We’re always flirting with new formats and ideas for the daily Roundup. Here’s another one. Let us know what you think:

Gretchen Tveitmoe, right, from Grandview, Mo. prays alonside Alice Wong, left, during a prayer service at Lake Lotawana City Hall in Lake Lotawana, Mo. on National Day of Prayer, May 1, 2014. Religion News Service file photo by Sally Morrow

Gretchen Tveitmoe, right, from Grandview, Mo. prays alonside Alice Wong, left, during a prayer service at Lake Lotawana City Hall in Lake Lotawana, Mo. on National Day of Prayer, May 1, 2014. Religion News Service file photo by Sally Morrow

Janice Hahn walks out of event after James Dobson calls Obama the ‘Abortion President’ (HuffPo)

“President Obama, before he was elected, made it very clear that he wanted to be the abortion president. He didn’t make any bones about it,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said on Thursday. “This is something that he really was going to promote and support, and he has done that, and in a sense he is the abortion president.”

Timeline describes frantic scene at Oklahoma execution (NYT)

McALESTER, Okla. — Early on the morning of Clayton D. Lockett’s scheduled execution, he defied prison officers seeking to shackle him for the required walk to get X-rays. So they shocked him with a Taser, Oklahoma’s chief of corrections stated in an account released Thursday of Mr. Lockett’s final day, before his execution went awry.

Survey: When science and faith collide, faith usually wins (RNS)

A new survey by The Associated Press found that religious identity — particularly evangelical Protestant — was one of the sharpest indicators of skepticism toward key issues in science.

Rick Jacobs threatens to pull URJ out of Presidents Conference after J Street fiasco (The Forward)

Reform leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs says the Union of Reform Judaism will consider dropping out of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations after it voted to reject membership to the dovish group J Street.

Or, as our senior editor David Anderson summed it up: “Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations rejects the membership application of the J Street Lobby (Not major enough? Not Jewish enough? Not organized enough?)”

Megachurch pastor Adam Hamilton’s scandalous take on Scripture (Jonathan Merritt)

The pastor of the largest United Methodist congregation in America is sparking intense debate with his provocative new take on the Bible.

Church organist Martha Godwin sets Guinness World Record for longest career (Huff Po)

Martha Godwin has been playing the organ and piano at the Macedonia United Methodist Church in Southmont, N.C., since she was 13 years old. Seventy-three years later, she’s been recognized by Guinness World Records as the person who has had the longest career as a church pianist or organist.

Pope Francis: Bishops, lay people ‘all on the same level’ (NCR)

VATICAN CITY – Making remarks to a new Vatican council to review the central church’s economic and administrative structures Friday, Pope Francis stressed that the council’s eight cardinals and seven lay members should work together as equals.

Cliven Bundy is Mormon? Nooooooo (Jana Riess)

This unwelcome revelation is more than enough to make a good Mormon swear.

Brunei’s new Shariah penal code is awful—and about to get even worse (RNS)

A second phase of the law, set to be introduced this year or next, aims to punish sodomy and adultery with death by stoning. Theft and robbery will literally cost you an arm and a leg. Or at least a hand.

Asian Buddhism’s growing fundamentalist streak (RNS)

BANGKOK (RNS) To many Americans, Buddhism is about attaining enlightenment, maybe even nirvana, through such peaceful methods as meditation and yoga. But in some parts of Asia, a more assertive, strident and militant Buddhism is emerging.

And finally this, since it’s Friday. We present to you Tea Party Jesus, billed as “the words of Christians in the mouth of Jesus.”

10 Comments

  1. Hi Kevin: Actually, I prefer the previous way of doing the Roundup. This present approach is more streamlined, but I like having more commentary introducing the stories, which also allows the writers’ personal styles to come out more distinctly. I also prefer that you provide your own headings–which are often funny as well as intelligent–rather than simply replicating the story’s own headline in the Roundup (as you did today). The other Roundup arrangement gives the writers room to interpret a bit, not just give a laundry list of articles. It’s a great opportunity for readers to get a little extra insight from professionals who really know their stuff.

  2. The new format is OK, but let’s not get so brief that we don’t know what the story is about:
    “The pastor of the largest United Methodist congregation in America is sparking intense debate with his provocative new take on the Bible.”
    Ah, c’mon — at least give us a hint! What’s the new take? What’s provocative about it? This isn’t reporting, it’s just a headline and a shill for somebody else’s website.

  3. Dobson showed no class with his partisan, political and uncalled for remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Just another fanatical response by the right wing evangelical church to the black man in the White House. They say that color plays no part in their response to the President but seriously, does anyone really believe that now? After all, could you imagine Dobson doing that when Reagan was the President? Even when Clinton was the President could you have even thought that Dobson would have made those same remarks at what was supposed to be a non-partisan event? It’s an easy question to answer because both Reagan and Clinton were President and Dobson never said anything like that when Reagan and Clinton hosted those prayer breakfast’s back then. Let’s just be honest here, if you’re a right wing evangelical then you’re most probably upset at seeing a black President in your White House and if that President said each person in America wuld be given a million dollars for living expenses you would criticize that. No, we sane people are not going to be discouraged from the task of electing Progressives to office, rather, when Dobson, or someone like him, makes a non-partisan prayer breakfast into a political platform then it just strengthens our resolve to get the crazies out of office!

    • The Great God Pan

      “…Dobson never said anything like that when Reagan and Clinton hosted those prayer breakfast’s back then.”

      Just to clarify, Obama did not host this event, nor has he ever. Clinton never hosted one, either. Reagan (whose first term they began during) only hosted one, as did Bush the Elder. W. hosted one every year he was in office.

      These events are not the same thing as the National Prayer Breakfast (which Hahn actually co-chaired this year). They are organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, an explicitly Christian Right group out of Colorado Springs, and there is only the slightest effort made to pretend they are “nonpartisan.” In fact, James Dobson said after the 2012 presidential election that the NDPTF had prayed for Obama to be defeated.

  4. The Great God Pan

    The National Day of Prayer event attended by Congresswoman Hahn was sponsored by a Republican congressman and is run by a Christian Right outfit that happens to be chaired by James Dobson’s wife. Although the NDP is officially “non-sectarian” and was formally designated by Congress in the early 50′s, the big NDP event held annually in DC has been run by the right-wing National Day of Prayer Task Force since the early 80s and no Democratic president has participated in it. Even Reagan and Bush the Elder only took part once each.

    Given the event’s pedigree, why did Janice Hahn expect it to be non-partisan in the first place?

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