Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy, plan to lead a campaign in front of the Washington National Cathedral Friday timed to mark the moment a week before when a gunman opened fire in a school in Newtown, Conn.
“I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby,” the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, said in the article.
But just how wide a religious coalition will it be? Recent polls show only 8 percent of white evangelical Protestants support “stricter gun control laws and enforcement,” whereas 19 percent support “better mental health screening and support.”
And consider: Dozens of churches, especially in the South, offer concealed carry certification classes as a way to reach out to non-Christians and attract new members.
Asked by NPR, “What’s the New Testament justification for owning firearms?” Richard Land, chief ethicist for the Southern Baptist Convention, said:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. If you see your neighbor being attacked, if you see your neighbor in danger, you have an obligation and a responsibility to do what you can to protect them.”
Catholics, however, are more likely than evangelicals or mainline Protestant to favor gun control. And that may be why President Obama appointed VP Joe Biden to lead efforts to curb gun violence.
TIME Magazine is calling the Newtown spree “The Massacre of the Innocents.” Southern Baptist blogger Ed Stetzer reminds his readers that the phrase, lifted from the Gospel of Matthew, harks back to an edict by Herod that is often read during the Advent season.
And Stephen Prothero lists six things he doesn’t want to hear in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. (Yes, Mike Huckabee is on the list.)
In other news, a group of Christian parents is threatening to sue a California school district for indoctrinating children with Eastern spirituality. At issue: the district’s twice-weekly, 30-minute yoga classes could “nudge their children closer to ancient Hindu beliefs.”
Canada’s Supreme Court will rule today on whether a Muslim woman can wear a niqab while testifying against two men whom she says sexually assaulted her when she was a child.
In Turkey, a parliamentary commission wants to know where lies a beloved and influential theologian whose remains were exhumed 52 years ago and whisked away by the country’s then ruling military junta. The theologian is Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, a charismatic Islamic scholar whose Turkish-Islamic ideas continue to resonate.
The senior rabbi of a large synagogue in London was chosen to become the next chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis will replace Lord Jonathan Sacks, who is stepping down as the leader of Britain’s Orthodox Jewish community next September after 22 years.
Rev. Saeed Abedini, a 32-year-old U.S. citizen and a Christian convert of Iranian origin has been imprisoned without charges in one of Iran’s notorious prisons.
The Roman Catholic Church, trade unions and small business associations have joined forces in a bid to save Sundays — from shopping, that is.
Chinese leaders issued an order last year quietly directing universities to root out foreigners suspected of plotting against the Communist Party by converting students to Christianity.
First, he tweeted. Now Pope Benedict XVI has written an article for The Financial Times about Christmas. Unfortunately, the piece is behind the paper’s paywall.
Finally, some levity: A Shenandoah County pastor gets jeers, eye rolls and smiles two mornings a week when he boards the Washington Metro to sing Christmas carols on five subway lines.
Kellie Kotraba writes about the Trappist monks of Assumption Abbey who bake 25,000 fruitcakes per year.
And though some believe the world is coming to an end tomorrow, which is when an important phase on the ancient calendar of the Mayan people ends, Mayans don’t buy it.
Neither do we: At RNS, we’re pretty confident you’ll find the Friday Religion News Roundup around midmorning, and more stories throughout the day. Stay tuned.