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May 2010 Archives

N.Y. Icon Takes Dim View of Mother Teresa’s Birthday

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) In a bid to honor what would have been Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday on Aug. 26, the New York-based Catholic League has gathered more than 24,000 signatures to light the iconic spire of the Empire State Building in blue […]

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Blacks, Mirroring Larger U.S. Trend, ‘Come Out’ as Nonbelievers

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) Standing before a room full of fellow African-Americans, Jamila Bey took a deep breath and announced she’s come out of the closet. Her soul-bearing declaration is nearly taboo, she says. “It’s the A-word,” said Bey, 33, feigning a […]

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Kibbutz-Style Living Fills a Void for Young Jews

posted by mconsoli

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (RNS) Raychel Bone, Sam Selker, Naima Cohn and Taliesin Haugh sat on their front porch and mulled the surprising successes of the venture that teaches young Jews how to live together, laugh together, split the rent and, […]

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Benedict to Make First Papal Visit to Cyprus

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI’s overseas travels typically involve vast crowds of adoring Catholics, often squeezed into sports stadiums or public venues for large-scale Masses. But when Benedict makes the first official papal visit to Cyprus next weekend (June 4-6), his […]

House Rejects Amendment on Chaplains’ Prayers

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) The House on Thursday (May 27) rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed military chaplains to close public events with faith-specific prayers. The amendment, offered by Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to the Military Construction […]

Majority Find Homosexuality ‘Morally Acceptable’ for First Time

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) A slight majority of Americans view gay or lesbian relations as morally acceptable, a first since Gallup pollsters started asking about the issue in 2001. In a recent survey of 16 different behaviors or social practices, pollsters found […]

Obama Sides with Vatican in Abuse Lawsuit

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration has made a rare foray into the Catholic sexual abuse crisis, backing the Vatican’s claim it is immune to lawsuits in the U.S. because it is a sovereign nation. In a brief filed on Friday […]

Churches Race to Support Members Impacted by Oil Spill

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, churches and religious organizations along the Louisiana coast are providing food, money and support to parishioners whose livelihoods hang in the balance. More than 7 million gallons of oil […]

NYC Bus Ads Asking ‘Leaving Islam?’ Cause a Stir

posted by nsymmonds

NEW YORK – The questions on the ads aren’t subtle: Leaving Islam? Fatwa on your head? Is your family threatening you? A conservative activist and the organizations she leads have paid several thousand dollars for the ads to run on […]

Blacks, Mirroring Larger U.S. Trend, ‘Come Out’ as Nonbelievers

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) Standing before a room full of fellow African-Americans, Jamila Bey took a deep breath and announced she’s come out of the closet. Her soul-bearing declaration is nearly taboo, she says. “It’s the A-word,” said Bey, 33, feigning a […]

Churches Tread Carefully on Arizona Boycott

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) The push for immigration reform has united many faith groups in a fervor not seen since the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s, much of it directed at Arizona’s new get-tough immigration law. Yet a central feature of the […]

Swedish University Re-Invites Muhammad Artist

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – May 25, 2010 STOCKHOLM – A Swedish university has invited an artist who angered Muslims by caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad to finish a lecture that was disrupted by violent protests. Officials say Lars Vilks has agreed to […]

Firing Squad Sparks Talk of Mormon ‘Blood Atonement’

posted by nsymmonds

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) After convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner announced his intention to be executed by firing squad, national and international reporters suggested it was a throwback to the wild, wild West. Some Utahns, though, had a different explanation […]

Landmark Status Could Stop Mosque Near Ground Zero

posted by nsymmonds

NEW YORK – New York City officials say a plan to tear down a building and put up a mosque near the World Trade Center site will need the approval of a commission that protects landmarks. They say the building […]

In Last NYC Stop, Dalai Lama Discusses Kinship

posted by nsymmonds

NEW YORK – The Dalai Lama said Sunday that the U.S.-led war in Iraq could perhaps have been avoided through negotiations with Saddam Hussein. Responding to a question about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the exiled leader of Tibetan […]

Jews for Jesus Founder Dies at 78

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Moishe Rosen, a controversial Baptist minister, writer and founder of the group Jews for Jesus, died in San Francisco Wednesday (May 19) at the age of 78. He had prostate cancer. Rosen was born in Kansas City, Mo., to […]

