Before we head into misery, mayhem and discount dining gimmicks, start your day with two inspiring examples of selfless love.

Two health workers – driven by their Christian faith to treat Ebola victims in Liberia then afflicted themselves with the horrible virus – faced a choice.

According to The Daily Beast, only one dose of a potentially life-saving experimental serum was available. Samaritan’s Purse volunteer physician Kent Brantly insisted that it go to Nancy Writebol, a missionary from Charlotte who has devoted decades to Serving In Mission.

Instead, Brantly got a blood transfusion with antibodies from a 14 year-old Ebola survivor. Now he is improving in an Emory University hospital isolation unit and she flew to Atlanta today.

Not all think this stateside transfer is a great idea – including evangelical political hopeful and pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Protest move:

The U.K.’s first female Muslim Cabinet member, Sayeeda Warsi, resigned to protest Britain’s policies on Gaza. She calls the government’s stance “morally indefensible” in the resignation letter she posted on Twitter.

Pope nope:

Everyday Americans swoon for Pope Francis. Congress? Not so much. The gridlocked House has yet to pass a resolution lauding the pope’s 2013 election. It seems his social and economic justice views are not popular with the GOP.

Indeed, now Pope Francis has lifted a 29-year suspension of a priest/theologian who became a Sandinista official, reigniting talk that leans Marxist.


Christians should forgive Pastor Mark Driscoll (again, again, etc.) for misogynistic, homophobic remarks in his past for which he has apologized (again, again, etc.) says columnist Jonathan Merritt. Rant in the comments if you like, says Merritt and who am I to disagree.

Not sorry:

After Uganda’s highest court nixed the country’s draconian anti-gay law, the nation’s top Anglican leader wants the law to be revived, prison sentences and all.

Atheist complaint:

A military recruitment center in St. Louis is passing out free camouflage-covered Gideon Bibles to recruits enlisting in the National Guard.

On a sadder note:

Former White House press secretary James Brady, gravely wounded in the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, has died. He and his wife were the force behind landmark gun control legislation. Also, today is the anniversary of the deaths of Marilyn Monroe (1962) and Richard Burton (1984) and the day Nelson Mandela began 27 years of imprisonment.


Fe+Male image courtesy Thomas Rousing

Fe+Male image courtesy Thomas Rousingvia Flickr Creative Commons

Points of view:

Philip “His Dark Materials” Pullman talked with Faitheist Chris D. Stedman about atheism, religious critics, Humanist funerals, what atheists can learn from Jesus, and why he thinks that kindness is more important than intellectual coherence.

— Rachel M. Stone is saddened – and puzzled – by those who insist God is masculine: “Surely God is not really so fragile as to need all this defending?”

— Jana Riess observes many Mormon women would rather face root canal than the “bizarre general custom of assigning people to give sacrament talks more or less annually but giving them zero training in how to do it well.”

What’s next department:

Now that a restaurant in the South offers a discount to folks who pray over their food and some restaurants in the West discount the checks of folks who openly sport their guns, what cheap trick could be the next get-15-percent-off gimmick at a dining spot?

— Singing the national anthem and hitting the impossible high note.

— Saying a brucha or making du’a before dining (20 percent off if you know either term)

— Folding your napkin in the shape of a fish.

— Writing the definition of “consubstantial” on the back of the check.


Categories: Beliefs

Cathy Lynn Grossman

Cathy Lynn Grossman

Cathy Lynn Grossman is a senior national correspondent for Religion News Service, specializing in stories drawn from research and statistics on religion, spirituality and ethics, and manager for social media.


  1. “A military recruitment center in St. Louis is passing out free camouflage-covered Gideon Bibles to recruits enlisting in the National Guard.”

    And yet again someone decides to abuse their government position to pretend the government endorses their Christian faith.

    • I know that I and many, many other veterans are immensely grateful for the Gideons and their work of handing those Bibles to service-members on base and elsewhere. This is not about your conspiracy theory paranoia of the government pushing the Christian faith; this is about compassionate human beings empathizing with one another through their physical, mental, and spiritual hardships.

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