Muslim superhero comics gain followers—and controversy

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) After a drunk driver killed his parents and left him paralyzed, the fictional character John Weller was a bitter 22-year-old in St. Louis who sat in his wheelchair and watched television. That all changed on a rainy night when he met two other characters from a new animated feature film, “The 99: Unbound.” Dana […]

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New Calif. law prohibits circumcision bans

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Jews, Muslims and their allies cheered Sunday (Oct. 2) as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill prohibiting all local bans on circumcision, making it illegal for local authorities to restrict the medical or religious practice. Anti-circumcision activists had gathered enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot in San Francisco. Voters would […]

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COMMENTARY: 10 lessons we’ve learned in the 10 years since 9/11

Tom Ehrich |

NEW YORK (RNS) It’s been 10 years since 9/11, and of the countless lessons we’ve learned since then, here are 10 of the most important: First, an open society invites attack. Not only do we present an abundance of targets that we cannot possibly defend, but America’s openness is offensive to the repressive, the insular, […]

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`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 […]

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Is the Islamic terrorism threat overblown?

Yonat Shimron |

(RNS) After a car bomb detonated on Wall Street one minute past the noon lunch hour killing 38 people, federal investigators came up with a possible link to an overseas group. Islamic terrorists? Al-Qaida? No, Italian anarchists. The year was 1920, and in those days anarchists were the equivalent of today’s terrorists, waging acts of […]

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With spotlight on Mormon faith, scholars gather to defend it

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) Mormon founder Joseph Smith may have declared all churches to be wrong, even apostate, but he also defined Mormonism as “an inclusivist faith that not only sees and appreciates goodness and truth in other religious traditions but is willing to acknowledge divine action in those other traditions.” That’s according to Brigham Young University Islamic […]

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What’s behind China’s hard line against Catholics?

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When China’s state-run Catholic Church ordained a new bishop for the Diocese of Shantou last Thursday (July 14) without the Vatican’s approval, it represented the latest step back from years of progress in a complex relationship. Yet the main causes for the shift may have little to do with Rome, experts say, […]

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Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

Today’s Wordsmith word of the day is Laodicean, which means lukewarm or indifferent, especially regarding religion. As in, many American newspaper editors display a laodicean attitude toward people of faith. The word derives from Laodicea, a city in Asia Minor whose apathetic citizens were rebuked in the Book of Revelation. Enthusiastic pagans and New Agers […]

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Religious art: fig leaf or full frontal?

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The Rev. France Davis doesn’t want any nude Adam-and-Eve figures at his Calvary Baptist Church — even if they were painted by the famed Michelangelo himself. Davis is unequivocal in his view that there is nothing inspiring or redeeming about naked figures in religious art. “Since we sinned, as it said […]

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How didst the KJV come to be?

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) The King James Bible, translated from ancient Greek and Hebrew in 1611, is, by virtually all accounts, the most awe-inspiring work of English prose ever written. Over the past four centuries, the KJV has sold more than 5 billion copies. Its exquisite English text has circulated the globe in the hands of missionaries and […]

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