Photo of a chocolate Jesus on the cross.

A chocolate Jesus featured in a Kickstarter crowdsourcing campaign. courtesy Kickstarter

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.”

An ad for a Catholic school features a woman with a tiara and the text: Life is not a fairy tale. Prepare for real life. Mercy Academy.

Mercy Academy, an all-girl’s Catholic school in Kentucky, has a feminist take on recruitment. courtesy Mercy Academy

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  1. “A small group of ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholics in Buenos Aires disrupted an interfaith ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht”

    The people that interrupted the interfaith ceremony were members of the Society of St. Pius X. SSPX is a heretical group, has no canonical status in the Catholic Church and is therefore not Catholic. In the interests of truth and accuracy, please stop referring to their members as Catholic.

    • Ralph, if RNS actually distinguished between the SSPX and the Catholic Church, it would hinder the left-wing propagandizing of Yonat and David Gibson. The RNS is just a far-left birdcage filler. Just count the number of news items in this day’s roundup featuring conservatives in a negative light (Phillips, Cruz, Palin, Kansas soup kitchen), but not a single item going after liberal hypocrisy. According to the logic in this roundup, we can start referring to the “Jews for Jesus” movement as simply Jews, but trust me, you won’t see that appearing in RNS anytime soon.

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