Black Southern Baptist Fred Luter says church shouldn’t be defined by race

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The New Orleans pastor who's poised to become the Southern Baptist Convention's first black president says the denomination shouldn't be defined by its racial history, even as he has concerns about how President Obama has been treated, and the ongoing Trayvon Martin case. By Kim Lawton.

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TuesdayâÂ?Â?s Religion News Roundup: Is neurosis Jewish? Richard LandâÂ?Â?s tsuris, Tony Perkins gay dinner, the PopeâÂ?Â?s butler

Woody Allen v. Soren Kierkegaard: Is neurosis Jewish? Daniel Smith asks the question in the New York Times. “No,” he says. On the other hand, he explains… Evangelical tsuris: Southern Baptist macher Richard Land awaits a decision on his fate due Friday. The outcome is not clear, but the repercussions could be big. One of […]

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COMMENTARY: How did we get off track?

INDIANAPOLIS (RNS) How did we go from building the interstate highway system to not doing anything unless it benefits us? How did the party of Eisenhower degenerate into would-be demagogues defaming anyone who stands between them and power? How did a nation that fought totalitarianism spy on young adults just for questioning Wall Street? By Tom Ehrich.

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Sidebar: For female clergy, respect often has to be earned

REPUBLIC, Mo. (RNS) Although attitudes have improved in recent years, it’s still common for women clergy to field doubts about their legitimacy. The first time a church hires a women as pastor can be uncomfortable for both the woman and the congregation, said The Rev. Melissa St. Clair, senior pastor at Republic First Christian Church […]

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Baptist leader critiques anti-gay comments

(RNS) A Southern Baptist leader who works on gay outreach has criticized recent anti-gay comments by North Carolina pastors, saying they “show a complete lack of understanding of how to minister to those struggling with this particular temptation.” By Adelle M. Banks.

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Stained glass ceiling remains a hurdle for female clergy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (RNS) Jennifer Harris Dault and her husband Allyn share more than marriage. Earlier this month they joined hundreds of other students graduating from the nation’s more than 220 seminaries with masters in divinity degrees. But as the only woman graduate at Central Baptist Theological Seminary — out of a class of eight […]

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Parents take teaching Hinduism into their own hands

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (RNS) When Mudita Bahadur started looking for excuses not to take her children on a 45-minute trip to the Hindu temple every Sunday, she knew she had to make a change. So Bahadur and other parents decided to take their children's religious education into their own hands. By Megan Sweas.

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NYPD did no wrong in secretly surveilling N.J. Muslims, attorney general report says

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Islamic leaders say they are shocked that a review by New Jersey's state Attorney General into the New York Police Department’s secret surveillance operation targeting Muslim businesses and mosques in New Jersey found the NYPD did nothing wrong. By Ted Sherman.

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Friday’s Religion News Roundup: Judge Roy Moore; gay Catholic sports; Mormons wrestling (with faith)

Can Roy Moore, the “Ten Commandments Judge,” remain objective in a town's fight to publicly post its theology? Philly hosts a sports camp for Catholic men trying to pray away the gay, and Catholic bishops find a modern-day hero in St. Andy Garcia. All that and more in today's Religion News Roundup.

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