COMMENTARY: Pride goeth before a sail

A. James Rudin |

(RNS) Before we get swept up in romanticized versions of the tragedy of the Titanic 100 years ago, we need to remember what really happened and recall the biblical words of Proverbs: “Pride goes before destruction.” By A. James Rudin.

One Psalm, two causes, two meanings

David Van Biema |

(RNS) For decades, Psalm 139 has been a byword of the anti-abortion movement that has used its line about being “knit together in my mother's womb.” Now, its other verse about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” has been embraced by gay and lesbian Christians. By David Van Biema

Food pantry’s prayers violate federal rules

Tim Evans |

SEYMOUR, Ind. (RNS) After a court ruled that prayers at a food pantry violate federal guidelines, a food pantry here is faced with a Solomon-like choice: Stop the prayers or give up truckloads of free food provided through the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program. By Tim Evans.

Pope meets with Fidel Castro, urges more freedom

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI called for more religious freedom for the Catholic Church on his last day in communist Cuba. Around 300,000 people turned up for a papal Mass in Revolution Square in Havana, just before an unscheduled but much-anticipated meeting with Fidel Castro. By Alessandro Speciale.

Before politics, Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop

Peggy Fletcher Stack / The Salt Lake Tribune |

(RNS) While Mitt Romney was building his career at Bain Capital, he was also a Mormon bishop who had to learn how to give sermons, advise squabbling couples, organize worship services, manage budgets and address the needs of more than 1,000 Mormons in the region. By Peggy Fletcher Stack.

‘Covenant’ to bind Anglican Communion appears dead

Al Webb and Kevin Eckstrom |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Commission for Religious Freedom just got two new members, both darlings of conservatives: Princeton University philosopher Robert P. George and Zuhdi Jasser, who describes himself as an alternative voice to established Muslim civil rights groups. By Al Webb and Kevin Eckstrom.

Muslims call new religious freedom appointee a ‘puppet’ for Islam foes

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Commission for Religious Freedom just got two new members, both darlings of conservatives: Princeton University philosopher Robert P. George and Zuhdi Jasser, who describes himself as an alternative voice to established Muslim civil rights groups. By Lauren Markoe.

Report says church giving on the rebound

Annalisa Musarra |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Churches may have suffered financially for the past three years due to the recession, but the fourth annual “State of the Plate” found strong evidence of a rebound in 2011. By Annalisa Musarra.