Christian counselors claim discrimination over religious beliefs on gays

Maggie Hyde |

(RNS) It’s a question being raised by counselors and educators across the country: When are religious views on homosexuality an issue of religious and academic freedom, and when are they discrimination? On Friday (Aug. 20), a federal judge ruled against Jennifer Keeton, a student at Augusta State University who was ordered to either undergo “diversity […]

Seton Hall to proceed with class on gay marriage

Jeff Diamant and Kelly Heyboer / The Star-Ledger |

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (RNS) It appears Seton Hall University will offer a controversial course on gay marriage over the objections of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, according to the professor scheduled to teach the class. The undergraduate seminar course — called “The Politics of Gay Marriage” — is to begin Tuesday (Aug. 31) with about […]

Conservative Lutherans to form new church body

Chris Herlinger |

(RNS/ENInews) Conservative Lutherans are forming a new church body they say will “uphold confessional principles” after disagreements with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over the ordination of gay clergy. The new North American Lutheran Church is scheduled to be formed at a meeting Friday and Saturday (Aug. 26-27) in Grove City, Ohio. “The NALC […]

Scottish church official supports release of Libyan bomber

Trevor Grundy |

EDINBURGH, Scotland (RNS/ENInews) The Scottish government was right to show compassion and to release the Libyan man convicted of the 1988 bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Scotland, an official of the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland has said. “The principle behind the release of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi a year ago was right, compassion, and […]

Wednesday’s roundup

Kevin Eckstrom |

Republican leaders say they were just joking when suggesting that President Obama is part of the 20 percent of Americans who believe POTUS is a Muslim; WaPo’s Howard Kurtz wonders if any of this is the media’s fault. Two top Democratic strategists who specialize in religion blame “a widespread and constant misinformation campaign by Fox […]

Presbyterian minister faces church trial on gay weddings

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) For the second time in two years, the Rev. Jane Spahr is on trial in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for performing same-sex weddings. A retired pastor and self-described “lesbian evangelist,” Spahr, 68, was acquitted of similar charges by the denomination’s high court in 2008. The same-sex ceremony she had presided over in 2006 was […]

Documentary unearths forgotten Nazi footage

Stephen Witty |

(RNS) Perhaps the most chilling detail of the Third Reich is the precision with which it documented its own atrocities. The timetables of trains to the death camps, the blueprints for the gas chambers, the long lists of names and numbers and ethnicities. This many arrested, this many transported, this many eliminated. And in that […]

10 minutes with … Thomas Blackshear

Steve Rabey |

(RNS) Thirteen years after her death and just days after what would have been her 100th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a special stamp on Sept. 5 to commemorate the remarkable life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The stamp, like Mother Teresa herself, hasn’t been without controversy. Atheist groups, including the Freedom from […]

COMMENTARY: The mirror has two faces

Cathleen Falsani |

(RNS) Six years ago, I sat down with a young Illinois state senator for a lengthy interview about his faith. At the time, the fresh-faced politician with an unusual name was still toiling in relative obscurity in Chicago. When my “spiritual profile” of Barack Obama ran in the Chicago Sun-Times, it was greeted with modest […]

Conservatives claim victory as judge halts stem cell funding

Kevin Eckstrom |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative Christian groups won a major victory Monday (Aug. 23) when a Washington judge halted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to allow a suit challenging the practice as illegal to go forward. The suit, by a group of doctors and Nightlight Christian Adoptions, says federal funding of embryonic stem cells limits […]