Image courtesy of Zurijeta via Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Zurijeta via Shutterstock

Today is Tuesday, July 1, the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s summer vacation. The justices can now put the Hobby Lobby decision behind them. But who knows how long it will take the rest of us to figure out its implications? We will start on that project today in the roundup. But first, a break, with some news not made by Sam Alito & Company.

French can ban the full-face veil

Just in case you needed an example of how religious rights are treated in Europe v. the U.S.: As the Supreme Court was handing down the Hobby Lobby decision, the European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s ban on the niqab, which covers the whole face. There are about 5 million Muslims in France, and about 2,000 Muslim women wear it.

Southern Dems try campaigning with faith

Here’s a short video from the AP on how Democrats running for office in the South, including former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, are talking about their faith as they troll for votes. Hey, it works for the GOP.

Spinning Hobby Lobby forward

RNS bloggers see the future post-Hobby Lobby: Mark Silk on the court’s balanced decision and why it’s not good news for the Catholic bishops. Jonathan Merritt on what’s next on the religious liberty front. Tobin Grant on how religious freedom won the day. And just in case you missed it: our “Five takeaways from Hobby Lobby” and the spectrum of emotional reaction to the verdict.

Oh, and here is the funniest take — and astute explanation of — the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, by our own Kimberly Winston. I am proud of her for explaining it in terms we can all understand: hallucinogenic drugs, puppies and ice cream.

Your reward for reading reams of Hobby Lobby coverage? Buzzfeed’s magnificent “2014 Running of the Interns,” which explains just how the decision — the heavy block of paper that is the physical manifestation of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby — gets rushed from the Supreme Court to the TV reporters standing outside the Supreme Court, waiting to break the news to the world.  (Warning: there is a bad word in this piece, but you can handle it.)

Duck Dynasty duckling born out of wedlock

Miss Kay, of TV’s most famous camo-wearing, family-values values clan, has revealed that her eldest child with husband Phil Robertson was born before they were married. She was 16. But she had made a vow to God to be true to him well before the actual wedding, she said. Born-again Phil Robertson stirred up controversy last year by defining sin thusly: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

Mt. Soledad cross can stay  . . . for now

Before they dropped that Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court announced that the case of the Mt. Soledad cross must go back to the 9th Circuit before they will consider it. That means the cross, which pro-cross and separation-of-church-and-state types have battled over for decades, will stand for now. The cross, a memorial to veterans maintained by a private group, sits on public land in San Diego.

The Mount Soledad cross was installed on public land in San Diego in 1954.

The Mount Soledad cross was installed on public land in San Diego in 1954. Creative Commons image by Jun Pinili

The Vatican bank — striving for respectability

This is another way that the scandal-plagued bank is trying to rehabilitate itself: by signing a bilateral agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department to exchange all sorts of information, reports our own Josephine McKenna. This move comes just five months after Pope Francis dismissed the five-man board running the bank.

Sorry for biting you

The Uruguayan soccer player who bit the Brazilian player in the World Cup last week has apologized. How is this religion news? Forgiveness is divine, that’s how, and Giorgio Chiellini has forgiven Luis Suarez. Extra points if you can tell the roundup which pope wrote: “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” See below for the answer and thanks to Roundup Reader Filipe for thinking of this brilliant pop quiz question.

Uncertain future for Cuba’s Catholic magazine

The influential Espacio Laical has lost two editors who helped make the publication a rare open forum for ideas not necessarily pleasing to Cuba’s communist government. Readers worry that the future promises more stories unlikely to challenge anyone.

Bonus Tracks

The Pope has decried the murder of three Israeli teens and asked for prayers for peace.

Israeli court: mother can’t be forced to circumcise her son, despite the father’s wishes.

Elton John: Jesus would be good with gay marriage.

– Lauren Markoe

Thank you for reading the roundup. It’s all the religion news you need to know, with just the right amount of snark, unless we overdo it. In that case, as the biter said: “my apologies.” Sign up below for delivery to your inbox each weekday.

Who said “to err is human; to forgive, divine?” Alexander Pope.

Categories: Beliefs

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)

7 Comments

    • Lauren Markoe

      Lauren Markoe

      Article author

      There are two items on Israel in the roundup today. And yes, plenty more news going on in Israel today, and also Iraq and Nigeria. RNS tries to focus on stories with particularly strong religion angles that you may not see in your morning paper.

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