Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News

January 1970 Archives

Showtime Soap Opera Features History’s Bad-Boy Pope

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Modern popes have had their fans and detractors, but few would dispute their reputations for personal virtue. That’s partly why the five most recent pontiffs — including John Paul II, who will be beatified on May 1 […]


Excommunicated Priest Now Faces Expulsion

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, the Louisiana native and peace activist who was excommunicated three years ago for publicly supporting women’s ordination, now faces expulsion from his religious order and from the priesthood. Bourgeois and Mike Virgintino, a […]


Will Romney’s Faith Hurt His Campaign?

A 2008 campaign manager for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tells the National Journal that the former Massachusetts governor’s religious roots are a stumbling block towards his race to the White House. Carl Forti, Romney’s deputy campaign manager and political director […]


Report: Small Churches Feeling Financial Squeeze

(RNS) Almost all U.S. churches witnessed a change in the financial giving they received in 2010 compared to 2009, with smaller churches feeling the squeeze but larger churches faring relatively better, according to a new report. Only 12 percent of […]

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to Read KJV Bible over Holy Week

LONDON (RNS/ENInews) William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre will mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with a cover-to-cover reading between Palm Sunday and Easter Monday. Twenty actors will take part in the reading, which is scheduled to take 69 […]

Religious Freedom Envoy Tries for a Second Time

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration’s nominee to oversee international religious freedom returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday (March 29) in her second bid to charm senators who have doubts about her lack of experience. “The life and professional background I […]

Jews Pressure Facebook over Palestinian Page

(RNS) Facebook shut down a “Third Palestinian Intifada” page and similar groups this week, prompted by complaints from Jewish groups that the content had crossed the line from free speech to violent incitement. The campaign has raised questions about whether […]

Feature: For Mormons, What Does ‘Follow the Prophet’ Really Mean?

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon President Thomas S. Monson, his two right-hand men and 12 apostles will take to the podium at this weekend’s (April 2-3) General Conference and offer sermons that many Mormons will treat like faxes from God. […]

In Senate Muslim Hearings, a Decided Change in Tone

(RNS) It was billed as the first-ever congressional hearing on the civil rights of American Muslims. But it played more like an Act II than a premiere. In many ways, the hearing led by Senate Democrats on Tuesday (March 29) […]

Coalition Works to Protect Religious Employees

WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition of religious and civil liberty groups is pushing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to stop employers from segregating “visibly religious employees from customers and the general public.” In a March 25 letter submitted to the EEOC, […]

Supreme Court to Weigh Churches’ Employment Rights

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court agreed Monday (March 28) to consider whether a teacher who was fired from a religious school is subject to a “ministerial exception” that can bar suits against religious organizations. The case involves an employment dispute […]

Feature: More U.S. Colleges Adding Muslim Chaplains

(RNS) When Jainal Bhuiyan attended Cornell University, he and his fellow Muslim students were mentored and led in religious prayers by a collection of Muslim professors, graduate students and staff. “That was our network that filled the void,” said Bhuiyan, […]

Feature: Fasting and Praying for the Poor

(RNS) Faced with an unjust rule of Persian king who threatened the very lives of her Jewish people, the Jewish heroine Queen Esther called on the faithful to fast and pray for their rulers to have a change of heart. […]

Bishops Push Back on Allowing Gay Couples in Housing

WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops are urging federal housing officials not to adopt proposed rules that would bar groups that receive federal funds from discriminating against gays, lesbians or transgender persons in housing programs. The Department of Housing and Urban […]

Commentary: Is This about American Muslims or America?

