ThursdayâÂ?Â?s Religion Roundup: Warm Solstice, Dobson novels, Driscoll’s sex lives, Santorum v. P

Happy Solstice! Shortest day of the year today, and Pagans and Druids and others, oh my, enjoyed unseasonably warm weather as they danced around Stonehenge. For we fathers of daughters, it’s time for another round of “Sunrise, sunset.” Washington Post blogger Alexandra Petri has fixed the Obama’s horrifyingly irreligious and un-American “holiday” card (or so […]

German Jews ride renaissance against tide of assimilation

Omar Sacirbey |

LUEBECK, Germany (RNS) Yelizaveta Paliy arrived in this northern port city from Ukraine in 1995 on the second day of Hanukkah. After years of celebrating the Jewish festival of lights behind drawn curtains in her homeland, Paliy went to Luebeck’s historic synagogue and lit the candles in freedom for the first time. “I cried like […]

Tebow is top religion author of 2011

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

(RNS) Critics have hammered Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow for everything from his throwing style to his trademark professions of evangelical faith. But this much is now beyond dispute: the guy has a gift for selling books. Tebow’s Christian life story, “Through My Eyes,” has become the top-selling new release of 2011 from HarperOne, a […]

Magi would have a tough time finding frankincense

Elizabeth Weise / USA Today |

(RNS) The world may still have gold and myrrh, but it's quite possible that frankincense could become a thing of the past, given ecological pressures on the arid lands where it grows in Ethiopia. The storied resin — known to millions as one of the three gifts of the Magi, the wise men who visited […]

Pope pins financial mess on ‘crisis of faith’

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Europe’s economic and financial crisis is the consequence of an “ethical crisis” and a “crisis of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday (Dec. 22), resulting in the triumph of selfishness over social responsibility. Benedict made his remarks in his annual Christmas speech to the Roman Curia, the Catholic Church’s central administration at […]

Feds charge 12 in Amish beard-cutting attacks

Mark Gillispie |

CLEVELAND (RNS) Federal prosecutors have expanded their case against members of a breakaway Amish sect for their roles in shaving the hair and beards of people considered to be their religious enemies. An indictment issued Tuesday (Dec. 20) in U.S. District Court lists 12 suspects, including the sect’s leader, Samuel Mullet, 66. The FBI originally […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup: Christianity moves south; Heaven moves to New Jersey

Ever wonder why you don’t get Christmas cards from your congressional representative? Well, a 1974 statute prohibits members of Congress from sending holiday cards, personal greetings and the like. The point is that taxpayer dollars should only be used for official business. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., he of the “Save Christmas Act,” is pushing the […]

Atheists aim to change image of penny-pinching Scrooges

Kimberly Winston |

(RNS) If Dec. 10 had been an average day for Doctors Without Borders, the Swiss charity that sends medical help into crisis areas, its website would have logged 4,000 hits. Instead, it was bombarded with more than 10 times that amount as atheists from the user-driven news site participated in a fundraiser that has […]

Church says N.Y. woman is source of sainthood miracle

Renee K. Gadua |

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (RNS) A 65-year-old woman from Chittenango, N.Y., was inexplicably healed of pancreatitis in 2005, Catholic leaders say, and is the source of the second miracle that will make Blessed Mother Marianne Cope a new U.S. saint. “I’m very happy to be here and I thank the Lord,” Sharon Smith said Tuesday (Dec. 20) […]