c. 2012 Religion News Service
(RNS) A pack of lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides, including a nude congressman, took a booze-fueled, late-night swim in Israel's Sea of Galilee last summer, Politico reported on Sunday (Aug. 19). Which leaves at least one question: Is skinny-dipping at the biblical site sacrilegious?
Not really, Christian leaders and Holy Land experts said.
President Obama says it’s not his job to defend his Christian faith against doubters who suspect he’s Muslim. His GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, says religion is “integral” to his life, but he often avoids mentioning his Mormon faith by name.
The number of congregations that host worship services at more than one physical location has grown to more than 5,000 in the last decade, according to a new report. Researchers say these multisite churches, which may share worshipers across town or many miles apart, are growing at a much more rapid pace than traditional megachurches.
Maybe religion really is the opiate of the masses—just not the way Karl Marx imagined. A University of Washington study posits that worship services at megachurches can trigger feelings of transcendence and changes in brain chemistry—a spiritual “high” that keeps congregants coming back for more.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A professor who was fired in July by the Interdenominational Theological Center says the Atlanta consortium of black seminaries discriminated against his conservative Christian views.
c. 2012 Religion News Service OTTAWA, Ontario (RNS/ENInews) The United Church of Canada has approved a recommendation to boycott products produced in Israeli settlements located within occupied Palestinian territory.
The intent is to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to stop expansion of the settlements and end the occupation.
c. 2012 USA Today (RNS) Some Wisconsin Catholics are praying both Catholic vice presidential candidates will have a religious epiphany. They want GOP Rep. Paul Ryan to change his mind and heart about his deep-cuts budget, and Vice President Biden to turn against abortion rights.
A Moscow court has found three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after a guerrilla performance in Moscow’s main cathedral in February. They were sentenced on August 17 to two years in a penal colony.
The band performed a “punk prayer” against Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox patriarch Kirill I.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) After the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., and a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., Americans are divided on gun control, and within certain religious groups, attitudes are far from ambivalent.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) A security guard is recovering after he was shot Wednesday morning (Aug. 15) in the headquarters of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended his invitation of President Obama to the annual Al Smith Dinner in October, saying he is trying to encourage civility and dialogue amid a bitter battle with the White House over abortion rights and access to contraception.
c. 2012 Religion News Service LOS ANGELES (RNS) The ACLU is suing The Walt Disney Co. on behalf of a Muslim woman who claims the company discriminated against her by not allowing her to wear a headscarf while working in a Disney restaurant in Anaheim.