So turns out it wasn’t the end of the world as we know it. Apparently the ancient Mayans went to the Harold Camping School of False Prophecy. Back to work, people. Nothing to see here.
Here’s one thing that, thankfully, did come to an end: “Jersey Shore.” Something tells me that Snooki never really goes away. Kind of like a bad case of, oh, never mind.
Church bells are tolling today for the victims of the Newtown shooting massacre. But here’s the question: should they toll 26 times for the school victims, or 28 to include the shooter and his mother?
Here’s my personal gift to you, our dear readers: my annual compilation of the year’s top religion stories.
A federal judge has thrown out a section of a bankruptcy settlement that had prevented the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., from making pension or charitable payments to abusive priests.
Two mixed court rulings on the contraception mandate: one court denied a request for a temporary injunction from Christian-owned Hobby Lobby Stores, while another saw enough threat to religious freedom that it allowed a temporary reprieve to the evangelical owners of a recycling company.
Because the December holiday calendar isn’t crowded enough already, here’s one more: HumanLight, a new holiday to celebrate human potential and goodness without the trappings of religion, or Santa Claus.
Buzzfeed has released its list of 20 Reasons Why 2012 was the Coolest Year to be a Mormon. Coming in at No. 18: “American Idol runner-up David Archuleta put his singing career on hold to go on a mission.”
Showtime has ordered up a new drama, “The Vatican.” Spoiler alert: the butler did it.
Alas, it has come to this: the Vatican is crowing that B16 is beating … wait for it … Justin Bieber in the race for the most Twitter retweets. Ugh.
Speaking of social media, hackers are going after the Twitter accounts and webpages of “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church after the Phelps clan announced plan to picket funerals in Newtown. For once in my life, I’m rooting for hackers.
The Vatican newspaper, meanwhile, is comparing marriage “equality” for gay couples to the false “equality” promised under communism.
Puerto Rican architects won the contest to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that was destroyed in the massive earthquake nearly three years ago. Most interesting part: it uses lots of natural light because electricity in the impoverished nation is so spotty. You can see the runners-up here.
And this, which is pretty self-explanatory: “A prominent anti-gay Ugandan pastor condemned homosexuality during a televised discussion with a transgender activist, engaging in a graphic demonstration of gay sex involving bananas, cucumbers and other produce items.”
Here’s a story from 2012 that I think hasn’t totally been appreciated, and WaPo does a great job of summarizing the importance of the Church of England’s debate over women bishops: “Should religion adapt to fit an increasingly secular society, or should it be the enforcer of tradition in fast-changing times?”
And with that, your little elves at Religion News Service are off until Dec. 31. Merry Christmas, Happy HumanLight, Happy Kwaanza!
– Kevin Eckstrom