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May 2008 Archives

Another Pastor’s Comments Force Obama Apology

posted by nsymmonds

United Press International – May 30, 2008 CHICAGO, May 30, 2008 (UPI via COMTEX) — Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign once again had to apologize for remarks made by a Chicago pastor who spoke from the pulpit of the candidate’s church. […]

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Vatican: Excommunication for Female Priests

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 30, 2008 VATICAN CITY – The Vatican insisted Friday that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding females from the priesthood as it issued a new warning that women taking part in ordinations will be […]

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Conservatives Warn of Flood of Gay Marriage Lawsuits

posted by nsymmonds

By JONATHAN D. RUBIN c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — California’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage could “spawn lawsuits all over the country,” trampling states’ rights and limiting religious freedom, a coalition of conservative groups warned Thursday (May 29). […]

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Los Angeles Catholic Parishes Donate to Cover Settlements

posted by nsymmonds

LOS ANGELES – Parishes across the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are answering an appeal from Cardinal Roger Mahony to help pay $720 million in settlements to victims of clergy sex abuse. One parish donated almost all of its […]

Southern Baptists Face Wide-Open Leadership Race

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) When Southern Baptists meet for their annual convention in Indianapolis this June, they will have the opportunity to cast ballots for the highest number of contenders for president in the […]

N.Y. Will Respect Same-Sex Marriages

posted by nsymmonds

The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA – May 29, 2008 By Jeremy Peters The New York Times ALBANY, N.Y. New York Gov. David Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize […]

All Presidential Hopefuls Urge End to Darfur Violence

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 28, 2008 WASHINGTON – In a rare show of bipartisan unity, the three presidential candidates lent their names to a statement and newspaper ad Wednesday accusing the Sudanese government of genocide in the Darfur region and […]

Israeli Police Examine New Testament Blaze

posted by nsymmonds

United Press International – May 28, 2008 JERUSALEM, May 28, 2008 (UPI via COMTEX) — Israeli police Wednesday are reviewing a series of photographs showing students torching hundreds of New Testaments, a police spokesman said. Uzi Aharon, the mayor of […]

Gay Marriage will Begin on June 17 in California

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 28, 2008 SAN FRANCISCO – California officials are telling county clerks that they can start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on June 17. The state Office of Vital Records says it chose June 17 because […]

Calif. Episcopal Church Agrees to Marry Gay Couples

posted by akornfeld

By Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service A prominent liberal Episcopal church in Pasadena, Calif., says it will allow gay and lesbian couples to marry after the state’s Supreme Court opened civil marriage to same-sex couples starting next month. The move […]

Vatican Reopens Restored Pagan Tomb Under St. Peter’s Basilica

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The Vatican has reopened the largest and most luxurious of the pagan tombs in the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica after nearly a year of restoration work. The Valeri Mausoleum, which was unveiled to media […]

Clinton Speaks of Faith in the Face of Setbacks

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Hormigueros, Puerto Rico – Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday offered a spiritual defense for continuing her presidential campaign, as she sought to put to rest the uproar over her comments about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Speaking […]

What’s Up With the Karmapa Lama?

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) When many Americans think of Tibetan Buddhism, one man comes to mind: the Dalai Lama. The jet-setting, best-selling, Nobel Prize-winning 72-year-old monk has become the most recognizable Tibetan in the world. […]

Florida Muslims Sue Feds Over Citizenship Delays

posted by nsymmonds

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – May 23, 2008 May 23–For three years and three months, Ali Hussain has waited to become a U.S. citizen. On Thursday, his wait was over — but not before he sued the federal government. In […]

9/11 Families Sue for Right to Religious Burials

posted by nsymmonds

By Benedicta Cipolla c. 2008 Religion News Service NEW YORK — After the memorial Mass on Oct. 26, 2001, for her son Christian, a probationary firefighter who died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Sally Regenhard […]

Gay Episcopal Bishop Plans Civil Union Ceremony

posted by akornfeld

By Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service Five years ago, New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson made headlines by becoming the first openly gay bishop elected in the Episcopal Church or in the wider Anglican Communion. Robinson is making headlines again […]

