Week in Religion: More Praying in Texas, First Hindu Chaplain, Modest Muslim Weightlifter

There’s a lot of praying in Texas. Prayer is back at high school graduations after a court decision banning graduation prayers was reversed thanks to help from Gov. Rick Perry. Pentecostals in Texas are quite happy with “Prayin’” Rick Perry. Meanwhile, they’re less interested in prayer and more interested in God’s law in Tennessee. The state’s House of Representatives has passed a bill that urges all counties in the state to post the Ten Commandments in their courthouses.

A Muslim female weightlifter is waiting to hear from sport officials if she can compete in modest clothing that will cover her whole body. Kulsoom Abdullah can dead lift 245 pounds. The governing body of international soccer, FIFA, has banned players’ head scarves, a decision that forced the Iranian women’s soccer team to forfeit a game and their hopes for the Olympics.

Lebanaon has banned Gaga. Lebanese officials claim Lady Gaga’s new album is “offensive to Christianity.”

A mosaic of a surfing Madonna appeared under an overpass in California. In Maryland, an entire Episcopal parish is converting to the Roman Catholic Church. From the “No that’s not a movie” file: Twin brother Franciscan friars died within hours of each other on the same day at the age of 92. The American Catholic Council is hosting a conference of liberal Catholics in Detroit this weekend.

Army Captain Pratima Dharm is the first Hindu chaplain in the U.S. military.

An Oregon faith-healing couple were convicted of felony criminal mistreatment when they chose to seek ritual faith healing for a growth over their daughter’s eye instead of medical care. The rector of a Muslim University in Russia was gunned down. Maksud I. Sadikov sought to revive local Sufi traditions of Islam as a counter to violence in the area.

The Crystal Cathedral is still in trouble.

Will Rick Santorum take a share of the conservative Christian vote away from other GOP nominees? A new study reveals that American views of abortion are complicated.

Osama bin Laden and his roomies lived off of “a weekly delivery of one goat, which they slaughtered inside the compound, plus milk from a couple of cows kept in the courtyard. There were also eggs from chickens that roamed the courtyard and vegetables from a small kitchen garden” inside their compound in Pakistan.

And in entertainment news, Gwyneth Paltrow decided to weigh in on “Homosexuality in the Bible.”

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