Texas provided much of the religion news this past cycle:
First, David Barton (Aledo) and Kenneth Copeland (Fort Worth) told soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan that all that mumbo jumbo about PTSD is not biblical. Buck up. You’re men of God.
Then, Doug Phillips (San Antonio), a ministry leader and father of eight, who believes large families are a sign of God’s blessings, had an extramarital affair. Now the board of directors of his Vision Forum Ministries has determined that it is in the best interests of all to close for good.
And not to be outdone, evangelical pastor Rafael Cruz (Dallas), father of tea party star Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), called black and Hispanic voters “uninformed” and “deceived” during a speech to conservative activists in February.
In another appearance before an Oklahoma gun rights advocacy group, the elder Cruz said atheism leads to sexual abuse of children.
And finally, amid much consternation among Jews, President George W. Bush (Dallas and Crawford) plans to speak today at a fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute – a group dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity.
Had it with Texas? Look across the border to Toronto. It’s not used to much hubbub, but thanks to Mayor Rob Ford, it’s receiving quite a bit.
“Decent” and “pastoral” and “genuine” were the adjectives that Tom Roberts, a longtime writer for National Catholic Reporter, used to describe Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. David Gibson has a profile.
Pope Francis could be at risk from the ‘Ndrangheta organized crime organization, according to a leading anti-mob prosecutor in Italy. This despite the fact that most Italian mobsters are practicing Catholics.
You gotta hope these mobsters aren’t listening to Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor said she was “taken aback” by some of Pope Francis’ comments, which she said “sound kind of liberal.”
Or these guys: A small group of ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholics in Buenos Aires disrupted an interfaith ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht by shouting the rosary and the “Our Father” prayer, and spreading pamphlets saying that “followers of false gods must be kept out of the sacred temple.”
After half a century of decline, Britain’s Jewish community is growing as Orthodox birthrates soar, according to a new report.
In Iraq, a suicide bomber struck a group of Shiites marking the somber religious ritual Ashoura, killing at least 22 people.
Even after a Christian soup kitchen told a group of Kansas atheists their services were not needed, they found another organization that would allow them to volunteer with Thanksgiving dinners.
Wonder what those atheists would think of this: Kickstarter is offering a “limited edition luxurious dark chocolate Jesus on a cross sprinkled with sea salt.”
Hawaii’s governor on Wednesday signed a bill into law making same-sex marriage legal. It becomes the 15th state to do so.
The ACLU is charging that a Catholic hospital in Durango, Colo., disciplined a doctor for suggesting a patient’s condition might be fatal if she chose to continue her pregnancy. It says the hospital’s policy violates state and federal laws.
You can now get a kosher hot dog at a University of Illinois basketball game.
And a Kentucky all-girls Catholic school has a distinctly feminist approach to recruiting young women: Its latest ad campaign reads: “you’re not a princess”, “life’s not a fairytale” and “don’t wait for a prince.” At the bottom of the ad, it says: “prepare for real life: Mercy Academy.”
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