Evangelicals Push ‘Theology of Sex,’ Abortion Reduction

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals on Thursday (May 20) launched an initiative to reduce abortions by promoting a “Theology of Sex” for churches and pledging to find common ground with opponents on abortion. “There’s a sense that, whatever our […]

Vatican, Courts Wrestle Over Who Controls Bishops

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Is Pope Benedict XVI legally responsible for the actions of U.S. Catholic bishops who mishandled cases of pedophile priests, allowing them to sexually abuse more children? Some plaintiffs’ lawyers are arguing that victims of clerical sex abuse […]

After Banning Facebook, Pakistan Bans YouTube

posted by mconsoli

CHENNAI, India (RNS) For the second time in two days, Pakistani officials have restricted access to a popular Internet site that it deems offensive to the country’s majority Muslim population. The government Thursday (May 20) blocked access to YouTube because […]

Scientologist May Provide Child Care, with Conditions

posted by mconsoli

BERLIN (RNS) A Scientologist may offer child care services so long as she does not mix religion with work, a German court ruled Wednesday (May 19). An unnamed 38-year-old Munich woman had been providing day care for five children, earning […]

Catholic Bishops Leave Civil Rights Group After Kagan Endorsement

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops withdrew from a national civil rights coalition on Wednesday (May 19) after the group advocated on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The Washington-based Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR) was […]

Judge Refuses to Dismiss US Synagogue-Bomb Case

posted by mconsoli

WHITE PLAINS, New York – A federal judge has refused to dismiss the criminal case against four men who claimed they were entrapped by a federal informant into a plot to bomb synagogues and shoot down military planes. Judge Colleen […]

Muslim Miss USA: Progress, or Immodesty?

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Europe’s burqa debate and a steady stream of media images showing veiled women have led to a widespread impression that all Muslims are obsessed with covering the female body. It might be a surprise, then, that many Muslim Americans […]

Evangelicals Call for Prison-Rape Reforms

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Evangelicals are calling on the Obama administration to enact long-promised prison reforms, saying the incarcerated deserve protection from violence and rape. In 2003, former president George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which aimed to lower the […]

Haggard Denies He’s About to Start a Church

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Former Colorado megachurch pastor Ted Haggard, who resigned top evangelical posts after a sex-and-drug scandal, denied reports that he is starting a new church. “A corporation does not a church make,” Haggard, the former president of the National Association […]

Wright Says Obama Threw Him ‘Under the Bus’

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Obama’s former pastor, said Obama “threw me under the bus,” according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. During his presidential campaign, Obama resigned from Wright’s Chicago church after controversial and racially tinged […]

Son Leaves ‘America’s Most Hated Family,’ and God, Behind

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) When Nate Phelps’ son was about five years old and had been caught misbehaving, he taught his dad a lesson about ending the cycle of family abuse. “I’d clung to the idea that corporal punishment was a requirement by […]

Moshe Greenberg, Bible Scholar, Dies at 81

posted by mconsoli

JERUSALEM – Moshe Greenberg, an influential scholar whose work won the first-ever Israel Prize for biblical studies, has died, one of his sons said Monday. He was 81. Greenberg’s award-winning Bible scholarship bridged the gap between the commentary of ancient […]

Vatican Rejects Closed Mass. Churches’ Appeals

posted by mconsoli

BOSTON – The Vatican has rejected final appeals by 10 parishes closed by the Archdiocese of Boston in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal, leaving parishioners to consider fighting the closings in civilian courts, the leader of a […]

Outspoken Judge Tries to Ride Fame to Governor’s Office

posted by mconsoli

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Former Chief Justice Roy Moore hopes his stands defending public displays of faith still resonate enough with Alabama voters to get him elected to statewide office again, this time as governor. “For the government to acknowledge God […]

Conservative Christian Leader Fights Sex Scandal

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) A former Family Research Council board member has resigned from an organization that helps people deal with unwanted same-sex attractions, after reports that he hired a gay escort. While planning a trip through Europe last month (April), George Rekers […]

Jewish Rights Groups Say Arizona Law Not Nazi

posted by mconsoli

LOS ANGELES – Arizona’s tough new law against illegal immigration has prompted furious protests and boycotts but Jewish groups say opponents who compare it with the rise of Nazi Germany are going too far. “It diminishes the Holocaust,” said Rabbi […]

Pope’s Portugal Trip a Bid to Move Beyond Scandal

posted by mconsoli

PORTO, Portugal – Pope Benedict XVI wrapped up a trip to Portugal on Friday with an appeal to spread the faith, capping a pilgrimage marked by an explicit admission of church guilt in the clerical abuse scandal with a fresh […]

If There’s a ‘Just’ Way to Wage War, What About Ending One?

