Various Controversies Involving Religion
VeggieTales is a really cute - and unabashedly Christian - children's cartoon series starring (you guessed it) talking vegetables. ("If you like to talk to tomatoes....." Oh great, now I'll never get that song out of my head.) (What? Why are you looking at me like that? I'll have you know that I have nieces and a nephew who are HUGE fans of VeggieTales. I've only viewed the show in the perfectly-legitimate-for-adults context of being the Good Uncle.)
NBC recently chose to run the previously video-based series on Saturday morning...and eliminate most references to God and Christianity. One of the show's creators and conservative watchdog groups are up in arms...and rightfully so.
How inane! What was NBC thinking? This isn't about religious tolerance. If NBC wanted something which appealed to a vast swath of the American public, regardless of religion, there's got to be dozens of quality (or not-so-quality) children's programming they could have chosen. Instead, they take a highly popular and creative cartoon which is based on teaching Christianity and Christian morals, and they gut the show of its very foundation. (Pardon the mixed metaphors.) Why bother?
On other controversial religious fronts: I'm sure you've read about the Pope's remarks at some conference which set off angry reactions among Muslims world-wide. He quoted a 13th century Byzantine emperor who called Islam "evil" and "inhumane." In response, we have the burning of the Pope in effigy and other such angry stuff.
For understanding of what the Pope was actually saying - ironically, a condemnation of religious violence, among other things - and how he might have handled this better to not set off a firestorm, see this excellent and informative debate between my colleagues Zhubin Parang and Matt Novak over at Zhubin's blog.