A Missouri bishop has lifted the public censure of a Lutheran church that hired a lesbian minister in 2000. The action is seen as the first of its kind since the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination removed a ban on gay clergy last summer.
A decision to include two West Bank shrines in a list of Jewish heritage sites slated for preservation has been praised by religious and right-wing Jews and scorned by Palestinians and their supporters.
A group of 13 Ohio clergy is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax-exempt status of a Washington boarding house used by conservative members of Congress.
The C Street Center, a redbrick townhouse on Capitol Hill, came to public attention last summer when use of the building was tied to several Republican politicians who had admitted to extramarital affairs.
Just in case: Virginia state legislators passed a bill preventing employers or insurance companies from placing microchips in humans against their will. Mark L. Cole, sponsor of the bill, was concerned that the devices could someday be the “mark of the beast” mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Says Cole: “My understanding—I’m not a theologian—but there’s a prophecy in the Bible that says you’ll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times. Some people think these computer chips might be that mark” (Examiner, February 14).
The first woman elected to lead Germany’s 24 million Protestants in the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Margot Kässmann, resigned the post days after she was apprehended for a drunk-driving offense.
She said February 24 that she will immediately give up her posts as a bishop and as head of the EKD but will continue as a pastor.