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Friday’s Religion News Roundup: Pink Bibles, Tebowing and Gingrich on celibacy

Christopher Hitchens, the acid-tongued atheist and lovably roguish essayist, has met his maker (or not) at age 62. Saith Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a friend and sparring partner: “He was religion's most vociferous enemy but you could not help but develop an affection for him due to his warmth, wit, and, bizarre as it may sound, humility.”

WaPo sits in on a choir practice at theBasilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conceptionin Washington, where the “gleaming flaxen bob” in the alto section belongs to none other thanCallista Gingrich. Speaking of,Newtsays that ifCatholic priests can choose to be celibate, so can the gays.
POTUSwill be speaking to the nation's largest Jewish movement this afternoon in Washington, and our own Lauren Markoe profiles the new president of theUnion for Reform Judaism,Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

Howard Friedman's Religion Clauseis reporting that Congress passed a Pentagon spending bill that includes a line thatmilitary chaplains cannot be forced to officiate at same-sex weddings. In Foggy Bottom,Secretary of State Hillary Clintonhosted asummit this week on protecting religious minorities; it was a work-around to the resolutions against the “defamation of religion” that the U.S. finally managed to derail this year at theU.N.

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About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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