An image of the Bible with the multicolored stripes of the gay movement in the background.

A Bible for all stripes.Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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.

Ringing endorsement

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.”

For more on the what the world is coming to, click the blue button.


  1. Duck Commander: “the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the Kingdom of God.”
    And what about female prostitutes? Are “homosexual offenders” gay men who pile up traffic tickets?
    This bible sounds like a cartoon. Shame on Thomas Nelson for cashing in on hatred and arrogance.

    • Marriage – “The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract” – Webster’s Dictionary, 1828.

      To state marriage as, “between man and woman” is fact, not hate.

      The difference between the Bible and a cartoon is that you have seen the cartoon, but have you read the Bible? Do not judge the book by its cover. Read it and find out for yourself.

      • Man not a myth

        Luckily this is 2014, not 1828.

        noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
        : the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife
        : a similar relationship between people of the same sex
        : a ceremony in which two people are married to each other

        marriage – the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

        So by dictionary meaning to state marriage is only “between man and woman” is false.

        Lucky for us we also know the Old Testament was false in telling the earth to be flat.

        • To understand a man you must understand the originality in which he speaks. To re-define what a man says is to change what he says. If Congress can legislate meanings of the English dictionary than freedom of speech has also been re-defined and the Constitution was a waste of many quill.

          Let me explain:
          I understand what you meant when you said, “Lucky for us we also know the Old Testament was false in telling the earth to be flat.”

          You actually meant, “Lucky for us we also know the Old Testament was false in telling us the earth was flat.”

          To define your words in contradiction to what you intended it to mean is wrong. If it is not wrong, than I re-define the word “false” to mean accurate and the word “flat” to mean spherical.

        • So because it’s in the dictionary it’s OK? Do you know that disgusting, immoral, damnation are also in the dictionary? God is very clear on marriage and it is one man and one woman, no matter how much you want to spin it otherwise.

    • Shame on Thomas-Nelson to resorting to stunts and cheap tricks to sell God’s inspired word. Seems like they’re selling out to the world instead of revering Christ.

      • oh cmon being a Christian is not using hate against anyone, and not to hide behind religion to use hate, intolerance, bigotry and prejudice, but to be tolerant and love and accept about the real definition of christianity

    • lol he doesn’t even know the whole bible he is using religion to hide behind for his justification for hate, intolerance, bigotry and prejudice. it is now proven he is a member of white supremacist group that has strong ties with the KKK,,they always use religion to hide behind just like the Nazi’s did

  2. The Great God Pan

    ” Phil Robertson’s five core values: faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness and freedom.”

    What about “filth,” as in filthy unkempt beards and filthy camo outfits?

    • phil Robertson is so damned ugly and scarry full of hate and anger on his face..i feel sorry for him that he is so miserable..think of all the people he could help with his hundreds of millions instead of using it for heat, intolerance, racism and bigotry..everything Christianity is against!…everytime you hear about a minister using anti gay hate speech in sermons they always later get exposed to being gay

  3. Bible Literalism continues it’s slow death.

    Despite the tone of today’s roundup, the data itself (seen by clicking the link to Gallup), shows that the death of religion continues on schedule. The % viewing their chosen Bible (of the many different canons out there) as literal truth is about as low as ever (still over 10 points down from just a few decades ago), and the % seeing the many Bibles as just a bunch of fables is at an all time high.

    Nice to see people are continuing to wake up.

  4. Anne-Marie Shaffer

    LOL Nowhere in the Old Testament does it even allege that the Earth is flat. — Truth is truth no matter what year it is. Truth is truth no matter what is written. God created marriage when he created the universe and everything in it. He created it specifically between 1 man and 1 woman. Marriage is not a legal “contract”. Marriage existed before human laws and human. governments. — You may not like the Truth. You may choose to lie to yourself and deny the Truth. By it is still and forever will be the Truth.

    • Correct, the Bible does not say that the earth is flat. But for many many years literal believers had a hard time accepting that the Earth revolves around the sun because the Bible says, “The sun stood still.” And in the USA there are milions who deny the facts of evolution because they take genesis literally and think the earth is only 6000 years old. Yet this same literalist crowd will say that Christ’s words “This my body” were symbolic, not literal. And Leviticus condemns adulteres to death yet these literalists don’t kill adulterers in their congregations. But they jump all over Leviticus for its milder comment on homosexuality and ignore the fact that the passage is part of a condemnation of pagan temple worship where people usually had sex with the male priests. It’s more of a condemnation of idolatry than anything else. No wonder people get disgusted with the Bible.

  5. Watch out with those numbers on Portugal’s priests, this is a classic example of a factoid getting blown out of proportion.
    The 400 number comes from a former priest who heads an association for former priests numbering less than 200 people. In an interview with Lusa, our news agency, he drops the 400 figure but does not mention a timeframe or give any evidence for the number at all.

    Considering he has a vested interest, as his association advocates the end of forced celibacy for priests, its fair to ask where he got the number from and, most of all, 400 have left in what timeframe? Unfortunately the journalist didn’t think to probe… The take got picked up and published without any further details, and went from there to the BBC.

    Obviously some priests in Portugal leave to marry, this happens everywhere. Is it a huge problem? We can’t know until somebody gets some hard data.

    • Yonat Shimron

      Yonat Shimron

      Article author

      Very good point. Thank you for writing. I thought it looked suspicious and the only reason I included it was that the source seemed credible, the BBC.

  6. Yonat,
    I managed to ask the man in question, as he is part of a Facebook group I administer, about religious current affairs. Here is his reply, translated by me:

    “The interview lasted about an hour. The title was manipulated [referring to the original Lusa take]. I said that our association is aware of about 450 priests who asked for dispensations from their priestly obligations (whether they married afterwards or not is something else). I also mentioned that this figure relates to priests who were dispensed since the 1960’s, that is, after Vatican II.”

    So that explains that… much ado about nothing!

    Keep up the good work!

  7. ever notice how his face seems so full of anger and hate? lol he looks like a homeless person that would kill you, but I know he has hundreds of millions..i think he must be a self hating gay man, cause he is so obsessed with cherry picking the bible veruses against gay people..making himself obviously gay lol..their the most dangerous kind of people self hating closet case gay people..what is so scarry is he does anti gay hate white supremacist speeches.all over the south and it is scarry because a lot come and believe his lies

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