(RNS) Lately, Congress appears to be obsessed with Muslims. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is holding hearings Tuesday (March 29) on “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims,” and Chairman Peter King has announced a second set of hearings on “Radicalization […]

Pope Calls for Libyan Cease-Fire

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI is calling for an immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations in Libya, where U.S. and allied European forces have been targeting military assets controlled by the country’s dictator, Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Benedict made his statement […]

Supporters March to Keep Paddling at Catholic School

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) More than 500 students, parents and other supporters of St. Augustine High School marched Saturday (March 26) on the offices of Archbishop Gregory Aymond to oppose his call for an end to the school’s policy of using […]

U.N. Passes Religious Freedom Resolution

WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. officials praised a United Nations council for a new statement on religious freedom that sidestepped a divisive debate sponsored by Islamic countries over the “defamation of religions.” The U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday (March 24) approved […]

Chaplains Offered Exit Plan as Gay Training Starts

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Army has started training chaplains on the repeal of the ban on openly gay military members, saying those who are unable to follow the forthcoming policy can seek a voluntary departure. “The Chaplains Corps’ First Amendment freedoms […]

Tennessee Amends Anti-Shariah Bill

(RNS) Tennessee lawmakers are rewriting a bill that described Islamic law as a threat to U.S. security and seemed to equate peaceful Muslim practices with terrorism. State Sen. Bill Ketron and House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, both Republicans, offered […]

Study Suggests Young Adults Can Get Fat at Church

(RNS) Thou shalt not serve pizza? Young adults who regularly attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese when they reach middle age than their nonreligious peers, a new study shows. Based on their findings, researchers at […]

TSA, Airlines Tread Carefully on Religious Expression

(RNS) Air travelers want to feel safe, and federal security officials want to make sure they actually are safe. If only it were that simple. Misunderstandings over religious expression have led to recent incidents that prompted apologies from airlines. On […]

Poll: Most Americans Don’t Blame God for Disasters

(RNS) We may never know why bad things happen to good people, but most Americans — except evangelicals — reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment, a test of faith or some other sign from God, according to […]

U.S. Embassy Condemns Quran Burning at Fla. Church

(RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan called the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church “abhorrent” as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the act as a “serious setback” to world harmony. U.S. Ambassador Cameron P. Munter tried […]

Vatican Says Gay Opponents Are Victims Too

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican official told a United Nations body on Tuesday (March 22) that people who openly object to homosexual behavior are at risk of losing their human rights when they are prosecuted or stigmatized for their beliefs. […]

Democrat Announces Alternate Hearings on U.S. Muslims

WASHINGTON (RNS) Barely two weeks after House Republicans held hearings on the threat posed by radicalized American Muslims, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat announced his own hearings on threats to American Muslims’ civil rights. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., made no […]

U.S. Catholics Lead Other Christians on Gay Rights

(RNS) While the Vatican and U.S. bishops maintain a hard-line stand against most gay rights causes, American Catholics are more supportive of gay rights than other U.S. Christians, according to new research released Tuesday (March 22). A report by Washington-based […]

Charitable Giving Stabilizes as Recession Ebbs

(RNS) Charities are seeing improvements in fundraising, with fewer charities reporting declines in 2010 compared with 2009, according to a report released Tuesday (March 22). But a larger percentage of organizations reported bringing in about the same amount of revenue […]

N.Y. Rabbi Tapped to Lead Reform Jews

(RNS) A New York rabbi with a reputation for innovation has been tapped to lead the Union for Reform Judaism, the umbrella group for the country’s Reform synagogues, starting in 2012. Rabbi Richard Jacobs has headed Westchester Reform Temple since […]

Evangelicals Resist Obama’s Childhood Obesity Push

WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelicals are the only major religious group where a majority opposes the federal government’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity, a Pew Research Center survey shows. Asked if the government should play a significant role in reducing childhood obesity, […]

Methodists Shun the Bottle that No One Wants to Talk About

(RNS) The Rev. James Howell knew he had a problem on his hands when several teenagers arrived at a church dance drunk and had to be taken from the church by ambulance for treatment for alcohol poisoning. Starting in 2009, […]

