Religious conservatives lost electoral fights to pass an abortion law in California, overturn gay-rights legislation in Maine and defeat a bond issue in Ohio that critics said could fund embryonic stem cell research. However, the right claimed victory in Texas as voters overwhelmingly approved a measure November 8 bolstering the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
One of the nation’s largest gay churches has voted overwhelmingly to affiliate with the United Church of Christ, in part because of the UCC’s vote last July to support civil marriage rights for gay couples.
As U.S. senators and other political leaders pressured the White House for more written evidence of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers’s ideas and beliefs, the Texan attorney who recently served as President Bush’s private counsel withdrew her nomination last month.
As more than 250 bishops filed into St. Peter’s Square for the late October mass that concluded the first synod of Pope Benedict XVI’s reign, there were few signs of the lively debate that shook up the assembly’s launch.
Canada’s two largest Protestant denominations say they are satisfied with a decision by the country’s Supreme Court that stipulates how religious groups and the federal government should divide the cost of compensating tens of thousands of native Canadian sex-abuse victims.
Hundreds of clergy, scientists and academics have launched a grassroots campaign to oppose religious conservatives, beginning with concerted opposition to the teaching of “intelligent design” in public school science classes.
The Episcopal Church has flatly rejected a church-based movement to pull investments from Israel, instead choosing a strategy of “positive investment” among Palestinians and “corporate engagement” with Israel.
Less than a week before he was announced as the new president of Mennonite Mutual Aid, Terry “Skip” Nagelvoort filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unbeknownst to those who selected him for the position. As a result, Nagelvoort’s position at the helm of the church-affiliated financial services and stewardship agency lasted less than eight weeks.
While some traditional disaster responders have been faulted for their slow pace in reacting to Hurricane Katrina, many religious organizations quickly welcomed, clothed and fed thousands of storm victims.
Everybody knows that there are 365 days in the solar year. But how many know the number of days in a lunar year? The answer is 354, 11 days fewer than in the solar calendar. Judaism and Islam, which both observe a lunar calendar, treat this disparity differently.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina received enough votes during the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI to have blocked the pontiff’s election, according to a detailed report published in Italy.
A federal judge in California has ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, deciding a case that had been refiled by an atheist whose previous challenge to the phrase “under God” reached the Supreme Court.
As a teenager in a Catholic high school and church, Lauren McCormick of Toms River, New Jersey, was taught to look at the world in ways that revolved around Jesus. That was a dozen religion courses ago, including six in an esoteric field she now hopes to study for the rest of her life—ancient Near Eastern pagan religions.
The U.S. Air Force has released new guidelines urging its military members and civilian employees to protect the free exercise of religion by not favoring one religion over another, or even over “nonreligion.”