What’s in a name? For many contemporary religious figures, it’s a Web site. Some people of faith have monikers so popular they’ve merited their own URLs—or “uniform resource locators,” which is the technical term for a Web address.
Sometimes the Web addresses have been disputed. Case in point: For years parody sites of Jerry Falwell existed at www.jerryfalwell.com and www.jerryfallwell.com. The reverend finally won legal rights to those URLs in June 2003, and now both sites house Jerry Falwell Ministries.
But what about other religious figures who didn’t link the Sept. 11 attacks and homosexuals? Are their names popular enough to warrant URLs?
Yes, they are. Now, a brief tour through religious celebrity sites …
Here one finds the biggest of the big.
Anne Graham Lotz has www.annegrahamlotz.com, which brings up Lotz’s AnGeL Ministries.
James Dobson’s name site, www.jamesdobson.com, forwards to www.family.org, the Web site for Focus on the Family. The former link, however, is actually registered to Tyndale House Publishers in Carol Stream, Ill., according to the Network Solutions WHOIS database.
Televangelists of one stripe or another also keep sites registered in their names.
Atlanta pastor Charles Stanley has a site in his name, www.charlesstanley.com, which goes to In Touch Ministries.
Robert Schuller owns www.robertschuller.com, which brings up the “Hour of Power” site.
Interestingly, D. James Kennedy’s site is at www.coralridge.org. The site www.djameskennedy.com exists, but it is registered to an individual in Wrens, Ga., according to the WHOIS database. A message pops up for 60 seconds on the site saying Kennedy has nothing to do with that particular page.
“I am a silent supporter of both Dr. D. James Kennedy and Coral Ridge Ministries work,” the message says. “I personally paid for these domains and they will always be available and forwarded to the Coral Ridge Ministry site.”
The message goes on to say that “no one will ever be able to misuse Dr. D. James Kennedy’s name like has happened to so many popular people.”
One such person whose name has been Web-co-opted a la Jerry Falwell is Jesse Jackson. For example, www.jessejackson.com goes to a porn site, www.jessejackson.net is registered but for sale, and www.jessejackson.org goes to what the site’s owners call an “educational parody” of Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition site.
Yes, some Baptist leaders have registered their names as well.
Paige Patterson owns www.paigepatterson.info (which forwards to his page at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), but not www.paigepatterson.com, which belongs to a sales associate for Realty South.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary registered www.almohler.com in April 2002, according to the WHOIS database, but the site remains under construction.
At www.paulpressler.com, one is greeted by a company’s message about stockholders’ need for transparency. Long story short, that Paul Pressler refers to a former Disney executive and current Gap CEO—not the Judge Paul Pressler associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
If one goes to www.richardland.com, a humor site by an actor/model whose real name is Richard Bushnell comes up. Richard Land of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has his site at www.richardlandlive.com, which refers to his radio show.
These categories aren’t mutually exclusive, but some religious figures are best known as authors.
Most authors, of course, have name sites.
Bob Jones—of Bob Jones University fame—has no name site. Bob Jones University is housed at www.bju.edu.
There is another Bob Jones, however, whose www.bobjones.org goes to The Prophetic Ministry of Bob Jones with Paul Keith Davis. The site points out it has nothing to do with Bob Jones University.
Judge Roy Moore actually does not own a name site (at least not that I’ve found). The judge does have a site, though, at www.morallaw.com.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com
Who else has a name site and should be on this list? E-mail me …