We know you don’t have time to sift through all the news out there, so we’ll do it for you. And we’ll even organize it:
News from Home
A federal appeals court in NYC heard arguments yesterday from atheists who don’t want the so-called Ground Zero cross to be featured in the 9/11 museum set to open this spring. If it has to go there, they implied, they’d be satisfied with something that says “atheists died here, too.”
In DC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued comprehensive new guidelines — not rules — for accommodating religious garb and observance in the workplace. Interestingly, they apply to both workers with “sincerely” held religious beliefs — and unbelievers who “sincerely” refuse religious garb or insignia.
Martin Luther King’s daughter is pleading with her brothers not to sell their father’s personal Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal. “I implore you to consider the magnitude of this moment in history and how you want your individual legacies to be defined,” Bernice King said.
Mormons in Utah donated a vacant church building to charity — quite literally. Habitat for Humanity salvaged everything it could for use elsewhere, and the land itself will be used to build a lodge for cancer patients.
Protesters who’ve been trailing the Dalai Lama on his recent U.S. tour plan to meet him outside Washington National Cathedral today — which raises the question: Who could possibly hate the Dalai Lama? These people.
Once-prominent conservative Bill Gothard has finally resigned after a flurry of sexual harassment and abuse allegations from women, apparently so he can spend more time listening to his accusers.
Remember the popular vice principal at a Catholic high school in Seattle who was fired because he married his husband? He’s planning to file suit against the school and the Archdiocese of Seattle today.
If you’re old enough to remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the telegenic Catholic evangelist from the 1930s to the 1960s, you may be interested that a Vatican panel of medical experts has OK’d a miracle that could inch Sheen along the path to sainthood. A family prayed to Sheen for help after their son was born and his heart didn’t start beating until an hour later.
And a star witness in Michigan’s trial over the state’s ban on same-sex marriage says unrepentant gays and lesbians are going to hell.
News from, well, we’re not sure where
Laura Turner probes the theological etiquette around someone who styles their wedding around a Wes Anderson movie, as in The Royal Tenenbaums. And for the record, I HATED that movie.
The Supreme Court of Massachusetts — my home state, in full disclosure — says it’s cool if guys take surreptitious photos up the skirts of unsuspecting women. Or something like that. Next on my agenda: transferring my birth certificate to somewhere else. Lawmakers, however, seem hell-bent on overturning the ruling ASAP.
They’re finding severed goat heads — yes, more than one — in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Memo to David Gibson: get right on that one, please.
Food for thought: 10 reasons I’m a funeral director.
The guy who played Jesus in Roma Downey’s “The Bible” and “Son of God” franchise is getting his own show on the CW network. He’s the same guy who sparked a debate about whether Jesus was hot or not. The verdict, according to The Atlantic: “This casting is definitive proof that (Diogo) Morgado is, at the very least, hot, since the CW’s casting practices tend to favor looks over talent.”
Speaking of, Hollywood Reporter offers this up: 13 Devilishly Handsome Actors Who’ve Played the Son of God. Will Ferrell? Seriously? Will Ferrell?
News from Pope Francis (I mean, c’mon, the man deserves his own category)
Pope Francis turned 77 in December and while he’s got the world’s best health care, aides are also concerned that he’ll have the stamina to keep up the work ahead of him. But people doubt this man at their own peril. Cathy Grossman asks: Can his popularity persist?
That’s not to say he’s universally loved — victims’ advocates are pushing back against his recent assertion that the Catholic Church is the “only one being attacked” on the abuse issue.
News from Abroad
Retired Pope Benedict XVI said it was clear to him all along that John Paul II was a saint and “I could not and should not have imitated him, but I did try …”
Russell Crowe’s upcoming Noah epic won’t be seen in Qatar, Bahrain or the UAE because it violates Islamic law against depicting a prophet, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Similar bans are expected in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.
The jail-the-gays movement is spreading to Kenya, where church leaders say the West is hell-bent on exporting homosexuality to Africa as either “colonialism” or “a weapon of mass destruction.” Meanwhile, in Nigeria, four men were flogged after being convicted of homosexuality.
The European Court of Human Rights has decided that the Brits are OK to tax Mormon temples (sort of), and Mark Silk tries to figure out what it all means.
The chief opposition leader in Muslim-majority Malaysia has been convicted of sodomy after earlier being acquitted.
And with that, it’s on to the weekend. The Roundup is brought to you free Monday through Friday, so make sure we have your email address below. It’s kind of like quinoa — good for you and quite tasty when prepared with the right ingredients.