You can call Rick Santorum “‘a hater,'” but he’ll still argue that he’s “‘a lover… a lover of traditional families and children who deserve the right to have a mother and father.'” The New York Times’s Carl Hulse reports on the scramble among backers of the “Gay-Marriage Ban” to register a last soundbite before the proposed amendment–which is expected to fail–goes up for vote today.

“An accused panty thief who has come under suspicion in the Corvallis disappearance of 19-year-old Brooke Wilberger once told college buddies he could ‘kill at will and not face sanctions from Christ’ because he was ‘one of Christ’s angels.'” Yes, another story of an accused murderer claiming God’s sanction, served up in gruesome detail by Katie Willson of the McMinville, Oregon News Register. As true crime goes, it’s interesting journalism; but we think it’s time crime beat reporters talk to their friends on the God beat. Are killers who claim Christ’s support crazy? Probably. But that doesn’t mean their religion isn’t real, and scary…

Straight from the no-spin zone: Fox News would like you to know about faith-based groups’ liberal bias…

Voice of America reports on a new Vietnamese law promoted as a guarantee of religious freedom — just so long as it’s state-managed. The new law warns that those who use religion to “‘undermine the state'” will be punished. The Vietnam News Agency elaborates on the ban of such “religious abuses” as causing “public disorder” and spreading “superstitious practices.”

An Alternet article on the boom in “gay spirituality” presents a summary of the spectrum, from new age to traditional, but serves up scant details. Think of this piece as a guide to a dozen in-depth features waiting to be written…

Join Isaiah Sheffer, host of NPR’s “Selected Shorts”; Daphne Merkin, author ofDreaming of Hitler; and Revealer editor Jeff Sharlet for Isaac Bashevis Singer’s 100th Birthday Party tonight at KGB Bar. Strudel, shnapps, and readings of never-before-published stories at 7 pm. No cover. 85 E. 4th St., between Second and Third Avenues; Manhattan. Read more from the the Forward‘s special I.B. Singer birthday edition.