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.
The Pilgrims came here for religious freedom. As Obama & crew have shown with Romeike family – no longer true for Christians.
— John Q. Public, MSA (@OHenrysStepchld) March 3, 2014
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.
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– Lauren Markoe