Monday’s round up

As the Senate takes up the health-care reform bill, an influential Catholic bishop says “we’re going to work very hard to speak to senators.” One ear the bishops may be bending belongs to Sen. Bob Casey of Pa., one of the country’s most prominent anti-abortion Democrats. Right now, though, Casey wants to talk about anything […]

At church cafe, eat what you want and pay what you can

Karen Keller |

HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. (RNS) At A Better World Cafe, it’s not exactly “all you can eat.” It’s more like whatever you can pay. The new church-affiliated restaurant is offering customers an innovative new dining option: choose the size of your portion, then pay what you want. People who can afford to pay extra help subsidize […]

Calif. pastor drops death wish against Obama

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Pastor Wiley Drake, the Southern Baptist minister who has publicly prayed for the death of President Obama, has changed his mind — but only because he wants to see the president live long enough to face a trial for treason. “I am calling for all of God’s people and prayer warriors to cease the […]

Appeals court upholds ban on religious songs

Mary Fuchs and James Queally |

TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) A federal appeals court has upheld a policy that allows songs like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” but prohibits religious carols like “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” in Maplewood-South Orange public schools. A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said there was “no constitutional violation” in […]

Handwritten Bible sells for $15,000

Angela Abbamonte |

(RNS) The first handwritten copy of the New International Version Bible sold on eBay this weekend for more than $15,000. Zondervan’s handwritten Bible Across America project marked the 30th anniversary of the popular New International Version translation. Zondervan went on a nine-month tour across the country to give people a chance to write one verse […]

All eyes on Ohio as shift in executions looms

Aaron Marshall |

COLUMBUS, Ohio (RNS) Death row inmates and advocates on both sides of the capital punishment debate across the country have their eyes on Ohio since the recent announcement that this state will pioneer the use of a single drug to execute inmates. Ohio prison officials plan to abandon the traditional three-drug cocktail for lethal injection […]

Govs to DC church: “I think it’s wrong”

Kevin Eckstrom |

As the Archdiocese of Washington steps up its campaign against (all but certain) same-sex marriages in the District of Columbia, the Catholic governors of Maryland and Virginia, both Democrats, are crying foul. Virginia’s Tim Kaine, a former missionary and head of the Democratic National Committee, and Maryland’s Martin O’Malley said it would be “wrong” for […]

Wednesday’s roundup

Kevin Eckstrom |

Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species,” and in the spirit of the holidays, it’s the gift that keeps on giving (kind of like fruitcake, I suppose). And while this is a time of giving thanks and taking stock, there seems to be a lot of downer news out there: […]

Mother faces same disease that claimed her poet son

Kim Lawton |

BETHESDA, Md. (RNS) It’s standing room only at the Borders bookstore here, where Jeni Stepanek is talking about her new book, “Messenger.” The book is about her son Mattie, the New York Times-bestselling inspirational poet who died five years ago at the age of 13 after battling a rare form of muscular dystrophy. It’s the […]

10 minutes with … Leigh Anne Tuohy

Lilly Fowler |

LOS ANGELES (RNS) In the new movie “The Blind Side,” Sandra Bullock plays real-life Memphis mother Leigh Anne Tuohy, a woman whose family is turned upside down when she spots Michael Oher — a young boy who has left the projects and has nowhere to turn. The Tuohys decide to provide a home for Michael […]