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City Briefs: "Opie's Waterloo!", C Street, and praying away the storm season

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"This is Opie's Waterloo!"

Jim Jenkins, a columnist for Raliegh's News and Observer, on Sen. Jim DeMint's use of a storyline from The Andy Griffith Show in his argument against healthcare reform. Jenkins noted that both of the show's iconic stars, Griffith and Ron Howard, are Obama supporters.

45 percent

That's the number of South Carolina banks that posted losses in the second quarter of the year, mainly due to continued housing market problems. Source: The State

"Florida vs. Charleston Southern: Killing a gnat with a sledgehammer."

That's the assessment by the website of the football season opener between the national champion Gators and the local Buccaneers. The site is predicting a 63-7 rout. The game begins at 7 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 5, in Gainesville.

83 days

That's the wait for one of the Charleston library system's eight copies of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. The book by Jeff Sharlet looks at the organization behind C Street, a conservative religious hostel for Congressional members that has included Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. Jim DeMint amongst its ranks.

Lord, Please Screw Somebody Else

Forget about scaring the world with Armageddon. The trend these days involves tying natural disasters, or the lack thereof, to faith. And nothing gets 'em stirred up more than the wind-based disasters commonly mistaken for "God's wrath."

Right-wing Christian groups, some with an unquenchable taste for their own shoes, famously said after Hurricane Katrina that it was the hedonism of New Orleans that brought that violent wench to town. Rev. Franklin Graham said the hurricane provided an opportunity to change that city's moral fabric.

Last week, Minneapolis Baptist pastor John Piper wrote in a blog post that a tornado in the area was a sign from Jesus, warning the Lutheran Church to reconsider its acceptance of gay clergy.

And, on Friday, the Associated Press reported that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was purportedly praying away catastrophic hurricanes by leaving notes in Israel's Wailing Wall.

Twenty years ago, it was prayers after Hurricane Hugo that got attention.

Rev. Billy Graham, Franklin Graham's father, had raised money for the region and he was looking toward the future as he surveyed damage in Charleston.

"Your grandchildren will say you were part of this, and many will come to Christ as a result," he said.


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