Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday’s Religion Roundup: Kosher Catholics; Gotham v. Gomorrah; Israeli organs

Soon-to-be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has news for the Vatican: Gotham is not a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. That, it turns out, can apparently be find in study cubicles at BYU.

Speaking of, U.S. Catholic bishops dispatched their pointman on religious liberty to a Capitol Hill hearing on President Obama's contraception mandate, comparing it to a kosher deli forced to serve ham sandwiches. Our own Mark Silk explains why the analogy doesn't really work.

But all is not lost: Rick Santorum's campaign sugar daddy (and yes, he too wears a sweater vest) thinks there's a solution for all the "gals" who don't want to become pregnant: put an aspirin between your knees, just like back in the good ol' days. Full video here.

But wait -- are the birth control methods (specifically, IUD's and the morning-after pill) that conservatives object to actually akin to abortion as they claim? Health experts say no.

New York churches that meet in empty public school cafeterias got a 10-day reprieve before they're evicted for good. Across the Hudson in New Jersey, a showdown is looming after the legislature OK'd a bill to allow gay marriage against the threat of a veto from Gov. Chris Christie.

The FBI says it's willing to work with Muslim groups to monitor its training materials for possible Islamophobia, and they've already removed 700+ documents and 300+ presentations from the approved curriculum. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, tells the NYPD that there's no pending "Third Jihad" and the film should not be part of training materials.

Ahead of a key decision by church leaders on Monday, Southern Baptists are weighing whether they should be, well, less Southern. But rest assured, you can still find the popular NIV Bible in Southern Baptist bookstores, even though some Baptists think the newest version is too gender-neutral.

Up in Rhode Island, a school district says it will abide by (and not appeal) a court ruling that orders a nearly 50-year-old prayer banner to come down because it begins with the words "Our Heavenly Father." The banner, you may recall, was challenged by a 16-year-old atheist who is now persona non grata in her own school.

Israel is trying to combat a general reluctance to donate organs (some Jews believe it's a desecration of the body) by prioritizing transplant patients who themselves have signed an organ donor card. Australian Jews now worry that abusers who preyed on kids Down Under are now running around the U.S., unsupervised.

Kevin "So glad it's a 3-day weekend" Eckstrom

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