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) For centuries, Christianity’s theory of “just war” has helped religious and political leaders determine when, if ever, war is justified and how to conduct a moral military campaign. Now, as the U.S. prepares to reduce troop levels in Iraq […]

Pope Calls Abortion, Gay Marriage ‘Insidious and Dangerous Threats’

posted by nsymmonds

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (May 13) singled out abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage as “some of today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.” The pope made his remarks in an address to social […]

Ariz. Clergy Press Immigration Reform on Capitol Hill

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders from Arizona took their cause to Capitol Hill on Thursday (May 13), saying they can no longer ignore the “human cost” of illegal immigration in their state. “I’m here representing evangelicals,” said Gary Kinnaman, an evangelical […]

Pope Offers Hope Against Suffering at Fatima Mass

posted by mconsoli

Associated Press – May 13, 2010 FATIMA, Portugal – Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for an outdoor Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday at Fatima, the Catholic shrine that pilgrims visit in search of cures for […]

Pope in Fatima Recalls John Paul Shooting

posted by mconsoli

FATIMA, Portugal – Pope Benedict XVI recalled the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II on Wednesday as he traveled to this Catholic shrine and prayed before a statue holding the bullet that gravely wounded the late pontiff. Benedict said […]

Newdow Plans Appeal of Inaugural Prayer Case

posted by mconsoli

WASHIGNTON (RNS) Atheist lawyer Michael Newdow said Tuesday (May 11) he plans to appeal a court decision that said his bid to halt prayers and the words “so help me God” in presidential inaugurations are now moot. “We will be […]

Liberty to Probe Seminary President’s Muslim Background

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Liberty University, the Baptist school founded by the late Jerry Falwell, will investigate claims that its seminary president lied about his Muslim background to make his conversion to Christianity seem more dramatic. Ergun Caner was named dean of Liberty […]

War Memorial Cross at Center of Court Case Stolen

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) The war memorial cross at the center of a recent Supreme Court ruling has been stolen, a spokeswoman for the Mojave National Preserve said Tuesday (May 11). A wooden box had covered the controversial cross, which has been […]

Muhammad Cartoonist ‘Head-Butted’ During Lecture

posted by mconsoli

STOCKHOLM – A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was assaulted Tuesday as furious protesters interrupted his university lecture about the limits of free speech. Lars Vilks told The Associated Press a man […]

As Pill Turns 50, a Push Within Islam for Family Planning

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) When reproductive health expert Dr. Douglas Huber went to Afghanistan to set-up an “Accelerating Contraceptive Use” project in 2005, the fertility rate among Afghan women was almost seven children per woman. In order to get people to consider birth […]

Pope Blames Church’s Own Sins for Sex Scandal

posted by mconsoli

LISBON, Portugal – Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday blamed the church’s own sins for the clerical abuse scandal – not a campaign mounted by outsiders – and called for profound purification to end what he called the “greatest persecution” the […]

White House to Celebrate Jewish Americans

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will hold what the White House says will be its first reception in recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month. The May 27 event will celebrate the depth of Jewish American […]

Pope to Speak About Economic Crisis in Portugal

posted by mconsoli

LISBON, Portugal – Pope Benedict XVI will speak about the economic crisis during his four-day trip to Portugal this week, telling Europeans to seek solace in their faith, a senior church official said Monday. The pontiff intends to deliver a […]

Supreme Court Will Have No Protestants. Does It Matter?

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) As Solicitor General Elena Kagan prepares for confirmation hearings to make her the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, her nomination changes the religious makeup of the nation’s highest court. But does it matter that the bench would […]

Elena Kagan Chosen by Obama for Supreme Court

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, declaring she would demonstrate the same independence, integrity and passion for the law exhibited by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. If confirmed by the […]

Dalai Lama Tells AP: Exiles Must Press China Talks

posted by mconsoli

DHARMSALA, India – Years of negotiations with Beijing have achieved little for the Tibetan people, the Dalai Lama said Friday, though he insisted that talks still needed to press ahead and that the Chinese leadership could – eventually – soften […]

Opponents of Religion in Inaugurations Lose Fight

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – Atheists who oppose prayer and other religious elements in presidential inaugurations have lost a case in a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel on Friday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to stop Barack Obama from […]

Accused Catholic Priests Left in Legal Limbo

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Somewhere in the Vatican, there is a thick file with the Rev. James Selvaraj’s name on it. It’s been there since 2006. A native of southern India, Selvaraj was a guest priest in the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., when […]

Anti-Zionist Rabbi Moshe Hirsch Dies in Jerusalem

posted by mconsoli

JERUSALEM – Moshe Hirsch, an anti-Zionist rabbi and close associate of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has died in Jerusalem, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group said Monday. He was 86. Hirsch was a leading figure in Neturei Karta, a tiny […]

Vatican Foreign Minister to Visit Cuba in June

posted by mconsoli

HAVANA – The Vatican’s foreign minister is coming to Cuba next month to lead discussions on the island’s economic challenges and the effects of emigration and the families torn apart by it. Roman Catholic Archbishop Dominique Mamberti will mark Catholic […]

Christians Defy Judge’s Ruling and Mark National Day of Prayer

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) For years, the annual National Day of Prayer observances on Capitol Hill had become almost routine affairs as mostly conservative Christian groups bowed with legislators to pray for the soul of America. But this year, after a federal judge […]

News Feature: U.S. Jews Fight Israeli Laws on Conversion

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Following recent face-to-face meetings with Israeli officials in New York, leaders of North America’s non-Orthodox Jewish movements said a bill aimed at easing Israeli conversion laws would marginalize non-Orthodox Jews who struggle for equality. Representatives of the Reform, Conservative […]

Pope to Tackle Secularism in Portugal Trip

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Pope Benedict XVI travels to Portugal next week (May 11-14), the primary purpose will be to worship at the world-famous shrine to the Virgin Mary at Fatima. Yet the pope is also likely to use the […]

Appeals Court: Asking Muslim Inmate to Remove Scarf Was Legal

posted by mconsoli

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court says Orange County officials acted legally when they ordered a Muslim inmate in a courthouse holding cell to remove her headscarf. The U.S. Court of Appeals said Monday that since Souhair Khatib was […]

Poll: U.S. Catholics Unsatisfied with Abuse Response

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics believe the Vatican tried to cover up clergy sex abuse, and a majority says Pope Benedict XVI has handled recent reports of past abuse poorly, according to a new poll, but less than 10 […]

Evangelicals Take Aim at One of Their Own

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Southern Baptist theologian Jim Hamilton doesn’t write a lot of parables. But he recently posted an original one on his blog in a bid to delegitimize a popular author who Hamilton says is falsely advertising himself as an evangelical. […]

Largest Lutheran Group Reinstating 2 Gay Ministers

posted by mconsoli

ATLANTA – A gay Atlanta pastor and his partner who have been at the center of a battle over the treatment of gay clergy by the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination are being reinstated to the denomination’s clergy roster, church officials […]

Founder of Israel’s Rabbis for Human Rights Dies

posted by mconsoli

JERUSALEM – Rabbi David Forman, founder of Rabbis for Human Rights, a prominent group defending Palestinians, has died, a colleague said Tuesday. Forman was 65. He died Monday in a hospital in Dallas, Texas, where he was undergoing treatment, said […]

Workplace Religious Freedom Bill Finds Revived Interest

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) More than a decade after it was first introduced, an on-again off-again bill to protect employees’ religious expression in the workplace is attracting renewed attention that could lead to action on Capitol Hill in coming weeks. The Workplace […]

Pope All But Endorses Authenticity of Turin Shroud

posted by mconsoli

TURIN, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI all but gave an outright endorsement of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, calling the cloth that some believe is Christ’s burial shroud an icon “written with the blood” of a crucified man. […]

Scandal-Plagued Legionaries Accept Papal Takeover

posted by mconsoli

The Vatican’s decision to assume leadership of the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ won acceptance Sunday from the order itself and praise from those who abandoned the conservative movement now discredited by revelations that its founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered […]

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=348P3ooQUPk   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

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

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
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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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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 ...

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

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