnett 53659 at http://wrvo.org Can A Television Network Be A Church? The IRS Says Yes http://wrvo.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 20:41:00 +0000 John Burnett 53605 at http://wrvo.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://wrvo.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 19:42:00 +0000 John Burnett 52999 at http://wrvo.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://wrvo.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 09:06:00 +0000 John Burnett 52969 at http://wrvo.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://wrvo.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 52927 at http://wrvo.org 'Saint Death' Now Revered On Both Sides Of U.S.-Mexico Frontier SpaceX Could Give Struggling Texas City A Boost http://wrvo.org/post/spacex-could-give-struggling-texas-city-boost The space company SpaceX has identified a remote spot on the southern tip of Texas as its finalist for construction of the world's newest commercial orbital launch site.<p>The 50-acre site really is at the end of the road. Texas Highway 4 abruptly ends at the warm waves of the Gulf surrounded by cactus, Spanish dagger and sand dunes.<p>"Welcome to Boca Chica beach, Brownsville, Texas. It's where the U.S. really begins," says Gilberto Salinas, executive vice president of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:27:00 +0000 John Burnett 50676 at http://wrvo.org SpaceX Could Give Struggling Texas City A Boost For An Ex-Christian Rocker, Faith Lost Is A Following Gained http://wrvo.org/post/ex-christian-rocker-faith-lost-following-gained Taylor Muse is the 31-year-old bandleader and songwriter of <a href="http://www.quietcompanymusic.com/about%20" target="_blank">Quiet Company</a>, an indie-rock band from Austin. A native of East Texas raised in a Southern Baptist church, he now reluctantly carries the banner of "that atheist rocker from Austin."<p>"Every band that I was in up until college was a Christian band," Muse says. "It was part of our identity as people, our identity as a community. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 21:59:00 +0000 John Burnett 48145 at http://wrvo.org For An Ex-Christian Rocker, Faith Lost Is A Following Gained Televangelist Paul Crouch, Who Started Trinity Network, Dies http://wrvo.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 48029 at http://wrvo.org Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix? http://wrvo.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 10:15:00 +0000 John Burnett 47735 at http://wrvo.org Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix? To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer http://wrvo.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 46587 at http://wrvo.org To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer Serpent Experts Try To Demystify Pentecostal Snake Handling http://wrvo.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 20:36:00 +0000 John Burnett 45853 at http://wrvo.org Serpent Experts Try To Demystify Pentecostal Snake Handling Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel http://wrvo.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 45644 at http://wrvo.org Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents' http://wrvo.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 20:56:00 +0000 John Burnett 45192 at http://wrvo.org Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents' Deep-Fry Chefs Keep It Hot And Poppin' In Texas http://wrvo.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 43549 at http://wrvo.org Deep-Fry Chefs Keep It Hot And Poppin' In Texas Cowboy Church: With Rodeo Arena, They 'Do Church Different' http://wrvo.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 43521 at http://wrvo.org Cowboy Church: With Rodeo Arena, They 'Do Church Different' Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor http://wrvo.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 42574 at http://wrvo.org Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor Should Military Chaplains Have To Believe In God? http://wrvo.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 41922 at http://wrvo.org Should Military Chaplains Have To Believe In God? In Hollywood, The Actor Who Gives The Call To Prayer http://wrvo.org/post/hollywood-actor-who-gives-call-prayer <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C5Dc7oz7vk</p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 07:05:00 +0000 John Burnett 41547 at http://wrvo.org In Hollywood, The Actor Who Gives The Call To Prayer Shout Bands Stir Up Tubular Fervor In Charlotte http://wrvo.org/post/shout-bands-stir-tubular-fervor-charlotte <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS9IdoLkUuU</p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:17:00 +0000 John Burnett 41109 at http://wrvo.org Shout Bands Stir Up Tubular Fervor In Charlotte Abortion Rights Activists Plan Challenge To Texas Measure http://wrvo.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 41013 at http://wrvo.org Abortion Rights Activists Plan Challenge To Texas Measure Why Catastrophic Airline Crashes Have Become More Survivable http://wrvo.org/post/why-catastrophic-airline-crashes-have-become-more-survivable The Boeing 777 that crash-landed in San Francisco has one of the best safety records in the industry. In addition to the plane's solid reputation, many other factors helped save lives in Saturday's crash — from fire-rescue training to aircraft design.<p>If you look at pictures of the gutted, charred fuselage of Flight 214, you'd wonder how anybody made it out alive. All but two of the 307 passengers and crew survived. Mon, 08 Jul 2013 14:47:00 +0000 John Burnett 40711 at http://wrvo.org Why Catastrophic Airline Crashes Have Become More Survivable Texas Gov. Calls Special Session, Reigniting Abortion Debate http://wrvo.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 40240 at http://wrvo.org Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual http://wrvo.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 36806 at http://wrvo.org Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual Plant Explosion Unites Small Texas Community http://wrvo.org/post/plant-explosion-unites-small-texas-community Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And let's check in on another major story that dominated our attention last week, a fertilizer plant that caught fire and exploded in Texas. We can now say that 14 people were killed and 200 injured. Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:34:00 +0000 John Burnett 36585 at http://wrvo.org Two Decades Later, Some Branch Davidians Still Believe http://wrvo.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 36523 at http://wrvo.org Two Decades Later, Some Branch Davidians Still Believe Search And Rescue Ongoing After Texas Plant Explosion http://wrvo.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 36440 at http://wrvo.org Thousands Trek To New Mexico Chapel On Good Friday http://wrvo.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 21:42:00 +0000 John Burnett 35522 at http://wrvo.org Thousands Trek To New Mexico Chapel On Good Friday American Catholics Divided On Pope Benedict's Legacy http://wrvo.org/post/american-catholics-divided-pope-benedicts-legacy Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>American Catholics are reacting today to the dramatic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The abrupt announcement from Rome this morning caught people unaware. After all, it's been nearly 600 years since the last pope stepped down. We'll have more on that resignation in a moment, but first, reaction today from American Catholics. Mon, 11 Feb 2013 21:51:00 +0000 John Burnett 33201 at http://wrvo.org