Prehistoric Stonehenge Monument in Britain Attacked

posted by akornfeld

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) London (dpa) – British police are looking for suspected souvenir-hunters who used a hammer and a screwdriver to vandalize the world-famous stone circle of Stonehenge, south-west Britain. The incident, which occurred in the late evening of May […]

Jewish Bikers Ride Against Hatred

posted by akornfeld

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Ottumwa – Though one rider called the event a “show of unity,” the sound of 14 closely packed motorcycles was more like a “roar of unity.” The Jewish bikers said they don’t want others to forget […]

Episcopal Bishop Downplays Discord at Upcoming Anglican Meeting

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said Tuesday (May 20) that she does not expect up-or-down votes on the role of gays and lesbians in the church at a meeting of […]

Autistic Teen’s Ouster from Church Stirs Debate

posted by nsymmonds

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – May 20, 2008 May 20–Some see it as too harsh. Others see it as a last resort for safety. A Minnesota church’s efforts to bar a severely autistic 13-year-old boy from its Roman Catholic mass, […]

Muslim Group Distributes Free Qurans To Promote Understanding

posted by nsymmonds

Chicago Tribune – May 21, 2008 CHICAGO – As Marcia Macy chatted with her dog walker in the driveway of her Wheaton, Ill., home Thursday, a young Muslim man passed her and hooked a plastic bag containing a Quran on […]

IRS Clears Pastor on Huckabee Endorsement

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – The Internal Revenue Service has concluded that a Southern Baptist pastor’s endorsement of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was a personal one that does not jeopardize his church’s tax-exempt status. Pastor […]

Texas Megachurch Pastor Charged in Sex Sting

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service A minister to married adults at Prestonwood Baptist Church, a prominent Dallas-area Southern Baptist megachurch, has resigned after being charged in an Internet sex sting. Joe Barron, 52, was charged Friday (May 16) […]

Canadian Lutherans Ordain Openly Gay Married Man

posted by akornfeld

By Ron Csillag Religion News Service Toronto – Despite stern warnings and threats of discipline, a Lutheran church north of Toronto on Friday (May 16) ordained an openly gay man who is legally married to another man. Lionel Ketola, 45, […]

Yahweh Sect May Be Texas Test Case

posted by nsymmonds

The Dallas Morning News – May 15, 2008 (MCT) CALLAHAN COUNTY, Texas – In his first sermon after leaving jail, Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins was in classic form: folksy, paternal and apocalyptic. “No, we’re not getting ready to kill ourselves,” […]

Coast Guard Grants Religious Exemption on Vaccine

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Coast Guard has granted a religious exemption to an officer who sued after being denied a waiver from receiving a Hepatitis A vaccine that he believed was derived from […]

Aid Groups Feel the Pinch of Rising Food, Gas Prices

posted by nsymmonds

By JONATHAN D. RUBIN c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — Dramatic increases in food and gas prices are leaving some religious hunger-relief groups praying for relief. Problems were already apparent in 2006, but U.S. churches now report increased difficulty […]

Gay Marriage Opponents Vow to Fight Calif. Ruling

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 16, 2008 SAN FRANCISCO – Even as same-sex couples across California begin making plans to tie the knot, opponents are redoubling their efforts to make sure wedding bells never ring for gay couples in the nation’s […]

American Jewish Family Builds Mosque for Cambodian Village

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 16, 2008 TRAMOUNG CHRUM, Cambodia – When residents of this poor, Cambodian village need something built, they call on the Lightmans. The Jewish-American family’s latest gift: a mosque. “We never had such a beautiful mosque in […]

Gregorian Chant Making a 21st Century Comeback

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) It doesn’t have much of a beat, the kids can’t dance to it, and it’s sung in a dead language. But Gregorian chant seems to be the hottest thing in sacred […]

Study Explores ‘Evangelical Intelligentsia’

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Boston – For decades, Boston University sociologist Peter Berger says, American intellectuals have looked down on evangelicals. Educated people have the notion that evangelicals are “barefoot people of Tobacco Road who, I don’t know, sleep with their sisters […]

