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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.     

Mascot loss for the Holy Cross 

The Blaze reports on the decision by the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts to drop their knight mascot and all knight-related imagery from the college because of its association with violence and Islamophobia. 

College president Rev Philip L. Boroughs wrote to the campus community insisting that the “current visual representations of the Crusader do not align” with the college’s values which include “inclusivity and respect for different cultures, perspectives and identities” and “the common good, human rights, social justice and care for the environment”. 

Boroughs also stated that “the visual depiction of a knight, in conjunction with the moniker Crusader, inevitably ties us directly to the reality of the religious wars and the violence of the Crusades”. 

Katy’s legal roar leaves nun poor 

The Daily Mail has the latest on Katy Perry’s ongoing legal battle surrounding a Los Angeles convent and its sale to the pop star: a nun at the centre of the drama says she is now struggling to pay her bills after the bitter legal fight. 

Sister Rita Callanan is one of two nuns (the other recently died) who took exception to the Archbishop of Los Angeles agreeing to sell the convent to Katy Perry and instead agreed to sell the property to developer Dana Hollister. The court battle has unfolded over who had the right to sell the multimillion dollar property: the Archbishop or the nuns who occupied the property and claim the Order of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Los Angeles to which they belong are the true rights holder. 

Beware of court push to declare? 

Reuters reports on the latest news coming from Pakistan that all citizens will be required to declare their religious affiliation when applying for identity documents and that people applying for government jobs must declare their faith. 

Human rights campaigners say the move will put pressure on persecuted minority communities such as the Ahmadi community who have previously been the target of mob violence due to their alleged status as blasphemers in the eyes of some in the heavily Muslim nation.  

Human Rights Watch representative Saroop Ijaz said, “A judgement like this would enable and incite violence.” 

Back to learn after gendered spurn 

Fox News covers news of a student attending a Indiana University of Pennsylvania Christianity class who was banned from class for saying there are only two genders. Lake Ingle, a religious studies major, claims he was ejected from class after insisting there are only two genders and that the gender wage gap was a myth in which the female lecturer “allegedly asked only women to speak following a TED talk by transgender ex-pastor Paula Stone Williams”. 

University president Michael Driscoll unbanned Ingle from class and stated he was disappointed in how the situation was handled and the university had “fallen short of devotion to the First Amendment”. 

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