The Slingshot: Gay Christian rocker. Magic and Islam? Papal brimstone.


Need to know: 06/01/2016

Leap of faith

Christian rock star comes out as gay. Here’s the letter he wrote to the world

“I never wanted to be gay,” Trey Pearson said. “I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me.” More from Religion News Service

Hocus pocus?

Michael Muhammad Knight reclaims the magic from Islam’s margins

But his latest book is not really about magic or Islam, since it immediately sets out to defy definitions for either term. More from Religion News Service

Papal brimstone

Pope Francis: ‘Whoever judges and scorns others is corrupt and a hypocrite’

Arrogance not only distances us from God but compromises each of our actions and makes our prayer useless, the pontiff warned at his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square. More from

Beats going straight to cell

Judge sentences Catholic to Baptist church pews

Jake Strotman will attend 12 consecutive Sunday services at Morning Star Baptist Church. The wages of a drunken brawl. More from Religion News Service

Job, or hijab

E.U. legal opinion upholds employer’s ban on headscarves

A company can bar a Muslim female employee from wearing a headscarf at work, as long as the policy applies to all religious garb and does not single out Islam, the ruling said. More from

Bonus tracks

Primate primacy?

Can a gorilla be a victim of Pope Francis’ ‘throw-away culture’?

“The church is called to stand for the least among us,” writes Charles Camosy. “It is true when it comes to many non-human animals.” More from

Trekkie morality

Do no harm to life on Mars? Ethical limits of the ‘Prime Directive’

One of the most profound concerns is about the moral status of extraterrestrial life forms, writes Kelly Smith. More from Religion News Service

Existential dilemmas

Will social conservatism survive Trump?

“Who cares?” says Rod Dreher. “Concealed within the original question is the assumption that protecting political power and a place in the public square ought to be something religious and social conservatives are worried about.” More from The American Conservative


Did a prominent wartime rabbi fail European Jews?

Even Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the leader of the American Jewish community during the 1930s and 1940s, is not immune to criticism, writes Rabbi James Rudin. More from Religion News Service

Symbol, but also substance

North Dakota mosque a symbol of Muslims’ long ties in America

The graves that Richard Omar walked past spoke of patriotism and assimilation. More from