Everyone’s got something to celebrate in December

c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) If ever a month was made for celebrations, it’s December. Days are at their darkest in the Northern Hemisphere, and a ray of light holds promise _ whether it comes as a sliver of the sun, the Prince of Peace or an instant of enlightenment. Anthropologists think the winter […]

Hanukkah gets (almost) hip

c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Last week, Jill Miller Zimon, a writer from Pepper Pike, Ohio, attended her daughter’s school band concert. Four bands and orchestras performed. “All four played `Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,”’ said Zimon, laughing. “I thought I was going to tear my hair out.” Zimon, who’s Jewish, doesn’t think that would have […]

Cradles of democracy

Francis X. Rocca |

It’s a seasonal tradition in America to argue over the propriety of nativity scenes in the public square. But craftsmen in Naples, Italy, have no qualms about bringing the public square into their nativity scenes, in the form of political creche figurines representing Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2008 Religion News ServiceVatican calls for homosexuality to be decriminalizedVATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican on Friday (Dec. 19) called for the decriminalization of homosexuality, but said a proposed United Nations declaration on gay rights is vague and excessively far-reaching.The statement by the Holy See’s UN delegation was a response to the “Declaration on Human […]

Warren picked for inauguration

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON _ President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of megachurch pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration shows one man reaching out and the other reaching new heights. The choice demonstrates that Warren is the next Billy Graham, succeeding the evangelist who prayed at many previous Republican and Democratic inaugurations, according to some evangelicals. […]

Keeping St. Nick, the man not myth, alive

c. 2008 Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly(UNDATED)`Tis the season of Christmas and Santa Claus, it seems, is everywhere. Children anxiously await his gift-bearing arrival, but some Christians are worried that most of those children _ and their parents _ don’t know who “jolly old Saint Nicholas” really was.“St. Nicholas was a real person. Not a fairy, […]

Huge nativity scene graces Ohio family room

Over the years, Doris Weaver of Painesville Township, Ohio, has created a nativity scene in a big way in her condo, reports columnist Susan Condon Love in the Plain Dealer. What started with a small fence 75 years ago has become an 800-piece extravaganza of figurines and accessories that takes over her family room each […]

Architect of religious right passes away

c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ Paul Weyrich, a man who worked away from the limelight to galvanize conservative Christian political advocacy, died Thursday (Dec. 18). Weyrich, 66, co-founded the now-defunct Moral Majority with the late Jerry Falwell and served as the first president of the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank. “He […]

Black churches struggle to blend youth, tradition

c. 2008 Religion News Service CLEVELAND _ A battle between good and evil, God and Satan, is taking place at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Halloween night. In the front of the sanctuary, teenage dancers act out a story of young people overcoming the temptations of the streets. One by one, they resist drugs, sexual advances […]

Focus on the Family’s special delivery to Bush

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and readers of his ministry’s CitizenLink publication have thanked President Bush for his anti-abortion stand by sending the White House more than 4,500 expressions of gratitude. The online version of CitizenLink reports that two binders of e-mails from readers were delivered to the White House on Wednesday, along […]