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June 2008 Archives

Will Smith Dogged by Scientology Rumors

posted by nsymmonds

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services — Unrestricted – June 30, 2008 Will Smith, who rose from Philadelphia roots to become perhaps Hollywood’s biggest box-office draw, has again been caught up in Scientology suspicions. In March, Smith denied a magazine report that the […]

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Anglican Head Warns Against Conservative Challenge

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 30, 2008 LONDON – The spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans raised questions Monday about the legitimacy of plans to create a global network of conservative Anglicans that would challenge his authority and the teachings of […]

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Texas High Court Rules Exorcism Protected by Law

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 27, 2008 FORT WORTH, Texas – The Texas Supreme Court on Friday threw out a jury award over injuries a 17-year-old girl suffered in an exorcism conducted by members of her old church, ruling that the […]

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Israel Allows Funding to Hamas, Says Report

posted by lmarcus

United Press International – June 27, 2008 TEL AVIV, Israel, Jun 27, 2008 (UPI via COMTEX) — The Israeli government is allowing hundreds of millions of dollars to go to Hamas in Gaza, a watchdog organization has charged. Shurat Hadin […]

Episcopal Court Finds Pa. Bishop Guilty of Hiding Abuse

posted by lmarcus

Religion News Service- June 27, 2008 PHILADELPHIA — An Episcopal Church court on Thursday (June 26) unanimously found Bishop Charles E. Bennison guilty of not responding appropriately to sexual abuse committed by his brother against a teenage girl more than […]

Conservative U.S. Archbishop to Head Vatican High Court

posted by lmarcus

Religion News Service- June 27, 2008 VATICAN CITY — St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke was named Friday (June 27) to head the Catholic Church’s highest court, a move that places an outspoken conservative in an important if not highly visible […]

Rights Group Sues US Government on Behalf of Muslim Scientist

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 26, 2008 PITTSBURGH – A Muslim nuclear physicist on Thursday accused the U.S. Department of Energy of revoking his security clearance in retaliation for his criticism of the government’s treatment of Muslims. Moniem El-Ganayni, 57, an […]

High Court Affirms Gun Rights in Historic Decision

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 26, 2008 WASHINGTON – Silent on central questions of gun control for two centuries, the Supreme Court found its voice Thursday in a decision affirming the right to have guns for self-defense in the home and […]

Actors Bring Evangelical Megachurch to Life on Stage

posted by nsymmonds

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — Beneath a large photo of Pikes Peak, six actors bounce on stage to Christian music and cope with scandal as they explore life in the center of the evangelical […]

Bush Calls Zimbabwe Runoff Election a Sham

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 25, 2008 WASHINGTON – President Bush on Wednesday said the presidential runoff election in Zimbabwe this week appears to be a “sham,” joining a chorus of international condemnation against the actions of that country’s ruler. Zimbabwe’s […]

Queen Confers Knighthood on Salman Rushdie

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 25, 2008 LONDON – Author Salman Rushdie slipped into Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to receive a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II that had angered many parts of the Muslim world when the honor was announced last […]

From Britney to Amy, Academics Debate Fascination with ‘Train Wreck’ Female Celebs

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 25, 2008 LONDON – Topics included “Britney’s Tears: the Abject Female Celebrity in Postemotional Society” and “Hooker, Victim and/or Doormat: Lindsay Lohan and the Culture of Celebrity Notoriety.” European and American academics met Wednesday to examine […]

Yoga Event Stretches Across US-Mexico Border Fence

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 23, 2008 TIJUANA, Mexico – The rusty fence may divide the beaches of U.S. and Mexico, but it can’t break up a yoga class. A few dozen yoga aficionados rolled out their mats Sunday on both […]

Shanghai Issues New Restrictions for Dissidents Ahead of Olympics

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 24, 2008 BEIJING – Shanghai has banned dissidents, Falun Gong members and other regime critics from leaving the city during the August Olympics, a human rights group said Tuesday. The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human […]

James Dobson Accuses Obama of ‘Distorting’ Bible

posted by nsymmonds

By ERIC GORSKI, AP Religion Writer Tue Jun 24, As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement’s biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a “fruitcake […]

Myanmar’s Monks Regroup After Killer Storm

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 23, 2008 YANGON, Myanmar – In helping others, Myanmar’s saffron-robed Buddhist monks have helped themselves. The monks’ critical role in providing relief after Cyclone Nargis has galvanized their ranks and strengthened their political voice – just […]

