Court dismisses $5 million judgment against anti-gay protestors

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Members of Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-gay church that protests military funerals, won a court victory Thursday (Sept. 24) when a federal appeals court overturned a $5 million judgment against them. The father of a Marine who was killed in Iraq in 2006 sued Westboro pastor Fred Phelps and members of his Topeka, Kan., […]

Study: One in 5 Americans may be secular by 2030

Angela Abbamonte |

(UNDATED) The number of American adults who do not identify with a particular religion is growing and may comprise more than 20 percent of the population in two decades, according to a new study. Conducted by researchers at Trinity College, the study, entitled “American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population,” showed that people […]

Muslims pray for âÂ?Â?soul of America’ at Capitol

Kevin Eckstrom |

WASHINGTON — Swapping prayer rugs for massive plastic rain tarps, an estimated 3,500 Muslims gathered at the foot of the U.S. Capitol on Friday (Sept. 25) to pray for “the soul of America” in a grassroots demonstration of religious and national pride. The rally, organized by the Dar-Ul-Islam mosque in Elizabeth, N.J., was billed as […]

Friday’s religion round-up

Thousands of Muslims are gathering at the Capitol for a prayer vigil. A federal appeals court dismissed a $5 million verdict against the anti-gay protestors from Wesboro Baptist Church, anti-abortion black church leaders say they back Obamacare, and the Illinois Supreme Court said a Jewish dentist had the right to disinherit gentile grandchildren. Less than […]

COMMENTARY: Life after Nazism

A. James Rudin |

(UNDATED) Albert Einstein (Time magazine’s “Person of the 20th Century”), Sigmund Freud (the founder of psychoanalysis) Henry Kissinger (the former secretary of state), Billy Wilder (the film director/screen writer), Kurt Weill (the composer of “The Three Penny Opera”) and Hannah Arendt (the political philosopher) … What story do these six people share? They were all […]

Orthodox patriarch to advocate for Mississippi River

Bruce Nolan |

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, will convene dozens of experts here next month to discuss environmental challenges facing people in the Mississippi River Valley. Bartholomew, known in some quarters as the “green patriarch” for his environmental activism, has convened seven prior environmental gatherings […]

Diverse faith groups agree on disaster-relief ethics

Angela Abbamonte |

(RNS) More than 20 faith-based organizations, from Scientologists to Buddhists to Catholics, have come together to produce a guide on addressing the spiritual and emotional needs of disaster victims. The document was released by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, an organization made up of 49 U.S. non-profit groups whose missions includes disaster response. […]

Canadian judge dismisses polygamy charges

Ron Csillag |

TORONTO (RNS) A judge on British Columbia’s Supreme Court has dismissed criminal charges against two alleged polygamists who say Canadian law protects their right to have more than one wife. Supreme Court Justice Sunni S. Stromberg-Stein on Wednesday (Sept. 23) threw out polygamy charges against Winston Blackmore, 53, and James Oler, 45, leaders of rival […]

Muslim march organizers find an unlikely ally

Jeff Diamant |

ELIZABETH, N.J. — Plans to attract thousands of Muslims to Capitol Hill on Friday (Sept. 25) for prayer have drawn anxiety, praise, enthusiasm and criticism, but they’ve also made unlikely allies of the New Jersey mosque where the idea was born and a conservative Christian group. Organizers at the Dar-Ul-Islam mosque would seem to have […]

Next week, blasphemy gets its own holiday

Leanne Larmondin |

TORONTO — You’ve never seen Jesus like this before: dripping red nail polish around the nails in his feet and hands, an irreverent riff on the crucifixion wounds. The provocative title of the painting: “Jesus Does His Nails.” Blasphemous? Absolutely. Deliberately provocative? You bet. It is part of an upcoming art exhibit in Washington that […]