2012: Top 10 religion stories of the year

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As we near the end of 2012 — can you believe we made it this far!? — the time has come for the Top 10 of everything.

For example, the above video (featuring four guys and a gal playing a single guitar and singing a really catchy tune) made YouTube’s Top 10 Trending Videos list, ranking No. 2 behind a Korean dude dancing “Gangnam Style.”

Meanwhile, members of the Religion Newswriters Association have determined their annual Top 10 Religion Stories of the Year.

I thought it would be fun to list the Top 10 in random order and let GetReligion readers vote themselves. So, please rank your Top 10 in the comments section (write-in votes are allowed). I’ll provide a link at the bottom for the actual RNA link, but wait and click it after you comment. (By the way, the Newtown school shooting occurred after the RNA ballot was prepared, so it’s not reflected in the below list.)

Anti-Muslim video — The circulation of an anti-Islam film trailer, “Innocence of Muslims,” causes unrest in several countries, leading to claims that it inspired the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya. President Obama, at the U.N., calls for toleration tolerance of blasphemy, and respect as a two-way street.

Contraception fight — U.S. Catholic bishops lead opposition to Obamacare requirement that insurance coverage for contraception be provided for employees. The government backs down a bit, but not enough to satisfy the opposition.

Kansas City bishop conviction — Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia becomes the first senior Catholic official in the U.S. to be found guilty of covering up priestly child abuse; later Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., becomes the first bishop to be found guilty of it.

Rise of the ‘nones’ — A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey shows that “nones” is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, rising to 19.6 percent of the population.

Romney’s Mormonism — Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith turns out to be a virtual non-issue for white evangelical voters, who support him more strongly than they did John McCain, in the U.S. presidential race.

Same-sex marriage and denominations — Denominational votes The Episcopal Church overwhelmingly adopts a trial ritual for blessing same-sex couples. Earlier, the United Methodists fail to vote on approving gay clergy, and the Presbyterians (USA) vote to study, rather than sanction same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Same-sex marriage and states — Voters OK same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington, bringing the total approving to nine states and the District of Columbia. Also, Minnesota defeats a ban on same-sex marriage after North Carolina approves one.

Sikh temple shooting — Six people are killed and three wounded at worship in a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. The shooter, an Army veteran killed by police, is described as a neo-Nazi.

Southern Baptist black president — Southern Baptist Convention elects without opposition its first black president, the Rev. Fred Luter of New Orleans.

Vatican and the nuns — The Vatican criticizes the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group of U.S. nuns, alleging they haven’t supported church teaching on abortion, sexuality or women’s ordination.

After you rank your Top 10, check out the RNA results. HuffPost Religion’s editors also take a crack at the Top 10 religion stories.


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