Muslim Nation Hosts Jewish and Christian Scholars for Interfaith Dialogue

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Doha, Qatar – More than a dozen Jewish rabbis, including two from Israel, were in attendance this week as this conservative Muslim sheikdom opened one of the Gulf’s first scholarly centers dedicated to interfaith dialogue. The rare meeting […]

California’s Top Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press San Francisco – In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation’s biggest state to […]

Televangelist John Hagee Apologizes to Catholics

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 13, 2008 WASHINGTON – John Hagee, an influential Texas televangelist who endorsed John McCain, apologized to Catholics Tuesday for his stinging criticism of the Roman Catholic Church and for having “emphasized the darkest chapters in the […]

Muslims Campaign to Reclaim ‘Jihad’ from Extremists

posted by nsymmonds

By Omar Sacirbey c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) The end to Ani Zonneveld’s “jihad” on “jihad” came during an episode of “Desperate Housewives,” when Lynette (Felicity Huffman) discovers she has cancer and throws a stone at a possum. “Look […]

Vatican Astronomer Suggests Aliens Do Not Need Salvation

posted by nsymmonds

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Intelligent life may exist on other planets and has no need of redemption through Jesus Christ, the Vatican’s top astronomer said. The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican […]

Hundreds Arrested in Iowa Raid at Kosher Plant

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Postville, Iowa – Federal immigration agents in northeastern Iowa have arrested at least 300 people in a raid on the world’s largest kosher meatpacking plant. U.S. Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth says the raid on the Agriprocessors Inc. plant […]

Letter Up for Auction Reveals Einstein’s Views on ‘Childish’ Religion

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press London – Albert Einstein: arch rationalist or scientist with a spiritual core? A letter being auctioned in London this week adds more fuel to the long-simmering debate about the Nobel prize-winning physicist’s religious views. In the note, written […]

Buddhist Monks Help Cyclone Victims, Military Tries to Curb Their Efforts

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Kyi Bui Khaw, Myanmar – The saffron-robed monks who spearheaded an uprising last fall against Myanmar’s military rulers are back on the front lines, this time providing food, shelter and spiritual solace to cyclone victims. The military regime […]

US Muslim Leader’s Deportation Hearing Continues

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 12, 2008 NEWARK, New Jersey – A deportation hearing for a popular Muslim leader resumed Monday with both sides focusing on a disputed arrest in Israel that is at the heart of the case. Mohammad Qatanani, […]

Vatican Unveils Latin Web Site

posted by nsymmonds

United Press International – May 12, 2008 VATICAN CITY, May 10, 2008 (UPI via COMTEX) — The Roman Catholic Church, reflecting the love of Latin by Pope Benedict XVI, has opened a Web site at the Vatican written in the […]

One Year After Father’s Death, Falwell’s Sons Pick Up the Legacy

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2008 Religion News Service LYNCHBURG, Va. — Nearly a year after his father’s death, the Rev. Jonathan Falwell walks up and down the stage of Thomas Road Baptist Church with a series of briefcases behind […]

Lost in the Holocaust: Experts Plumb Newly Opened Archive

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 8, 2008 BAD AROLSEN, Germany – A mother and child separated. A father’s war wound. An uncle’s name on a list. The unrelated and disparate items are among the discoveries made by 40 Jewish genealogists who […]

Evangelist Franklin Graham Visits China Ahead of Olympics

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 9, 2008 BEIJING – The son of American evangelist Billy Graham said Friday he is opposed to missionary work at this summer’s Beijing Olympic Games. Franklin Graham, also an evangelist, was speaking to reporters Friday during […]

Did Bad Karma Cause the Myanmar Cyclone?

