We'll be posting TOP 10 Lists Until January 1st.
WARNING: They will not be reverent. (Did you expect otherwise?)
O.K., The Top 10 Religion Stories of 2008 as selected by 100 religion journalists:
1. Barack Obama's minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Why Wright should be singled out for this dubious honor demonstrates that you can hold all sorts of wild beliefs in this country, just don't say "God Damn America." Pastor John Hagee got an honorable mention as the minister who called Roman Catholicism "The Great Whore." And Rod Parsley also got a nod for using military language and saying the U.S. was created to destroy Islam.
2. The outreach of Democrats to the Christian Right. Dems targeted most of the churches...ah...except...the Snake Handlers of West Virginia.
3. Sarah Palin didn't handle any snakes, but she brought out the venom of born-again trailer people at her rallies.
4. California Supreme Court declares gay marriage legal. Then the Christofascists of the entire country united (for the first time ever) to amend the California Constitution, proving that nothing unites people like a common hatred.
5. Pope Benedict XVI's appearance in the U.S. He danced around the country in his red shoes and told everyone how he loved the U.S. - and its money. He also met with people sexually abused by Catholic Priests. It didn't make them any happier when he said "Hey, wadaya want? Celibacy can cause some really kinky sex. I know!"
6. U.S. conservatives alienated from the Episcopal Church said they will ask Anglican Communion leaders for permission to create the Anglican Church in North America. With their numbers declining, they thought it might be cool to be labled: Anglican Straight.
7. Religious zealotry posed as the cause of the 3-day rioting in Mumbai resulting in the deaths of 200 people. Some people aren't up on turban etiquette.
8. China suppresses Tibetan Buddhists seeking independence just before the Beijing Olympic Games. Some Buddhists still got their licks in - especially when Richard Gere gave his leading lady a full kiss and Hindu clerics heart attacks.
9. A battered economy forces many faith-based initiatives to be cut back. They're going back to their mainstay: bake sales.
10. Sunnis and Shiites continue to fight each other, sometimes targeting Christians during the melee. They both have longer and more vivid memories of the Crusades.