Dancing and singing around the maypole is a vital ingredient of Swedish Midsummer festivities. Photo: www.imagebank.sweden.se

Dancing and singing around the maypole is a vital ingredient of Swedish Midsummer festivities. Photo: www.imagebank.sweden.se

A federal appeals court rejected Liberty University’s challenge to Obamacare, and it seems from the Reuters piece that this suit was about the employer mandate to provide insurance generally, not the contraception piece that has gotten so much attention recently.

A popular supplier of challah bread in and around New York failed its safety inspections after inspectors found mice, roaches and beetles in the kitchen.

Make sure to read this heart-wrenching story about a young mother confronting grief and God after her husband and two young boys froze to death on a hiking trip.

A Catholic blogger who got his knuckles rapped for posting the pope’s newest encyclical has started a petition to allow greater distribution of official church texts.

As the gay marriage fight pivots to the states, Pennsylvania’s attorney general says she won’t defend a state ban on gay marriage in court.

A federal judge has ordered an end to groin searches at Gitmo, calling them “religiously and culturally abhorrent” to the Muslim inmates.

The King’s College, an evangelical outpost in lower Manhattan, has a new president, Greg Thornbury, after former president Dinesh D’Souza resigned because of an affair.

Point/CounterPoint: Wal-Mart wages are evil (Michael Sean Winters). Wal-Mart wages are just (Nina Easton). Discuss.

Pope Francis has OK’d a new legal code for the Vatican that includes specific penalties for child sex abuse and leaking confidential documents.

Speaking of Uncle Frank, don’t forget to enter our contest with your original artistic depictions of the pope. We’ve gotten some entries already and it’s amazing the cultural diversity on display.

Watch this space later today for Lauren Markoe’s piece about Tisha B’Av, the Jewish holiday to mourn the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem. A new poll finds 30% of Israeli Jews want a Temple rebuilt, which would involve the destruction of an important mosque on the site.

A proposal to set up a makeup room for female Israeli lawmakers is getting lots of pushback.

From the Motherland (on this, what would have been my Swedish grandmother’s 107th birthday): A strict Lutheran family in Sweden has won an exemption for their three daughters from the “sin” of dance in a school gym class.

And also this: Muslims living in the Arctic circle (who knew?) aren’t sure how to fast between sunrise and sunset when the sun never really sets when Ramadan falls in the summer.

A British soccer, er, football player has been sentenced to three months in jail for a series of drunken tweets that encouraged followers to, among other things, “bomb and gas every mosque in England.”

And this, because it’s Friday: A random pastor somewhere has put together the “Ev’ry Day I’m Pastorin‘” tumblr that includes gems like this:


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  1. Garson Abuita

    It should be kept in mind that Orthodox and some Conservative Jews pray on a regular basis for the Temple to be rebuilt. But that generally is understood as something to happen in the Messianic age, when world peace has come to all. That’s what’s behind the poll: of course we want a rebuilt Temple. The people who would today bulldoze the Dome of the Rock and erect a Third Temple are viewed by the majority of Jews around the world as heretical, mentally unbalanced or worse.
    As for MK Calderon, whom I admire, she would’ve been well-served to remember the experience of Bill Clinton and Haircutgate: the first few months of your tenure are not the time to use the trappings of state to focus on your own vanity.

  2. It is my understanding that the prominent structure on the rock formerly known as Zion is not a mosque, but the equivalent of a shrine. There is a mosque attached to it, off to one side. But the Big Gold Dome over the ancient but very famous Rock is not the mosque.

    Also not only does the sun not set above the Arctic Circle, it also never quite rises. So they might have to fast for WEEKS! I know when I worked for and Islamic family in Maine one June many years ago, their fast lasted a very very long time, making them rather cranky (with good reason).

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