COMMENTARY: No laughing matter

Tom Ehrich |

NEW YORK (RNS) My heart chilled when I read about teenagers who gather on the Great Lawn of Central Park and flaunt laws against underage drinking. Many attend the independent schools lining the park, including the school from which my 18-year-old son just graduated. Yes, my son grimaced, he knows all about these kids. They […]

Tanzanian Lutheran leader backtracks on U.S. donations

Wayne M. Anderson |

(RNS) The leader of the largest Protestant church in Africa, after saying he would refuse money from U.S. Lutherans who support homosexuality, appears to have backed down after meeting with leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “I hope there will be time to discuss it,” said Presiding Bishop Alex Malasusa, head of the […]

Caner sacked as seminary dean after probe into background

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) After a seven-week probe into whether seminary dean Ergun Caner exaggerated his dramatic conversion from militant Islam to evangelical Christianity, Liberty University announced Caner will remain on faculty, but no longer as dean. The investigation, prompted by a growing coalition of skeptical Muslim and Christian bloggers, concluded Caner, 43, had converted from Islam as […]

Beliefnet sold to Virginia media company

Alfredo Garcia |

(RNS) A small Virginia-based media company that specializes in channeling a small portion of consumer spending to charity has acquired Beliefnet, a leading online website devoted to multi-faith news, commentary and content. BN Media LLC focuses on the “vast online market for spirituality and inspiration” by “bringing audio-visual and written content to the masses while […]

Warnings about sex, violence come to Christian movies

Tim Townsend |

ST. LOUIS (RNS) To get to the movie section at Lifeway Christian Store in Bridgeton, Mo., customers pass by shelves of books, CDs and greeting cards. The rack of Christian DVDs isn’t huge, but it’s twice as big as it was a year ago and “growing all the time,” said manager Francine Evans. Some of […]

Supreme Court rules against Christian legal group

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday (June 28) that a Christian student group must accept gays and non-Christians as members if it wants to be officially recognized by a public university. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court’s 5-4 majority, said the “all-comers” policy at the University of California’s Hastings College of […]

Monday’s roundup

Klansman-turned-Senator-for life Robert Byrd died early Monday at age 92. SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan begins her Senate hearings today. Not in attendance will be Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, who was scheduled to testify against Kagan’s attempts to bar military recruiters from Harvard as dean of the law school. Boykin, you may remember, got into […]

Gulf Coast governors declare Sunday day of prayer for spill

Ed Anderson / The Times-Picayune |

BATON ROUGE, La. (RNS) Gov. Bobby Jindal called on all Louisiana citizens to unite in a day of prayer for perseverance on Sunday (June 27) as the battle continues to control the BP oil spill disaster. Jindal’s proclamation follows one adopted by the Senate last week at the request of state Sen. Robert Adley, who […]

Bishops say nun was wrong to allow abortion at Catholic hospital

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Citing “confusion among the faithful” after a controversial abortion at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix, Catholic bishops issued a statement explaining when it is morally permissible to terminate a pregnancy. In May, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix declared Sister Margaret McBride, an ethicist at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, automatically excommunicated because she […]