A photograph of the popemobile

The popemobile, as used by former Pope Benedict XVI. Photo courtesy Shutterstock

This is a jointly authored roundup, and I can’t speak for Yonat, but growing up in New York City, I was always confused about Darryl Strawberry. Was he a Met? A Yankee? Could you really be both? Now I get it. He’s a preacher. Here’s what  Strawberry has to say in Bob Nightengale’s story:

I love the game, don’t get me wrong, but I love the Bible more.

We gave you plenty to read on the Zimmerman trial in the previous days, but here’s one more: RNS blogger Jonathan Merritt surveys Christian reaction to the verdict, and interviews Leroy Barber — global executive director of Word Made Flesh and the father of black sons — on his response.

At Sojourner’s, Catherine Woodiwiss writes “How Far Is Too Far?: Sexuality and Sexual Violence on Christian Campuses,” and delves into some uncomfortable questions that need to be asked. It’s part of her series on sexual violence and the church.

Over at CNN, Eric Marrapodi asked: Is Pope Francis the Catholic Princess Diana?

Fredrick Nzwili, our man in Africa, tells how Sudanese Christians are facing increased hostility — deportations, arrests, etc. — since South Sudan broke away from the mostly Muslim north — which is still simply “Sudan.”

Chulalongkorn University is Thailand’s premier institution of higher learning, but that didn’t stop some students there from creating an immense mural depicting Captain America, Batman and other comic superheroes, topped by Adolf Hitler giving a Nazi victory salute. University officials have since apologized.

It’s four years until the next summer Olympics, but to tide you over you can watch the Jewish Olympics starting this week, officially known as the Maccabiah Games.

Yesterday we wrote in this space about how two of our guest commentators — Barry Lynn and G. Welton Gaddy — did not mince words when decrying the assertion that there is a war against Christians in the military. But the Rev. Tom Ehrich has set the bar for higher  today — adding a healthy dose of outrage to his candor. His column begins:

It is tragic to watch contemptuous right-wingers declaring war on America.

The Vatican has come up with a novel way to work off sins: It’s offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets. The Guardian says it’s all part of the lead up to Catholic World Youth Day, which starts Monday in Rio de Janeiro.

Speaking of Youth Day, the pope’s decision to use an open-topped car for milling about the crowds when in Brazil is drawing lots of press. Uncle Frank will use a closed-car popemobile for longer-distances only.

The first Vatican envoy to Malaysia has opened a storm of controversy by apparently supporting the use of the word “Allah” by Christians. Muslims are among those protesting.

In California, the Catholic Church is fighting hard against proposed legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for one year for alleged victims of sex abuse.

Buzzfeed looks at the infighting and organizational disarray at one of America’s leading conservative Christian political consulting firm.

Our friend Bob Smietana offers a deeper look at Russell Moore, the new ethics czar at the Southern Baptist Convention. And Michelle Boorstein at The Washington Post writes that Moore is striking a different chord from that of his predecessor on the Zimmerman trial:

“Regardless of what Trayvon Martin was doing or not doing that night, you have someone who was taking upon himself some sort of vigilante justice, even by getting out of the car. Regardless of what the legal verdict was, this was wrong.”

Former president Jimmy Carter, also a Baptist, though no longer a Southern Baptist, says the jurors in the Zimmerman trial made the right legal decision.

Britain’s gay marriage bill has cleared its last major hurdle, passing through the House of Lords.

Rhode Island’s governor has vetoed legislation to authorize a “Choose Life” license plate that would have raised money for a Christian crisis pregnancy center that opposes abortion. Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee said it’s inappropriate to use state license plates to raise money for a religious organization.

A new survey finds a third of Americans believe the First Amendment goes too far in guaranteeing freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition.

Here at RNS we’re bullish about the First Amendment. Those of you who sign up for the Roundup know why.

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.)
Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is the managing editor of RNS.


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