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Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor


AUSTIN, Texas - October 9, 2002 / - Christian News doesn't have to be boring -- or so says editor and writer Brian Robertson. To back up that claim, he's launched The Christian Reporter ( with a collection of news, reviews, information and, above all, a favorite category called "Oddities."

"Most of the Christian news sites I visited were evangelical or fundamentalist in nature," Robertson explains, "and I wanted something that represented a broader, more inclusive kind of Christianity."

The reaction to the site has been mixed opinions, but all of them strong. "The more broad-minded find it fascinating and, according to some, funny and entertaining," Robertson explains. Those of the more fundamentalist bent are, apparently, in a bit of a quandary. Robertson is the first to admit -- he's delighted. "I don't know how many letters I have received from people saying, 'Stop this! You're making Christianity look stupid!' I remind them that these are news stories - meaning they actually happened."

Some of the recent stories in the "Oddities" section include:

  • A woman who sued her church because during a spiritual moment she fell and hit her head, claiming the church didn't have enough "catchers" on duty
  • Marks of the cross appearing on a priest's forehead during a sermon on drug addiction
  • A new line of Christian neckties for evangelically minded men
  • A report on a study on religion and heart attack recovery
  • The battle between Christians and Spiritualists over opening a Christian church
  • Tests done on a weeping statue of the Virgin Mary

The online paper also offers up articles on Pat Robertson's sudden reversal on the question of government grants (after receiving one for a half a million dollars), controversy surrounding the publication of a non-sexist Bible and reviews of a new book that investigates whether Christianity even needs God.

The news comes from a number of sources, and Robertson credits fans of the site with sending him stories that he then develops for The Christian Reporter.

Robertson's other sites aren't without controversy. One,, allows more than 150,000 visitors a year to discover the rich traditional heritage of the Christian mystic. Like The Christian Reporter, the site challenges the seemingly dominant evangelical or fundamentalist point of view.

As a writer, his books include LITTLE BLUES BOOK with R. Crumb as well as a number of articles for Christian magazines and publications.

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