Friday’s Religion News Roundup

Happy Friday, my little chickadees. Lots of chatter on the Interwebs today about New York Times executive editor Bill Keller’s column on religion and the 2012 presidential campaign. Folks on the right seem to be particularly peeved that he’s only asking questions of GOP candidates. The Jesuits deride the column’s tone. Not to be outdone, […]

9/11 gave birth to aggressive, unapologetic `New Atheists’

Kimberly Winston |

(RNS) In September 2001, Sam Harris was an unknown doctoral student who didn’t believe in God. But after the World Trade Center crumbled on 9/11, he put his studies aside to write a book that became an instant best-seller — and changed the way atheists, and perhaps Muslims, are perceived in this country. Published in […]

Work makes Ramadan hard, but not impossible, for Muslims

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) Fasting during Ramadan may be harder for Muslims in countries where they are a minority, but a new survey said Muslims in America and other countries tried to give it their best effort. The study, by the New Jersey-based DinarStandard website that tracks business trends among Muslims, and British-based Productive Muslim Ltd., found similar […]

Activists meet to push change in Methodists’ gay policy

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) Hundreds of United Methodists are meeting in Huron, Ohio, this week in an uphill bid to make their 12 million-member denomination more gay-friendly. Activists are gearing up for next year’s General Conference meeting in Tampa, Fla., where they plan to fight once again to change the church’s official position that homosexual activity is […]

UCC-affiliated college to ask about sexual orientation

Kevin Eckstrom |

(RNS) An Illinois college affiliated with the United Church of Christ is poised to become the first school in the U.S. to ask prospective students about their sexual orientation. Elmhurst College, located just west of Chicago, said the decision to add sexual orientation to the 2012-13 applications is entirely optional and is aimed at promoting […]

ThursdayâÂ?Â?s Religion News Roundup

The upcoming 9/11 anniversary continues to generate religion-themed stories. First off is a hat tip to The Associated Press investigation showing that in the wake of Sept. 11, the New York Police Department became “one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies” in targeting mosques and Muslim neighborhoods. The NYPD did so with the […]

Fallen 9/11 priest emerges as an icon for gay Catholics

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) When All Saints Church sought to signal its hospitality to gays and lesbians, the Catholic parish in Syracuse, N.Y., turned to a well-known image from the 9/11 attacks: five firefighters carrying a body from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. The body belonged to the Rev. Mychal Judge, a Franciscan fire chaplain who […]

Why are American churches losing the less educated?

Nicole Neroulias |

CLEVELAND (RNS) Hundreds of United Methodists are meeting in Huron, Ohio, this week in an uphill bid to make their 12 million-member denomination more gay-friendly. Activists are gearing up for next year’s General Conference meeting in Tampa, Fla., where they plan to fight once again to change the church’s official position that homosexual activity is […]

Quake-damaged National Cathedral faces millions in repairs

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The iconic Washington National Cathedral, already struggling with financial problems, faces millions of dollars in repair costs from the damage inflicted by Tuesday’s (Sept. 23) East Coast earthquake. And nothing is covered by insurance, according to a church official. Clergy and a team of architects and engineers spent the day after the magnitude […]

`King Arthur’ fights the law, and the law wins

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) A self-styled druid who likens himself to a king in ancient Britain has lost his bid to rebury a set of prehistoric human remains at a sacred pagan burial site. John Timothy Rothwell — who changed his name to King Arthur Pendragon in court documents — lost his court battle to win custody […]