Weekly roundup: Miley Cyrus, Mary Magdalene, and President Obama's tan suit

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year--just ask any parents who are sending their kids back to school after lots and lots of quality time together at home. Also, Burning Man is happening. So in case you were busy buying notebooks and backpacks, or making a trip out to the desert, this is your weekly roundup.

 

In foreign policy news:

Relations--if you can call them that--between the United States and the extremist terrorist group ISIS, (or ISIL, depending on who you ask), have taken a turn for the worse this week, particularly following the brutal execution of James Foley last week. The U.S. has engaged in over 100 airstrikes against the group in Iraq, but is beginning to consider airstrikes in Syria. A group of more than 50 faith leaders signed a letter asking President Obama to halt the airstrikes and attempt peaceful means of resolving the conflict.

Also over seas, new Russian forces are in Ukraine, aiding the separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine. President Obama commented on the situation in Ukraine and the ISIS crisis in a press conference yesterday.

Of course, no one heard what he was saying, because he wore a tan suit.

 

 

Closer to home:

Ferguson, Missouri is starting to calm down. Michael Brown was laid to rest on Monday, with a call to action for justice. While the demonstrations are quieting, there are still many calling for a closer and harder look at deeply embedded racism and police violence.

Miley Cyrus made headlines at the MTV Video Music Awards again this year, although this time around there were no dancing teddy bears. Instead, Cyrus accepted her award for her “Wrecking Ball” video by sending to the stage in her stead a young man named Jesse, who spoke on behalf of those people experiencing homelessness.

It’s a bad month for Republican governors. Texas governor Rick Perry (and presumptive presidential candidate) has been indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power. He also made his mug shot into a t-shirt starting at just $25.

We are also in the midst of the corruption trial for former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell, who seems to be using the ol’ MacBeth defense: “It’s my wife’s fault. She’s crazy.” Closing argument are set to begin, and they’re expected to be extensive.

Speaking of scandal, the Legionaries of Christ have found themselves once again caught up in controversy after a pamphlet was released that compared Marcial Maciel Degollado--the founder of the group who was dismissed after sexually abusing seminarians and fathering children--to Mary Magdalene, the woman who followed Jesus to the cross and later to his tomb. The Legionaries have issued an apology for the analogy.

And in “wow-nothing-will-ever-make-these-guys-happy” news, the Becket Fund and the USCCB have decided that they are still not happy with the administration’s new and improved compromise on the HHS contraception mandate.

 

And now for the rapid fire papal round up.

This week, Pope Francis:

Well that’s it for now. Enjoy the long weekend. Get some rest, and remember that Labor Day is set aside not just for barbecue, but to remember those who earned us the right to a weekend.