Just War * Damascus prophecy * Therapy ban * Friday’s Religion News Roundup

A historic arch in Damascus, courtesy Shutterstock. (Image source)

A historic arch in Damascus, courtesy Shutterstock. (Image source)

For a second there, “war” with Syria switched into “off” mode with news that the British parliament ruled out participation in any strike. Then it switched back into “on” mode.

This morning, President François Hollande of France offered strong support for international military action against the Syrian government.

Now’s the time to brush up on “just war” theory, and RNS has the perfect set of ethics experts to help.

In the meantime, armchair prophecy is back. How could we have missed it? Christians are looking to biblical verses for signs the Syria conflict points to the imminent return of Jesus.

“See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins,” warns Isaiah (17:1)

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington came and went. But the Dalai Lama wants us to know, he has a dream, too.

 “I always have one dream,” the Dalai Lama begins in a taped video. “That within this century the world truly become [a] real happy human family.

A federal appeals court sided with California on Thursday and upheld the first law in the nation banning a psychological treatment that seeks to turn gay youth straight.

Faithful readers of these pages know that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just signed a similar law and that Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal aid group, promptly sued his state.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death for the shooting rampage at Fort Hood. Hendrick Hertzberg at The New Yorker says that if President Obama signs his death warrant, he will have essentially confirmed the suspicion that the United States places significantly less value on the lives of Muslims than on the lives of Christians and other non-Muslims.

In our weekly roundup of Muslim news, reporter Omar Sacirbey tells us Toronto’s Beth Avraham Yosef Congregation, one of Canada’s largest Orthodox congregations, is rolling out the welcome mat for Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, both listed as hate bloggers by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Ace religion reporter Rachel Zoll breaks down some of the more pragmatic ways religious groups opposed to gay marriage are looking to carve out exemptions to the recent Supreme Court setbacks.

George Zimmerman’s wife Shellie pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of perjury. She was sentenced to a year of probation and 100 hours of community service, whichshe told ABC she intends to serve in a Christian ministry.

The Church of Scientology is coming to Harlem.

Pope Francis and Jordan’s King Abdullah II affirmed that dialogue is the “only option” to end the conflict in Syria.

Fans of Francis: Check out the great photo of the pope posing for a “selfie” with a group of Vatican tourists and a smart phone.

The Obama administration said Thursday that it would not challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington State.

Buddhists are killing Muslims in Myanmar with impunity because the government failed to stop the attacks, New York-based Physicians for Human Rights reported.

Too much religion can harm a society’s economy by undermining the drive for financial success, according to a new study.

Ephraim Mirvis will replace Lord Jonathan Sacks as the Chief Rabbi of England. The BBC has a profile. Rumor has it Prince Charles will attend the installation. Stay tuned for more.

And with that, it’s off to the long Labor Day weekend. Before you head off, you must read Adon Taft’s piece about the religious roots of organized labor. This veteran religion reporter, now retired, says unions were strongest when they were buttressed by institutions of faith that provided theological arguments in support of the working poor. So far, secularism can’t light that candle.

Here at RNS, we keep the tradition going. We’re taking a break from our Roundup labors on Monday. But sign up below and catch up on all you missed in Tuesday’s installment.

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One Response to “Just War * Damascus prophecy * Therapy ban * Friday’s Religion News Roundup”

  1. zappa912

    Enough with the just war talk about Syria. Neither side comes in with clean hands in this conflict. I pray that the US does not become involved in Syria. Despite the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s military, that killed and injured thousands, our military involvement will do nothing except result in more death and misery. In addition, it will add fuel to the hate preached by groups like al-Queda that the US is evil and needs to be punished by more violence. This is a no win situation for the US. We should stay out of the conflict, and do everything we can to get the parties to reach a peaceful settlement. Our diplomatic power should be asserted, not our military power.

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