Pope Neither Condemns, Endorses Libya Attacks

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI voiced “fear and trepidation” about the “disturbing news coming from Libya” in a carefully worded statement that neither endorsed nor condemned U.S. and European attacks against Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Benedict made his […]

Trial Opens in Mass. Black Church Arson Case

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) After two accomplices pleaded guilty, the sole man to stand trial for torching a black church the night of President Obama’s election was confronted with secretly taped recordings during opening arguments on Monday (March 21). “Gas, straight-up […]

Obama Taps Campuses for Interfaith Service Projects

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House is hoping to recruit America’s college and seminary students in a nationwide interfaith service campaign that was launched Thursday (March 17). In the next month, the Obama administration will solicit plans submitted by colleges, universities, […]

Court Rejects Mother’s Religious Home-School Arguments

posted by editor

(RNS) The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling on Wednesday (March 16) that orders an 11-year-old girl to enroll in public school instead of being home-schooled by her mother. Although the girl’s mother, Brenda Kurowski, argued that […]

One Nation Under Allah

posted by editor

(RNS) It isn’t a crime to practice Islam in the United States of America. At least, not yet. On Monday (March 14), Missouri state Rep. Don Wells introduced a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at blocking Shariah — the Islamic legal […]

Southwest Airlines Apologizes to Muslim Passenger

posted by editor

(RNS) Southwest Airlines has apologized to a Muslim woman who claims she was removed from a flight from San Diego on Sunday (March 13) because of her Islamic headscarf and South Asian background. “We sincerely apologize for the customer’s inconvenience, […]

Schuller Says He Wouldn’t Have OK’d Church’s Gay Covenant

posted by editor

(RNS) Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller said Wednesday (March 16) he never would have approved a recent covenant that choir members were asked to sign urging them to be Christian and heterosexual. “I have a reputation worldwide of being […]

Priest Forced to Give Up 40 days of Muslim Lent

posted by editor

FERGUSON, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Lawler should have just given up chocolate or television for Lent. Instead, Lawler, the part-time rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, decided to adopt the rituals of Islam for 40 days to gain a […]

Adventists Grow As Other Churches Decline

posted by editor

(RNS) Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment. If these practices sound quaint or antiquated, think again. They’re hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the fastest-growing Christian denomination […]

Critics Heated Up by Bell’s Hell

posted by editor

(RNS) Talk about hellfire! One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, 40, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation. Pastor Bell’s Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who […]

Justice Department Backs Sikh Inmate

posted by editor

(RNS) The Justice Department has filed suit against California prison officials on behalf of a Sikh inmate who says his religious freedom was violated when officials punished him for not cutting his beard. Sukhjinder Basra, incarcerated at the California Men’s […]

Anglican Priest Arrested on Marriage Charges

posted by editor

LONDON (RNS) A Church of England vicar has been arrested in Britain’s second major police investigation in as many years into bogus marriages staged to help immigrants win residents’ visas. The church immediately suspended the Rev. Canon Patrick Magumba amid […]

‘Book of Mormon’ Musical Called Surprisingly Sweet

posted by editor

NEW YORK (RNS) A Ugandan villager in the new Broadway musical from the creators of South Park offers a plaintive love song about paradise — and the object of her yearning is none other than Utah’s capital. “Salvation has a […]

Japanese Look to Ancient Traditions for Strength

posted by editor

(RNS) When uncounted thousands have died in a disaster such as last week’s earthquake and tsunami, where will the Japanese people find spiritual strength? Experts on Japanese culture say they’ll find it in the critical, comforting rituals of religion. They […]

Alaska Airlines Apologizes for Jewish Prayer Mix-Up

posted by editor

SEATTLE (RNS) Alaska Airlines has issued an apology for misinterpreting the devotional behavior of three Orthodox Jewish men on a flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles on Sunday (March 13). The men had strapped on tefillin — black leather […]

