In Newark, a black Baptist mayor mulls Maimonides

c. 2007 Religion News Service NEWARK, N.J. _ Of all the political dirt slung in this city’s recent mayoral races, perhaps none was more curious than the claim in 2002 that challenger Cory Booker was Jewish. The claim was viewed in political circles as an attempt both to emphasize Booker’s newcomer status (he moved to […]

Billy Graham Again on “Most Admired” Men List

For the 51st time, evangelist Billy Graham has been named as one of the 10 most admired men, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. Both the 89-year-old evangelist and former South African President Nelson Mandela received 3 percent of the votes of 1,011 adults surveyed Dec. 14-16. Pope Benedict XVI, along with Microsoft founder Bill […]

10 minutes with … William Ury

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) As politicians try to jump start a new round of Middle East peace talks, one of the world’s foremost experts on negotiation is literally forging a new path to peace in the region. William Ury, director of the Global Negotiation Project at Harvard University, is the visionary behind the […]

COMMENTARY: The gift that keeps on giving

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) The opening scene of “Love Actually,” the 2003 romantic comedy that is one of the best Christmas-themed movies of recent vintage, takes place at the arrivals gate of Heathrow Airport in London. As you see images of reconciliation _ people running into each other’s arms, hugging, kissing, crying, laughing, […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2007 Religion News Service Muslims accept pope’s invitation to dialogue VATICAN CITY (RNS) A group of prominent Muslim scholars and clerics has accepted the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI for a “working meeting” on inter-religious dialogue at the Vatican. According to Catholic News Service, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan wrote to […]

Mercury a hidden and dangerous part of Santeria

c. 2007 Religion News Service PRINCETON TOWNSHIP, N.J. _ The woman told her friend she was looking for her luck to change. She needed positive energy and hoped to rid her home of evil spirits. Her friend, who later told police his name was Joaquin Ramirez, was a Santero, a priest of sorts who practiced […]

The Only Thing She Has to Fear Is …

Frank Newport, the “Gallup Guru” you see all the time on CNN, has some interesting numbers about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Bottom line: 62% of Republicans say they would be “afraid” if she is elected president. Unfortunately, Newport doesn’t show a breakdown by religion, but since religious conservatives make up at least one-quarter of the GOP […]

RNS Weekly Digest

c. 2007 Religion News Service Mayors’ report says cities are seeing more emergency food requests (RNS) A majority of U.S. cities participating in a recent survey have seen an increase in the number of requests for emergency food assistance, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reports. The Washington-based conference issued its annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey […]

New U.S. envoy to the Vatican

Despite reports that her nomination might be in trouble, the Senate last week confirmed Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law professor and prominent “theocon,” as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. UPDATE: As noted by another news service’s blog, this blogger was still reporting that Glendon’s nomination might be in trouble even after she had already […]