The “Oklahoma atheist” is showered with donations from impressed fellow atheists who appreciated her poise on national television as she noted her lack of faith amidst the tornado rubble, but didn’t blame anyone for “thanking the Lord.”
Archbishop of Newark John J. Myers speaks out for the first time about the sexual abuse scandal raging around him, and has sacked the second-highest ranking official in the archdiocese over his handling of the accused Rev. Michael Fugee.
And the Los Angeles Times explains the suppression of the “sub secreto” files that document that archdiocese’s scandal.
On the business pages, the New York Times goes to India to profile the vast organization built by Amma, “the hugging saint,” who has just kicked off an 11-city U.S. tour.
Pope Francis called out the Mafia in no uncertain terms, accusing them of “enslaving people,” and asking them to come to God.
High-ranking Vatican officials say anti-Christianity should be combatted like Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
Nearly four years after anti-Christian riots in Pakistan left nine dead, an official Pakistani report says state security services could have prevented the violence, and recommends that the nation’s blasphemy laws be amended to stem continuing anti-Christian violence.
A French university says a student play produced with state funds is not anti-Semitic despite a character called Goldberg who convinces people to invest their life savings in repugnant causes and two Nazi-hunters, “Cohen 1 and Cohen 2,” who abandon their hunt for cash.
More anti-Semitism at a Beyonce concert in Germany.
Venezuela is suffering a shortage of altar wine.
Is Francis endorsing heresy? No. But David Gibson would not blame you if, reading the papal headlines recently, the thought crossed your mind — especially given the nice things the pope had to say about atheists.
You won’t be shocked to learn that the highest concentration of the world’s atheists live in China, but the data point on Saudi Arabia might surprise. Here’s the global map of atheism based on a poll that’s not brand new, but one that might be of interest given the pope’s recent statements about atheists.
One reason I like reading RNS blogger Jonathan Merritt is that he doesn’t mince words. On the Philadelphia couple whose religious beliefs kept them from seeking life-saving medical attention for their son — their second child to die for their beliefs, JM writes:
The Schaibles need to go to jail, and so should any other misguided faith healer whose beliefs result in another’s death. As I’ve said before, the ocean of religious liberty must stop at the shore of child welfare. Faith healers who endanger children should be placed on alert: You can believe whatever you wish, but if those beliefs result in the death of a child, you will go to jail.
Adelle Banks asks whether there will be a mass exodus of religious groups from the Boy Scouts now that they accept gay scouts, and gets some varied answers.
Several leading evangelical pastors and authors are defending a Sovereign Grace Ministries pastor accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children, writes Sarah Pulliam Bailey.
In Tennessee public schools, a sex ed curriculum designed from a strong Christian, Republican and anti-abortion point of view skews the facts of life, according to some Volunteer State docs and educators.
This goes beyond fact-skewing: A S.C. Christian school teaches kids that dinosaurs didn’t live millions of years ago and that the earth isn’t billions of years old. The school gets publicly ridiculed for its unscientific science lessons . . . and thousands of dollars from Creationists to help it stay afloat.
Serving a sentence for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” a member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot was transferred to a hospital during the seventh day of her hunger strike.
Burmese Buddhists have been attacking Burmese Muslims, who represent about 6 million of Myanmar’s 60 million people. Seems as if the improving political atmosphere has lifted the veil on longstanding tensions among religious and ethnic groups.
We leave you with two cool slide shows from Reuters this morning: A Nepalese ceremony for the god of rain involving a 75-year-old man scaling a 104-foot pole and dropping a coconut, and a massive Hasidic “royal” wedding in Jerusalem.
- Lauren Markoe
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