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NYPD logo by bitchcakes via Flickr http://bit.ly/116wGuu Photo courtesy of Flickr

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The tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma yesterday have inspired Twitter prayers from around the world for the nearly 100 people — including many children — killed in the disaster.

A new NYPD court filing shows the extent to which New York’s finest spied on Muslims. Reports the Associated Press:

The NYPD’s court papers also reveal for the first time the scope of the monitoring by its Demographics Unit, now called the Zone Assessment Unit. In the past three years, the unit has filed more than 4,200 reports, or about four per day.

Bigger. Better. Faster. Our own David Gibson compares this year’s “Nuns on the Bus” tour to last year’s.

Monday’s Milestone: The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly voted to allow actively gay men and lesbians to become ordained ministers. There’s an opt out provision for dissenting parishes.

Did Pope Francis perform an exorcism on Sunday? 

Laurie Goodstein at the NYT reports on a the newly-formed Catholic Whistleblowers, a group of priests and nuns that has charged itself to ferret out sexual abuse within the church and to support fellow whistle-blowers.

The Sistine Chapel has become a haven for pickpockets, who target upward-looking tourists mesmerized by Michelangelo’s work. The problem is getting so bad that guides have threatened a one-day strike to publicize the problem.

A good listen: NPR reporter Sylvia Poggioli’s piece on Pope Francis vs. the “cult of money.”

Methodists, you’re making me feel old. The Texas conference of the United Methodists is dissuading those 45 and older from seeking ordination.

Let’s talk about your clothes. In the wake the fire that killed more than 1,100 at Bangladeshi plant, a USA Today reporter explores both ends of the manufacturing chain — the Bangladeshi’s who make the garments, and the Americans who buy them.

The State Department released its global report on religious freedom Monday, and also announced Ira Forman as its top envoy to combat anti-Semitism. More on the religious freedom report from me later today at RNS.

Across town at the Supreme Court, the justices have agreed to take up a case which asks whether a New York state town can offer “inclusive prayers” before its public meetings.

And how about religious freedom on campus? The Freedom From Religion Foundation says Indiana’s Ball State University, a public institution, has crossed over the line with a cosmology course that promotes intelligent design and Christianity. University officials are investigating.

Karl Giberson, the science and religion prof, explains why evolution is not going to die in the culture wars.

THE DSM-5 ain’t the Bible, but it’s as close to psychiatric scripture as you can get. The new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders makes it easier to diagnose grief after the loss of a loved one as depression, as in depression that calls for treatment for which insurance companies will reimburse. Tim Townsend detects a rise in the tension between spiritual care and medical care.

Libby Phelps-Alvarez talks about how she escaped from her family’s notorious Westboro Baptist Church.

The funeral for Frances J. Monson, wife of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, is set for Thursday.

- Lauren Markoe

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Categories: Beliefs

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 Comment

  1. Evolution may not die but it’s wounded, that’s for sure. If evolution wasn’t a theory in crisis (ESPECIALLY in regards to the key issue of the origin and nature of human beings), Dr Giberson wouldn’t have to be doing all that Damage Control shpiel.

    Science is NOT automatically self-correcting, as Thomas Kuhn famously suggested in The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. Scientists fight tooth and nail to protect their cherished beliefs, especially when entire worldviews and core-beliefs are at stake. This is absolutely true with the topic of evolution.

    The theory of evolution has huge holes in it, both regarding cellular machinery AND regarding the origin of humans. Dr. Giberson and his fellow evolutionists are unable to plug them up.

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