Studio publicity portrait of Mickey Rooney (photo via Wikimedia Commons).

Elane Photography * RIP Mickey Rooney * Rwanda Reconciliation: Monday's news roundup

Welcome to Monday. Before you head to the water cooler, here are the top 10 stories you need to know about from the weekend.

1. The Supreme Court will not hear the case involving Elane Photography, where a photographer cited the 1st Amendment as reason not to shoot gay ceremony.

2. The pastor of one of the country's largest churches has stepped down. Megachurch pastor Bob Coy has resigned from his 20,000-member Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale congregation over a “moral failing.”

Studio publicity portrait of Mickey Rooney (photo via Wikimedia Commons).

Studio publicity portrait of Mickey Rooney (photo via Wikimedia Commons).

3. Actor Mickey Rooney, one of Hollywood's hottest stars in the 1930s and 1940s who continued acting throughout his lifetime, died Sunday. Some of the obituaries suggest he had an evangelical conversion and was a member of the Church of Religious Science.

4. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory will sell his $2.2. million mansion, just a few days after he apologized for a lapse in judgment for building the home.

5. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, when the government slaughtered 800,000 people in 100 days. The New York Times has published portraits of reconciliation, photographing perpetrators with the survivors who have forgiven them.

6. LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson addressed the Utah-based faith’s 184th Annual General Conference. The church reiterated its stance opposing same-sex marriage. Mormon women were turned away from a priesthood meeting. After a group of atheists marched around downtown Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, President of American Atheists David Silverman said that at least 50 Mormons filed their resignations with LDS Church.

7. Immigration reform has become a Catholic ‘pro-life’ cause, writes John Allen for the Boston Globe. A delegation led by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston traveled to Arizona to celebrate a Mass at the United States/Mexican border, laying a wreath at the border commemorating the estimated 6,000 people who have died trying to make the crossing.

8. African Christians will be killed if the Church of England accepts gay marriage, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said last week. He also condemned homophobia in England.

9. In Pope Francis's home country, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez has agreed to be the godmother of a lesbian couple's baby who will be baptized in a Roman Catholic cathedral.

10. As evangelicals are engaged in an internal debate over homosexuality, one Vineyard pastor in Michigan has voiced his support for same-sex marriage, a possible first for Michigan or the U.S.

And for a bonus, check out the prize our reporter Adelle Banks acquired over the weekend for the RNS team.



  1. Quick notes:

    (1) No surprise from the Supremes. They and their President (theirs, not mine), happily killed the federal Defense of Marriage Act and legalized gay marriage, so naturally they’re going to stand with those who attacked and bullied the Christian owners of Elane Photography.

    Constitutional freedoms of speech, religion and conscience apparently no longer apply to Christians, according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But those Christians sure took a brave stand for their beliefs. They showed that Christianity and courage are still synonymous terms, even in the soggy and pitiful “evolving beliefs” climate of 2014.

    (2) Meanwhile, that Vineyard pastor in Michigan needs to apologize to that Christian photographer and her family (the Hugenins) for his public betrayal of biblical Christianity, and then he needs to resign his soiled pastorate.

    (And no, I’m not being harsh or mean-spirited about it. After all, I didn’t say ANYTHING about denomination officials running him clean out of town on a rail. Of course, like I always say, a little excommunication can go a long way!)

  2. You have a constitutional right to discriminate to your heart’s content within your church but if a valid anti-discrimination law which includes includes LGBT folks is in force in your state or municipality, and you are in business to serve the general public, you must comply with it. I’m sorry, but this is America.

  3. Hey Doc!

    Neener, Neener, Neener

    Of course SCOTUS thought it was a waste of time to hear a case soundly thrashed at all levels of the judicial system. The legal arguments were a joke based on ignoring 50 years of precedent. Not worth the effort to argue in court.

    You already have a constitutional right to discriminate if your clientele is private, exclusive or word of mouth. If you are in open commerce, tough luck. We are not bringing back Jim Crow for the sake of whiny business owners too stupid and malicious to say “we are too busy to take the job”.

    As for the pastor in MI, tough luck on that as well. You ARE a spiteful mean-spirited person who can’t stand that not everyone makes lame excuses around Jesus’s pronouncement to “love thy neighbor”.

  4. Actually, our state has an explicit constitutional state ban on gay marriage, approved by an overwhelming majority of voters. Marriage is defined as exclusively between a man or a woman.

    THAT, is America. THAT, is how what’s left of America has weaved its moral, family, and community fabric for over 200 years.

    And as long as that state law stands, be it one more day or one more decade, the gay-marriage bullies that discriminated against the Christian family that owns Elane Photography, will NOT so much as receive the tiniest permission to do their their sick bullying and discrimination in our state.

  5. America isn’t bringing back Jim Crow, but it isn’t bringing back RuPaul either — not without a serious fight from grass-roots Christian families like those of Elane Photography.

    Their brave fight, their willingness to stand for constitutional freedoms and Christian beliefs, have made them sterling examples of Christian courage. They have put the gay activists and the (ahem) atheists to a deep shame.

    But speaking of shame, that sorta brings up that Ken Adams guy from Michaigan, doesn’t it? Sure glad the Rev. John Wimber, a major founder of the Vineyard Church movement, is already up in heaven so he don’t have to see this gloppy mess that this Michigan Vinyeard pastor, Mr. Adams, has gotten himself into.

    Now it’s only natural that YOU would approve of Mr. Adam’s mess. What atheist wouldn’t? After all, he’s leading and influencing a ton of Christians to start following the path that, well, leads to the path YOU’RE following.

    But that’s exactly why Adams needs some defrocking, at least till he gets things right. Gay marriage is poison, and poison spreads. So Christians gotta get the poison out, and that means cutting off the source of the poison.

    And one thing’s for sure — your gay-marriage Supreme Court can’t stop THAT from taking place. We only need some Vineyard Christians who still agree with their Bibles, still agree with their God, and will stand up and take the appropriate actions.

  6. Doc, every discriminatory law ever passed had the will of the majority of the population which voted on it. This is why we have a judicial system and Constitutionally protected civil liberties.

    The funny thing will be thanks to your state’s legislated ban, gay marriage can come to it much quicker than had they done nothing at all.

    All gay marriage bans have been found to be unconstitutional every time they are challenged in court. When they get inevitably stricken down, as they have all over the country, it has served to legalize marriage equality in those states.

    None of you guys have the nerve to make the equal protection under the law arguments go national. It would create a situation where marriage equality is accepted by all states.

    By being bigoted hotheads looking to game the democratic system, people opposing marriage equality have actually accelerated the pace in which it gets accepted under the law. Talk about unintended consequence.

  7. “America isn’t bringing back Jim Crow…”

    Not for lack of trying.

    The anti-gay crowd waged a slash and burn campaign to turn the Civil Rights Act and state anti-discrimination laws into a joke. The level of legal and historical ignorance displayed by people like yourself a few weeks ago was astounding. The arguments were literally a reprise of those people who opposed segregation 50 years ago.

    As for the Michigan pastors, nothing says Christian love more than sectarian sniping. 🙂

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