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Brain death is all over the news this week, with the dead-but-not-dead 13-year-old Jahi McMath and braindead-but-still-alive 33-year-old Marlise Munoz. If you’re confused (you’re not the only one), the NYT has a helpful explainer on what qualifies as brain death, and USAT has a reader-friendly glossary.

We’ll spare you from more #Bridgegate drama (Chris Christie said more than enough for all of us yesterday) but here’s an interesting question: did Christie or his aides make “mistakes” or commit “sins”? Cathy Grossman chews it over with the Baptist Center for Ethics. Mark Silk mulls Christie’s sins in the Church of Civil Religion.

Let’s say you operate a go-kart park near Chicago. And let’s say a woman with long flowing locks is riding one of your go-karts, and her long hair gets sucked into the motor. Do you: Call 911 for help? Cut the woman’s hair to free her from the motor, even though she’s a Sikh and Sikhs don’t cut their hair? Hire a lawyer?

Speaking of the Garden State, if you’re looking to get hitched in Jersey, lawmakers are working to make it easier for a secular officiant to solemnize your nuptials. A bill to do that cleared the state Senate 32-5. Just leave plenty of time to get to your wedding on time in case, you know, there’s traffic on the GW Bridge.

From the Dept. of This is Going to Go Over Well, Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao says he’s looking to buy The New York Times, or maybe the Wall Street Journal, because “I am very good at working with Jews.”

The Human Rights Campaign is asking the feds and attorneys general in the 17 states (and D.C.) that allow gay marriage to recognize the 1,000 or so same-sex marriages that were performed in Utah before the state said it wouldn’t honor those marriage certificates. Utah put those marriages on ice pending a final ruling from a federal appeals court or, possibly, the Supremes.

Lance Bass’ mom is challenging the church on its treatment of gays and lesbians, adding that she prayed for her gay boy-band son to turn straight. “The miracle is that I learned to have unconditional love and compassion for my son and others in the gay community. I haven’t marched in parades or spoken at conventions, but I do feel that God has led me to speak out concerning the church’s role.”

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George is going on the defensive ahead of the release of records on 30 abusive priests, NCR reports. The Vatican won’t extradite a Polish archbishop accused of abuse from the Dominican Republic, essentially citing diplomatic immunity.

Pope Benedict may be reading books in retirement, but his name is on a new institute in San Francisco dedicated to traditional (read, old school) liturgy. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has said the institute is a resource for local priests, not a requirement.

French comedian Dieudonne, who has already stirred controversy for an arm gesture that too many people say looks like a Nazi salute, has been banned from performing tonight in the city of Tours.

Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, who led an Islamist party in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, has stepped aside to clear the way for new elections. Meanwhile, citizens in Muslim-majority nations generally want women to wear a head-covering hijab, but it doesn’t have to cover the whole face.

One group of Muslims who don’t cover up? The “Islamohunks” behind this year’s Hot Muslim Men of 2014 pinup calendar. Omar has all the details in this week’s Moozweek, as well as stories about a Muslim figure skater who’s trying to snag a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi.

5 Comments

    • Cynthia Astle

      Not so the skimpy outfits, Mr. McGrath. With the exception of Mr. January, all of the photos depicted in a post about the calendar show men who are modestly and tastefully dressed. Or, in the case of a football star, in working uniform. Since Islam requires both women and men to dress modestly, a calendar of beautiful Muslim females would also show them appropriately dress, with emphasis on their character and accomplishments. Beauty comes from within.

  1. Mr. McGrath is right you know. Equality and all. As far as the sin question, both mistakes and sins, mistakes because they were stupid enough to think they would not get caught and sins, and I’ll quote Jesus on this, “You have heard it said an eye for an eye but I tell you that if you are hstruck on one cheek then turn the other one also”. A loose translation to be sure but you get the idea. Oh, there’s also Do not bear false witness against your brother which was the intent of the lane closures, Do not kill-one woman diied as a result of the backup. Finally, aren’t there times where a sin can be a mistake ?

  2. OK, both these brain-dead women are dead. And just looking at their cases individually it’s clear, to me at least, that they should be unplugged.

    But the real issue is not one of individual cases like this. It’s one of whether we should worry more about being stuck on life-support when we don’t want it or getting zapped when we’re prefer to survive. Personally, I am much, much, more more worried about the latter. After all, it is in the interests of relative, and the states, to unplug people–and to promote euthanasia. Let’s get real: if people have an excuse to zap people who are expensive and unpleasant, they will do it.

    And construing this as a religious issue is just misleading. I want to survive as long as possible. This is a purely selfish preference. I couldn’t give a damn about religion. I care about ME and I will not be nice and acquiesce to letting my relatives pull the plug on me for their convenience. I come first–I don’t care how inconvenient or expensive I am to other people: ME FIRST.

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