You knew that even before the death toll had been tallied Pat Robertson would weigh in with some weather-inflected theology that blames the victims. But when John Piper looked to start down that path, Rachel Held Evans cut him off:
“This theology is, in a word, abusive, for it blames the victim for whatever calamity, abuse, or tragedy she suffers and says it is deserved.”
How about when live TV happens to Wolf Blitzer? Give the guy credit, he found a real live atheist in red state Oklahoma.
You can also find “godless” funerals in Catholic Ireland, so go figure.
Closer to home, Gallup’s latest says 72 percent of us believe moral values in the country as a whole are getting worse. Thing is, they always say they’re getting worse. Does our depravity have a floor?
Michele Bachmann is still optimistic. As she tells James Dobson:
“I think before his second term is over, we’re going to see a miracle before our eyes, I believe God is going to answer our prayers and we’ll be freed from the yoke of Obamacare … We serve a mighty God and I believe it can happen.”
By the way, if the IRS ever audited churches, THAT would be a scandal. But can’t happen, as Mark Silk explains.
How about putting some teeth into the State Department’s reports on the state of religious freedom overseas?
In Texas, a judge says a lesbian couple can’t live together because of a morality clause in one of the women’s divorce papers. It would be okay if they were married, but …
Don’t get all self-righteous, New Yorkers: there’s a spate of ugly and even deadly attacks against gays in the city.
Then there’s this: The Peace Corps says it will begin accepting applications from same-sex couples who want to volunteer overseas.
Then again, a rightwing historian and traditionalist Catholic was so upset over France legalizing same-sex marriage that he killed himself at the altar in Notre Dame and left an ugly suicide note behind. Not sure what tradition in Catholicism he was upholding there.
Then again, a Catholic priest who wrote an anonymous book two years ago about being a gay cleric has now come out – he is the Rev. Gary Meier of St. Louis, and many are wondering what will happen next.
Speaking of priests, they’re not too happy with the changes in the Mass – less so, in fact, than the folks in the pews. But they have more speaking parts.
Great Britain is seeing a surge (relatively speaking) in women wanting to be nuns. Is it recession-related?
The Quote of the Day goes to Pope Francis, from remarks at his daily morning Mass:
“To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
Just as powerful were his words rebuking “intolerant” Christians who don’t think non-believers can do good, thereby closing the church off – “a wall that leads to war.” Pow.
Follow up: no, the Pope gave that man a blessing, not an exorcism. But another priest later said the man was possessed by four demons, apparently relating to an abortion law in Mexico. It’s all good fodder for discussion in Nicole Winfield’s piece for The AP.
Father Fugee is back in jail, and the Star-Ledger editorial board says prosecutors shouldn’t stop there but should also investigate Newark Archbishop Myers.
Moral-legal debate: prosecutors in Cleveland want to charge the awful Ariel Castro with murder because one of the kidnapping hostages he repeatedly raped got pregnant five times and he abused her until she miscarried. Some pro-choice advocates say that was terrible, yeah, but worse would be counting the fetus as a murder victim because it could impede abortion rights.
Marketing dogma: Sex sells. Or maybe not, says one economist.
Okay, so might as well tone down all the erotica in the Roundup.
Is using a church for graffiti a sin – or a way to spread the Gospel? An Episcopal church in New York wants to find out.
Finally, Los Angeles has its first Jewish mayor. Mazel tov, Eric Garcetti! Ah, but be careful what you pray for …