celebrity

That Ciara and Russell Wilson wedding: What's God got to do, got to do with it?

That Ciara and Russell Wilson wedding: What's God got to do, got to do with it?

I will be the first to admit that I know absolutely noting -- nichevo, zip, nada, zero, niente -- about how serious journalists are supposed to cover celebrity weddings.

The dress is supposed to be important, right? I understand that. But might the actual content of the wedding have something to do with the, well, wedding?

I ask this because the glamorous power duo of Ciara and Russell Wilson have finally tied the knot and the chatty folks at USA Today are so, so excited. Is this a news story?

Ciara and Russell Wilson are married!
The R&B star wed the NFL quarterback in England on Wednesday and confirmed the news on social media, sharing a photo of their happy day with the caption, "We are the Wilsons!"
The nuptials took place at Peckforton Castle in front of roughly 100 of their closest friends and family members, according to TMZ. The bride wore a custom lace gown by Roberto Cavalli and carried a bouquet of snow white blooms. On Tuesday, Ciara, 30, and Wilson, 27, were captured by paparazzi dressed up for their rehearsal dinner at Liverpool's Titanic Hotel.

Now, this "story" had to deal with the big news hook in this relationship (other than possible recent rap-related death threats and stuff) over the past year or two. You remember that, of course. In an earlier post I talked called it "Tim Tebow syndrome" and added

Good grief. Have we really reached the point where journalists are shocked, shocked that traditional Christian believers strive to follow 2,000 years of doctrine asking them to hold off on sex until after they have taken their wedding vows?

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Concerning Donald Trump, Billy Graham, Joe Biden and the political ties that bind

Concerning Donald Trump, Billy Graham, Joe Biden and the political ties that bind

It's a comment that I have heard several times from historians who specialize in the history of American religion, especially Protestantism in the 20th Century.

The Rev. Billy Graham has not had a spotless career, and he would be the first to note that. In particular, there were the revelations in the Richard Nixon tapes about some of the evangelist's private opinions, which led to a season of public repentance. When you look at Graham's work, it's clear that the Nixon-era train wreck led him to focus more on Christianity at the global level and less on America, America, America.

However, stop and think about this question: Can you name an American in his era who had a higher-profile public career than Graham, becoming -- literally -- one of the most famous people in the world, yet who was involved in fewer scandals linked to morality, money or ethics? Turning that around, as one historian did, and ask yourself this question: If I had been in Graham's shoes, would I have done as well?

This brings us to Donald Trump. 

To be specific, if brings us to the new Crossroads podcast, in which host Todd Wilken and I -- spinning off my Universal column this past week -- dug into mainstream press claims that the F5 category Trump (talking media storms) has become the GOP candidate with the most appeal to "evangelical" voters.

Why bring up Graham in that context? View the start of the video at the top of this post. That was where I started in my column:

When it became clear that normal venues were too small, Donald Trump met his Mobile, Ala., flock in the ultimate Deep South sanctuary -- a football stadium.
"Wow! Wow! Wow! Unbelievable. Unbelievable," shouted the candidate that polls keep calling the early Republican frontrunner. "That's so beautiful. You know, now I know how the great Billy Graham felt, because this is the same feeling. We all love Billy Graham. We love Billy Graham."

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