TuesdayâÂ?Â?s Religion News Roundup: RomneyâÂ?Â?s video; the PopeâÂ?Â?s trip; Rev. Clarence Thomas?

"Thurston Howell Romney" and what people deserve, or not. Muslim humor, Muslim outrage. Clarence Thomas says he wanted to be a priest, and his Catholic faith keeps him from being angry.

Does Mitt Romney have an “evangelical problem”? Jonathan Merritt says no.

But Romney (or “Thurston Howell Romney,” as David Brooks rechristens him) may have a voter problem – at least the half of American voters who he was caught describing as “victims” who feel they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

Actually, the Catholic Church and most other mainstream Christian faiths see those things as rights.

By the way, in that viral video Romney “trashed the two-state solution to the Middle East conflict,” as the Forward writes, saying “there’s just no way” to talk peace with the Palestinians.

Speaking of the Middle East, Pope Benedict’s fraught Lebanon trip went smoothly, and was one of the few bright spots for the region recently.

Will it make a difference?

Maybe if believers show they can have a sense of humor, which this Twitter sampler shows many Muslims do.

Other Muslims are not amused by atheists in their midst: Egyptians have arrested Alber Saber, a 25-year old Egyptian blogger who ran the Egyptian Atheists Facebook group, and SkepChick Rebecca Watson wants her fellow nonbelievers to make some noise to free him on a way they failed to do with Alexander Aan in Indonesia.

In other Vatican news – cue the “Law & Order” theme music — the pope's ex-butler and another Vatican lay employee will go on trial next week in the theft of papal documents.


Would the butler want Clarence Thomas as his judge? Or his confessor?

“I was going to be a priest; I’m proud of it,” the Supreme Court justice said recently. “And I thank God I believe in God, or I would probably be enormously angry right now.”

Cool read: How the Book of Common Prayer (1549 edition, natch) shaped the Bard’s plays.

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David Gibson

Photo credit: Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III, via Wikipedia