Museum Restores Jefferson’s Unique Bible

posted by editor

(RNS) A Smithsonian museum is restoring the Jefferson Bible, a unique volume the third president cut and pasted himself — omitting lots of theology — from portions of the New Testament. Thomas Jefferson assembled the book in 1820 when he […]

From Professorial Pope, A Lengthy Paper Trail

posted by editor

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Any book with an initial printing of 1.2 million copies in eight languages qualifies as a global publishing event, regardless of its author. But the release last week (March 10) of Pope Benedict XVI’s latest tome was […]

Nearly 1,000 Anglicans Converting to Catholicism

posted by editor

LONDON (RNS/ENInews) More than 900 Anglicans formally expressed a desire to convert to Catholicism at special services held at Westminster Cathedral — including the first Anglicans to join a new branch of the Catholic Church. The annual ceremonies held last […]

Religious Groups Mobilize to Aid Japan

posted by editor

(RNS) As the extent of the death and destruction from the massive disaster in Japan comes into focus, religious relief organizations are sending and supporting teams to assess the damage. Groups such World Vision and Baptist World Aid have teams […]

Churches in Japan Devastated by Earthquake

posted by editor

TOKYO (RNS/ENInews) Christians in Japan are looking for survivors and assessing damage to church buildings after Friday’s (March 11) devastating earthquake and tsunami. The National Police Agency announced that as of Monday about 1,800 people have died and 2,400 are […]

Christians Question Conventional Wisdom on Divorce Stats

posted by editor

(RNS) It’s been proclaimed from pulpits and blogs for years — Christians divorce as much as everyone else in America. But some scholars and family activists are questioning the oft-cited statistics, saying Christians who attend church regularly are more likely […]

World and Web Come Together for Japan Disaster Relief

posted by editor

According to a report from The Guardian, 91 countries are offering assistance to Japan in the wake of the nation’s deadliest earthquake last Friday. Those countries include the United States, China, Bolivia, Pakistan and more. Also, several international humanitarian organizations […]

Churches Press Obama to Reengage on Middle East

posted by editor

(RNS/ENInews) Nearly two dozen Christian leaders are calling on the Obama administration to renew diplomatic efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “With rapid change underway in the Arab world we believe that the time to act is now — before […]

Westboro Church Plans Protest of Funeral for Pa. Children

posted by editor

HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial group that just won a free speech Supreme Court case, said it plans to protest at a funeral for seven Pennsylvania children who died in a fire Tuesday (March 8) night. “I’m […]

Former Head of Pentecostal Denomination Dies

posted by editor

(RNS) Bishop Chandler David Owens, a former presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ known as an orator and international leader, died Sunday (March 6) at the age of 79. Owens served as leader of the nation’s largest […]

Fed Up with Hollywood, Churches Make Their Own Films

posted by editor

YORBA LINDA, Calif. — This year’s Oscars may have been passed out, but for some churches across the country the major motion picture season is just getting started. Frustrated with the movies Hollywood has been releasing, more and more congregations […]

Red Cross Stands Ready after Massive Earthquake, Tsunami in Japan

posted by editor

A massive earthquake registering at 8.9 magnitude hit Japan Friday, causing fires, tsunamis and massive flooding throughout the country. CNN reports that it is the most powerful earthquake in the nation’s last 100 years. Get breaking news on the aftermath […]

Pope Links Violence in God’s Name to Antichrist

posted by editor

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Violence committed in the name of God or religion is a “favorite instrument of the Antichrist,” Pope Benedict XVI writes in a new book on the life and teachings of Jesus. “Violence does not build up the […]

Shepherds Lead, But Flocks Diverge on Death Penalty

posted by editor

(RNS) On Ash Wednesday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law abolishing the death penalty in his state, adding the Land of Lincoln to the growing list of 16 states where capital punishment is no longer an option. “It is […]

With All Eyes on Capitol Hill, Muslims Watch Warily

posted by editor

STERLING, Va. (RNS) They were moved when the first Muslim elected to Congress shed tears for a Muslim who died trying to save others on 9/11. They were irked by accusations from House members and annoyed when fellow Muslims maligned […]

