Forget the swine flu. Beware of klismaphilia.

Kevin Eckstrom |

The House is set to take up debate this week on hate-crimes legislation that would, for the first time, add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (along with race, color, religion, national origin, gender) to the list of criminal motivations that are subject to additional prosecution. Gay rights groups have long made the hate-crimes bill a […]

Day in the life

So what does a Dalai Lama do all day? The Times of London asked him. Hint: there’s a lot of meditation, some study and even some time on the treadmill (he prays/meditates while he jogs). Read it all here. In other news, Fox caught up with the Dalai Lama while he was traveling through California […]

Shopping till they drop

Kevin Eckstrom |

Perhaps President Obama is reading up on yesterday’s survey that tried to tease out why Americans float from one church to the next as he and the first family keep shopping for a D.C. church home. (For the record, by our unofficial count, he’s only visited one D.C. church since moving into the White House, […]

Pope visits Italian quake victims

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI visited homeless earthquake victims and damaged buildings in central Italy on Tuesday (Apr. 28). “The whole church is here with me, beside your suffering, a participant in your pain,” Benedict told tent-dwelling survivors outside the city of L’Aquila, about 70 miles east of Rome. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which struck […]

Southern Baptists’ baptisms dip to lowest in two decades

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) The number of baptisms by Southern Baptists — who consider the rite a gauge of their evangelism success and a key element of their faith — has dropped to the lowest rate in two decades. The denomination, which also saw a slight decrease in membership numbers, recorded 342,198 baptisms in 2008, a decrease of […]

Methodist court rejects moves to support gay marriage, OKs Bush library

Kevin Eckstrom |

(RNS) The United Methodist Church’s highest court has ruled that clergy may not officiate at same-sex unions, even in states where such marriages are legal, and gave the final OK for the George W. Bush Library to be built at Southern Methodist University. The church’s nine-member Judicial Council rejected separate resolutions passed by the California-Nevada […]

Rather than fight bishops, Reiki teacher steps down

Charles Honey |

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — To Jan Atwood, Reiki is all about healing, not theological battles. That’s why the teacher and practitioner of the Japanese healing technique has resigned from a retreat center run by Dominican nuns after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told Catholic institutions they should not be practicing it. Atwood will step […]

Just asking

Is it the height of chutzpah for the Congress to pass a resolution: “Expressing sympathy to the victims, families, and friends of the tragic act of violence at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York (Rep. Hinchey – Oversight and Government Reform)” And do nothing about gun control?

Fortune’s fool

Four years into his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has made his share of PR blunders, many churchwatchers agree. He’s angered Muslims by denigrating the role of reason in their faith and Jews by welcoming a Holocaust-denying bishop back into the church. But while the short-term consequences of those actions were terrible, they have led to […]

COMMENTARY: Spreading the Good News, one tweet at a time

Tom Ehrich |

(UNDATED) A week ago, I had little firsthand knowledge about Facebook and other “social networking” tools. I had read a lot about Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. I had opened accounts. I occasionally clicked “Yes” when friends invited me into their networks. But otherwise, I had little direct experience with this burgeoning Web phenomenon, in […]