This afternoon in religion:
-- Should the Rev. Rick Warren, who was protested because of his remarks against homosexuality and same-sex marriage when he was picked to give the invocation at President Barack Obama's first inauguration, replace the Rev. Louie Giglio, who backed out of giving the benediction at Obama's second inauguration because of backlash against an anti-gay sermon he gave?
Or how about the Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham? Both can be praised for good deeds but they don't exactly have a fan club in the gay community.
It sounds odd, but among the many media outlets predicting who the Presidential Inaugural Committee will pick, those are two of the possibilities thrown out by Religion News Service. (Disclosure: HuffPost runs articles from RNS, a wire service, and I'm friends with many of its reporters).
To its credit, the list is partially done in jest, and editor Kevin Eckstrom writes that it's a "list of (real and imagined) possibilities. Some are obvious, some less so. For our betting dollars, we're banking on someone like Giglio with a unique profile but not necessarily a headliner." Check out the rest of RNS' smart list, which could quite possibly include the president's future pick to give the benediction.
-- On a different topic, what does religion have to say about torture? And should religious people look to their faiths to find inspiration to campaign against the torture depicted in Zero Dark Thirty?
As the film, which tells the story of the hunt for Obama bin Laden, opens nationwide Friday night, a group called the National Religious Campaign Against Torture is "gathering religious leaders and people of faith across the country to greet moviegoers as they walk into the theater during the film's opening weekend, to share with them via leaflet handouts the facts about U.S.-government-sponsored torture."
The campaign is happening at movie theaters in New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Buffalo, N.Y.; West Hartford, Conn.; New Haven, Conn.; and Austin, Texas. The group also organized an interfaith prayer service on Friday afternoon, during which Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and Jewish leaders described why their traditions oppose torture and called for President Barack Obama to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
-- Here's an interesting piece from Eric Marrapodi about how Hobby Lobby, a Christian craft store that is suing the administration over the contraception mandate in its healthcare reform law, has avoided "$14.3 million dollars in fines from the IRS for bucking Obamacare."