Coalition: 55 Militants Killed in Afghan Battle

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 23, 2008 KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S.-led forces rained fire for two days on militants near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, officials said Monday, killing about 55 insurgents and underscoring how fighting with Taliban insurgents is escalating. The […]

Religious Americans Embrace Many Paths to Eternal Life

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 23, 2008 DENVER – America remains a nation of believers, but a new survey finds most Americans don’t feel their religion is the only way to eternal life – even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise. […]

Bloomberg Defends Obama Before Jewish Audience

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 20, 2008 NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Jewish voters to denounce the whisper campaign that for months has pushed the false rumor that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim. Bloomberg warned […]

Conservative Anglicans Meet to Plot Strategy

posted by nsymmonds

Amy Hybels and Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service AMMAN, Jordan (RNS) Conservative Anglicans on Thursday (June 19) said there is “no longer any hope for a unified” Anglican Communion just weeks before a crucial summit of Anglican bishops in England. […]

‘Faith Without Works’ Emerges as Democrats’ Favorite Bible Verse

posted by nsymmonds

By Benedicta Cipolla c. 2008 Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly (UNDATED) When Sen. Barack Obama turns to talking about faith on the campaign trail, he sometimes invokes the New Testament book of James and its admonition that “faith without works is […]

Another Faith-Healing Death Brings More Scrutiny on Church

posted by nsymmonds

By Rick Bella c. 2008 Religion News Service PORTLAND, Ore. — The painful and apparently preventable faith-healing death of a 16-year-old boy on Tuesday (June 17) brings the secretive Followers of Christ church back under legal scrutiny, just four months […]

Group Files Suit Over ‘I Believe’ Plates in SC

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 19, 2008 COLUMBIA, S.C. – A group that advocates separation of church and state filed a federal lawsuit Thursday to prevent South Carolina from becoming the first state to create “I Believe” license plates. The group […]

Obama Plans Full-Throttle Push for Evangelicals

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — With the Democratic presidential nomination in his grasp, Sen. Barack Obama is making a full-throttle push for centrist evangelicals and Catholics. It’s a move that’s caught off guard some conservative […]

Israelis, Palestinians Greet Gaza Truce Accord with Some Relief and Much Doubt

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 18, 2008 JERUSALEM – Palestinian militants launched at least 50 rockets and mortars from Gaza and Israel responded with airstrikes on Wednesday, just a day before a truce was set to take effect, illustrating how fragile […]

Muslim Woman: Scarf Kept Her from Seat Near Obama

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 18, 2008 DETROIT – A young Muslim woman said she and another woman were refused seats directly behind Barack Obama – and in front of TV cameras – at a Detroit rally because they wear head […]

Sikh Man Says not Having the ‘Disney Look’ Cost Him Job

posted by nsymmonds

By Ashly McGlone Religion News Service (RNS) A national Sikh group is suing the Walt Disney Co. for $1 million on behalf of a Sikh man who claimed he was fired for not having the “Disney look” because of his […]

Gay Couples Rush to Get Married in California

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 17, 2008 SAN FRANCISCO – County clerk offices across California opened for their first full day of same-sex marriages Tuesday, with hundreds of happy gay and lesbian couples ready to take the plunge in what in […]

Hamas Says Truce Deal with Israel Clinched, to Take Effect Early Thursday

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 17, 2008 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Tuesday said they have reached a long-awaited cease-fire with Israel meant to end months of Palestinian assaults on Israeli border towns and bruising Israeli retaliation. […]

Jewish Groups Angered by Presbyterian Statement on Anti-Jewish Bias

posted by nsymmonds

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service (RNS) A new Presbyterian statement against anti-Jewish bias has instead prompted an outcry from national Jewish agencies, whose leaders call it a major setback in efforts to improve interfaith relations. Ethan Felson, a spokesman […]

Jews, Muslims Face Challenges in Military Burials

posted by nsymmonds

By Jonathan D. Rubin c. 2008 Religion News Service ARLINGTON, Va. — There seems to be a striking symmetry on the rolling green hills of Arlington National Cemetery — rows upon rows of identical white limestone markers, perfectly spaced in […]

