Brain death is all over the news this week, with the dead-but-not-dead 13-year-old Jahi McMath and braindead-but-still-alive 33-year-old Marlise Munoz. If you’re confused (you’re not the only one), the NYT has a helpful explainer on what qualifies as brain death, and USAT has a reader-friendly glossary.
We’ll spare you from more #Bridgegate drama (Chris Christie said more than enough for all of us yesterday) but here’s an interesting question: did Christie or his aides make “mistakes” or commit “sins”? Cathy Grossman chews it over with the Baptist Center for Ethics. Mark Silk mulls Christie’s sins in the Church of Civil Religion.
Let’s say you operate a go-kart park near Chicago. And let’s say a woman with long flowing locks is riding one of your go-karts, and her long hair gets sucked into the motor. Do you: Call 911 for help? Cut the woman’s hair to free her from the motor, even though she’s a Sikh and Sikhs don’t cut their hair? Hire a lawyer?
Speaking of the Garden State, if you’re looking to get hitched in Jersey, lawmakers are working to make it easier for a secular officiant to solemnize your nuptials. A bill to do that cleared the state Senate 32-5. Just leave plenty of time to get to your wedding on time in case, you know, there’s traffic on the GW Bridge.
From the Dept. of This is Going to Go Over Well, Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao says he’s looking to buy The New York Times, or maybe the Wall Street Journal, because “I am very good at working with Jews.”
The Human Rights Campaign is asking the feds and attorneys general in the 17 states (and D.C.) that allow gay marriage to recognize the 1,000 or so same-sex marriages that were performed in Utah before the state said it wouldn’t honor those marriage certificates. Utah put those marriages on ice pending a final ruling from a federal appeals court or, possibly, the Supremes.
Lance Bass’ mom is challenging the church on its treatment of gays and lesbians, adding that she prayed for her gay boy-band son to turn straight. “The miracle is that I learned to have unconditional love and compassion for my son and others in the gay community. I haven’t marched in parades or spoken at conventions, but I do feel that God has led me to speak out concerning the church’s role.”
Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George is going on the defensive ahead of the release of records on 30 abusive priests, NCR reports. The Vatican won’t extradite a Polish archbishop accused of abuse from the Dominican Republic, essentially citing diplomatic immunity.
Pope Benedict may be reading books in retirement, but his name is on a new institute in San Francisco dedicated to traditional (read, old school) liturgy. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has said the institute is a resource for local priests, not a requirement.
Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, who led an Islamist party in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, has stepped aside to clear the way for new elections. Meanwhile, citizens in Muslim-majority nations generally want women to wear a head-covering hijab, but it doesn’t have to cover the whole face.
One group of Muslims who don’t cover up? The “Islamohunks” behind this year’s Hot Muslim Men of 2014 pinup calendar. Omar has all the details in this week’s Moozweek, as well as stories about a Muslim figure skater who’s trying to snag a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi.