Madoff, frozen

Throwing the book at Bernard Madoff, Judge Denny Chin pronounced his crimes as “extraordinarily evil.” Indeed, one of his victims noted that Dante defined fraud as the worst of all sins, reserving the lowest circle of Hell for those who betray those with whom they share particular bonds of love and trust. That certainly works […]

Red State Hypocrisy

The big moralizing about Mark Sanford has begun–I mean, the kind of typically American penchant for reading Large Meanings into the latest celebrity example of old-time human frailties (cf. Simpson, O.J.). Who can resist? Certainly  not the moralists of the New York Times. On Saturday, there was liberal statistics op-ed guy Charles Blow with some […]

Camp (David) Meeting

Amy Sullivan has the scoop on the Obamas’ choice of church: Camp David’s Evergreen Chapel. A politic move, and probably a wise one: Not only do the Obamas seem to want to be together as a family at Camp David whenever possible (so where else go to church?), but it was going to be a […]

Mark and David

I’m not so sure that it was such a good idea for Mark Sanford to justify not resigning as governor based on David’s retention of the Judean kingship after taking Bathsheba and having her husband killed. God, exceedingly wroth, imposed some pretty severe penalties (conveyed by Nathan the Prophet in II Samuel 12:10-14): Now therefore […]

Michael Jackson, undead

A disclaimer at the beginning of the Thriller film reads, “Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult.” OK, so what does it endorse? With apologies to Jacksonologists, for whom this may be a commonplace, as a non-fan I’m struck, viewing […]

Family Ties

WaPo’s Manuel Roig-Franzia’s has a story today on that mysterious “C Street” house where Mark Sanford went for some Bible study and help with his sparking problem. It’s a Capitol Hill residence associated with “TheFellowship” or “The Family,” the secretive religious organization best known for sponsoring the National Prayer Breakfast. The guy with the skinny […]

Mark, we hardly knew ye

In  his at times barely comprehensible press conference remarks yesterday, Mark Sanford did manage to make it clear that he’d been spending time wandering through the woods of Bible-based therapy, seeking to recover his moral compass and repair his marriage. It’s about what one would expect of a Southern Republican politician these days. But Sanford […]

New Issue of RIN!

The latest issue of Religion in the News is now on line, for those of you who can’t wait for your hard copy. The cover story is Jerome Chanes’ look at how the Madoff scandal played in the Jewish press–and why it’s been such a huge disgrace in the Jewish world. In the Catholic world, […]