London Bishop to Investigate Gay Church Ceremony

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 15, 2008 LONDON – The bishop of London said Sunday he would order an investigation into whether two gay priests exchanged rings and vows in a church ceremony, violating Anglican guidelines. The priests walked down the […]

Da Vinci Code Movie Banned from Filming in Church

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 16, 2008 ROME – Rome’s diocese said Monday it has barred the producers of “Angels & Demons” from filming in two churches for the prequel to the “The Da Vinci Code,” the popular book and film […]

Pope Benedict Greets President Bush Personally at the Vatican

posted by shuang

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service VATICAN CITY — President Bush received an especially warm welcome from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Friday (June 13), as the two leaders met for the third time in little more […]

Catholic Bishops Warn Against the ‘Moral Dangers’ of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

posted by shuang

Associated Press ORLANDO, Florida — U.S. Roman Catholic bishops issued a document Friday warning against what they consider the moral dangers of embryonic stem cell research, saying it treats human beings as commodities and reduces procreation to a manufacturing process. […]

Watchdog Panel Concerned Textbooks at a Saudi-run Academy Promotes Violence

posted by shuang

By Ashly McGloneReligion News Service WASHINGTON — A federal religious freedom watchdog panel says it has reviewed textbooks used in a Saudi-run school in northern Virginia and confirmed that they contain passages that promote violence and intolerance. The U.S. Commission […]

Immigration Is Strengthening the Future of the Catholic Church

posted by shuang

By Amy GreenReligion News Service ORLANDO, Fla. — Immigration has not weakened the Christian identity of the United States but rather strengthened it, the director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life told Catholic bishops here Thursday (June […]

Mom Jailed for Lying on Abortion Forms

posted by shuang

United Press International GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia woman has received a one-year jail sentence after paying and signing paperwork for her son’s girlfriend to have an abortion, officials say. Cindi Cook, 44, was found guilty of encouraging her son’s […]

Religious Groups Protest U.S. Torture Tactics

posted by shuang

The Associated Press WASHINGTON – About 300 houses of worship are displaying anti-torture banners this month in an initiative by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Most of the banners are a stark black-and-white and read, “Torture is Wrong” or […]

Religion Makes You Happier–and Less Afraid of Death

posted by shuang

By Paul R. KopenkoskeyReligion News Service GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The perception that people unfettered by religion are happier than those who regularly attend church is false, an economist says. “People who believe in no moral constraints on activities have […]

Southern Baptists Elect a President But Dismiss a Proposal to Track Sex Offenders

posted by shuang

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Southern Baptists on Tuesday (June 10) elected a Georgia pastor, the Rev. Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, as president after the most wide-open leadership race in three decades. Hunt, 55, […]

Obama Meets Privately with Prominent Christian Leaders

posted by shuang

The Associated Press CHICAGO – Barack Obama discussed Darfur, the Iraq war, gay rights, abortion and other issues Tuesday with Christian leaders, including conservatives who have been criticized for praising the Democratic presidential candidate. Bishop T.D. Jakes, a prominent black […]

Nepal’s ‘Living Goddess’ Tradition in Limbo

posted by akornfeld

By Achal Narayanan Religion News Service Chennai, India – The appointment of a new “living goddess” in Nepal has been held up by the recent abolition of the Hindu monarchy in the Himalayan nation, according to Nepalese officials. Traditionally, the […]

Survey: Support Declines Among Some Churchgoers on Environmental Rules

posted by akornfeld

The Dallas Morning News Jun. 10–WASHINGTON — Environmental messages preached from the pulpit have yet to take hold in evangelical and Catholic pews, according to a recent survey on religion in public life. Just 43 percent of evangelical Protestants said […]

Evangelicals Are Wary of McCain’s Overtures

posted by akornfeld

International Herald Tribune Lori Viars, an evangelical activist in Warren County, Ohio, essentially put her life on hold in the autumn of 2004 to run a phone bank for President George W. Bush. Her efforts helped the president’s ambitious push […]

Dalai Lama Helps Westerners With Often Mundane Woes

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 9, 2008 DHARMSALA, India – Philip Hemley confronted a deep personal conflict. Should he continue his studies in Sanskrit and Tibetan languages or pursue his dreams of rock ‘n’ roll? So Mr. Hemley headed to this […]

