On data and stats:
Maybe all the gnashing of teeth over the “nones” was overblown. The latest Gallup poll reveals that 28 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the literal word of God, and half of Americans continue to say the Bible is the inspired word of God. Long live the Bible.
But here’s a statistic that shows how religion has really changed: Oklahoma’s largest church is overwhelmingly Hispanic. It took 10 years for Tulsa’s St. Thomas More Catholic Church to transition from mostly white to mostly Hispanic. Of its 10,000 members, 90 percent are of Hispanic descent.
And one more from the data journalism beat: In 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, Islam is the largest non-Christian faith tradition. Click here to see the map and find out what the second-largest faith is in your state. (Spoiler: If you’re in the West, it’s likely Buddhism; in the Northeast, Judaism.)
On religious freedom:
Remember the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to hang for refusing to renounce her faith? Turns out, her husband is an American citizen. Why isn’t President Obama doing more to try to free her, asks The Daily Beast.
And: a hospital in China that was the site of deadly ethnic unrest in 1997 has asked its staff members not to skip meals during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting that begins on June 28.
On the really? beat
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was crowned Father of the Year by the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, a philanthropic group associated with Save the Children. Bridgegate anyone?
Faced with tough questions under oath last month, former Twin Cities archbishop Harry Flynn said at least 134 times that he could not remember how he handled clergy sexual abuse cases during his 13-year tenure.
Because the world needs another version of the Bible: Thomas Nelson publishers will release “The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible” in October. It will focus on Phil Robertson’s five core values: faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness and freedom.
A lawyer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton N.J. told Delaware justices that a priest was not “on duty” — or serving in his capacity as a priest — when he allegedly molested a boy on trips to Delaware in the 1980s. Therefore he’s not liable.
More on Catholics:
The Irish government and the police are coming under increasing pressure to open an investigation into allegations that Catholic nuns secretly buried up to 796 babies and toddlers born to unmarried mothers in a septic tank over several decades.
More than 400 Portuguese men have recently left the priesthood to get married, according to the BBC.
Pope Francis has ousted the all-Italian board of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency, installing a more international set of experts.
In world news:
Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers killed at least 200 civilians in three communities in north-eastern Nigeria and the military failed to intervene even though it was warned that an attack was imminent.
Andrew Sullivan offers an impassioned plug for Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian.
“There is no intellectual straining in Vines’ book; its arguments are simply explained and it is geared almost entirely to a readership that accepts basic evangelical notions about the Bible’s authority and divinely inspired literal truth.”
What is the world coming to?
Sarah Pulliam Bailey says plagiarism is becoming commonplace in the pulpit.
And Maryland megachurch Pastor Jamal H. Bryant shocked his congregation last Sunday with a line from rapper Chris Brown’s latest track with the phrase “these hoes ain’t loyal.” According to the Washington Post, “The comment brought the congregation members screaming, cheering and clapping to their feet.”
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