Super Bowl halftime shows often burn more vivid images into the American conscience than the most-watched football game of the year, and can claim millions more viewers. They can also ignite controversy, as Janet Jackson did with her halftime "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004. Last year, performing with Madonna, British-born hip-hop star M.I.A. gave the finger to 114 million people.
In the past four decades, American attitudes have changed markedly on gay marriage, smoking, bullying and a host of other cultural issues. But on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, public opinion today looks much as it did back then.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Dozens of the nation's faith leaders said Tuesday (Jan. 15) that they're ready to take on the gun lobby and demanded that politicians take quick and concrete steps to stem gun violence.
WASHINGTON (RNS) The persecution of Christians "vastly rose" in 2012 as radical Islamists consolidated power in Africa, according to Open Doors, a Christian missionary organization that publishes an annual list of offending nations.
WASHINGTON (RNS) At a time when the ideals of compromise and collegiality seem like a distant dream in the nation's capital, an unusually diverse coalition of religious leaders is asking Americans to pray for civility.
Though the number of death row inmates executed in 2012 remained unchanged from 2011 at 43, death penalty opponents say that capital punishment is on the wane.
Last year Connecticut upped to 17 the number of states to repeal the death penalty. And some states that have had relatively high numbers of executions in the past executed no one in 2012 or issued no new death sentences.
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than a third of Americans believe the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in the "end times" described in the New Testament – a period of turmoil preceding Jesus' Second Coming and the end of the world.
The German parliament has relieved Muslims and Jews by passing a law Wednesday (Dec. 12) that allows infant male circumcision for religious reasons.
A spring ruling by a regional court in Cologne equated the practice with inflicting bodily harm, and resulted in charges against a German rabbi for circumcising a baby boy on the eighth day of life, as Jewish law dictates.
The world's largest group of Orthodox rabbis is lauding the process that led to the conviction of a Hasidic Jewish man on Monday (Dec. 10) on sexual abuse charges, and called on all segments of the Jewish community to cooperate with police in such cases.
WASHINGTON (RNS) As a coalition of mostly Christian groups gathered here Thursday (Nov. 29) to support church leaders who have publicly questioned U.S. aid to Israel, those same church leaders signaled that they want to reconcile with the Jewish groups who were upset by their action.
The road to the White House is no longer white and Christian.
President Obama won last week with a voter coalition that was far more racially and religiously diverse than Mitt Romney's – a phenomenon both predicted in the days before the election and confirmed in the days after.
Voters made history on Election Day three times over by endorsing moves to allow gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington State.
At the same time, Minnesota voters rejected a ballot measure that would have enshrined an antigay marriage law in their constitution, and neighboring Wisconsin elected Democrat Tammy Baldwin as the country’s first openly gay U.S. senator.
An established interfaith group is in danger of disintegrating as major American Jewish groups and prominent mainline Protestant churches differ over U.S. aid for Israel—a long-standing argument that the group was established, in part, to diffuse.