Kierkegaard, via Wikipedia

Kierkegaard, via Wikipedia

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Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter doesn’t like Messiah College’s policy on gays and says he won’t play again at the Christian college until it’s changed. Doesn’t sound like another invitation is pending.

United Methodist pastor Thomas W. Ogletree was profiled in the New York Times on Sunday because of the trouble he’s in for officiating at his gay son’s wedding.

Leader of the New York Methodists, Bishop Martin McLee responds with a note saying it’s complicated, and notes that the church has a lot of other issues to worry about, too. Or something like that.

Then there’s the pastor who left the UMC to start a ministry at a beach bar in Florida.

Religion should be the new “reality TV” says Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sounds like it already is.

Here’s a dose of real reality: Welby’s daughter opens up about her battle with depression and her fears when her father got the top job in the Anglican Communion. Faith helped her find hope, she has written, even though Christians often failed to support or understand people with depression.

In a similar vein, the Rev. Frank Page, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, talks about his own daughter’s battle with mental illness, which ended tragically in her suicide.

The State of New Jersey is reviewing whether a proposed $645,000 award to Princeton Theological Seminary is illegal.

Christian social critic Os Guiness might want to review his spending habits: he has spent $500,000 to clear his Virginia home of mold, about what the house is worth.

Voters in South Carolina will go to the polls today to decide whether Mark Sanford can find redemption through politics.

As part of a wider push to revive gun control legislation Vice-President Biden is asking faith leaders to help get the issue back on the front burner.

The president of the organization of American nuns under a Vatican investigation talks to NCR about what she hopes to say to the pope when she meets him.

The cardinal who heads the Vatican department that oversees men’s and women’s religious orders says he was left out of discussions about the investigation of the sisters, and he sounds like he’s as unhappy about it as they are. It’s also an insight into how the Vatican (dys)functions.

More insight: The Vatican said today there’s actually nothing to see here, just move along.

In New Jersey, fallout from the sex abuse case of the Rev. Michael Fugee has cost three more people their jobs, though Newark Archbishop John Myers is still in office.

Bishop Robert J. McManus of Massachusetts diocese of Worcester was charged with drunken driving on Saturday night after a hit-and-run in Rhode Island.

And the priest who heads the Saint Luke Institute, a leading treatment center for clergy suffering from emotional, sexual and addiction problems has resigned in the wake of accusations that he misused funds in his home diocese and that he was engaged in an “inappropriate adult relationship.”

Who speaks more “Catholic” in Congress? Mark Gray at CARA crunches the verbiage and churns out some interesting answers. (Hint: Democrats and Dennis Kucinich. Go figure.)

No one yet has an answer for what to do with the body of slain Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but at the Mirror of Justice blog, Bob Hockett reaches back to classical Greek drama, namely Antigone, as the inspiration for a powerful meditation:

“None shall entomb him or mourn but leave him unwept, unsepulchered, a welcome object for the birds, when they spy him, to feast on at will,” as the play’s namesake says of her brother Polynices.

In another vein, there have been so many fine commentaries on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Søren Kierkegaard that I could do a roundup on them alone. But here’s one, by Michael Stark, that you may find worth reading – on anxiety, the preoccupation of our age, it seems, and on Kierkegaard’s approach.

I read Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety. It’s a difficult read, perplexing at times, yet the lessons radiated in my being. Kierkegaard argues that anxiety is not, in fact, the enemy, but a part of humanity. The attempts to remove anxiety are futile, he says: “Anxiety is an alien power which lays hold of the individual, and yet cannot tear oneself away, nor has a will to do so; for one fears, but what one fears one desires.”

Kierkegaard taught me what I had been waiting to hear my whole life: Anxiety is necessary and even good. It manifests itself at the juncture where an individual realizes the power he or she has in making decisions. Anxiety is the realization of freedom and the possibility of choice.

While you ponder that one, we at the Daily Religion News Roundup has an existential question of our own, which you can help answer by donating to our brief campaign. Click here for information and a chance to collect some RNS swag. Me, I feel like coffee and a Danish.

David Gibson

Categories: Culture

David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson is an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He is a national reporter for RNS and has written two books on Catholic topics, the latest a biography of Pope Benedict XVI.


  1. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

    Zanax is an alien power which lays hold of the individual, and yet cannot tear oneself away, nor has a will to do so; for one fears Xanax, but what one fears one desires.

  2. I left a denominational church many years ago (I was not their cup of tea) and I did not really fit in to most of them. So I have been an unaffiliated “Acts” Christian for decades. The most Christian people I’ve ever seen would have to be “Acts” Christians today. Gene Scott and Melissa Scott said they are “Acts” Christians. But the one I liked best was J. Vernon McGee. Look at the ones who’ve been disasters .. Jimmy Swaggart, the R.C. in general, Tammy/Jimmy, Davidian, Jones & Guiana, Hastings(?) the end-of-the world huckster .. one after another .. selling snake oil and calling it Christian

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