Cover of New York Post with headline, "Chris in a Jam."

Cover of the New York Post on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s latest woes. Courtesy Newseum

Wednesday’s big news involved disclosures that New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s office was involved with lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as retribution against a Democratic mayor of Fort Lee who failed to endorse him.

While this is not a religion story, it is a moral one.

Andrew Sullivan was more blunt than some, calling the governor “a vindictive, petty egomaniac contemptuous of the people he serves.”

It was a good day for other blunt pronouncements:

In case you missed it, Dallas First Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jeffress in a new book said President Barack Obama is clearing the way for the Antichrist.

And, on this website, Al Mohler acknowledged that some evangelicals are indeed reconsidering birth control. Hence, their opposition to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

“Our concern is to raise an alarm about the entire edifice of modern sexual morality, and to acknowledge that millions of evangelicals have unwittingly aided and abetted that moral revolution by an unreflective and unfaithful embrace of the contraceptive revolution.”

Was the Rev. John Dear too blunt? The peace activist and frequent jailbird resigned from the Jesuit order. Or was he dismissed? The head of the international order said Dear was “obstinately disobedient to the lawful order of Superiors.”

Amid much highfalutin talk, Chris Stedman calls for a time out. He says 2014 should be the year we stop saying, “atheists are immoral” and “believers are stupid.” Amen to that.

Unusually silent? Earlier this week, RNS reported that Israel would provide government funded abortions for women aged 20 to 33. Buzzfeed now says many anti-abortion lawmakers who are also Israel’s loudest defenders were mum.

Then there’s Dennis Rodman. He apologized for comments he made in an interview about an American missionary held captive in North Korea for more than a year.

In other news, reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before, with Syria accounting for more than the whole global total in 2012, according to an annual survey.

A French comedian is accused of being an anti-Semite after he created a straight-armed gesture called the “quenelle,” which is being compared to a Nazi salute. Dieudonne M’bala M’bala has also penned a song, “Shoah Nanas”– or “Holocaust Pineapples.”

Speaking of France, an 88 year-old German was charged for his role in the World War II massacre of 643 men, women and children in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Calling the U.S., “the Satan,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that nuclear negotiations with world powers had revealed U.S. enmity towards the Islamic state.

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the launching of the War on Poverty and reporter Mark Pinsky reminds us of what can go wrong when religious and secular activists tried to wipe out poverty in Appalachia. 

First Colorado and Washington states. Now it looks like Alaska may be the next state to legalize marijuana. This week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said he planned to use an executive action to allow limited use of the drug for sick people.

The University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research asked people in Muslim countries how they prefer women to dress in public. Most preferred conservative dress but many also said women should be able to decide for themselves what to wear. The Pew Research Center has a cool graphic.

New Ways Ministry, which describes itself as a “Catholic organization of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons,” gave a thumbs up to the movie “Philomena.” Some Catholic groups were offended by the movie, which tells the true story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who gave birth out of wedlock and was sent to a Catholic convent to work without pay while her son was sold to an American couple.

More than 50 years later, there’s this: A 58-year-old Utah woman is set to give birth in a few weeks — to her first grandchild. Julia Navarro is serving as a gestational surrogate for her daughter and son-in-law after the couple struggled with fertility problems.

No connection, really. But boy, have times changed! Want to keep up? Click on the blue button below.



  1. Woo, the mainstream media are reporting only that some aides to Gov. Christie ordered the bridge closing. At this point there is NO evidence that Christie knew of this stunt.

    P.S. I would never vote for Christie.

  2. The contraception embrace by evangelical Protestants came only when a poiltical/pro-Republican alliance was struck with the Catholic church hierarchy. Fundamentalist Protestants still think all Catholics will go to hell but they’re useful for getting a Republican elected to the White House, and the Catholic hierarchy consider the fundamentalists useful for turning the American people against contraceptives (the first version of which was developed by a Catholic physician to prevent abortions).

  3. Too bad about John Dear. But Jesuits have a tradition of humbling celebrity priest by ordering them to take on assignments of less visibility. And why can’t lay Catholics lead Catholic peace movements?

  4. Unfortunately, lately I’ve found that most atheists have more moral courage than the so called believers of people that follow those like Jeffers. They want their tax free status but want to be able to preach politics from the pulpit, directly contradicting the law. But, do they care? Nope, they’re too busy enjoying their tax free donations and telling people like me that I could be not blind and thus not poor if only I had more faith or confessed some sin. Well, they are the exact hypocrites Jesus preached about and I’m fed up with it and people like Jeffers spreading his lies! I guess I have some belief left in God but that belief has been much strained by those like Jeffers who continue to spread hate and intolerence from the pulpit.

    • Don’t let the religious charlatans take away your faith in the God of creation. Not unlike the deceived, greedy, and self-serving religious leaders of old, Jeffers and his kind must keep the people in ignorance in order to maintain their position with Caesar while rejecting the God of all humanity under the pretense of serving Him. The only difference is that the people of old were unlearned and ignorant; today they are falsely educated, lazy and willingly ignorant. But then the Light came and many accepted Him and were led out of the grip of the charlatans. May the so-called Christians begin to study God’s word for themselves so that the True Light may shine upon them. Every American president since and including Ronald Reagan, who appointed America’s first ambassador to the Vatican, has been paving the way for the Antichrist. Yea, he is verily among us and all the world is wondering after him. (Revelation 13:8)

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