Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

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The Obama administration has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the rights of Muslims to build a disputed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in what one church-state expert called a “rather unusual move.”

Four Muslim men were convicted on Monday on charges of attempting to plant bombs outside synagogues in the Bronx and fire missiles at military planes, the NYT reports. Actually, the NYT never mentions that the men are Muslim, which seems odd, since the informer who turned the men in “steered the conversation toward religious justifications for violence,” according to defense lawyers.

For the first time since 1990, gay marriage will not be on any state ballots this November, but it remains a roiling issue in several states, according to the AP. Religion has become a ridiculous sideshow in Kentucky’s Senate race, where the Democratic candidate has run ads questioning the GOP’s Ron Paul’s Christian bona fides.

A church-state watchdog group filed a complaint with the IRS about a Minnesota pastor who endorsed a slate of conservative candidates from the pulpit. Polish bishops called IVF “the younger sister of eugenics’‘ as the country’s parliament considers banning the procedure.

An Episcopal bishop, Muslim college student, and ex-Mormon lawyer are among the gays and lesbians posting YouTube videos for the “It Gets Better Project.”

Donations to the country’s biggest charities dropped 11 percent last year, the worst decline in two decades, reports the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Americans are not quite as religious as everybody seems to think, says a leading theologian.

Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the California landmark, filed for bankruptcy. Anti-Muslim bloggers want to boycott Campbell Soup for seeking the imprimatur of an Islamic group for its halal products. Scholars have posted the Dead Sea Scrolls on the InterWeb.

A producer for “The Simpsons” says he’s surprised the Vatican’s newspaper has claimed Homer and Bart as fellow Catholics. First of all, the Simpsons attend the First Presbylutheran Church of Springfield, Al Jean told Reuters. “We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic,” Jean said. “I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays – for even an hour.”

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