Study Says Engagement Rises with Mosque Attendance

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) As Congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims get underway, a political science professor says research shows that affiliation with a mosque increases Muslims’ civic engagement. “The more religious American Muslims happen to be, the more they […]

Muslim Cops Put Faith, Lives on the Line

posted by editor

(RNS) When Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca asked Sgt. Muawiya “Mike” Abdeen to set up a liaison unit to local Muslims in 2008, the idea was to build bridges to a community that is often fearful of, or unknown […]

Catholics Try to Lure Lapsed Sheep Back into the Fold

posted by editor

MADISON, N.J. (RNS) A small bucket filled with bottles of cold beer sat on the floor, down the hall from the chapel, as about a dozen young adults lounged around on comfortable couches. They weren’t there to pray or preach […]

Book Exlores Lasting Impact of Vatican II on U.S. Church

posted by editor

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Colleen McDannell knew the title of her new book, The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America, would be provocative. Modernists talk of the Catholic Church not living up to “the spirit […]

A Political Spectacle that Perpetuates Prejudice

posted by editor

(RNS) House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King is intent on doing a foolish thing that even former President George W. Bush — himself no slouch in fighting terrorism — consistently refused to do. On Thursday (March 10), King will […]

Do You Want Your Jewish Mother Playing Matchmaker?

posted by editor

(RNS) Denice Beckerman is heavily involved in her daughter Amanda’s life. She’s tried several times to set her up on dates and is connected with several of her daughter’s friends on Facebook. “My mom is the typical Long Island Jewish […]

For Second Time, Vatican Keeps Parishes Open

posted by editor

(RNS) For the second time in recent months, the Vatican has overruled a U.S. bishop’s decision to close churches in his diocese, a rare reversal that Catholic activists hope heralds a new trend. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy has […]

Former Counterterrorism Chief Says Muslims Cooperate

posted by editor

(RNS) A former FBI counterterrorism director on Tuesday (March 8) rejected allegations by the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee that Muslim Americans don’t cooperate with law enforcement in terror investigations. Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican, will […]

Court Rejects Challenge to ‘In God We Trust’

posted by Jennifer E. Jones

WASHINGTON (RNS) Atheist Michael Newdow plans to continue his fight to get “In God We Trust” off U.S. currency after the Supreme Court denied a hearing in his case on Monday (March 7). “I plan on bringing the lawsuit again […]

White House Praises Muslims Ahead of Hearing

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) Days ahead of a controversial congressional hearing on Islamic extremism, the Obama administration is highlighting the role Muslim Americans play in combating radicalism in their communities. “I am here to talk to you about how our communities — […]

Muslims and Supporters Protest Congressional Hearings

posted by editor

NEW YORK (RNS) When Anam Chaudhry, 17, sang the national anthem to several hundred protesters in Times Square on Sunday afternoon, she wore a Muslim headscarf, and around her shoulders, another garment: the American flag. “We love this country,” said […]

Christchurch Cathedral Search Reveals No Quake Victims

posted by editor

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) A complete search of an Anglican cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand turned up no bodies buried in the rubble, despite widespread reports that 20 to 22 people had been trapped inside. ChristChurch Cathedral’s spire collapsed into […]

Being a Pastor is Hard, and Failure Is Easy

posted by editor

(RNS) Sometimes being a pastor is a real pain. But few pastors want to admit it. J.R. Briggs in trying to change that. That’s why Briggs, a blogger and pastor of the Renew Community in Lansdale, Pa., is organizing the […]

Pakistani Churches Mourn Assassinated Christian minister

posted by editor

BANGALORE, India (RNS/ENInews) Christian schools across Pakistan shut down on Thursday (March 3) for a three-day protest of the assassination of the country’s Minister for Religious Minorities. The call for the action came at an ecumenical meeting chaired by Archbishop […]

