F bomb image courtesy of ponyinarope via Flickr

F bomb image courtesy of ponyinarope via Flickr (Image source)

La gaffe di Papa Francesco

Accidentally, Pope Francis said “F#%$” during a blessing. But he gracefully kept going, as if nothing had happened. Here’s the linguistic back story. If you’re speaking Italian — as the pope was — and your first language is Spanish — as the pope’s is — it’s very easy to misprounounce, the word “caso,” which means “example,” by saying “cazzo,” which is . . . a bad word in Italian. So much you learned already today in the roundup!

Drive-in churches bring the communion to your car

NPR paid a visit to the Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church, where Pastor Bob Kemp-Baird says the service — where parishioners listen to the sermon through the radio — is as good as sitting in the pews.

Is there a feeling of the presence of the holy in this place? Is there a feeling that Christ’s presence is made known? I do know: it lives here.

German home-schoolers likely face deportation

The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a family seeking asylum in the United States because home schooling is not allowed in their native Germany. Christians Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who believe German schools would have a bad influence on their six children, had become a cause celebre among American home-schooling Christians.

Louisiana pastor accused of rape

Police say Pastor David “Scott” Lemley of Baton Rouge’s New Harmony Baptist Church, raped a 20-year-old woman who has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He allegedly arranged with the victim’s father, who is in prison on sex charges, to have sex with her against her will. 

Former judge censured for nixing “Messiah” baby name

The former magistrate who told a Tennessee mother that she could not name her baby “Messiah” has been censured by the state’s board of judicial conduct. The board found her guilty of five counts of bias. Last year Lu Ann Ballew told baby Messiah’s mom that she would have to call him something else because only one person is worthy of the name “and that person is Jesus Christ.” The decision was later overturned and Ballew lost her job.

Twenty prominent Republicans ask court to overturn gay marriage bans

Headlined by former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson and former Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, 20 big deal Republicans from the West have signed a letter asking a federal appeals court judge to overturn gay marriage bans now in limbo in Utah and Oklahoma. Here’s a poll that documented rapidly changing GOP views on gay marriage.

Defending gay marriage ban in Michigan hits a snag

Attorneys defending Michigan’s gay marriage ban found the first “expert” witness did not qualify to testify in court Monday because he is still a student. Their star witness, sociologist Mark Regnerus, author of a study that concludes households headed by gay parents are not as stable as those headed by opposite sex parents, did testify. He is expected to come under fire during cross-examination today.

Deadly protests in Mauritania after Quran desecration

One person was killed in the North African Islamic republic during demonstrations over the desecration of four Qurans in a mosque Monday. The unidentified vandals entered the mosque and threw the holy books in a toilet.

At least 30 more deaths in Nigeria attributed to Boko Haram

Nigerian officials say Boko Haram Islamic militants rolled into the village of Mafa, in the northeast part of the country, and began torching homes, businesses and government offices, killing at least 30. This latest attack comes after days of violence attributed to the group — whose name means “Western education is evil” — that killed more than 100.

Scam aimed at Orthodox Jews

The Forward reports that a man who goes by various names, including Chaim Goldman and Glenn Goldstein, has scammed more than a dozen Orthodox Jews by telling them tales of “Jewish-tinged” woe. He often approaches observant Jews outside rail stations around New York close to the time Sabbath begins, and claims he needs money to get home by sundown, as Orthodox Judaism requires.

Phallus worship in Bhutan

Buddhists’ appreciation for phallic symbols in Bhutan never went out of vogue. But now a younger generation is embracing this religious/fertility icon in new ways.  A film in production, “The Red Phallus,” explores the subject, as do numerous young artists who are redefining the traditional image, found everywhere in Bhutan, including monasteries.

Bonus phallus news item: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaking about his respect for Judaism and his close friendship with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said he was “bris” close to converting. Get it? Bris close. All right. Enough for today.

Sign up for the Religion News Roundup so you can get more tomorrow — automatically delivered to your inbox. Cost-free. Spam-free. Mostly Tasteful.

– Lauren Markoe

Categories: Beliefs

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)


  1. Regnerus determined that kids do badly when raised by gay couples by studying kids who WERE NOT actually raised by gay couples. At least, only a couple were actually raised by lesbian moms.

    • Actually the study showed that kids raised in straight marriages where one parent was in the closet caused tension and distress. A parent is constantly lying and repressing themselves in public and to their family causing tension, quel surprise!

      If anything the upside is was to say that being closeted was harmful. Of course that was not the result Regnerus’s paymasters wanted or the one he claims in public. The fact that Regnerus uses his (academically lambasted) study as an expert witness against marriage equality shows what kind of dishonest piece of garbage he is.

    • I was reading live-tweets of Regnerus’ testimony in Michigan. He interviewed hundreds of people. I think it was 1500 total. *Two* of them were raised by gay households their entire lives, instead of being raised by a parent and gay partner for a year or so or whose parent dated a same sex partner but never actually parented them. Those two people were actually doing well, according to Regnerus. But it’s easier for him to see them as anomalies and to generalize about struggles that other kids were going through.

      The thing I found reinforced from Regnerus is that kids struggle when their parents struggle with divorce and other major stressors.

    • Interestingly, Regnerus isn’t advocating against step families, despite instability from those types of families based on his research results. He’s also not advocating against foster care or adoption, even though those kids aren’t with their birth families.

      Regnerus and his funders want to eliminate marital and parenting rights for gay couples because our families don’t meet the gold standards of intact lifelong heterosexual families. But he came to that conclusion from researching the kids of parents who broke up their formerly intact heterosexual families and then generalized those results to intact lifelong homosexual families (despite the results from the two gay intact lifelong homosexual families that he actually studied and who actually did well!).

      • Most importantly his study would never pass admissibility muster under standards as the work of an expert witness.

        Scientific studies have to be vetted on the basis of reliability of methods employed. Acceptance by peer review and academic gatekeepers is the primary way of determining this. The study was retracted based on faulty methodology.

  2. Christians should not be relying on Republicans (and ESPECIALLY not relying on any Democrats at all!!) for any support regarding either religious freedom or marriage.

    The new religion is the Gay Marriage Cult, and both parties want to guzzle their Kool-Aid in return for votes. Many churches and clergy are already spiritualy dead or dying because they wanted a good swig as well.

    Christians, it’s time to stop swilling the Kool-Aid, and FIGHT BACK already!

    • @Doc Anthony,

      You sound like a control freak thrashing around because nobody is paying attention to your invisible friend.

      Frightened, homophobic, forceful, neurotic, divisive, wish-thinking, power hungry, bullying – that is Christianity and Islam. What poison!
      Yet, you can’t demonstrate that your invisible God cares one way or the other. You manifest His rage ON HIS BEHALF all in your own mind!

      And you have the nerve to call Atheists ‘militant’.
      For shame.

    • I agree. By all means. You want to walk out that door, don’t let me stop you. Form your little “ideologically pure” religious and political groups.

      There is nothing I would love more than the Christian fundamentalists to finally alienate themselves from mainstream politics and religion once and for all.

  3. Drive-in churches are nothing new. That’s how Robert Schuller got his start in Garden Grove, CA, in 1955 long before he built the Crystal Cathedral. They, too, had communion delivered to your car … this WAS Southern California, after all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.