Growing up in small-town Georgia, John B. Johnson had family friends who ran the funeral home down the street, so the particulars of a typical American funeral—the embalming, the heavy casket and remarks about how great the deceased’s hair looked—were all familiar to him.
When the time came, he assumed, his funeral would look much the same.
Cremation is forbidden in traditional Islam and Judaism but accepted by most other religions. It is also the fastest-growing way Americans choose to deal with their bodies after death. But does it hurt the environment?
Jesus was breast-fed. It’s a point often made by mothers who want to breast-feed in church but know others would prefer that they retreat to the nursery or find an out-of-the-way bench. Another point they make: breast-feeding is part of God’s plan—so why not do it in church?
Clergy used to rank near the top in polls where Americans were asked to rate the honesty and ethics of people in various professions. This year, for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1977, fewer than half of those polled said clergy have “high” or “very high” moral standards.
Sapped by three weeks of a water-only diet, three activists for immigration reform ended their fasts on December 3 with a morsel of bread blessed by a priest and “passed the fast on” to others who hope to keep attention focused on the issue.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Suzan Johnson Cook, who resigned this month as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said she left for one central reason: She wants to earn more money in the private sector so she can give her sons the gift of a “debt-free college education.”
WASHINGTON (RNS) Suzan Johnson Cook, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, will announce this week that she is resigning after 17 months on the job, according to two sources familiar with her office.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Fifty years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr. knocked on the nation’s conscience with his dream, religious leaders gathered in a historic church to remind the nation that he was fueled by faith.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Amid persistent criticism that the U.S. marginalizes religion and religious people in its foreign policy, Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday (Aug. 7) tapped ethicist and campaign adviser Shaun Casey to lead the State Department’s new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives.
A divide is developing in America about what it means to be a religious person, with a majority believing that it’s about acting morally but a strong minority equating it with faith and the right beliefs.