House Republicans Plan to Defend DOMA

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday (March 4) that he and fellow lawmakers will defend the Defense of Marriage Act after the Obama administration dropped its support for the law last month. “The constitutionality of this law […]

Bhutanese Protest Tobacco Charge against Buddhist Monk

posted by editor

NEW DELHI (RNS) Protesters in Bhutan are denouncing the three-year prison sentence of a Buddhist monk charged with violating the small kingdom’s anti-tobacco law. The 23-year-old monk, Sonam Tshering, was the first victim of a ban rooted in the religious […]

Archbishop Wrestles with Doubts on School Paddling

posted by editor

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) As a high-school student in the mid-1960s, Greg Aymond occasionally saw an angry teacher cuff a student. It never happened to him, nor does the memory of faculty discipline in those days particularly trouble the man who […]

‘Of Gods and Men’ Traces Murder and Martyrdom

posted by editor

(RNS) The Rev. James Martin has seen a lot of religious movies in his life. But the Jesuit priest and author says a new film has sprung to the top of his list. Martin calls Of Gods and Men, a […]

Oregon Debates New Funeral-Protest Bill

posted by editor

SALEM, Ore. (RNS) A day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of an anti-gay church to picket funerals, Oregon legislators discussed a bill that would put distance between protesters and mourners. On Wednesday (March 2), the Supreme Court […]

Would You Pay to See John the Baptist’s Tooth?

posted by editor

BALTIMORE (RNS) Martina Bagnoli admits that the exhibit she helps curate here at The Walters Art Museum may gross some people out. After all, the display includes 2,000-year-old teeth, shards of bone and splinters from a first-century execution device. But […]

Evangelicals Push Back on Proposed Budget Cuts

posted by editor

(RNS) Balancing the federal budget at the expense of the poor would be un-Christian, evangelical leaders warned Congress on Thursday (March 3) as they work to reject proposed spending cuts to domestic and foreign aid. “The Bible says that God […]

BYU Hoops Star Suspended for Premarital Sex

posted by editor

PROVO, Utah (RNS) A Brigham Young University basketball star has been suspended from the nationally ranked team for the remainder of the season because he violated the Mormon-run school’s honor code that prohibits premarital sex. Brandon Davies, a 19-year-old sophomore, […]

Adventist Wins Fight Not to Join Union

posted by editor

TORONTO (RNS) A labor relations board in Canada has granted an Adventist worker the right to not join a union because of her religious beliefs, raising questions about whether religion should trump labor laws. The Saskatchewan Labor Relations Board ruled […]

Israel Revokes Anglican Bishop’s Residency Permit

posted by editor

JERUSALEM (RNS/ENInews) Israel has declined to renew a residency permit for Anglican Bishop Suheil Dawani of Jerusalem, according to the leader of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Center (ICC). The action took place several weeks ago but the bishop’s office was trying […]

German Bishops Offer Cash to Abuse Victims

posted by editor

BERLIN (RNS) Germany’s Roman Catholic Church is offering cash payments of up to 5,000 euros ($6,925) to victims of child sexual abuse in a yet unknown number of cases, some dating back decades. The German Bishops’ Conference made the announcement […]

WWND: What Would Niebuhr Do?

posted by editor

PRINCETON, N.J. (RNS) What happens when the contested legacy of America’s most famous 20th-century theologian meets the harsh political realities of the 21st? You end up with questions like whether Reinhold Niebuhr would support water-boarding. It’s impossible to know what […]

Bishops Strip the Bible of Its ‘Booty’

posted by editor

(RNS) Catholic bishops have kicked the “booty” out of the Bible. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has ordered up a new translation of the Bible, one it says is more accurate, more accessible and more poetic. Now “booty,” a […]

Man Who Says God Told Him to Kill Girlfriend Gets New Trial

posted by editor

(RNS) A New Jersey man who claimed God made him kill his pregnant girlfriend will get a new trial because jurors deciding his case should have been allowed to hear special instructions about an insanity defense, an appellate panel has […]

