Some of the news today is as cold as the temperature here in D.C. — 12 degrees. I know some of you have it far worse. So snuggle up tonight and watch the State of the Union. In the meantime . . .
Kicking the gay marriage can down the road
Our man in Canterbury (who is named “Trevor” so you know we got a real, native correspondent working for you) reports that the House of Bishops has indefinitely postponed a decision on whether gay marriage will be legal in the Church of England. The English in the Church of England seem ready to give it a go. But much of the church in Africa . . . not quite. Same sex marriage will be legal in England and Wales this April.
Save the Doves
It was one hot story on the Interblob yesterday: two meany birds attacked the doves Pope Francis set free from his balcony Sunday, as popes like to do. Now an Italian animal rights group is asking Francis to stop the papal practice, because doves are domesticated birds and do not recognize that other birds, such as that crow and seagull who went after them the other day, know a sitting dove when they see one.
Sex! Sex! Sex!
That’s what the Southern Baptist Convention is going to talk about at a conference in Nashville from April 21-23. The agenda: pornography, teen sex, homosexuality, the role of the gospel in shaping a person’s sexual identity, how the gospel redeems sexual desire, and how pastors can talk to their congregations about human sexuality. Russell Moore, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president for the Southern Baptist Convention, calls the theme timely. When is it not, some might say?
Kamala Khan, Marvel’s new Muslim supergirl
NPR’s Michel Martin (my favorite host on radio) interviews author G. Willow Wilson on her new comic book creation, Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Muslim public high school student from Jersey City. Khan is also the first Muslim superhero to star in her own mainstream comic book series.
— Kamala khan (@MsMarvelNow) January 22, 2014
(Two question for Marvel: She is a 16-year-old observant Muslim girl — can you leave something to the imagination regarding her anatomy? And do flat-chested girls ever get their own comics?)
States seeking alternatives to lethal injection
A shortage of the drug states typically use to carry out executions by lethal injection has led some state officials and legislators to propose different methods, including the firing squad. One state still uses it: Utah.
A family believes its children are possessed
It sounds like bad reality TV but this is actual a thoughtful, fascinating piece about a Gary, Ind. family who believes its children are possessed by demons. The Indianapolis Star’s Marisa Kwiatowski interviews the family, the priest, the social worker, the doctor . . . and finds conflicting explanations for what has befallen poor people who sincerely believe something awful is inhabiting their basement. A priest finds an exorcism is in order.
Duping a pregnant ex-girlfriend to abort
Feel bad story of the day: The son of a Florida fertility doctor told his pregnant lover that the pill was an antibiotic, when it was really misoprostol – the pregnancy-ending drug he wanted her to take to induce an abortion. She miscarried, six weeks into the pregnancy. He quotes the Bible at sentencing, and gets almost 14 years in a minimum-security prison. Because John Andrew Weldon pleaded guilty, prosecutors dropped a murder charge.
Goodbye Pete Seeger
He was not a man of religion, but who could doubt the Spirit in him. Here’s the NYT obit. Here is his “If I Had A Hammer” from 1963.
And take a gander . . .
Pat Bagley explains why that Mormon ban on alcohol is not so Absolut.
In 1492 Spain expelled the Jews. In 2012 it said it wanted them back. One Jewish guy from New York does what he can to become Spanish.
Update: That N.J. couple who wanted to sell the naming rights to their eighth — sorry, ninth! — daughter, has named her.
- Lauren Markoe
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