Wednesday’s religion round-up

Charitable giving fell 12 percent in 2008 and there’s little evidence that it has picked up this year, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a close friend of MLK, is praying that his children cease their legal wrangling, and a South Dakota panel voted to allow booze to be sold on Christmas. The Supreme Court will hear […]

10 minutes with … Harvey Cox

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) For more than four decades, Harvey Cox has been one of America’s most influential and provocative theologians. In his new book, “The Future of Faith,” Cox argues that Christianity is moving from an “Age of Belief” dominated by creeds and church hierarchies to an “Age of Spirit,” in which spirituality is replacing formal religion. […]

On eve of march, faith drives activism for gay rights supporters

Michelle Minkoff |

WASHINGTON (RNS) As thousands of gays and lesbians prepare to march on the nation’s capital to push for equal rights, leaders from a range of faiths say it’s time to stop using religion as a weapon to oppose same-sex marriage. What’s more, advocates for gay rights say their faith and a sacred belief in justice […]

Growing quantity of `Christian’ films now focus on quality

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Director Brian Baugh’s upcoming teen film “To Save a Life” may be many things, but one thing it’s not, he says, is a “Christian” movie. The upcoming film about a star basketball player who copes with a friend’s death is edgier than others — with violence, marijuana and a brief sex scene. Conservative friends […]

COMMENTARY: Keep moving, people. Nothing to see here.

Cathleen Falsani |

(RNS) If there had been a way to power-wash my brain, I would have done it. The words, images and emotions that lingered after I watched actress Mackenzie Phillips’ interview with Oprah Winfrey are something I wish I’d never had in my imagination. I regretted watching. I regretted knowing. I longed for a spiritual bubble […]

Oral Roberts University installs new president, clears debt

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Oral Roberts University formally installed its new president Friday (Sept. 25), two days after announcing it had cleared its books of long-term debt. Mark Rutland, president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., since 1999, succeeded Richard Roberts as president of the charismatic Christian school in Tulsa, Okla. Roberts resigned after being embroiled in a […]

Update: German court says student must be given time to pray

Niels Sorrells |

BERLIN (RNS) German religious freedom laws require a school to let a devout Muslim student set aside some time during the school day for prayers, a Berlin court ruled Tuesday (Sept. 29). The ruling reaffirmed a temporary order from 2008 that requires the school to allow the student time to engage in prayer at least […]

Hello, Dalai

Memphis Mayor Pro-tem Myron Lowery has been catching a lot of heat for greeting the Dalai Lama last week with a fist bump (aka “terrorist fist jab”). I think the bigger breach, of good humor if not protocol, was his salutation “Hello, Dalai!” echoing Louis Armstrong’s famous tune. Judging by the video, the Dalai Lama […]

Vatican asks U.S. bishops to help fund nuns probe

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has asked U.S. Catholic bishops to fund a $1.1 million investigation of American nuns ordered by church authorities in Rome. “We have a projected budget of $1,100,000 for the three years which the total work of the apostolic visitations will require,” Cardinal Franc Rode, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for […]