A nervous Congress took a step back from the nation’s fiscal cliff last night, but Pope Benedict XVI used his New Year’s Day message to warn that “unregulated capitalism” remains a major threat to peace in the world, along with “various forms of terrorism and crime.”
In his final New Year’s Day message, outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says religion should not be seen as an “old-fashioned embarrassment” but instead a “silent conspiracy of generous dedication” evidenced by legions of volunteers who serve others. It is the silent energy that holds the universe together, he says. Higgs Boson rediscovered?
Good news of the day: an antique Bible stolen from a St. Louis church has been recovered thanks to a sharp-eyed antiques dealer.
Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has adopted five children with his wife and thinks more evangelicals should consider adoption as part of their “pro-life” witness.
In the U.S. we debate whether growing marijuana for medical purposes is okay. In Israel, weed is also illegal but is being cultivated for spiritual reasons as well – a higher purpose, you might say. (Yes, I had to say that.)
Priorities: Estee Ackerman, an 11-year-old ping-pong prodigy from Long Island, chose the Sabbath over her next match at the 2012 US National Table Tennis Championships and was disqualified from the toruney. “She had a Shabbos-over-sports moment,” her father tells the New York Post.
The JTA rounds up its “Gentiles of the Year.” (Shocker: I didn’t make the cut. Shocker: Chaka Khan did.)
The New York Times looks at the emerging church of the new millennium and finds it in the oddest places, with features like coffee cars and exercise studios. Yup, welcome to our world.
CNN’s ace religion editor Dan Gilgoff is leaving (the beat will still rock on under Eric Marrapodi) and Dan lists the five things he learned editing the Belief Blog.
I like No. 4: “The news media isn’t anti-religion.” Discuss.
Stories Dan will surely miss: The guy who says horse therapy can “cure” homosexuality. Warren Throckmorton fisks.
Broken any resolutions yet? No matter. Make a new one to check in here every day for the latest in religion news.