Recently in Spirituality Category

Conversations with fraud

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Neale Donald Walsch, who's made himself a nice living off his "conversations" with God, has been outed as a plagiarist and kicked off Beliefnet.com, where he wrote a spiritual blog.

Apparently Walsch tried to pass off another writer's Christmas anecdote as his own -- a story about his son's kindergarten pageant where the kids were supposed to hold up letters spelling out the words "Christmas Love," and the kid holiding the "M" held it upside down, so the message read "Christwas Love." Turns out, an author named Candy Chand first wrote the story a decade ago for the spiritual magazine Clarity.

Walsch's lame excuse is that he told the story so many times over the years and "somewhere along the way, internalized it as my own experience."

Chand doesn't buy it, and quite frankly, neither do I.

"If he knew this was wrong, he should have known it was wrong before he got caught," she told the New York Times.

Amen, sister.

The People's Bible

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Christian book publisher Zondervan says their next edition of the Bible will be handwritten -- by more than 31,000 Americans.

Zondervan kicked off a 90-city, 15,000-mile cross-country tour today in Grand Rapids, Mich., to mark the 30th anniversary of its popular New International Version translation of the book.

The tour will stop at special events, churches and U.S. landmarks to allow people to write out Bible verses. The collection of handwritten verses will be published and sold after the tour ends in San Diego on Feb. 12.

The Michigan-based publisher says most verses will be written by regular people, although the company hopes to collect a few from President Bush, the Rev. Billy Graham and others.

AP

NOTE:
Find out where the Bible Tour RV is today and where it's going next. It's scheduled to stop in Chicago on Nov. 2-3.

The good books

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What constitutes a Catholic book? This is the question I asked myself when choosing today's entry, One Hundred Great Catholic Books: From the Early Centuries to the Present (BlueBridge, 240 pages, $16).

One Hundred Great Catholic Books

Don Brophy, who is former managing editor for the Catholic book publisher Paulist Press, has put together this collection, which begins with the Desert Fathers' Sayings and Stories and ends with Paul Elie's The Life You Save May Be Your Own...

Cheering up

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In today's paper I review Rosie O'Donnell's new book, Celebrity Detox, in which she details the pitfalls of fame, among other things. Perhaps Rosie could benefit from reading her former colleague Joy Behar's new book, When You Need a Lift: But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin (Crown, 232 pages, $19.95).

When You Need A Lift

Behar really hasn't written a book at all. She writes a two-page introduction and a half-page of acknowledgments at the end. In between are testimonies written by various celebrities and other folks of note, letting us in on what they do when they're down in the dumps...

Life after death

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A businessman, a personal shopper, a grandmother, a gay interior designer and a widowed candy store owner meet in purgatory ...

Sounds like the start of a joke, doesn't it?

It's actually the start of an intriguing little novel, I Never Saw Paris (Carroll & Graf, 196 pages, $23) by Harry I. Freund...

I Never Saw Paris: A Novel of the Afterlife