Selling Narnia, Without Christ

THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 3 — Some devotees of C.S. Lewis' “Chronicles of Narnia” fantasy series are seething at plans to market the “Narnia” brand name while downplaying the series' Christian allegory, the New York daily reported.

The Lewis estate and HarperCollins publishers will soon unveil Narnia stuffed animals and new Narnia books by as-yet-unidentified authors.

A memo from a HarperCollins executive declared, “We'll need to be able to give emphatic assurances that no attempt will be made to correlate the stories to Christian imagery/theology.” The Narnia series tells the story of Aslan the lion's triumph over the evil White Witch through his death and resurrection.

The Lewis estate denied that it was trying to whitewash Lewis' Christianity, but HarperCollins issued a statement saying that it was trying to appeal “to the secular as well as the evangelical market.”

Goddess with a Government Grant

JEWISH WORLD REVIEW, June 4 — Two news stories showed how Jewish and Christian religious messages are being banned from the public square, while “New Age” messages have been subsidized by government, the Jewish news site reported.

The New York Post reported on a recently canceled $860,000 federal program that taught public housing residents “creative wellness.” It relied on gemstones, incense, and a belief that each resident should identify with a particular “goddess” such as Venus.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the city of Elkhart, Ind., which had been ordered by a lower court to remove a pillar engraved with the Ten Commandments from its town hall.

N.Y. Times Notices Bush is Courting Catholics

THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 1 — Catholics are “probably the largest swing constituency in the nation,” and President George W. Bush has already started seeking their support for a re-election bid in 2004, the New York daily reported.

Bush spoke at the University of Notre Dame's commencement, and is often photographed with cardinals and bishops, even on trips promoting energy or tax proposals.

The last time Republicans won a majority of Catholic votes was in 1988. Al Gore won 49% of the Catholic vote in 2000, compared to Bush's 47%, although Bush had stronger support among Catholics who attended church at least once a week.

Clinton's ‘Ragin’ Cajun' Reveals He's Catholic

MEET THE PRESS, May 27 — James Carville, Democratic strategist and former advisor to Bill Clinton, revealed on the NBC political talk show that he is Catholic.

Carville, nicknamed “The Ragin' Cajun,” is a staunch advocate of abortion. But during a discussion of Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords' decision to quit the Republican Party, Carville said, “I'm a Marine and a Catholic.”