Beliefs Religion News Roundup

Marion Barry funeral * The Good Wife’s atheism * Ferguson fuel: Monday’s R …

Activist and television show host Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Greater Grace Church in Florissant on Sunday (Aug. 17), during a rally for justice for an unarmed teen shot by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. Protests and anger have broken out in the Ferguson Community since Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last Saturday. For use with RNS-FERGUSON-PRAY, transmitted on August 18, 2014, Photo by Christian Gooden, courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are 10-ish items you need to know to start this week off right.

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, has filed an appeal in the country’s top court.

Marion Barry, longtime mayor of Washington D.C. died on Sunday. His minister predicts he’ll have one of the largest funerals for a Washingtonian.

Rosemary Williams of the TV show ‘My Five Wives’ on polygamy says her father sexually abused her.

Young, single women without religious ties are generous donors compared to their older counterparts.

Hi resolution version of RNS-FERGUSON-PRAY081814.jpg

RNS archive photo of Ferguson activism.

A new generation of civil rights activists are facing very old problems in Ferguson. Meanwhile, churches are offering safe places for the activists.

Three young Israelis attacked a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem today, the latest incident as tensions rise in the city.

Church members in Chicago received $500 from their pastor to do good around world or something closer to home.

Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to Turkey will spotlight some prominent Muslim holy sites.

The main character of “The Good Wife” faces a political candidate’s conundrum: Voters usually won’t put faith in atheism.

A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sex abuse under church law allowed a priest to remain in ministry for years after learning of his history of sex abuse.

ICYMI: Lots of people are talking about the Rolling Stone story on UVA and rape:

And to end on a lighter note, how about this from one of John Ortberg’s daughters: Bible Verses Where The Word “Philistines” Has Been Replaced With “Haters”

About the author

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a national correspondent for RNS, covering how faith intersects with politics, culture and other news. She previously served as online editor for Christianity Today where she remains an editor-at-large.


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  • The biggest story out of Israel is that the cabinet moved to define Israel as Jewish. I am Jewish and that makes me uncomfortable. It represents a subtle move from secular democracy to theocracy. It reminds me more of Israel’s neighbors.

  • Years ago i knew some young males who transferred out of UVA to lesser ranked schools. Their reasons? They wanted to stop crawling (literally) home drunk every night. They also mentioned the crude sexual habits of the frats. They saw themselves as not strong enough to stand up to these aberrations by themselves and felt they needed an environment where it was easier not to drink so much. After being at their new schools for a good while, they told me they drank to a good buzz (not drunk) one night, maybe two, times a week and were really enjoying focusing on what they were learning in cass.

  • David: I understand concerns that this is a theological move, and for some proponents it undoubtedly is.
    However, the wording of the proposed law does not mention Judaism, the traditional religion of the Jews. Rather it refers to Israel being the nation-state of the Jews, which I interpret to refer to Jews as a nation, culture and ethnicity. It’s a statement about peoplehood, not religious faith. The majority of Israeli Jews are secular, meaning they ignore or outright reject Judaism’s core theology.
    But either way, this legislation is untimely and politically dangerous and should not now become law.