For a guy who recently turned 500, John Calvin still knows how to shake things up — this time for the Southern Baptist Convention. You can take our handy little Calvinism 101 quiz here.10054956l

(Even his bobblehead is pretty dour looking)

The WSJ examines the surging popularity of Amish romance novels. To wit: In the last 10 years, the number of new titles each year has grown from 1 to 86.

Speaking of which, the New Republic says Amish families are getting “fracked” by natural gas drilling companies because the Amish are notoriously reluctant to sue when things get all fracked up.

Support for gay marriage is growing across all religious groups — even evangelical support has inched up from 13% to 23% — and about six in 10 Americans see it as “inevitable.”

Remember all those fights over creches on courthouse lawns and 10 Commandments monuments at state capitols? Atheists will unveil their first monument to unbelief on public land in Florida, later this month.

Want to understand the two competing strains within American Catholicism? Look no further that Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Philly Archbishop Charles Chaput, says our pal Tom Roberts over at NCR.

Religious minorities welcomed the FBI’s decision to track hate crimes against Hindus, Sikh, Mormons — Mormons? Really? — and others, but say it’s just a first step.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is neither Evangelical, Lutheran nor a Church (but it’s still in America). Discuss.

Our own Jonathan Merritt dissects the larger societal debate over working moms, and what evangelicals might have to bring (or not) to the discussion.

You gotta love the Brits: an Anglican priest got into trouble for calling Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby a “wanker” over his stand against gay marriage; Welby’s spokesman told the priest it’s not cool for a priest to refer to his boss as an “onanist.” (see Genesis 38:9)

While we’re still in jolly ol’ England, the established Church has more or less thrown in the towel on the gay marriage bill, saying the handwriting on the wall is pretty clear.

The upcoming Miss World pageant will be bikini-free in a nod to modest-minded (and majority Muslim) host country Indonesia.

Uncle Frank says he’s going to stick around the Vatican this summer rather than escape to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo. I hear Rome is just lovely in August.

Israel is asking ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews to “share the burdens” of citizenship, and that means doing more than hand-writing your resume on a piece of fax paper.

And because it seems the NSA is monitoring your phone calls and maybe your emails, too, give them something good to snoop through when you get the RNS Religion News Roundup every day, for free, by email.


  1. Ralph Hythloday

    I don’t understand the surprise in tracking hate crimes against Mormons. Are they any less deserving of heightened protection than any other group on list?

    • In addition, the Mormon official stand is not to say or do anything disrespectful of other religions. Other religions do not have this policy.

    • Mormons are not seen as friends of the white house .. that is why it is surprising. Neither are Christians. O uses the white house and the office as a personal tool and attacks the Cambridge PD but ignores border crime. He helps labor unions and punishes corporations. He uses the IRS to attack law abiding conservatives but overlooks liberal (leftist) crimes of those who praise him. It IS blatant .. so it is surprising that Mormon become a protected species. Maybe he wants to seem objective.

  2. No surprise that the “capitialist” corporations are frakking at the cost of the Amish. They would frak their own grandmothers if it meant one more cent in profit to them. The Amish may not want to but they are going to have to take our beloved capitialists corps to court if they want to have any unpolluted and protected land left. Very sad.

    • It is a good thing (in a way) that you did not pay tens of thousands of dollars for an education and then be forced to pay off loans for years for something you did not get. Then your sense of exploitation would be at least connected to your privation. You do have access to a computer and can post a comment (were you aware that socialist government did not develop the personal; computer?) Does your grandmother have a personal computer or a cell phone? Do you use a car? surely you have electricity; possibly clothes, medical care, name brand food, shoes, an apartment or home, auto insurance .. were you aware that they government did not create them? Do you feel exploited having those things? Do you have a family (and do they count on YOU for food and creature comforts? .. or does the government do that for you?)

  3. This new Archbishop of Canterbury (the ABC) – a former oil executive – looks like he will be a Roman style legalist. Perhaps he’s made a political calculation that the only way for the CofE to survive and remain the established church is to offer a safe place for Britain’s reactionaries to be at home. This stand against gay marriage will make the Catholic conservatives supportive of keeping the CofE as the established church. Or the ABC is secretly determined to get the Cof E disestablished by becoming overly political, and political, against the tide of history.

    At any rate I think this speech of the ABC will encourage the movement to abolish or severely reform the of the House of Lords (throwing the bishops and the hereditary peers out) and the disestablishment of the church.

    The ABC’s speech is another indication, along with history and current events, that the road to justice and human rights does not lie through religion.

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