COMMENTARY: Honor thy mothers and fathers

CLEARWATER, Fla. (RNS) The face of aging in America isn't a pretty one. Not because the flesh is sagging, but because the nation that once built schools, malls and suburbs for Boomer families when they were young has turned against its elderly. By Tom Ehrich.

Shifts seen in support for death penalty

WASHINGTON (RNS) The campaign to abolish the death penalty has been freshly invigorated this month in a series of actions that supporters say represents increasing evidence that America may be losing its taste for capital punishment. By Kevin Johnson/USA Today.

Study says no evidence that death penalty deters crime

WASHINGTON (RNS)  In the more than three decades since the national moratorium on the death penalty was lifted, there is no reliable research to determine whether capital punishment has served as a deterrent, according to a review by the National Research Council. By Kevin Johnson / USA Today.

Man behind ‘near-death experience’ ponders the afterlife

Piet Levy |

(RNS) In his new memoir, “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife,” Raymond Moody, the man who coined the term “near-death experience,” takes a look back, reflecting on his fascination with death, the effect of his life's work, and pondering what it's all meant. By Piet Levy.

Five years later, mother of Virginia Tech victim wrestles with God, finds peace

B. Denise Hawkins |

CENTREVILLE, Va. (RNS) It's been five years since Celeste Peterson's only daughter was killed in a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech. And while the grieving mother has rediscovered her faith, it hasn't been easy. At first, her prayers were near obligatory: “Thank you for this day. I'm not talking to you. Amen.” By B. Denise Hawkins.

Doctor who championed ‘death with dignity’ dies at 83

Anne Saker |

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Peter Goodwin, the first doctor in Oregon to campaign publicly for the terminally ill to obtain medical help in ending their lives, died Sunday shortly after exercising the right he fought to secure. He was 83. By Anne Saker.