Freedom loses ground as sectarian violence continues, civil war looms, and Iraqis fail to consolidate their democracy. Public sentiment in the U.S. shifts from victory to bringing the troops home as soon as possible.
2. Democratic Victory
In an atmosphere of constant media and Democratic Party attacks and public frustration with the administration’s perceived incompetence in Iraq, voters hand Congress to the Democrats, for the first time in 12 years.
3. Muslims Riot
Responding to a cartoon published in Europe and remarks by the pope, angry Muslims answer perceived slights by torching churches and killing Christians.
4. Immigration Debate
Politicians and the public, confronted with America’s broken immigration system, demand that the country’s borders be respected. President Bush promises tighter border security, but the issue again is a loser at the polls.
5. North Korea and Iran
Two members of the “Axis of Evil” flaunt their nuclear ambitions while the West fumbles a response.
A series of state court decisions supporting voter efforts to define marriage as only between a man and a woman soothes fears that homosexual marriage is inevitable across the United States.
7. Ted Haggard
The high-profile leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (and pastor of one of Colorado’s most influential churches) resigns amid revelations of his relationship with a homosexual prostitute.
8. Israel Fails in Lebanon
Responding to repeated provocations, Israel invades Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah, a terror group that controls much of the country. Amid much international criticism, however, the Israelis pull out without achieving any of their goals. Lebanon is left worse off than before.
9. Tirades of Mel Gibson, Michael Richards
A drunken Mel Gibson, who directed The Passion of the Christ, explodes in an anti-Semitic tirade. Months later, comedian Michael Richards uses the “n-word” and recalls the days of black lynchings during a comedy club appearance.
10. The Da Vinci Code
Tom Hanks stars in possibly the worst film of his career. Still, millions flock to see the anti-Christian fantasy.
Check back here later this week to see CT‘s take on the top 10 religion stories of 2006.