Sister Cristina * Seattle shooting * Baptist beer : Friday’s Roundup

Sister Cristina Scuccia performs on "The Voice of Italy."

Brava to Sister Cristina, the Italian nun who took the world by storm on Italy’s version of “The Voice.” She won the whole shebang last night: “My presence here is not up to me, it’s thanks to the man upstairs.”

Sad news out of Seattle, where police say Aaron Ybarra, 26, opened fire at (evangelical) Seattle Pacific University, killing at least one and wounding several others. Bravo to the SPU students who tackled and held the gunman until police arrived. There’s no known motive yet, but one law enforcement source said Ybarra “was hellbent on killing a lot of people today.”

So everyone knows the U.S. is overwhelmingly Christian. But what about the second largest faith? WaPo has a cool map here, and more explanation here. Our own Mark Silk (who knows a thing or two about such things), however, begs to differ.

A smidge complicated but interesting: A court ruled that a New Jersey nurse was improperly fired for refusing to get a flu shot. The hospital allowed religious and medical exemptions to the flu shot, but not the “secular” exemption that June Valent wanted.

Social snapshot: The number of stay-at-home dads is on the rise, but not just because they can’t get enough “Doc McStuffins.”

not_tonight_mug_1Not particularly religious but for your reading pleasure: eHarmony’s 15 Reasons to Date a Reporter (well, duh!). Unless you’re The Atlantic.

The headline says it all: “How the Mormons made Las Vegas.” Our own Jana Riess, meanwhile, has the latest dispatch from the front lines of the Mormon “Shoulder War”: “We are acting out our discomfort with women’s power by covering their shoulders, the part of the body that most represents responsibility, capability, and authority.”

A new story about an old story: Critics of Obamacare opt out in favor of faith-based “health-sharing ministries.”

Hurry up and wait: The 1,000 or so same-sex couples who got married in Utah won’t be able to access the benefits of marriage just yet, a federal appeals court ruled.

The pastor of the nation’s largest United Methodist church, Adam Hamilton of the Church of the Resurrection near Kansas City, is proposing a “local option” on gay policies after 80 conservative and evangelical figures said a split over gay issues is inevitable.

USA Today profiles the gay couple at the center of the Texas fight over gay marriage. Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes are popular in town; as the manager of the local Huddle House put it: “I don’t think anybody should judge them. They should let God judge them when the time comes.” Well bless her heart.

The Southern Baptists’ Russell Moore didn’t have this in mind when his Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission delivered an award:

On this the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that liberated Europe, Pope Francis is joining in the tribute to “the numerous soldiers who left their countries to land on the beaches of Normandy, in order to fight against Nazi barbarism and liberate occupied France.” Interesting: also noted that he “does not forget the German soldiers.”

Speaking of D-Day, here’s FDR’s D-Day prayer that is likely to become part of the World War II monument in Washington. It reads, in part: “And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled.”

In Israel, there are least 1,100 gay ultra-Orthodox Jewish men (and likely untold numbers more) who have married women. As The Forward points out: “What goes unmentioned is the mental price that this double life no doubt also carries for the men’s wives, knowingly or not, not to mention potential health risks.”

Here’s what the future looks like for the 5 Gitmo prisoners exchanged for the release of POW Bowe Bergdahl.

File under: You Go, Girl. An 18-year-old Pakistani woman who was shot and thrown in a canal by members of her family for marrying the wrong man survived. According to Reuters: “Police had raided her father’s home in the nearby city of Gujranwala but all the suspects had disappeared.”

Muslims whose ancestors were expelled from Spain in the 1600s are seeking the same offer of citizenship given to Spain’s Sephardic Jews (also expelled). “We think we deserve some respect for the suffering Moriscos experienced,” said Najib Loubaris, president of the Association for Andalusian Remembrance.

From the Dept. of Never Too Late, the Irish government appears poised to launch an inquiry into what happened at the church-run home for “fallen women” after the bodies of 800 children were found in a septic tank.

Concerned about India’s rape culture? Reuters has a round-up of explanations offered by various Indian officials and politicians. Among them: cell phones, short skirts and, of course, Western culture.

With that, it’s off to the weekend. Thanks to all the boys of D-Day (and the families they left behind).


About the author

Kevin Eckstrom

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


Click here to post a comment