It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least in Manhattan, where we’re getting a steady snowfall this morning. In other news:

LDS church explains ban on black priests: Mormons have a new statement offering an explanation for why the church previously had barred black priests, and for the first time disavowed the ban. Here’s Peggy Fletcher Stack and here’s blogger Jana Riess on the issue.

375px-Barack_Obama_first_meeting_with_Nelson_Mandela

Mandela’s memorial service: World leaders came together to pay homage to Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

“In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, and persistence and faith,” President Obama said in his remarks.

What’s getting some chatter, though, is that Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro.

More quotes from the service:

Christian school teacher’s nude photo prompts resignation: A teacher placed on paid leave last week after a nude photo of her surfaced on the Internet quit over the weekend. The images, reports say, were posted on a “revenge porn” website. A spokeswoman at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy’s North Campus said the female teacher resigned after she was put on leave. In June 2012, a music teacher said the same school rescinded a job offer after learning he was gay.

Catholic high school fires teacher who applied for gay marriage license: In the latest in a string of similar incidents, a teacher at suburban Philadelphia Catholic high school has been fired after applying for a gay marriage license. The Human Rights Campaign is taking up the issue.

Pope Francis on the “global scandal” of hunger: The pope on Monday denounced the “global scandal” of hunger, calling for an international “wave of prayer” to call attention to the plight of the needy and homeless. Mike Gerson says the pope is making an argument for “compassionate capitalism.” Tom Krattenmaker says the pope isn’t a standard bearer for the right or left.

North Korea’s zombie gods: Author and investigative journalist John Sweeney went undercover to report from North Korea earlier this year. He found a nation brainwashed by a ruling family of dead gods, a dark state with no religious freedom.

Medicine matters: Chaplains are playing a larger role in helping hospital staffs and patients. The WSJ reports that nearly 70% of community hospitals surveyed in 2011 provided chaplaincy services, up from 62% in 2003, according to the American Hospital Association.

Church-state divide:proposed bill in Ohio might prevent the state from ordering a Muslim woman wearing a hijab to remove the scarf for a driver’s license photograph, but it would still allow for the removal of a burka because the state has a compelling interesting in seeing a person’s face on a driver’s license.

A Catholic priest surge: In a video, Center for Bioethics and Culture education director and author Christopher White argues why young men are flocking to join the priesthood.

Philippines, Muslim rebels sign power-sharing accord: Philippine officials have signed a power-sharing accord with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the AP reports. The insurgents have been fighting for self-rule for minority Muslims in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation in a conflict that has left thousands dead.

Selfie Christmas cards: Discuss! A columnist argues that Christmas cards used to be about nativities, shepherds, you know, Jesus. Christmas cards, like social media, have become all about us.

Also:

Mars Hill Church admits to ‘citation errors’ in Driscoll plagiarism controversy (Jonathan Merritt)

Early-returning Mormon missionaries often face stigma (Peggy Fletcher-Stack)

Humanism at Harvard gets an address — and a nod from the governor (Chris Stedman)

Stop comparing Nelson Mandela to Jesus, British journalist says (Trevor Grundy)

And some religion humor from The Onion: God Admits He Never Created Gerbils

 

Categories: Beliefs

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a national correspondent for RNS, covering how faith intersects with politics, culture and other news. She previously served online editor for Christianity Today where she remains an editor-at-large.

7 Comments

  1. Great post today Sarah! Wonder how long it will take the GOP & Tea Party heads to explode over the President shaking hands with Raul Castro. Oh, the horror! Blessed are the peacemakers…

    • Mr. Scott, perhaps some heads will explode. For sure, however, it was Christiane Amanpour’s head that exploded today when she commented that Aretha Franklin’s gig at the memorial was a warmup for Obama. Yes, that’s what she said.

      Tell me, Scott, whether liberals are interested in Mandela here or in Obama. We know the answer to that, just as we knew the liberals’ position back in ’07 when the man with only two years experience as a US senator thought himself fit to lead the country. Then, on “coronation day” itself, Tom Brokaw and his anchor guest were telling us that they really didn’t know who Obama was. Interesting that media people never did any probing before the election–or since.

      Just thought I’d share with you some facts about your president that you might not get from watching CNN, MSNBC or the 3 broadcast “news” outlets.

  2. For a much clearer picture of where the Mormon Church has slowly migrated from, there is a valuable letter from a Mormon “Apostle” to then Governor George Romney of Michigan about the ‘vicious legislation’ of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A photocopy of the original letter can be found here: http://www.boston.com/news/daily/24/delbert_stapley.pdf

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