The inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States was solemnized over four days in January in Washington with prayers by a diverse group of clergy and admonitions from the new White House resident. The mixture of clergy reflected Obama’s intention to cross religious lines.
Ecumenical leaders have welcomed the election of Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad as the 16th patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia and expressed hopes of greater church unity under his leadership.
American and British Jewish groups say they are shocked by a decision of Pope Benedict XVI to overturn the excommunication of a British bishop who has said the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust has been exaggerated.
Many pastors remember struggling in their first ministerial position—isolated geographically or professionally, lacking ready access to mentors and peers. The first person to greet young Daniel Aleshire after he led his first worship service “told me my sermon was ‘the worst damn sermon’ he had ever heard.”
The pastor of a Colorado Springs megachurch who succeeded its disgraced founding pastor, Ted Hag gard, revealed to congregants January 25 that the church’s insurance company arranged a confidential settlement with a male church volunteer who alleged that he had had a sexual encounter with Haggard.
An opportunity to mobilize across the theological spectrum
Feb 24, 2009
Religious Democrats were “hibernating” until the 2008 election season, when the party’s candidates—including Barack Obama—made religion central to their campaigns, according to former White House press secretary Mike McCurry.
What Abe might say: Lincoln biographer Ronald C. White Jr. imagines what counsel Lincoln might give President Obama: Write your own speeches, especially the major ones. Take time for contemplation and reflection amidst the pressures of the office. Don’t rush into solutions for the formidable problems. Value ambiguity, the ability to see reality in its complexity—that is a sign of humility, not weakness (Wilson Quarterly, Winter).
A landmark court case will test whether Canada’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage also justifies the practice of polygamy.
The defense lawyer for a British Columbia man who openly admits to having multiple wives will argue that Canada’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage broadens the definition of marriage to include multiple spouses.
Two top leaders of a fundamentalist plural-marriage sect living in a commune-style compound called Bountiful in British Columbia have been arrested and charged with practicing polygamy. The criminal charges against the men are a first in Canada.
The religious makeup of the new 111th Congress roughly matches the overall American religious landscape, with overrepresentation among Jews and Mormons, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Just over half (55 percent) of House and Senate members who took office January 6 are Protestants, compared to 51 percent of the U.S. population.