The Supreme Court deals a setback to gay marriage opponents by striking down DOMA this morning and sending Prop 8 back to California.
Tune in here throughout the day for reaction from religious groups and leaders, who often have something to say on that topic.
What will social conservatives do now? At Religion & Politics, Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, explains why he fights on.
At least Big Mountain Jesus is safe, thanks to a ruling by a federal district court in Montana.
A high court decision to look for next term: The Supremes have accepted an appeal of a Massachusetts law that restricts pro-life advocates from standing within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
An abortion law that was to be the most restrictive in the nation got stymied in Texas thanks to one of those old-fashioned Mr. Smith filibusters. And an “unruly mob,” according to frustrated supporters of the bill.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are suing to stop the state from giving more than $11 million in construction funds to Princeton seminary and a Jewish yeshiva.
Following a ton of criticism from his co-nonreligionists, Time’s Joe Klein explains his remarks that “you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals in disaster relief areas like Moore, Oklahoma, after the tornados.”
Enough with all this infighting. Let’s talk about the Civil War, and a new museum at Gettysburg that explores the role of faith in that conflict. Our own Jeff McDonald has the story, as we approach the 150th anniversary of that epic battle.
Another truly moving story on our pages, about a twist of fate that brought a grieving mother in New Jersey together with a pastor from Oklahoma, who is helping her find faith after the death of her son. Read it all.
Not all pastors seem to be quite so pastoral: an Anglican priest from Australia found a couple’s $6500 gold-and-diamond bracelet, located them through an ID number engraved on it, and offered to give it back to them – if they paid him half of what it’s worth. The Rev. McAuliffe says it was like manna:
“I have been given a gift fallen from the sky. What do I do with my gift? That’s up to me to decide. I’m just offering to share the windfall.”
Speaking of God and Mammon, Pope Francis has set up five-member commission to study the scandal-plagued Vatican bank. Two Americans are on it: Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon and Monsignor Peter Wells, an ace official at the Vatican Secretariat of State. I’ll put my money on those two.
Remember all those health scares about the former pope, Benedict XVI? Don’t worry too much, says an old friend who just visited with the ex-pontifex at his monastic retirement home:
“He is 86 now,” said Father Stephan Otto Horn. “At that age you are not so strong, but he seemed to me to be very fresh. His memory is fresh and his eyes are very bright and joyous.”
Remember all the criticism about Newark Archbishop John Myers for allowing a priest who had molested a boy pal around with kids when he promised authorities he would allow no such thing?
We had it all wrong, he sez: “Many of the facts regarding Father Fugee’s case have not been fully reported or have not been presented in a balanced way.” He goes on to explain in great detail to the National Catholic Register what the real deal was…
Child abuse allegations mar the anniversary of celebrated Anglican bishop, Trevor Huddleston, who was famous for battling apartheid in South Africa.
Boston Cardinal O’Malley has barred an Austrian priest on a U.S. tour to talk about church reform from speaking at Catholic parishes in the archdiocese because the priest advocates some positions that the church does not.
Then there’s this: Middle schooler Amanda Baxter was booted from the football team at Strong Mountain Christian Academy outside Atlanta because the boys were beginning to “have impure thoughts” about her. From my recollection, middle school boys don’t really have pure thoughts about much of anything.
Speaking of purity, Judith Shulevitz, always a must-read on religion, reviews the Alejandro Junger book “Clean” and finds the religious impulse to asceticism behind the fad for colon cleanses:
These new cleanses are “religion without theology,” my friend Ruby quipped. But now that I’ve read Junger’s “Clean,” the best-selling text of the cleansing movement, I’ve decided I don’t agree. “Clean” is theology all the way down. As in many a devotional text, fasting is presented as a way to embody a purer social order.
Ever wonder how long it took your pastor to prepare that sermon? Thom Rainer has done and informal survey and found the answer is anywhere from 10 to 18 hours.
Actual results may vary.
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