Kung Fu Nuns, The Beatles, & Amish Healthcare: The Week In Religion… Poetically

Even though they took drugs and claimed they were bigger than Jesus, the Beatles have finally earned the Vatican’s forgiveness, according to a Vatican newspaper. This did not stop Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens from planning to arrest the Pope during his visit to the UK, charging him with “the institutionalized concealment of child rape.” Meanwhile, the Vatican’s Secretary of State claimed that homosexuality, not celibacy, was the cause of the high number of pedophilia cases in the Church. The Vatican issued a long overdue policy Monday that bishops must report sex abuse cases, but it did not impose a zero tolerance policy similar to what is in place in the U.S.

Focus on the Family was for the possibility of a gay Supreme Court nominee before they were against it. Televangelist Joyce Meyer condemned the Uganda Anti-Gay Bill despite her similar condemnation of homosexuality.

In Nepal, more young women are flocking to nunneries as they offer better education, and in some instances, training in the same type of kung fu practiced by Bruce Lee.

Muslims across Europe are balancing their faith with the values of Western society by adopting new practices: men and women praying together, young people meeting in casual settings for prayer groups, and mosque doors opening to non-Muslims. Meanwhile, in an attempt to curb religious extremism, the Islamic Preaching Bill in Nigeria would criminalize “insulting or inciting contempt of any religious belief which causes a breach of the peace.” Saudi cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi challenged the notion that men and women should not mix in public places, sparking a controversy that led another cleric to call for his death.

Erskine College’s accreditation is in jeopardy as the Reformed Presbyterian Church attempts to approve new bylaws after a panel concluded that some professors were creating a “culture of intimidation” about students’ religious beliefs. Advocates for the separation of church and state fear plans to give the Roman Catholic archdiocese control over public charter schools in Indiana as a way of qualifying for $1 million in new funding. In Israel, Ultra-Orthodox religious leaders stood in the way of the construction of a new ER out of fears that it would be built on top of a burial site for Jews. Tensions between religion and government are high, especially after archeologists determined that the bones were not even Jewish.

A court ruled that a Catholic father is allowed to take his daughter to Mass after the mother issued a restraining order that prevented him from exposing the child to any religion other than Judaism.

The recently passed health care bill will not extend coverage to Amish citizens because of their “conscientious objections to private or public insurance.” It appears conservative Christian groups are following suit: The Alliance for Health Care Sharing Ministries recently lobbied to be exempt from the individual insurance mandate as well. An Institute for Religion and Democracy representative attacked the Religious Left for their stance on health care, saying that they “see religion as an organizing tool for extinguishing private alternatives to state control of health care and virtually every other facet of human life.”