Image courtesy of iophoto via Shutterstock

Image courtesy of iophoto via Shutterstock (Image source)

The Senate begins hearings today on possible U.S. military intervention in Syria, for which President Obama said he would seek Congressional approval.

But Congress, Parliament and a group of ethicists interviewed by RNS resist, wondering if we would do more harm than good.

Here are three Christian perspectives on the morals of this dilemma from RNS blogger Jonathan Merritt.

Here’s Pope Francis’s take. He tweeted this weekend:

 

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the departing papal prime minister, says he was surrounded by “crows and vipers” on the job, which was essentially to act as Emeritus Pope Benedict’s second in command. And here’s Alessandro Speciale’s piece on the Vatican’s new “prime minister.”

We seem to have the first papal selfie, by the way.

And because of his willingness to take selfies, among other reasons, clergy across England and Wales are attributing a rise in the number of people going to confession to the “papal bounce.”

Here’s your first opportunity to cast your ballot in our Pope Francis Art Contest. We had more entries and more variety than expected – there’s a soulful Francis, a jolly Francis, a Francis made out of marshmallow peeps, etc. Winners will be announced on Sept. 9 and you can vote as many times as you wish.

Just to keep that Labor Day spirit up a little longer . . .

Take Your God to Work Day? White evangelicals like to share their religion in the workplace. Non-believers prefer you leave your spiritual opinions at home. David Gibson takes a look at a new study from the Public Religion Research Institute that compares and contrasts various religious groups in the workplace.

Dennis Rodman touched down in North Korea again to hang with North Korean dictator and b-ball fan Kim Jong Un, but not, he said, to press for the release of U.S. citizen and Christian missionary Kenneth Bae.

Nontheists have been challenging the “under God” part of the Pledge of Allegiance in court for a long time now . . . and getting nowhere. But our own Kimberly Winston explains why a case to be heard by Massachusetts’ highest court tomorrow could result in a different outcome.

RNS blogger Cathleen Falsani catches up with former contemporary Christian musician, now mainstream singer-songwriter Sam Phillips, and finds that she is still making music with grace.

Tom Heneghan, Reuters religion editor, writes a nuanced piece on how Arab Spring in Tunisia, the nation that invented Arab Spring, has afforded more freedom to hardline Islamists, and how moderate Muslims are struggling to keep the puritans in check.

A French imam known for promoting Jewish-Muslim relations has been violently attacked in Tunisia by in assailant who called him a “Zionist” and “collaborator.”

Our own Omar Sacirbey gives us his latest installment of Moozweek, a weekly rundown of Muslim-related news. There’s plenty to read about the NYPD’s spying program, and a popular Muslim-owned Boise restaurant that has nevertheless been vandalized repeatedly.

An LDS missionary from the Dominican Republic was killed by a stray bullet while serving in Columbia, bringing the death toll for Mormon missionaries to at least five this year.

Prince Charles has just become the first British royal to attend the installation of England’s chief rabbi, a move that will undoubtedly fuel further erroneous speculation that the new heir to the throne — Chaz’s grandson — is Jewish.

Ninety percent of the recently announced $10 million in Department of Homeland Security grants for non-profits went to Jewish institutions.

The Forward ponders why Orthodox rabbis struggle so much to get people to stop chatting during services, while the problem seems non-existent among Reform congregations.

The German special prosecutor for Nazi war crimes is recommending charges against 30 Auschwitz guards, which could mean a wave of war crime trials almost 70 years after the end of World War II.

God’s place in the workplace is debated. But not at Cowboy Church. NPR visits a cowboy church in Santa Fe. There are others, but no one is quite sure how many. The favorite hymn at cowboy church is “I Think God Must Be A Cowboy At Heart.”

Okay, buckaroos, time to sign up for the (free) Religion News Roundup. Won’t cost ya a plugged nickel.

- Lauren Markoe

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.)

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