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Conservative activist David Barton wants Christians to stop drinking gay-friendly coffee. “Lesbians Making Coffee With French Press.” Image by Jari Hindstroem via Shutterstock.

This is not the church/state case of the year or maybe even the month (remember what the Supremes are working on), but it’s a fascinating one: a lesbian who taught computer science in an Ohio Catholic school got fired for having a baby through artificial insemination.

A federal jury just awarded her $171,000. Expect an appeal.

And lawyers are preparing for a similar case – an Indiana Catholic school teacher who had in vitro fertilization — that also involves the “ministerial exception” issue the Supreme Court ruled on last year.

Good Christians shouldn’t drink Starbucks, says conservative activist and former evangelical pastor David Barton, because Starbucks is good with gay.

The oldest U.S. senator, Frank Lautenberg, (D-N.J.), died Monday at 89. The last World War II veteran in the Senate, Lautenberg was Jewish, and active in Jewish causes, but his principal political achievements were not in areas of particular Jewish interest, The Forward writes.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elected its first openly gay bishop, writes our own Sarah Pulliam Bailey. The move gives Rev. R. Guy Erwin a six-year-term in Southern California, and strengthens a trend among mainline Protestant congregations that have shown themselves increasingly willing to appoint gays and lesbians to leadership positions.

When the Boy Scouts of America said welcome to gay scouts last month, some churches immediately cut ties with the BSA. Here’s a look at some of the first to say “see ya.”

Speaking against a same-sex marriage bill in the House of Lords, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says he fears the “abolition” of traditional marriage. He added:

“But it is not, at heart, a faith issue; it is about the general social good.”

RNS blogger Jana Reiss thinks the LDS can do better than “reassure Mormon women and girls “that even though they don’t hold the priesthood they can still enjoy the full blessings of the priesthood.”

In a special edition, an al-Qaida magazine takes credit for motivating the Boston bombers and warns the West of more “Lone Wolf” terrorist attacks.

The Czech Republic is going ahead with a plan to disburse 59 billion koruna ($3 billion) to religious institutions to help compensate for what was taken from them under communism. Fifty-nine percent of confiscated property will also be restored.

Ohio State University’s president withdrew as the graduation speaker at a  parochial high school after making disparaging remarks about Notre Dame, Catholics and the Southeastern Conference.

Eternal World Television Network, one of the world’s largest religious broadcasters, debuts a Washington-based news show next month featuring current events from a Catholic perspective.

Re. the Xbox faithful. Gamers don’t go to Mass so much, according to a study from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate

My colleague David Gibson is not Religion News Service’s movie critic, but he makes a cogent and entertaining argument for why “After Earth,” Will Smith’s new Scientology-inspired film, is such a bad one.

The story also gets me thinking: RNS should have a movie critic . . . and a TV critic. I should probably run these ideas past an editor before I throw them out to Roundup readers.

Before you get on with your day, please sign up for the Religion News Roundup. It’s an easy, free way to keep current on religion news today.

- Lauren Markoe

Categories: Culture

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. Congratulations, new T. V & movie critic! Not a bad idea though. As well as book. You mean treating gays as equals, not discriminating against them is somehow evil? Wow, then Christ should have told the woman at the well she was not welcome there for she was of not only the wrong religion but wrong country. I guess that scene from the Bible can be ignored by Mr. Barton and friends. It’s 2013 not 1613, right? Oh yeah, we have TV, radio and internet now. Progress, right?

  2. As for the OSU President making his remarks, I, now having heard them for myself, choose to do one thing, ignore him! He has a history of saying dumb things like this and getting press for it. Ignoring him works because at least generally, whatever he said one knows just the opposite to be true. See those nice BCS rings several SEC schools got at OSU’s expense? They do have a shine to them, don’t they?

    • let’s lighten up on religion. Gee’s remarks at Ohio State were a small town “aw shucks” form of humor implying that catholics know how to have fun. Well, maybe they don’t after all.

  3. Obviously the Catholic Church needs to develop a game of Good vs Evil, with the Mass as one of the top weapons against evil and for good and love. But then many gamers would want to play the Evil one and win against the goodies.

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