Nine years after the Episcopal Church shook the world of religion by ordaining an openly gay bishop, its House of Deputies voted 171-50 to enable priests who have the approval of their bishops to bestow the church’s blessing on gay couples.
Meanwhile, across the pond, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a letter to be read in all Mormon congregations in Britain confirming the “need to protect and promote marriage as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.”
Technology-wise, that same church is not waiting on the sidelines. It has applied for the right to own web suffixes .mormon and .lds.
On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney is set to talk at the NAACP’s annual meeting today. The presumptive Republican nominee for president is not expected to win the black vote.
The evangelical vote is another matter. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network reports that Romney has spoken on the phone a couple of times with popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren, and there have been efforts to try and schedule a face-to-face meeting between Romney and Dr. James Dobson.
A large-scale Bible museum will open in Washington, D.C., within four years, say planners who have been touring the world with portions of their collection.
In Mali, Islamists have desecrated the tombs of Muslim saints in the fabled town of Timbuktu, recalling the Taliban’s 2001 destruction of two giant Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
Arabs and Jews work together in other places in Israel, but Hadassah hospital is one of the few where they confront the bloody side of conflict.
Speaking in London, Melinda Gates, the philanthropist and wife of Bill, said there is no controversy in empowering women to decide if and when to have a child. The Catholic-school educated Gates has previously said she questioned whether, as her church teaches, “birth control is really a sin.”
It’s not only independent-minded Americans that are questioning the church’s positions. Influential church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, an Oxford don, said he believes Christianity faces a bright future, but predicted the Roman Catholic Church will undergo a major schism over its moral and social teaching.
Image: The first edition of the King James Bible, courtesy of The Green Collection, which is funding The Museum of the Bible.