Study suggests young adults can get fat at church

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Thou shalt not serve pizza? Young adults who regularly attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese when they reach middle age than their nonreligious peers, a new study shows. Based on their findings, researchers at Northwestern University’s medical school think congregations should be a focus in the fight to prevent […]

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

If your pastor is pushing cheese pizza for those meatless Friday Lenten gatherings, be careful. From Cathy Grossman over at USAT: “All those pizzas luring young adults to church activities may have unintended consequences. Folks who stay faithful to church life get fat.” It’s kosher, though, if you want to indulge in a cheeseburger tomorrow […]

Poll: Most Americans don’t blame God for natural disasters

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) We may never know why bad things happen to good people, but most Americans — except evangelicals — reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment, a test of faith or some other sign from God, according to a new poll. The poll released Thursday (March 24), by Public Religion Research Institute in […]

TSA, airlines tread carefully on religious expression

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

(RNS) Air travelers want to feel safe, and federal security officials want to make sure they actually are safe. If only it were that simple. Misunderstandings over religious expression have led to recent incidents that prompted apologies from airlines. On March 13, agents with the Transportation Security Administration removed a Muslim woman in a headscarf […]

U.S. embassy condemns Quran burning at Fla. church

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan called the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church “abhorrent” as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the act as a “serious setback” to world harmony. U.S. Ambassador Cameron P. Munter tried to distance the United States from the Sunday (March 20) event overseen by Pastor Terry […]

Vatican says gay opponents are victims, too

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican official told a United Nations body on Tuesday (March 22) that people who openly object to homosexual behavior are at risk of losing their human rights when they are prosecuted or stigmatized for their beliefs. “People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behavior between people […]

U.S. Catholics lead other Christians on gay rights

Richard Yeakley |

(RNS) While the Vatican and U.S. bishops maintain a hard-line stand against most gay rights causes, American Catholics are more supportive of gay rights than other U.S. Christians, according to new research released Tuesday (March 22). A report by Washington-based Public Religion Research Institute found that 74 percent of Catholics favor legal recognition for same-sex […]

Democrat announces alternate hearings on U.S. Muslims

Richard Yeakley |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Barely two weeks after House Republicans held hearings on the threat posed by radicalized American Muslims, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat announced his own hearings on threats to American Muslims’ civil rights. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., made no mention of the March 10 hearings by the House Homeland Security Committee that reduced the […]

Charitable giving stabilizes as recession ebbs

Mary Beth Marklein |

(RNS) Charities are seeing improvements in fundraising, with fewer charities reporting declines in 2010 compared with 2009, according to a report released Tuesday (March 22). But a larger percentage of organizations reported bringing in about the same amount of revenue both years, says the report by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a coalition of six organizations […]

`Book of Mormon’: Give my regrets to Broadway

Solange DeSantis |

NEW YORK (RNS) In their day, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell” attracted controversy for putting the tenets of Christian faith on the musical stage, but leave it to the creators of “South Park” to raise the bar (or lower it, depending upon your point of view) with a high-spirited look at religion in “The Book […]