Could he be replaced by a  guy trolling Facebook? The LDS church considers fewer doorbell-ringers and more Internet surfing missionaries. Image courtesy of Lisa F. Young via Shutterstock.

Could he be replaced b
guy trolling Facebook? The LDS church considers fewer doorbell-ringers and more Internet surfing missionaries. Image courtesy of Lisa F. Young via Shutterstock.

First the news that’s not. Still no SCOTUS verdict on gay marriage.

The LDS church is thinking that its successful global conversion machine might be even more successful with fewer missionaries on bicycles ringing doorbells and more on the Internet, searching for souls on social media.

Four men are suing the Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church, its largest sponsor, for allegedly failing to protect them from sexual abuse when they were scouts.

Our own Sarah Pulliam Bailey got hold of the transcript of Bono’s radio interview with Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, set to air today, and found some fascinating exchanges, including this:

“You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior, where we’re just nice, sort of ‘death by cupcake,’” Bono said. “Politeness is, you know, is a wonderful thing. Manners are in fact, really important thing. But remember, Jesus didn’t have many manners as we now know.”

RNS bloggers consider the implosion of Exodus International, the “reparative therapy” ministry that tries to convince gay people that they should and can be heterosexual. Jonathan Merritt interviews Andrew Marin — whose foundation connects Christian and LGBT communities. And Mark Silk looks at how different commentators handled the story.

If you miss the 1960s, read RNS Managing Editor Yonat Shimron’s profile of Rev. William J. Barber II, president of North Carolina’s NAACP chapter. The Disciples of Christ minister, “steeped in the activist tradition of the black church, has emerged as a galvanizing force in North Carolina’s pushback against the Republican-dominated legislature.”

Is yoga a religious practice and therefore verboten in public schools? Some San Diego parents are in court this week trying to get a ruling that will ban yoga in schools as a violation of First Amendment rights. But school officials and other parents and students  call the plaintiffs “conspiracy theorists” and the yoga just “fitness.”

Listening to both sides of the yoga debate, you could contort your brain trying to figure out what “religion” means. Steven Ramey, a religious studies professor at the University of Alabama, provides some insight into shifting definitions of the word.

The Unitarian Universalists might divest from companies that produce fossil fuels.

Unrepentant mobster? A Sicilian bishop takes an unprecedented step and denies mafiosi church funerals, our own Alessandro Speciale reports. 

Speciale also informs us that Pope Francis was a hit Monday with the first Jewish delegation to visit since his election. Jewish groups had decades of positive experience with the former Cardinal Bergoglio and weren’t all too surprised that they came away assured that Uncle Frank’s stance on Jewish-Catholic relations would be less problematic than his predecessor’s record, which proved mixed with Jewish groups.

But the Vatican newspaper is protesting the recent decision of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and other Jewish groups to identify Giovanni Palatucci as a Nazi-collaborator, rather than a savior of Jews during the Holocaust — a move, the newspaper says, that is designed to discredit Pope Pius XII . . .

who turned a blind eye during the Holocaust and doesn’t deserve sainthood, the Jewish leaders who visited Pope Francis Monday told the new pope.

If you want more on the topic, The Forward reviews John Connelly’s new book on the evolution of Catholic thinking toward the Jews, ”From Enemy to Brother.”

In Britain, Prince Charles warns of rising anti-Semitism.

A new job for Rick Santorum, who is now CEO of Echolight Studios, a faith-based film.

U.S. mayors to feds: let’s have a national pot policy.

A rabbi north of New York City denies that he likes to impersonate cops.

A Burmese Buddhist monk lands on the cover of TIME magazine, and the government of Myanmar goes into p.r. overdrive, promising that the monk’s 969 movement — which has inspired attacks on the country’s Muslim minority — is peaceful. You decide. Burmese Archbishop Charles Bo volunteers Burmese Catholics as bridge-builders between the feuding Muslims and Buddhists.

- Lauren Markoe

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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. David Thompson

    Every day I read RNS and find it interesting and amusing, but what I am really looking for is that religious article that you feel really makes sense, regardless of what you believe or don’t believe. I am still looking.

    • A big stumbling block to understanding (or making sense) is that words with different meanings are used interchangeably. Faith is what you believe. If you believe that pigs fly and sit at the airport waiting for one to take of that is your faith. It is what you believe. Most of us know the U.N. exists but we do not place much faith in it. Most us believe the bus will eventually get here but not on time. That is our belief; our faith. Religion boils down to tents and practices about faith. If you beat a tom-tom believing it will make the buffalo come to you then that is a religious practice based on what you believe (based on faith .. but a practice or ritual .. hence a rite). Now one person believes you ought to use a large tom-tom and another believes a smaller one is just as effective and portable. So there are two denominations: (a) large-drumists (notice the ism) and (b) any old drumists. Notice how none of this has anything to do with what the buffalo believe. Well then the large-drumist and the any-old-drumists might begin warring and denominating into sub groups. The buffalo may actually hate drums but be curious about the dance steps (left 1-2 right 1-2 cha-cha-cha .. oh that’s catchy..) Who knows for sure? .. so (a) faith (b) rite (c) relationship (d) truth (e) what works in spite of truth (e) close-but-no-ceegar are all different..

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