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Tuesday, July 5

Famous Atheists, Fat Ministers, Papal Tweets, and a Mega-Hoax | Religion Dispatches

via Religion Dispatches

Post by Michael J. Altman
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An atheist in Florida claims she is being harassed by an evangelical sheriff. Here’s a periodic table of famous atheists. An atheist billboard ended up being posted on the property of a church in Ohio.

American ministers are fat and happy.

The Obedient Wives Club is spreading among Muslim women in Asia. It’s becoming harder for female rabbis to find a puplit. On Tuesday, an elaborate hoax claimed that the Southern Baptist Convention was close to endorsing gay marriage.

South Korea’s Christian president and his kneeling prayer pose a challenge to the country’s pluralist sensibilities. The World Council of Churches, the Vatican, and the World Evangelical Alliance have worked together to issue a code for how Christians ought to evangelize. No word on how this code effects the use of Chick Tracts.

A village in the Philippines celebrates its patron saint, John the Baptist, with a Mud People Festival. Reminds me of my weekend at Bonnaroo 2004.

The Pope tweeted—from an iPad, no less. It’s all part of the Vatican’s new multimedia news portal, Biblical criticism is getting high-tech. A new computer program uses an algorithm to discern various writers in the biblical text.

Kudzu Jesus: “You can’t spray Jesus with Roundup.” Oh, and a giant Jesus in Peru.

The FBI invited Westboro Baptist Church to be a part of its domestic terrorism training program. The goal was to give officers a chance to see extremists up close and “understand what makes them tick.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report on anti-Muslim hate. Lynne Torgerson, a candidate for a Minnesota congressional seat, claims that the incumbent, Keith Ellison, who happens to be one of Congress' two Muslims, is a “radical Islamist” bent on bringing Sharia law to a town near you. In the Netherlands, Muslims and Jews are uniting to oppose an animal rights bill passed by the parliament that would ban ritual slaughter of animals.

Transcendental Meditation is at the center of a controversial journal article that claims the practice can cut heart attacks and strokes by 50%.

Finally, a Muslim female weightlifter will be allowed to compete and dress modestly, after all. Weightlifting’s governing body ruled that a full-body unitard would be permissible underneath the usual competition outfit.
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