The low road

I confess that we have been remiss here at RNS. We have not yet posted the video of the exciting car chase in which a 7-year-old leads police around Utah to avoid going to church. Before our media credentials are taken away, here it is. The best part is at the end, when the boy […]

Obama awards Medal of Freedom to religious leaders

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a longtime U.S. civil rights activist, have been named recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. “Each has been an agent of change,” President Obama said of the 16 people who will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor. “Each saw […]

Rev. Ike, early proponent of prosperity gospel, dies at age 74

Chris Herlinger |

(RNS/ENI) The Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, an early proponent of the prosperity gospel best known as “Rev. Ike,” died Tuesday (July 28). He was 74. Rev. Ike was among the first in the 1970s to harness the power of television for evangelizing and was fond of saying that his church was for the “do-it-yourself […]

Pope Benedict to cut album of songs and prayers

-- Francis X. Rocca |

(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has signed with a major record label to cut an album of songs and prayers to the Virgin Mary. Geffen Records, whose artists include Ashlee Simpson and Snoop Dogg, will release “Alma Mater,” featuring the pope’s chants and prayers along with eight original classical compositions, on Nov. 30. Benedict’s voice, in […]

Heaven? Sure. Hell? Not so much.

Greg Garrison |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Just when it seemed to have cooled off, the topic of hell is back on the front burner — at least for pastors learning to preach about a topic most Americans would rather not talk about. Only 59 percent of Americans believe in hell, compared with 74 percent who believe in heaven, […]

Update: WWJD lawsuit withdrawn

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) A Minnesota couple has abandoned its lawsuit against a debt collection agency that put the initials “WWJD” on collection letters after their ties to a rival company were discovered. Sara and Mark Neill of Becker, Minn., had received three letters from Bullseye Collection Agency, Inc. in 2008 with the letters “WWJD” — an acronym […]

Father in faith-healing death tries to block sentencing

Rick Bella |

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Defense attorneys for a father who was convicted of second-degree criminal mistreatment in the faith-healing death of his 15-month-old daughter are trying to block his sentencing, arguing that the court set too low a standard for conviction. In a motion filed Wednesday (July 29) in Clackamas County Circuit Court, attorney Mark […]

IRS: `Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ church no longer under investigation

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) A Minnesota church that was involved in a “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” initiative that challenged a ban on politicking from the pulpit is no longer under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Warroad Community Church in Warroad, Minn., received a July 7 letter from the IRS saying the probe was closed due to a […]

Buddhist business

The Dalai Lama has co-authored a book on business ethics, according to Reuters, in which he says, unsurprisingly, that happiness, not profits should be the bottom line. According to Reuters: In `The Leader’s Way,’ published this month by Broadway Books, the spiritual leader of Tibet wrote that both business and Buddhism attach importance to happiness […]

Presidential Medals of Freedom

Lindsay Perna |

President Obama is awarding the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to a couple of notable religious leaders. The Rev. Joseph Lowery and Archbishop Desmond Tutu will receive America’s highest civilian honor, along with 14 others who worked as “agents of change.” “These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds,” President Obama said […]