Pope to Meet Bush in Medieval Tower

posted by nsymmonds

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) – June 9, 2008 Vatican City (dpa) – Pope Benedict XVI will host US President George W Bush in a medieval tower later this week in what the Vatican’s newspaper said Monday marks an “unusual protocol” move. […]

First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop and Partner Joined in Civil Union

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 8, 2008 CONCORD, New Hampshire – The first openly gay Episcopal bishop and his partner of 20 years have been united in a private civil union. The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson was legally joined to […]

Newest U.S. Bishop Reflects New Church

posted by nsymmonds

Chicago Tribune – June 6, 2008 Jun. 6–SAN ANTONIO — In a sign of the changing face of American Catholicism, a 41-year-old of Mexican descent who grew up in Houston has been ordained the nation’s youngest Roman Catholic bishop. More […]

Gay Activists to Protest Event that Claims Homosexuality is ‘Curable’

posted by nsymmonds

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – June 6, 2008 Jun. 6–Gay activists and clergy are planning a silent protest Saturday morning outside a conference of ex-gays who contend homosexuality can be cured by religious counseling. The conference, called “Love Won Out” […]

Texas Gov. Defends State’s Seizure of Polygamist Sect’s Kids

posted by nsymmonds

The Dallas Morning News – June 6, 2008 Jun. 6–Gov. Rick Perry, accepting personal blame if Texas “stepped across some legal line,” strongly defended today its sweep of all youngsters from a polygamist sect’s ranch. “I still think that the […]

Families Battle Over Who Owns ‘Footprints in the Sand’ Poem

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service “Author Unknown” once asked Jesus why there was only one set of footprints in the sand during life’s most perilous moments. Now a federal court on Long Island is trying to decide just […]

California Gay Couples Can Set the Date

posted by akornfeld

San Jose Mercury News, Calif. The wait is over for everyone from wedding planners to local clerks — and thousands of gay and lesbian couples across California. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday removed any lingering legal doubts about whether […]

For Bush and Benedict, a Personal and Political Bond

posted by akornfeld

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City — When President Bush pays a visit to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican next Friday (June 13), it will be his sixth meeting with a pope, and his third meeting […]

Bishops to Consider Stem Cells, Translations to Mass

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are expected to approve a new set of translations for the Mass and a policy statement on embryonic stem cell research at an upcoming meeting in […]

Obama Vows Staunch Support for Israel

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 4, 2008 WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama assured Jewish leaders Wednesday that he will be a steadfast ally of Israel and will not negotiate with terrorist groups, a response to attacks leveled against him […]

Saudi King Calls for End to Islamic Extremism

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 4, 2008 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Islam must do away with the dangers of extremism and present the religion’s positive message, Saudi King Abdullah said Wednesday as he opened a conference of Muslim figures aimed at […]

UN Chief: Food Production Must Rise 50 Percent by 2030

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Rome – World food production must rise by 50 percent by 2030 to meet increasing demand, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told world leaders Tuesday at a summit grappling with hunger and civil unrest caused by food price hikes. […]

Pope Benedict XVI Says Shroud of Turin Will Go on Rare Public Display in 2010

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The Shroud of Turin – revered by many Christians as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth – will go on rare public display in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday. The shroud last was shown to the […]

Hazards for Both Sides When Politicians Court Pastors

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks and Daniel Burke Religion News Service Washington – Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. Mike Huckabee and his “Christian leader” ads. John McCain and John Hagee. Hillary Clinton and her “prayer warriors.” Barack Obama and Jeremiah […]

McCain Mocks Obama on Iran in Speech to Jews

posted by nsymmonds

Knight Ridder Washington Bureau – June 2, 2008 WASHINGTON – John McCain told an influential Jewish group Monday that the security of Israel and the United States depends on a tough-minded approach to a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, mocking presidential rival […]

Polygamist Sect Parents, Children Begin Reuniting

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 2, 2008 SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Members of a polygamist sect have begun emotional reunions with their children, who were taken from the group’s ranch amid an abuse investigation nearly two months ago. Nancy Dockstader’s chin […]

Chicago Cardinal Silences Priest Who Mocked Clinton

posted by nsymmonds

By Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service (RNS) The Chicago priest who mocked Hillary Clinton by saying she cried on the campaign trail because “there’s a black man stealing my show” has been told by Cardinal Francis George not to speak […]

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posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

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

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
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posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

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