Good morning. Here’s the latest from Egypt. Under arrest: Mohammed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, by Egyptian police, who consider him “public enemy number one.”
Political Islam is on the defensive outside of Egypt too, reports USA Today’s Oren Dorell, as secularists confront Islamists from Turkey to Tunisia.
Coptic Christians rally in Nashville to support Coptic Christians in Egypt, our friend Bob Smietana reports. Nina Shea over at the Hudson Institute points us toward Rich Lowry’s piece, just posted in the National Review Online: Egypt’s Anti-Christian Pogrom.
After its annual assembly, the board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is putting a happy face on its give-and-take with the Vatican, which has accused it of taking a “radical feminist” approach to Catholicism, advocating social justice at the expense of lobbying against abortion, gay marriage, etc. But negotiations with the Vatican actually do seem to be on a better footing.
An RNS exclusive: Watch this slideshow of archival images of events before, during and after the March on Washington, which celebrates its 50th anniversary on Aug. 28.
Using your iAnything during a church service: bad, right? Not necessarily, say some in the pulpit and the pews. According to one LDS leader: “I see development of technology as the fulfillment of a Judeo-Christian prophecy.”
At least one church choir may disagree. Check out their original gospel number “Keep Your Business Off Of Facebook.” A sample lyric: “Sundays you act like a saint, but your Facebook posts say you ain’t.”
RNS blogger Cathleen Falsani has just finished Blake Atwood’s “The Gospel According to Breaking Bad,” an e-book released to coincide with the TV drama’s last season this month. Falsani wants to see Breaking Bad’s Walter White — whose soul has traveled one heck of a spiritually awful journey — redeemed at the end.
That would be good. It would also be good for this show to end so I don’t have to keep explaining that I am too squeamish to have advanced beyond the “acid bath” episode. But there may be a reward for those who watch. Falsani quotes Atwood:
We are all broken bad and desperately in need of redemption, but woefully unable to extricate ourselves from the dire circumstances of our lives. … In Walter White we see the judgment that is rightfully due us, and yet we hope that circumstances or God or the universe or something will intervene before it all goes to hell.
RNS blogger Jonathan Merritt explains what Russell Moore doesn’t understand about trangender people when Moore remarks — as he did in a Washington Post OnFaith forum last week, that God created male and female, end of story. Responds Merritt: it’s more complicated.
According to research conducted by Anne Fausto-Sterling of Brown University, one in 100 children are born with “bodies that differ from standard male or female” biology. This includes those children born with both a penis and a vagina, as well as those with vaginal agenesis, ovatestes, or genetic disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome. Apparently, God sometimes creates humans both male and female or neither fully male nor fully female.
The Pennsylvania county clerk who has issued 135 marriage licenses to gay couples, despite the state’s ban on gay marriage, says in a court document that the ban is “arbitrary and suspect” and looks a whole lot like the federal ban the Supreme Court struck down in June.
An Oklahoma judge says no to a new state law that makes it very hard for women to get the morning-after pill.
Anti-fracking activists fear the Church of England is going to try to profit — through fracking — from its rights to a considerable amount of mineral wealth beneath the English sod.
Non-Muslim Swedish women are donning headscarves in solidarity with a Muslim woman who was assaulted in a Stockholm suburb recently for wearing one.
Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters is stepping up his campaign to have the music world boycott Israel.
Nigerian officials say Abubakar Shekau, leader of the violent Islamist group, Boko Haram, has been killed. Shekau is responsible for attacks on many Nigerian houses of worship, both Christian and Muslim, and lately had been targeting Muslims in prayer.
Al Jazeera America launches today, with high hopes that it can overcome lingering anti-Muslim sentiment that dogged Qatar-based Al Jazeera when it first aired in the U.S. after 9/11.
The Obamas got a new puppy. I can’t think of a religion angle to this story, so I’ll just say: “Good Lord, he is cute!”
Your Tuesday check list:
1. Adopt Portuguese Water Dog
2. Keep Your Business Off of Facebook
3. Subscribe to the Religion News Roundup
- Lauren Markoe