Beliefs Culture

Friday’s Religion News Roundup: Contraception compromise * Yeshiva’s apolo …

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has a proposal to defuse the fight over whether employers have to provide contraception coverage to employees: make the pill more widely available over the counter, which would take insurance companies (and religious employers who object) out of the equation.

(The full article is behind the WSJ paywall, but here's a synopsis)

A Muslim cabbie in St. Louis has filed suit over uniform rules that prohibit him from wearing religious garb behind the wheel.

An Oklahoma cop who objected to attending a thank-the-cops event at a local mosque has lost his suit.

Let's say you're an atheist and you've just about had it up to *here* with Christmas. What to do? Head to the Ha Ha Heathens, an atheist comedy show that pokes fun at all religions.

All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena has been called terrorist sympathizers for hosting the Muslim Public Affairs Council tomorrow. Rector Ed Bacon breaks it down for us, and refuses to back down.

The father of a 6-year-old boy from Texas remains in jail after allegedly carving a pentagram in the boy's back; Brent Troy Bartel called police, saying he had shed “innocent blood” on a “holy day.”

Yeshiva University president Richard Joel offered his “deepest, most profound apology” after an investigation by The Forward newspaper showed the school turned a blind eye to sexual abuse of minors in the 1970s and 1980s.

A Southern Baptist pastor in rural Missouri who's repeatedly been accused of abuse shows the challenges when his flock is judge, jury and (rarely) executioner.

From the Dept. of Don't Totally Understand This: an IRS proposal spells out that Native American shaman shouldn't be taxed on payments they receive for performing religious ceremonies. Or something like that.

There's some chatter this morning about Pope Benedict XVI blessing Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, earlier this week in Rome. Kadaga is the major force behind the country's controversial bill to throw gays and lesbians in jail and, some say, execute them.

Speaking of, B16's annual World Day of Peace message (released today) cites gay marriage as a threat to “peace.” He said the same thing back in 2007.

Do you have to go to confession after having a drink? For some Catholics living in India, maybe.

Things not to do if you're a basketball player in Israel: call your opponent a Nazi. It'll cost you $2,500.

In Sweden, vandals torched a massive straw Yule goat — for the 26th time. As someone with the last name Eckstrom, I blame the Norwegians.

— Kevin Eckstrom

About the author

Kevin Eckstrom

Kevin Eckstrom joined the Religion News Service staff in 2000 and became editor-in-chief in 2006.

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