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) After a natural disaster strikes in the United States, the question almost immediately arises: Where was God? Or, did God allow this to happen? Half a world away, as Myanmar digs […]

Dalai Lama’s Envoy Details Tibetan Proposals at China Talks

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Dharmsala, India – The Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials disagreed more than they agreed at weekend talks on how to move beyond the unrest in Tibet, one of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s representatives said Thursday. Both sides […]

Pope’s Approval Ratings Rise After U.S. Visit

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service After Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal visit to the U.S. last month, about 60 percent of Americans now report favorable views of the pontiff, a modest bump from pre-trip opinions, according to new polls. […]

Evangelicals Lament a Politicized Faith

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington — Evangelical Christians should be defined by their theology — and not their politics — to avoid becoming “useful idiots” of a political party, a group of leaders said Wednesday (May 7) […]

First International Aid Reaches Myanmar After Cyclone

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 6, 2008 YANGON, Myanmar – International aid began to trickle into Myanmar on Tuesday, but the stricken Irrawaddy delta, the nation’s rice bowl where 22,000 people perished and twice as many are missing, remained cut off […]

Chinese Orchestra Performs for Pope in Landmark Vatican Concert

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 7, 2008 VATICAN CITY – The China Philharmonic Orchestra performed for Pope Benedict XVI in a landmark concert Wednesday that could indicate warming relations between Beijing and the Vatican. Benedict called it a “truly unique event” […]

Israel’s 60th a Dream Realized for Some, Dashed for Others

posted by nsymmonds

By Michele Chabin c. 2008 Religion News Service JERUSALEM — When Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary starting Wednesday (May 7) night, the event will touch people of different faiths in very different ways. Jews and Christian Zionists around the world […]

First Israeli-Funded Non-Orthodox Synagogue Dedicated

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Modin, Israel – Israel’s Reform Jews have dedicated the first non-Orthodox synagogue to receive state funding, after a long court battle that highlighted the rift among the country’s different streams of Judaism. The Reform Yozma congregation dedicated the […]

Vatican to Bishops: Do Not Share Parish Information with Mormons

posted by akornfeld

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City — Seeking to stop Mormons from posthumously baptizing Catholic ancestors, the Vatican has instructed bishops around the world not to share parish registers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day […]

Methodists’ Conference Tackled a Number of Issues

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Debates on homosexuality and church structure may have captured the bulk of attention, but that’s not all United Methodists did at their General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. They also heard addresses from the […]

Evangelicals Say Faith is Now Too Political

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 2, 2008 Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word “evangelical” has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its […]

China Agrees to Second Round of Talks with Dalai Lama’s Envoys

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 5, 2008 SHENZHEN, China – After a day of meetings, the Dalai Lama’s representatives left China on Monday with a solid offer from Beijing for more talks in an apparent sign of a gradual rapprochement after […]

Watchdog Panel Issues Religious Freedom Recommendations

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal watchdog panel said Friday (May 2) that 11 countries should be named “countries of particular concern” for their records on religious freedom, including three that are not currently on […]

Visit Prompts Speculation on NY Cardinal’s Replacement

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 1, 2008 NEW YORK – Whatever impressions Pope Benedict XVI took away from his long weekend in New York may influence a big, upcoming decision – picking a successor to Cardinal Edward Egan as archbishop. Speculating […]

Methodists Decline to Act Against Transgender Clergy

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service FORT WORTH, Texas — Efforts to remove a transgender pastor from ministry in the United Methodist Church died quietly here this week at the denomination’s General Conference. The failure to enact a […]

Northwestern Pulls Honorary Degree for Jeremiah Wright

posted by nsymmonds

By Jonathan Rubin Religion News Service (RNS) Northwestern University has retracted an honorary degree offer to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s embattled former pastor. “In light of the controversy around Dr. Wright and to ensure that the celebratory […]

Theological Center Calls for Greater Black Church Involvement on Darfur

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service The Interdenominational Theological Center, a consortium of African-American theological schools in Atlanta, has urged black churches to take proactive steps to address the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. “In light of […]

Young Jews March at Auschwitz Site in Memory of Holocaust Victims

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Oswiecim, Poland – Around 10,000 young Jews, Poles and World War II survivors took part in the March of the Living on Thursday, an annual event at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau that honors the memory […]

Methodists Vote to Retain Policies on Homosexuality

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Fort Worth, Texas — The United Methodist Church held to its traditional rules on homosexuality Wednesday (April 30), refusing to support or celebrate same-sex unions and maintaining language that calls homosexual activity “incompatible with […]

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posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »

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