After angering Catholics, White House honors teachers

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Days after angering Catholics with a new rule that forces religious groups to offer contraceptive coverage, the White House on Wednesday tried to repair relations by honoring nine Catholic educators. By Lauren Markoe.

COMMENTARY: Spike Lee does the right thing by religion

Dick Staub |

PARK CITY, Utah (RNS) Imagine my surprise when Spike Lee's new film, “Red Hook Summer,” delivered a humorous, honest look at the vibrancy, complexity, sincerity and messiness of Christianity in the African-American community. By Dick Staub. 750.

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

Religion received scant mention in President Obama's State of the Union address last night, but he did say that the “conviction that American Muslims are part of our American family” is key in fighting Islamic extremism. The House of Representatives has passed two bills authorizing religious symbols on war memorials, one of which seems intended […]

Workers at religious institutions fear future of pensions

Tom Haydon |

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (RNS) Tens of thousands of current and former employees at scores of religiously affiliated institutions across the country are worried as nonprofits increasingly seek refuge in “church” pension plans to escape onerous financial obligations. By Tom Haydon. 800. With photo.

Shhh! Pope praises value of short tweets, silence

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI praised new communications technologies like Twitter on Tuesday (Jan. 24), saying that even “concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible,” can convey “profound thoughts.” By Alessandro Speciale. 250.

Gay bishop documentary ‘Love Free or Die’ takes center stage at Sundance

Lisa Schencker / Salt Lake Tribune |

“If my story can help a young boy or girl in their teens believe they can have a wonderful and productive life and family,” says the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, “then it's worth my putting up with a film crew following me around for two years in order to comfort and inspire them.”

COMMENTARY: Competing in the free market

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) Welcome to the marketplace of self-determination, where everything from fact to faith is made a fungible commodity. We will either look out for ourselves, discover wisdom and exercise discernment, or we will get stripped clean by the sharps. By Tom Ehrich. About 700. With photo.