A woman cries during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Photo courtesy Gregory Tracy/The Boston Pilot

Friday's Religion News Roundup: Chechnya 101 * "Jew me down" * "God spray"

As the manhunt intensifies in Boston for the Marathon bombers (one's on the lam, one's in the morgue, others may be on the run), here's a helpful backgrounder on the conflict in Chechnya that has birthed countless militants.

Marathon mourner

A woman cries during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Photo courtesy Gregory Tracy/The Boston Pilot.

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

President Obama joined religious leaders in Boston yesterday to praise the city for overcoming "the face of evil." BU's Stephen Prothero heard echoes of Ronald Reagan in Obama's speech.

The Atlantic has a video compilation of Obama as consoler-in-chief over the years.

A new wrinkle in the gay-Catholic debate: A teacher at a Catholic school in Ohio was fired for being gay after her partner's name appeared in her mother's obituary. Some anonymous tipster notified the local diocese.

Worth reading: Duke preaching professor Richard Lischer chronicles his wrestling with God over the death of his son, Adam, from cancer.

An Oklahoma lawmaker apologized (or tried to laugh it off) after he used the phrase "Jew me down" during a legislative debate. His attempted recovery? "I apologize to the Jews. They're good small businessmen as well."

Remember that high-stakes (and expensive) property fight between the Episcopal Church and a breakaway congregation in Virginia? The state Supreme Court yesterday said the property (but not all the money) belongs to the Episcopal Church.

Evangelicals, at least so far, like what they see on immigration reform.

From the Dept. of I Guess He Meant It: Pope Francis, who wants a "poor church, for the poor," said Vatican employees won't get a bonus to mark his election and the money will go to charity, instead.

Here's Francis' latest theological insight: “When we talk to God we speak with persons who are concrete and tangible, not some misty, diffused god-like “‘god spray” that’s a little bit everywhere but who knows what it is.”

The pope's rabbi friend said he's certain that Francis will open the Vatican files on Pope Pius XII, the controversial pope during World War II who's accused of not doing enough to save Jews from Hitler.

A Tibetan man who tried (and failed) to set himself ablaze near the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile in India says he won't do it again because he doesn't want to create trouble for the Dalai Lama.

Whoops: Reuters accidentally published an obituary of Jewish billionaire George Soros.

Not at all religious but kinda fascinating: a Texas man crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon seconds before the bombs went off, and then when he got home the fertilizer plant in West blew up as he was driving by. Someone get this man a cocktail.

Sorry, we can't deliver you a cocktail every Monday through Friday, but we can send you the RNS Religion News Roundup to your inbox if you sign up below:


  1. “A new wrinkle in the gay-Catholic debate: ”

    I don’t understand how this is a new wrinkle. The Church simply acted in accordance with its beliefs. A teacher at a Catholic school, charged with passing on the Catholic faith to young people, shouldn’t be publicly dissenting from Catholic doctrine; if a teacher does, then the School should act to remove the teacher from that position in order to avoid leading young children astray from the teaching of the Church and avoid the sin of scandal.

  2. Many left wing groups believe they can micro-manage everyone else by way of the Supreme Court — and they have been doing it. (Gay, pro-choice, PETA, feminists) have been battering down schools, scouts ..anything that challenges them. Now they are surprised the Supreme court does not govern Rome. It only has authority inside the U.S. Public schools and work places have changed quite a bit. Equality is good, but tyranny is not .. and they have been tyrannical.

  3. Hey Old Dude, Have U looked at SCOTUS over the last 30 yr.’s or so? Not exactly a liberal court is it. Then U add in the 8 yr.’s of Bush/Cheney and things have been a bit tough on liberals. Yes, we all have the right of free speech and who can blame us libs for trying to make the world better. Do you remember when Christ said to ignore the poor and hungrey for it’s their own fault and also when he said if someone asks you for help by all means ignore them. Or when he said to curse the disabled and ignore the homeless vets for once again it’s their fault? That Jesus just mentioned never did say any of those things but that is the ‘religion” most right wing Christians are buying into these days. I know from personal experience for I am disabled and I have heard supposed Chritians say the things mentioned above and more to try and fit their “gospel’ into that of Christ’s. Of course it doesn’t fit but they still keep trying to convince their folowers that greed is good, wealth is even better and damned be those who are poor or are in need. After all, my blindness must be my fault, somehow, and if I had enough faith, which I apparently don’t, I would be healed. I resent the hatred of the right towards people like myself and the teacher fired by the Catholic school. It was a great way of showing the light of Christ to that women. Sad and pity is also what I feel for those that believe that the judgement of God will fall on everyone but them for Christ did say with whatever measure you judge someone with that same measure I will judge you. Again, sad and enough said.

Leave a Comment