Students at the largest Sufi Muslim School in the world, M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi, started a global campaign protesting Roberto Cavalli's "Just Cavalli" line, which uses a similar mark to the school's logo. The students' campaign has a presence in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany and France.

Students at the largest Sufi Muslim School in the world, M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi, started a global campaign protesting Roberto Cavalli’s “Just Cavalli” line, which uses a similar mark to the school’s logo. The students’ campaign has a presence in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany and France.RNS image courtesy M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi

“Sharknado 2: The Second One,” premieres tonight, and if you missed the first “Sharknado” last summer it means you probably weren’t born yet. Anyone who can posit a theological angle to this is welcome to do so in the comments section below. My only question: Is it possible for a shark to jump itself?

Storing up treasures stored in … church attics

Michael Paulson shines a light on efforts to collect and preserve centuries old records and documents from disappearing New England churches. Remarkable finds that tell us much about faith and life in early America — and today:

“[A]s finances get tighter, as they are everywhere, and as congregations shrink, and they are doing that in many places, it becomes a matter of, ‘Do we do the ministry we are called to do, or do we preserve the past?’ ” says one Massachusetts pastor.

Designer’s offending logo gets yanked

A couple weeks ago our own Heather Adams wrote about Sufi Muslims who were upset that designer Roberto Cavalli — who once put Hindu gods on a line of underwear and swimsuits — was apparently appropriating their religious symbol as a logo for a clothing and fragrance line. Now comes this development:

Lighting a candle, not cursing the dark

Jefferson Bethke of the “Hate Religion, Love Jesus” video fame is now battling social injustice by selling candles. Jonathan Merritt reports.

Covenant marriage, convenient divorce?

When Bob McDonnell was elected governor of Virginia it seemed like a dream come true for the religious right: a telegenic GOP pol and a Catholic who had gone to an Evangelical university where he wrote a thesis arguing for “covenant marriage” — laws that would bind couples who marry and make it harder for them to divorce. Now McDonnell and his wife are in court fighting corruption charges by claiming that their broken marriage should get them off the legal hook. We might need a ‘splainer on that one.

Big, if true

Nuns build a house of straw

Cool project, and video, via Catholic News Service. And no “big, bad wolf” jokes, please

House of glass for Archbishop Nienstedt?

A law firm’s report on allegations about the Minnesota churchman’s private life with other men is complete though not released, but Nienstedt is talking to reporters today. Stay tuned.

Top clergy victims organization marks 25 years, looks to the future

My story on how SNAP’s mission is broadening beyond the Catholic Church, and the upside and possible downside of that transformation.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis wrote to one of the abuse victims he met with this month and she says he has renewed her hope that things could change, fundamentally, and finally.

Ex-Christian radio host guilty in child rape case

Awful, but true: USA Today reports that former Grand Rapids Christian radio host John Richard Balyo confessed that he and a second man handcuffed a 12-year-old boy to a motel bed, sexually abused him and took photos of the victim.

Abortion euphemism wars

Last week the New York Times reported on abortion rights opponents coaching Republican candidates to talk about abortion in more palatable ways in order not to alienate voters. Today the NYT has a story on how abortion rights supporters are trying to ditch the “pro-choice” label because it ain’t working either:

“I used to be a one-issue voter” — pro-choice — “but I think most younger people today aren’t,” said Janet Colm, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina.

Finally, everybody in for this year’s Burning Man?!

Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist says he is. Burning Man is, as National Journal explains, “an annual festival of debauchery that takes place in the middle of the Nevada desert. Attendees, called ‘burners,’ often dress up in crazy costumes, waltz around naked, take copious amounts of illicit substances, and generally do whatever they want.”

Says Grover:

“There’s no government that organizes this … That’s what happens when nobody tells you what to do. You just figure it out. So Burning Man is a refutation of the argument that the state has a place in nature.”

Me, I’ll stick with “Sharknado,” thanks.

That’s it for now — stay tuned to this space for updates throughout the day.


David Gibson

Categories: Culture

David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


  1. “Sharknado 2″ is the Second Coming of Sharknado. It’s not really a sequel, it’s simply the return of Sharknado again in glory to eat the living and the dead. I’d say that no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angelfish in heaven, but actually it’s on tonight at 9 ET on Syfy.

  2. Nasim Bahadorani

    Warms my heart to see that Americans will not stand for corporate bullying. Nordstroms obviously has moral and ethical standards in its customer service and I will continue to support them as they support what is right. #Faith matters.

  3. “Pro-Choice”? How about “Pro-Women’s Rights”? That’s what the fight is all about, after all. Why don’t we take it this way: “I’m against misogyny.” Or “I’m for body equality.” A man can do anything he wants with his body, shouldn’t a woman have that right too? What’s next–protesting the removal of live tapeworms from a man’s intestines? Socially and culturally, it’s the SAME THING as a fetus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.