Rick Perry friend sold Bible books with him in 1969

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) - One of Republican presidential candidate

Rick Perry's strongest supporters has known the Texas governor

since they were teenagers selling Bible reference books in 1969.

John Brieden is now the county judge -- or chief

executive -- of Washington County, Texas, not far from Texas A&M

University, where he and Perry met.

After their freshman year, Brieden and Perry signed up to sell

Bible encylopedias and commentaries door-to-door and were dropped

off in Festus, Mo., where they roomed together for the summer.

Brieden says while they weren't expected to be giants of the

faith, they were both Christian teens who believed in what they

were doing. He believes Perry always has been "a genuine person."

Brieden says Perry organized last month's prayer rally in

Houston because that's just "who he is."


College prof. tells students how to keep the faith

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The author of "How to Stay Christian in

College" says it's hard these days.

University of Texas Prof. J. Budziszewski says the atmosphere on most campuses is aggressively agnostic and

hedonistic, and many young Christians aren't well grounded in the


He says that makes it easy to slip into bad behavior and then

claim to have doubts about God.

Budziszewski says a young Christian starting college should

first find a good local church and then join an on-campus Christian

fellowship as well.

He says, "The best defense against bad peer pressure is to get

a more appropriate set of peers."


Safety nets going up in DC's National Cathedral

WASHINGTON (AP) - Safety nets are being installed along the

ceiling of the Washington National Cathedral to guard against

falling debris after it was damaged by an earthquake last week.

The 5.8-magnitude quake that hit the East Coast on Aug. 23

caused three of the four spires of the cathedral's central tower to

break off, sending stonework crashing into the building's roof.

Major cracks also appeared in some of the flying buttresses.

A spokesman for the cathedral says the overall structure of the

cathedral remains sound, but repairs will likely cost millions.

The cathedral plans to re-open the weekend of Sept. 11.


Man dies following scuffle with pastor

PARSONS, Tenn. (AP) - Police say a Tennessee man died after

hitting his head in a scuffle with the pastor who presided at his

daughter's wedding.

Decatur County District Attorney Hansel McCadams says police

were called twice to a dispute between 58-year-old Joseph Tucsnak

and Pastor Chris Warren at the wedding on Saturday.

Then on Monday, the prosecutor says Tucsnak returned to the

church in Parsons, about 100 miles southwest of Nashville. McCadams

said Tucsnak went to his vehicle and came back with a hand in his

pocket and lunged at the pastor.

Police say the pastor then pushed Tucsnak, who fell and hit his

head on the pavement. He died Tuesday.

No charges have been filed.


Defrocked priest loses bid to keep Pa. parish

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A judge has denied a former Episcopal

priest's effort to remain the leader of his suburban Philadelphia


The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a judge ordered David

Moyer to vacate the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont after a

long-running dispute with a denomination he decried as too liberal.

Moyer was defrocked in 2002 after agreeing to become a bishop in

a small, conservative Anglican denomination. He continued to preach

and say Mass at Good Shepherd with the support of its board.

Moyer told the Inquirer he plans to petition the Vatican for

admission to the Roman Catholic priesthood, despite being married.

Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 approved a system allowing disaffected

Anglicans to convert and retain their liturgical heritage.


Florida family charged in $40 million psychic scam

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Rose Marks and her family of

fortunetellers offered people hope. Prosecutors say it came at a

steep price.

The Florida family claimed to confer with gods, spirits and even

Michael the Archangel to cure diseases and break curses, asking for

and accepting jewelry, gold coins and luxury cars in return.

In all, authorities say, the family amassed a $40 million

fortune from a psychic scam dating back 20 years. The victims

included a best-selling author who gave them $20 million.

Marks and eight family members pleaded not guilty last week.

Their lawyers said they believe their Gypsy religion gave them the

ability to heal psychically and that their business was legitimate.


Cousin of accused Fort Hood shooter starts Muslim charity

WASHINGTON (AP) - A relative of the Army psychiatrist accused in

a shooting rampage at an Army post has created a Muslim charity

denouncing violence.

Nader Hasan says he set up the Nawal Foundation to unite people

against violence committed in the name of Islam and to promote

American patriotism.

His cousin is Maj. Nidal Hasan, who's charged with 13 counts of

premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder

in connection with the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood in Texas. Nidal

Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted by a military jury.

The charity is starting up just days before the 10th anniversary

of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Nader Hasan says the Fort Hood attack is one reason he founded

the charity.


Iran irked by errors in Qurans from China

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian publishers say cost-saving plans to

print Qurans in China are yielding embarrassing results: A slew of


The head of Iran's Quran oversight office says some of the

Chinese-printed versions of Islam's holy book are littered with

spelling errors.

Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency quotes Ahmad Haji-Sharif as

warning Muslims that low-cost Qurans may contain mistakes. He noted

earlier this week that Iranian-produced Qurans cost more, but have

passed a careful inspection for any flaws.

Officials are now discussing a ban on Chinese-printed Qurans.

The Qurans used in Iran often have both Farsi and the original


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-09-02-11 0340EDT