The Obama administration has issued final rules for religious groups for its controversial contraception mandate, maintaining its position on who qualifies for religious exemption and allowing no carve-outs for private business owners.
WASHINGTON (RNS) When it comes to God and country, white evangelicals report the most intense patriotic feelings in a new poll, with more than two-thirds (68 percent) saying they are extremely proud to be an American.
Sometimes a court opinion is more than just a court opinion. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 26-page decision on June 26 striking down a federal ban on same-sex marriages offers a window into Americans’ rapidly shifting views of same-sex relationships—a shift that increasingly relies on secular views of law and fairness, not traditional moral or religious views.
TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit Monday (June 24) to stop the state from giving more than $11 million in construction funds to a Christian seminary and a Jewish yeshiva.
SAN DIEGO (RNS) In an elementary school classroom with an American flag draped over one wall, a couple dozen students rose to standing positions. Then they shifted into poses called “volcano part one,” “silent gorilla,” and “rag doll.”
The throngs of demonstrators who flock to the grassy knoll outside the North Carolina Statehouse each Monday know the drill. They listen to a fiery speech denouncing the Republican majority’s legislative actions. They sing freedom songs and chant civil rights slogans.
(RNS) A woman who has lived legally in this country for more than 30 years was granted her request to become a naturalized United States citizen Thursday (June 20) after initially being refused conscientious objector status because she is not religious.
Annual baptisms in Southern Baptist churches have declined by 100,000 in the past 12 years and last year dropped to the lowest number in 64 years. LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention released figures on June 5 reporting 314,959 baptisms in 2012, down 18,385—or 5.5 percent—from 2011.
WASHINGTON (RNS) People who hoped the Arab Spring would lead to greater religious freedom across the Middle East have been sorely disappointed, and a new Pew study confirms that the region has grown even more repressive for various religious groups.
Can’t we all just get along? That was the question Southern Baptists, torn between Calvinists and non-Calvinists, seemed to be asking as they opened their annual meeting in Houston.
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, created a 19-member advisory committee that produced a report in time for the meeting titled “Truth, Trust and Testimony.”
Bishops in the Church of England, who had strenuously opposed a bid to allow same-sex marriage, have signaled that they won’t try to derail the bill after it received an overwhelming vote of support in the House of Lords.
Church of England spokesman Steve Jenkins said that England will eventually allow same-sex marriage.