Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

A Boston Presbyterian pastor is freed by his kidnappers in Egypt's Sinai. Old Mormon families step up to the plate for Mitt Romney. And finally, there's an app for those who would ordain thyselves.

Categories: Beliefs, Culture


Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)


  1. These daily news aggregations have brought the quality of RNS way down. Bass’s article is very good, much better than the sarcastic comments of Burke, Gibson, et. al. that now introduce this link and many other links. If RNS is trying to be trendy and hip at the expense of quality journalism, they’re doing very well at it.

  2. Sorry you feel that way, John. We’re actually not trying to be either trendy or hip. We just want to make the roundup a fast, fun read.

  3. In a previous era, RNS might have arranged a discussion between Douthat and Bass. Douthat’s piece was not a “tirade.” A news agency should have as its aim something other than mere “fun,” as that is the job of entertainers rather than journalists.

  4. Actually, John, there’s a long line of American journalists who used satire and sarcasm to entertain as well as educate. Think of Twain or Mencken. Or, in our own day, Ian Frazier and David Foster Wallace.

    I’m not saying the RNS is in their class, or that entertainment is our chief goal. The vast majority of stories on this website are straight and sober wire copy.

    But the roundup is a different animal, where we loosen up a little, and we’ve received a whole lot of positive feedback about it.

    That said, your idea about the Douthat/Bass discussion is a good one, and we’ll pursue it; and, if we cross the line of decency in our roundup, we trust that attentive readers like yourself will let us know. More than anything, we appreciate your reading RNS and writing to us.