Americans Lose Faith, Sinning with Transfats, the Elusive God Particle

This week’s earthquake along the East Coast damaged the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Church attendance is dropping faster among those who don’t have college degrees. Meanwhile, Duke sociologist Mark Chaves finds that Americans are losing faith in their religious leaders.

When it comes to baptisms, some are dunkers and some are drunkers. A Sacramento priest showed up to an infant baptism too inebriated to sprinkle the kids. The priest has been suspended and the diocese issued an apology to parishioners.

Who should the “nones” vote for?

A group in Elmira, NY, hopes to build Mark Twain’s “Monument to Adam” as part of the revitalization of Mark Twain Waterfront Park. The group insists that the statue will have no religious connotations, but I’m not so sure Twain himself meant it that way.

George Weigel completely misreads Thomas Merton.

It turns out that Ramadan is the perfect time for political revolution in places like Syria and Libya. Rio de Janeiro gets its first mosque. The AP reports on the NYPD’s secret program of “raking” mosques with undercover cops. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling for a federal investigation into the department’s actions.

Does the religious right have a role to play in the net neutrality debate? 

Another Baptist preacher is preaching against the sins of transfats. Rev. Michael O. Minor is fighting fat from his pulpit in the Mississippi Delta. He may want to mix in a few sermons on marriage. The Bible Belt has a higher divorce rate than the Northeast, researchers say.

Some rabbis are getting help from comedy writers for their High Holy Day sermons. Glenn Beck (remember him?) held his rally in Jerusalem on Wednesday. More than 1,000 folks (mostly Christians) showed up.

For personal use when the comments section makes you want to swear: litany for the conversion of internet thugs.

First it was protesters, then it was rain that complicated the pope’s appearance at World Youth Day. Meanwhile, the Spanish government is asking for help from the Vatican to turn dictator Francisco Franco’s grave into a place of reconciliation. Speaking of reconciliation, the Vatican will meet with leaders of the Roman Catholic splinter group the Society of St. Pius X next month. The SSPX emerged as a dissenting group in the wake of Vatican II reforms.

The “God particle” may not exist, or it may just be hiding.