c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The unexpected death of Thomas Kinkade on Friday (April 6) prompted an outpouring of grief for the hugely successful painter of pastoral landscapes, but also raised questions about the troubled final years of an artist whose use of Christian imagery made him a special favorite of his fellow evangelicals.
Is it OK to ask God to do harm to another person? The theology of such “imprecatory prayer” may be a matter of debate, but a Dallas judge has ruled that it is legal, at least as long as no one is actually threatened or harmed.
c. 2012 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a rare public rebuke, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (April 5) denounced a call for optional celibacy and women's ordination that was issued by a group of Austrian priests, saying true reform will not come as a result of open dissent.
c. 2012 Religion News Service HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. (RNS) He is young and looks even younger than his 36 years. Yet in the midst of a confrontation with the federal government that could have grave consequences for his future, the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale acts with the poise of a much older man.
Baguio City, Philippines (ENInews)--On Good Friday each year in some areas of the Philippines, Christians reenact the crucifixion as a sign of repentance or thanks. But Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders say the practice is unnecessary.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama hosted his third annual Easter prayer breakfast at the White House on Wednesday (April 4), saying that Jesus's suffering and sacrifice during Holy Week puts the travails of his own life in perspective.
c. 2012 USA Today NASHVILLE (RNS) One of the largest student religious groups at Vanderbilt University is leaving campus in a dispute over the school's non-discrimination policy that bars student groups from requiring their leaders to hold specific beliefs.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) More than 1,800 people have signed a petition asking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to "reconsider" his appointment of Zuhdi Jasser, a prominent critic of U.S. Muslims, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Though many Democrats worry that President Obama could lose Jewish support because of his approach to the Middle East, a poll indicates that Israel is not the top political issue of American Jews, with only 4 percent calling it the most important factor in their vote.