It's a garden Gnome and a magazine cover! Duck Dynasty is everywhere...

It’s a garden Gnome and a magazine cover! Duck Dynasty is everywhere… David Gibson for RNS

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice…” the poet wrote. But really, Mr. Frost, is there any debate? Not looking outside my window this frozen morning. Might as well move to balmy Alaska

Ham-on-Nye to go…

Speaking of debates, creationist Ken Ham squared off against “The Science Guy” Bill Nye last night to argue about how the world began. I anticipated a replay of the Super Bowl so opted to wash my hair instead. But our pals at CNN’s Belief Blog watched it (and CNN moderated) so I didn’t have to, and have the happy recap in tweets. You can read it in less than six days. Time’s Elizabeth Dias also has an entertaining play-by-play. And the Daily Beast’s Michael Schulson said Creationist Ken was the Seattle Seahawks of this matchup, and wiped the stage with Nye.

U.N. committee blasts the Vatican over sex abuse

No surprise, that U.N. committee examining the Vatican’s track record on clergy abuse of children said the Holy See must do better, much better. They also, per the AP, “severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should review its policies to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.” What’s up with that? Let the debate begin: some Catholics called it a “kangaroo court,” others a step toward accountability. The Vatican was pretty measured in its response.

Catholic school fires teacher for getting pregnant

Sure, the Catholic Church in some dioceses has been taking heat for firing gay teachers, but straight people are not completely excused. The Helena diocese in Montana fired a high school teacher who is unmarried and with child. Shaela Evenson “made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract,” which requires her to follow Catholic teachings in both her personal and professional life, Superintendent Patrick Haggarty told The Montana Standard. “It’s a sensitive issue, and it’s unfortunate all around.”

  • Then there’s the Muslim woman who was fired from Boston Children’s Hospital for refusing to get a flu shot, which she says would have violated her religious beliefs. Yes, she’s also suing.
  • And a Catholic nun in Pittsburgh who works as a nurse in a jail was fired for allegedly trying to organize workers. Heaven forfend.

Another brain-dead woman, another pregnancy — only different

CNN has the story of Robyn Benson of Victoria, British Columbia, a pregnant woman who is brain-dead while doctors keep her on a ventilator while her baby grows in her womb. But unlike the recent controversy over Marlise Munoz in Texas, the baby is healthy and the husband supports keeping her body going. Let the ethical debates ensue.

Pope Francis isn’t the only one dominating the newsstands

There’s this:

I’m just tickled to have the garden gnome I found at the corner drug store.

Sorry, Marlboro Man

Speaking of the corner store, CVS, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, says it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October. The New York Times says it is “another sign of its metamorphosis into becoming more of a health care provider than a largely retail business.”

On the other side of the ledger, the State of Virginia will consider using the electric chair as the state’s default method of execution because drugs used for lethal injection are not available. What’s wrong with this picture?

John Paul II betrayed?

The late Polish pontiff and soon-to-be-saint ordered his personal notes burned on his death in 2005. Instead, his closest aide is publishing them in a book. Is that cool? An “unholy betrayal” say many in Poland, where the volume comes out today. Here are some excerpts — doesn’t seem too controversial. Yet.

Then again, a volume of letters from my pal Robert Frost (see above) may help restore his personal reputation, a bit.

A moratorium on public apologies?

The NYT’s Dealbook talks to Dov Seidman, who is tired of the “apology theater” of so many public figures and calls for an “apology cease-fire”:

“The apologies — and the way we react — are so much about the performance. Are those real tears? Are they not real tears?” Mr. Seidman asked. “But we aren’t judging the aftermath.”

If you are a public figure who’d rather not face those questions, Fast Company has this article: “5 Steps to Reclaim Your Credibility After You Screw Up.”

Sorry if I missed something in this Roundup. Really. But do check out our home page for the rest of the news and check back for updates throughout the day.

David Gibson

Categories: Culture

David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson is an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He is a national reporter for RNS and has written two books on Catholic topics, the latest a biography of Pope Benedict XVI.

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