Belief Beat

Thanks to everyone who made it out last week to the Religion Newswriters Association & Religion Communicators Council networking event at The Huffington Post. Looking forward to more RNA/RCC gatherings; it’s a great way to talk faith-related news and get new ideas and sources.

Check out RNA’s list of the top religion news stories of 2011, as ranked by dozens of religion journalists around the country. Osama bin Laden’s death — remember that? — leads the pack. RNA also usually names a Religion Newsmaker of the Year, but this year was too close to call, between failed doomsday evangelist Harold Camping, Pope Benedict XVI and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. (I voted for Camping.)

I’ve got lots of traveling and shopping to do, so I’m going to sign off for the year, barring major breaking news. Hope everyone has a happy holiday season!

I can’t find the 1980s Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live I remember so fondly, in which The Church Lady rearranges the letters in Santa to spell Satan. But here’s the transcript! And here’s a link to a funny sketch they had over the weekend, in which Jesus takes a break before his big birthday to ask Denver Broncos quarterback and devout evangelical Christian Tim Tebow to take it down a notch.

And, as has become my tradition, here’s the “12 Days of Christmas,” as interpreted by the Indian diaspora.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.