Thursday Religion News Roundup: Jewish sex abuse; government and marriage; Notre Dame’s 850th

New York police arrest man for throwing chemical at rabbi. Glenn Beck: keep government out of marriage. Notre Dame Cathedral's 850th anniversary celebrations.

The sexual-abuse-of-children spotlight has shifted from Catholics to Jews.

New York police have arrested a man for throwing a chemical, believed to be bleach, on a rabbi who advocates for sexual abuse victims.

And, The Forward investigates allegations that two staff members at Yeshiva University High School for Boys’ Manhattan campus sexually abused students during the late 1970s and early ’80s.

The new Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange County (Calif.) is a former medical lab technician with a penchant for the piano.

Glenn Beck says government should stay out of marriage. What will his evangelical buddies say to that?

Poll watch: Only a third of Americans believe recent natural disasters are evidence we are in the end times.

From the ominous-signs-for-religious-freedom-abroad department:

  • A Cairo court sentenced an atheist from a Christian family to three years in prison for insulting religion.
  • A number of Egyptians detained during clashes between supporters of President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of torturing them.
  • France will deport foreign-born imams and disband radical faith-based groups, including hardline traditionalist Catholics, if a new surveillance policy signals they suffer a “religious pathology” and could become violent.

One sign of sanity: The German parliament passed a law Wednesday that allows infant male circumcision for religious reasons. That’s a huge relief to Muslims and Jews distraught by an earlier court ruling in Cologne.

In Paris, dignitaries, tourists and others gathered in the thousands Wednesday for a ceremony and Mass marking the beginning of year-long commemoration of Notre Dame Cathedral's 850th anniversary.

In the new Catholic Bible, the word “virgin” has been replaced with the more literal “young woman” in Isaiah 7:14, upsetting many who consider that passage a prophecy about Jesus’ birth.

NPR profiles a former gang member turned preacher who has started a hip-hop church in Grand Rapids.

A Jewish Santa? Turns out, it happens frequently.

And finally: Roughly 1.6 billion Christmas cards will be purchased this year, and that's not including all those free e-cards with blaring jingles.

But there’s another kind of card you don’t have to purchase. A daily dose of the Religion News Roundup is free, and bound to extend cheer even after Christmas is over.


Photo: Notre Dame Cathedral at night.