A bishop. By Tigger11th via Shutterstock

A bishop. By Tigger11th via Shutterstock (Image source)

Today is GIving Tuesday or Charity Tuesday, when various non-profits hope consumers will consider all they’ve purchased on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and give even a fraction of that to the needy. This year #CharityTuesday takes off on Twitter.

The rest of the religion news:

1. Catholic bishops sued for substandard medical care: The ACLU is suing the USCCB over the case of a pregnant woman sent home from a Catholic hospital when best medical practice demanded an abortion to safeguard her health, according to the ACLU. Our friend at Notre Dame’s law school, Rick Garnett, suggests that the suit is a bit of a stretch of tort law.

2. Flying While Muslim: Believed to be the first challenge of the no-fly list to go to trial, the case of Malaysian university professor Rahinah Ibrahim — who says she landed on the list because of her Muslim faith and national origin — is before a federal judge in San Francisco. The topic is serious, but I think it’s OK to laugh when you read Arab-American Dean Obedeiah’s related piece, three years old but unfortunately not dated.

3. Unapologetic: A modern Christian apology, aimed primarily at Europeans’ who poo poo religion, is newly published in America. Authored by British novelist and essayist Francis Spufford, “Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense,” aims “not to win souls, but simply to win back some respect for the emotional dignity of the Christian religion,” writes John Murawski, who wrote about the book for RNS.

4. Two pieces of further proof of the pope’s uncanny insight into human nature: Catholic News Service reports: i. He was a bouncer in his younger years. ii. When a woman asked him how she should pray for a relative preparing to become a Franciscan friar, Pope Francis told her to pray that he has

 . . . the perseverance to go forward, but also the courage to turn back if he understands that this is not the right path.

5. Tips for Jesus: Remember that not-so-lovely note written by that pastor on his restaurant bill: “I give God 10% why do you get 18″? In response comes “Tips for Jesus,” an anonymous person or persons who is going around the country leaving stunningly large tips for servers, or people who work not so fancy restaurants who are still called waiters and waitresses. Tips for Jesus’ motto: “Doing the Lord’s work, one tip at a time.” Follow the mind-boggling trail of tips on Instagram.

6. The most successful Christian author you’ve never heard of: Our own Sarah Pulliam Bailey introduces us to Sally Lloyd-Jones, whose “Jesus Storybook Bible” just sold its 1 millionth copy.

7. Sacred Mask Sale: Members of the Hopi tribe are trying to stop the sale of 70 masks created for use in tribal rites. Unfortunately for the Hopis, the sale of the masks, expected to bring in about $1 million next spring, will be held in Paris, where U.S. laws that prohibit the trafficking of American antiquities do not apply.

8. Can Turkish Imams Rock? The lead singer for a rock band in Turkey is also the imam for a small village mosque. Turkish religious authorities may not allow him to remain on both career tracks. And it may not matter that one of Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer’s songs is called “Come to God.” Take a look and a listen:

9. Nuns Held Hostage: In Syria, a mother superior said Syrian rebels abducted nine nuns and three other women from a convent near a Christian village 40 miles east of Damascus, a region where rebels have made advances this week.

10. “Sometimes I am a truly shitty Christian” No, not me. Jana Riess. Sometimes I am a truly shitty something else. But that is how RNS blogger Riess ends her most recent post about a Mormon bishop who pretends to be a homeless person for a couple of hours. Here’s what she thinks about what he did, and why she’s down on herself.

– Lauren Markoe

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Categories: Beliefs

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.)


  1. “My liberty is your oppression.” It’s about time the Catholic bishops realized that their liberty, when it comes to health care, oppresses women. And maybe in other ways as well.

    Will the ACLU see a spike in donations? Members? Will the ACLU be banned from Catholic colleges?

    • Its about time for laws which remove the input of people not trained in medicine, following the dictates of their religion, from controlling and making demands on the standards of medical care.

      There is no excuse for people to risk severe medical emergencies or death because an administrator wants to uphold religious dogma. Your faith is not worth someone else dying unnecessarily.

      • Larry, if you have knowledge of “the other side” of this story, please give it. At this point all we know is that the ACLU said that the woman was sent home despite the best medical advice. Was “the best medical advice” that which the ACLU wanted to hear and only that?
        What constituted a “danger to health” here? The woman’s wish not to bear a child? Remember, abortion and contraception are considered by liberals to be health issues. They are, but not nearly as often as liberals want them to be. For some, choice is about health, and that is the line they continue to use.

        • Duane, If you would like to follow the hyperlink in the article, you can read more about this situation. Also, the actual complaint can be found as well. If you are interested in learning more about the ACLU position, here is the complaint location.

        • Your ad hominem argument and ignorance trolling is duly noted.

          The other side is easy to grasp here.

          We have bishops and other clergy members setting standards of medical care for hospitals controlled by their church. These are not doctors, these are not people who are acting with concern for medical necessity, public safety or the overall health of patients who come to such facilities. These are people who have no problem upholding their religious dogma at the expense of patient health.

          Refusal to give potential life saving care or even correct information is a danger to public health. Yet this is standard operating procedure for Catholic medical facilities where the issue is medically necessary abortions.

          This incident could have been a reply of the one in Ireland.

          This is more of a medical malpractice issue than a civil liberties one.
          The ACLU is stretching its point for cheap publicity.

          Unlike Ireland, there are no safe harbor laws for doctors to hide behind if they chose religious dogma over patient care. The hospital can be found negligently departing from the standards of medical care. Typical malpractice.

    • Yours is that peculiar, liberal definition of oppression, McGrath. Women can buy contraceptives at the pharmacy, maybe even at the supermarket. Men, too. Women and men can choose surgical sterilization, even paying for it themselves.

      • An organized effort to deny medical care based on gender sounds oppressive to me.

        Women may be able to buy contraceptives but they risk dying if they have to go to a Catholic hospital if a pregnancy endangers her life. Evidently the USCCB’s notion of religious freedom comes with a body count.

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