(Video courtesy Kraft)

We begin today with a short course on religion and marketing.

Some Christian mothers aren’t impressed by the “Zesty Guy,” the might-as-well-be-naked Adonis who currently stars in a salad dressing ad called “Let’s Get Zesty.” For One Million Moms, a branch of the American Family Association, the ad is just plain “vulgar.” Kraft Foods calls it “playful.”

The moms shouldn’t be bothered by Notre Dame perfume, though. Sports Business Daily reports that the Catholic university will debut a branded fragrance this fall, in time for football season. It’s expected to cost $60 for a 3.4-ounce bottle. Don’t scoff. The N.Y. Yankees’ bottled scent made $10 million.

Admirable commitment to their beliefs, or a monumental waste of time?Non-Mormon Christians are proselytizing in the capital of Mormonism. As its missionaries fan out across Salt Lake City, the Truth In Love Ministry took also out ads in the LDS-owned Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune:

“You have recently been told at [LDS] General Conference that if you love God, trust him, believe him and follow him, that you will feel his love and approval,” it says in the brochure. “But what if you are doing all that and still don’t feel God’s love or approval?”

Mother Dolores Hart used to be a big time movie star and gave Elvis his first on screen kiss. But for the past 50 years she’s been in a cloistered nun. Here’s my story on her remarkable decision to give up Hollywood for a contemplative life.

A veteran teacher in a San Diego area Catholic school has been fired because school officials are worried that her ex-husband, a stalker convicted of domestic abuse who will soon be released from prison, will endanger the school.

The Utah man shot in the head by his son-in-law as he attended Mass on Father’s Day, is expected to survive.

The International Criminal Court won’t investigate Vatican officials for the abuse of children by Catholic priests around the world, as some victims had requested.

Is it a license plate, or a violation of religious liberties? A Methodist pastor in Oklahoma says the state’s plate, showing a Native American shooting an arrow into the sky to prompt rain, amounts to an endorsement of pagan religion. An appeals court says his suit can proceed.

RNS blogger Martin E. Marty says denominations need to accept the dwindling whiteness of America.

FIFA, the world soccer governing body, nixes a ban on Sikh turbans at Quebec soccer games. 

Three in 10 gay American say they have felt unwelcome in a house of worship, our own Adelle Banks reports. The new Pew study also shows which denominations are seen as friendliest to LGBT worshipers. Marianne T. Duddy-Burke of DignityUSA considers the study results from a gay Catholic perspective.

Charitable giving rose 3.5 percent in 2012 – that represents slow and steady growth, according to Indiana University’s Center for Philanthropy. The main beneficiaries: animals, the arts and the environment.

Humanist Roy Speckhardt looks at the correlation between religiosity, fecundity and poverty and asks religious groups to rethink their commitment to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Near Baghdad Tuesday, suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque. The death toll is 26. Iraqis fear a return of the widespread sectarian bloodshed of 2006 and 2007.

Receiving an honorary doctorate at the University of Jerusalem, Barbra Streisand lashed out at ultra-Orthodox Jews for their efforts to segregate women on public buses, prohibit them from singing in public and limit their freedom to pray at the Western Wall.

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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. Naturally Focus on the Family women would consider anyone good looking as lurid. Focus on the Family denies so much of reality that distorting whatever genuinely pleases them is second nature. It would be considered sexy, and sex is unnatural and “sinful” to them. Unnatural and sinful even though they partake fully, can’t resist, even legally marry to participate in good looks and sex. I’m sure many of them have participated outside marriage. Oh yeah, and sometimes, babies happen as a result of all those sinful pleasures.

  2. Re: Veteran San Diego teacher getting fired: Faux Christianity strikes again! Seriously, does one really think Jesus would have fired this teacher? Catholic’s all Christians should be overwhelming this parish with calls of complaint about this but bet here is they won’t. Can we say added scool security with churches in the area collecting to all help with the added cost of security? No, blame the victim mentality is at work here sad to say along with an added dose of look out for my own. Sigh.

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