Archive for the ‘Religion and Popular Culture’ Category

KNLJ is accepting submissions for its film festival on April 17, 2010. The festival will be located at their studio in Jefferson City, Mo., located at 331 W. Dunklin St.

Submissions must be received by April 9, 2010.

They must be:

  • 7 minutes or less in length
  • Answer the question, “If you could have dinner with one person from the Bible who would it be and what would you ask them?”

The top 20 films will be shown at a public screening where they will be judged by a panel. The winning short films will be shown on a KNLJ special.

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CNN.com’s iReport page is currently collecting photos of funny/interesting church signs. I found the current collection quite entertaining.

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Winners of the fifth annual Beliefnet Film Awards were announced on Tuesday, March 2. There are two awards for each category, people’s choice and judge’s award.

The winners are:

Best Spiritual Film:

  • “The Road” – Judge’s Award
  • “The Blind Side” – People’s Choice Award

Best Inspirational Film:

  • “Precious” and “Up” (tie) – Judge’s Award
  • “Precious” – People’s Choice Award

Best Spiritual Documentary:

  • “More Than a Game” – Judge’s Award
  • “Earth” – People’s Choice Award

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Roman Catholic Origins:

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there are three different martyrs named Valentine. Two were in the clergy in Italy during the second half of the third century. The third lived in Africa. However, not much is known about him.

There are two prominent legends about St. Valentine:

  • During the reign of Emperor Claudius II it was decided that single men made better soldiers than those who where married and had families. According to History.com, Claudius II “outlawed marriage for young men.” St. Valentine continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret for young couples. When Claudius II heard of what St. Valentine was doing, he ordered him put to death.
  • Another legend is that while St. Valentine was in prison, he befriended, or fell in love with, his jailor’s blind daughter. Before he was executed, St. Valentine wrote a letter to her, which he signed “from your Valentine.” When she received the letter, and the first Valentine ever, it is said she was able to see.


The pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia was celebrated by ancient Romans on Feb. 14 and 15.

One tradition of this festival was that all the young women would write their name on a slip of paper and place it in an urn. Young men would then choose a name from the urn. The couples would be paired together for the entire festival. Sometimes these parings lasted for up to a year or resulted in marriage.

Some suspect that the feast day of St. Valentine was placed by the Roman Catholic Church on Feb. 14 in order to “Christianize” Lupercalia.

Modern Traditions:

St. Valentine’s Day became associated with love during the 14th century. According to infoplease.com, medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly placed Chaucer as the first one to connect St. Valentine’s Day with love. He wrote the poem “The Parliament of the Fowls” to celebrate a royal engagement. In it he wrote,

“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, /When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”

The correlation between love and finding a mate has continued until present. The tradition of exchanging Valentine’s has also continued and expanded to include gifts as well.



Catholic Encyclopedia


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“Signs from God,” a play written, produced and performed by students will be at the Newman Center in Columbia this week. The story line is about a group of friends becoming aware of their vocations.

All 12 students in the play are from the University of Missouri.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. from Feb. 11-13 at the Newman Center.  Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

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What are your thoughts?

The Christian group Focus on the Family has sponsored an ad during this year’s Super Bowl game.

According to the Associated Press, Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow, and his mother will be in the ad discussing his birth. Reportedly Tebow’s mother gave birth to him after it was advised that she have an abortion due to medical reasons.

Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly said in an article on their Web site that this message is coming at the right time because “families need to be inspired.”

However, many women’s groups and groups in support of abortion launched a protest against CBS‘s to try and get them to remove the ad from their broadcast.

Planned Parenthood has even posted a video on their Youtube site in response to the Tebow ad.

Share your thoughts below:

Should this ad be aired during the Super Bowl?

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Olivet Christian Church will be holding film discussions about race and class on the Sundays leading up to Easter.  The sessions will be at 5 p.m. starting Feb. 21 and ending on March 28.

Films that will be discussed include: “Grand Canyon,” “Frozen River,” The Station Agent,”The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Due to the content of the films, this series is only for adults.

The series will be held at Olivet Christian Church and is free to the public.

For more information please go to the Columbia Missourian or Olivet’s Web site.

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