Screen shot 2013-05-31 at 9.04.15 AMAh, those crazy kids over at Americans United for Separation of Church and State …

Glee’s Jane Lynch and Comedy Central’s Jordan Peele teamed up for a Peaches & Herb-style breakup song between Church (Glee) and State (Peele):

“We’re Church and State / and we need to sep-ar-ate / ‘Cuz we’re all up on each other and we’re hurtin’ one another and it’s causing hate…”

How many of you can correctly spell “knaidel”? 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali did, and won the National Spelling Bee (and $30,000) for knowing the Yiddish word for a Jewish dumpling.

Outspoken Catholic priest, sociologist and sometimes steamy novelist Andrew Greeley has died at age 85. His beloved Chicago Tribune has the most comprehensive account of his long career.

(Fun fact: both Greeley and Protestant historian Martin Marty were both born on Feb. 5, 1928. The story goes that the two Chicagoans promised each other that whoever survived the other would preach at his funeral.)

Why are evangelicals all of a sudden in love with immigration reform? Look no further than the tornado damage in Moore, Okla., where churches reached out to storm victims, which included more than a few undocumented families from their own pews.

But don’t tell that to conservative evangelical icon Phyllis Schlafly, who thinks the GOP outreach to Hispanics would be better spent on reaching “white voters” because there’s not “any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.”

Our pal Jim Martin (who needs no introduction, nor more press) is featured in a Slate series on how to make a midlife career change; he went from frustrated corporate exec to Jesuit priest and chaplain to the Colbert Nation.

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber says gay and lesbian couples who want to adopt kids should really just adopt a pet because, in his mind, it’s all the same thing.

Speaking of conservative culture warriors, a bunch of them gathered in D.C. yesterday and conceded that while they are united against gay marriage, there are cracks in the coalition that make it impossible to work together on everything.

Think the Boy Scouts are all happy-clappy and open to anyone? Not so fast, say atheist Scouts, who still face a de facto ban on membership.

So many possible puns, so little time: newly minted mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner dodged a question on a controversial circumcision procedure that has been linked to several cases of infant herpes.

Here’s a helpful backgrounder on the centuries-old tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and how it’s all coming to a head in Syria’s bloody civil war.

Nigerian lawmakers approved a bill to ban gay marriage; couples that marry would face 14 years in prison, and officiants or witnesses would face 10 years in the slammer.

Australian Cardinal George Pell, a member of Pope Francis’ advisory cabinet, says he won’t be recommending a Third Vatican Council to reform the church; we’re still sorting out what Vatican II in the 1960s meant, Pell said.

Francis — I still really wanna call him Uncle Frank — says too many Christians look like they’re going to a funeral instead of praising God.

And perhaps this is why: there’s a shortage of Communion wine in Venezuela, and priests are being asked to ration what they still have on hand.

Or perhaps this could help: the Catholic Church’s top exorcist wants more leeway in priests performing exorcisms. He claims to have cast out 160,000 demons, which as Jonathan Turley notes is “over 1,818 a year or roughly 5 a day or one demon every 4.8 hours every day every week every month.”

There’s no demons in the RNS daily Roundup, and you can get it in your inbox every day for free by signing up below.

With that, it’s off to the weekend and my first Jewish wedding. Someone say a prayer that I don’t knock over the chuppah or fall off one of those dancing chairs.


    • Mr. Olson, I apologize if I’m misspelling your name as I’m blind so forgive any misspelling errors. Phyllis Schafly is one who shows hatred towards those who are ‘not like her’, as does much of the neo-con right wing conservative church today. I have no use for that church or for the people in it. They claim to follow Jesus, and at least in my readings of his words he neither preached hatred nor gave in to the fear that hatred produces. It is precisely because of the leaders of the church today that I no longer attend church anywhere at all,. I cannot reconcile a John hagee saying ‘Starve! anymore than Jesus did and fail to understand why the church does not show more love towards others not like them. So, it matters not to me whether she is Catholic or not, it is and has been the message of the right wing and it’s accomplice the evangelical church that has driven me away from being a Republican and from attending any church, anywhere. As first an EMT then as a blind person I have been one or around one of those “not like me” persons nearly all my adult life. I’ve found that most of them don’t want to be ‘not like’ others and most only want the acceptance of a nation if they have immagrated here and of a church whether or not they are an immigrent or not. Most only want what you or I want, a real chance at a good job and a good life. Whether gay, a minority, or simply’not like’ others I refuse to discriminate against anyone for any reason just like Jesus did not discriminate. See publicans, sinners, and the woman at the well for just a few examples.

  1. Kevin Eckstrom

    Article author

    Ted, fair enough. But would you agree that Schlafly is nonetheless an evangelical heavyweight who has at least some influence among the troops on immigration and other issues?

    • In short: It goes back to the old “don’t conflate ‘religious right’ and ‘evangelical’” thing. And while Schlafly certainly must still have some ears, I tend to see her cited a *lot* more by journalists and leftish bloggers than I do by evangelical writers, leaders, and outlets. (World does quote her sometimes, and I think she has a Salem connection) “Heavyweight” I think is perhaps overstating her current stature. But my point is that the juxtaposition and transition in this post assumes a lot that’s not necessarily true and it struck me as unpleasant, as if you were suggesting that churches reached out to storm victims in Oklahoma because they were trying to win Hispanic votes for the GOP.

  2. Would you please check your sources. That self-promoting, notoriously deluded priest you are calling the Catholic Church’s top exorcist is totally discredited. For one thing the numbers he claims are impossible. For another he has no official standing as a “top exorcist.” This is his own tabloid branding of himself. Why don’t you research the loony claims of this man before quoting him? Or check with the Vatican about his claims.

    P.S. I am no fan of the Catholic Church, or its hierarchy.

  3. Phyllis Schlafly is a Roman Catholic, not an evangelical. Obviously her conservative views make her popular with evangelicals but nonetheless she is going to hell, as are all Catholics, however conservative, according to evangelical theology.

    • Mr. McGrath, Seems to me that if we stopped worrying who does or does not go to hell that we all might just stand a much better chance of not living in one here on earth. Imagine, God himself decides, not you or me and just maybe we all get in based on Christ’s forgivness. What a concept!

  4. A Third Vatican Council is a good idea. I think 50 years is a long enough period of time to figure out Vatican II, unless of course you really would prefer not carry out the tenets of Vatican II. Lots of those people around that did not care much for Vatican II, so you can be sure they do not want a new Vatican Council. It looks like our new Pope makes a lot of other church leaders very nervous. I pray for his good health and safety as he continues to fill the “shoes of the fishermen” with love, acceptance and a spirit of inclusion. Peace

  5. Mr. Olsen, Upon my 1st reading of the piece on Ok. I never once thought that it was only for the benefits of getting votes. By anyone. Zappa, you are right on! I’m not Catholic, and my religious views are pretty well known here, but if the Pope keeps up speaking out and doing the works of Jesus, with acceptence and understanding I just may have to reconsider. Acceptance & understanding….

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