Sites list top religion stories of 2012

Published: Friday, Dec. 28 2012 6:45 a.m. MST

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Some other stories that were exclusively on the Religion Clause, Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches or Baptist Religious Liberty lists included the following:

• Continuing the expanding circle of religions represented in government, the 2012 election made history when Tulsi Gabbard became the first Hindu elected as a representative in the House while Mazie Hirono became the first Buddhist elected to the Senate.

• The Supreme Court in the case of a teacher entrusted with some ministerial duties (Hosanna-Tabor vs. EEOC) unanimously affirmed the "ministerial exemption" applies to employment discrimination laws.

• New questions are raised around the world regarding ritual circumcision of young boys by Muslims and Jews in Germany, Australia, Norway and the United States.

• The court-martial trial of accused Fort Hood, Texas, mass shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan is delayed as lawyers haggle over the question of his right to wear a beard for religious reasons at his trial.

• A 17-year-long struggle by the New York City Board of Education to bar churches from renting out school buildings for services is headed back to court. The case is on appeal after a federal judge decided the Bronx Household of Faith's free exercise and establishment clause claims were overlooked.

• Turmoil and turnover came in the wake of Congress' reorganization of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

• Florida voters defeated a constitutional amendment that was described on the ballot as a religious liberty measure, but opponents said it was a back-door attempt to approve school vouchers.

• An archaeological discovery made reference to Jesus' wife. But the Vatican dismissed the papyrus fragment containing the statement “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'” as a fake.
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