Friday’s Religion News Roundup: White House screw up; NYPD ‘provincial’; explaining Shariah

Biden admits the White House `screwed up' on the birth control roll-out, the God-is-Dead theologian is himself dead, and a theologian wonders if Jesus really was a dude.

VPOTUS Joe Biden says the White House “screwed up” the first time it rolled out new rules that required religious institutions to provide contraception coverage to employees. Up on Capitol Hill, the Senate rejected a Republican-led effort to codify a religious exemption for contraception into law.

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, who always has something to say, accused the NYPD of being “selfish,” “provincial,” “paranoid” and “arrogant” for keeping tabs on Muslims in his state without letting state officials know. Muslims are launching a nationwide campaign to defend and explain Shariah, or Islamic law.

Across the Hudson in New York, a federal appeals court denied the city's request to evict churches from public schools on Sunday morning while another judge tries to figure the city's new policy of making schools a church-free zone.

Set your DVRs this weekend for the premiere of GCB, which once upon a time was called Good Christian, um, rhymes with witches.

Jews next week will recall how they survived near extinction in ancient Persia with candy and costumes and my favorite, hamentashen, but not all Jews embrace Purim's unofficial reputation as the Jewish Halloween.

William Hamilton, the disillusioned theologian who helped start the “God is Dead” movement of the 1960s is now, well, dead.

A Minnesota church that stood up for gay marriage is now seeing the real cost of that stand. With Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature, Maryland is now the 8th state to legalize same-sex marriage, but a high-stakes ballot battle likely looms in November.

As the Church of England returns (again!) to a debate over women bishops, a feminist theologian said there's no proof Jesus was male, and could well have been a hermaphrodite (the macho Jesus above probably isn't what she has in mind).

Britain's senior Catholic cardinal would like to see sainthood for Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for religious minorities who was gunned down one year ago today.

Anglican leaders have given up hope on trying to save the iconic Christchurch cathedral that was damaged a year ago in an earthquake. In Japan, Shinto priests are preparing to mark the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that claimed some 20,000 lives.

— Kevin Eckstrom

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