After Phelps Wins, Uncertainty about What Lies Ahead

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday (March 2) that the “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” protesters from Westboro Baptist Church have First Amendment rights to protest military funerals. But does that mean more protests […]

Pastor Caught on Indecent Exposure Apologizes to Gays

posted by editor

METAIRIE, La. (RNS) Though he admitted having his hands in his pants, Christian fundamentalist Grant Storms denied Tuesday (March 1) he was masturbating while watching children in a park before being arrested. Storms, a self-described “Christian patriot” who has protested […]

Pope Says Jews Not to Blame for Jesus’ Death

posted by editor

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Jewish people as a whole were not responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, and their descendants have not inherited blame for his death, Pope Benedict XVI writes in a new book to be published on March 10. The […]

Ground Zero Imam Champions Church-State Separation

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) The imam who has faced resistance for plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero said Tuesday (March 1) that pro-democracy movements across the Arab world need to be open to all faiths. “Government’s coercive powers […]

Israeli Ambassador Prompts Debate over Campus Free Speech

posted by editor

IRVINE, Calif. (RNS) “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!” And so began the protest of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s lecture at the University of California, Irvine in February 2010, as the shouting student, Osama Ahmed […]

Anti-Gay Pastor Arrested for Indecent Exposure Around Kids

posted by editor

METAIRIE, La. (RNS) A fundamentalist Christian pastor known for his bullhorn protests of the annual Southern Decadence gay pride festival was arrested on a charge of masturbating at a park on Friday (Feb. 25). The Rev. Grant Storms, 53, was […]

Christians Banned from Foster Care over Gay Views

posted by editor

LONDON (RNS) Two senior judges have banned a Christian couple from any further foster care because they oppose homosexuality, a stance that the judges said has no place in the laws of a “largely secular” Britain. Owen and Eunice Johns, […]

Harvard Pastor, Theologian Peter Gomes Dies at 68

posted by editor

(RNS) The Rev. Peter Gomes, the longtime minister of Harvard University’s Memorial Church who was hailed as one of the nation’s top preachers, died Monday (Feb. 28) at age 68. Gomes died from complications of a stroke he suffered in […]

On Evangelical Campuses, Rumblings of Gay Acceptance

posted by editor

(RNS) Late last week, the provost of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., announced that the school officially had recognized its first gay student organization. The announcement came barely a month after the Christian school changed its anti-discrimination policy to include […]

Blacks Bristle at Notion of ‘Slave of Christ’

posted by editor

(RNS) For evangelical author John MacArthur, the best way to explain a Christian’s relationship to Jesus is what appears to be a simple metaphor — one often used by the Apostle Paul himself. “To be a Christian is to be […]

Emergent Church Leader Stirs Controversy over Heaven, Hell and Who Goes Where

posted by editor

Rob Bell’s new book is ruffling some religious feathers, and it hasn’t even hit bookstores yet.The Founding Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan and one of the foremost voices within the “Emergent” post-modern Church movement was vilified on […]

IHOP Offers Free Pancakes for Charity

posted by editor

In honor of National Pancake Day, International House of Pancakes diners can get a complimentary short stack for a small donation to charities such as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The dine-in special runs from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. […]

Court Rules for Jewish Man in Shavuot Dispute

posted by editor

(RNS) An Orthodox Jew has won a new trial after Maryland’s highest court ruled that a lower court erred when it denied his requests to suspend a trial so he could observe a religious holiday. Alexander Neustadter had argued he […]

Wisconsin Dispute Exposes Catholic Split on Unions

posted by editor

(RNS) The fierce budget battle in Wisconsin that’s pitting unions against Republican Gov. Scott Walker has also pitted the state’s top Roman Catholic bishops against each other in a series of public exchanges over the church’s historic support for unions. […]

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change   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
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.