COMMENTARY: The problem with Daniel Pearl’s Mormon baptism

Philip A. Cunningham |

(RNS) The posthumous Mormon baptism of slain journalist Daniel Pearl shows that it's not just the proxy “baptism” of Holocaust victims that is problematic. Because of Judaism's communal sense of identity, performing this ritual for any Jews without their community's consent, raises basic questions of fairness and respect. By Philip A. Cunningham.

Till death (or illness or dementia) us do part?

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) When the person you married goes through a dramatic change — a car accident, brain injury or dementia —  what's a spouse to do? As Valentine's Day approaches, clergy, ethicists  and brain injury experts agree: There are no easy answers.  By Adelle M. Banks.

10 minutes with … Lobsang Sangay

Vishal Arora |

“My stand on self immolation is the same as that of the Dalai Lama, who has always discouraged drastic actions by Tibetans,” says Lobsang Sangay, the prime minister of Tibet's government-in-exile. “He does not even endorse hunger strikes.”

Bodily desecration is disturbing — but why?

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) Desecrating enemy dead is not always a vengeful impulse, and in some cultures even has a religious component. At the same time, disgust at the desecration of the dead is not always a simple case of demanding respect for a fallen human being, but also carries religious implications, and even one's journey in the afterlife. By Omar Sacirbey. 850. With photo.

COMMENTARY: The new missionary position

A. James Rudin |

(RNS) “Missionary” is one of those words where the meaning depends entirely on who’s saying it — and who’s hearing it. For Christians, it’s a word that conjures up images of selfless believers carrying life-saving religion to faraway places. Yet for many Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans and others, it recalls overzealous Christians who […]

Russian patriarch denounces Moscow airport bombing

Sophia Kishkovsky |

MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) The head of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced a terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport as “the horrifying scowl of sin,” and said actions once condemned even in war “are today becoming a form of protest.” Patriarch Kirill I spoke after a service to mark the feast of St. Tatyana, which this year […]

Army faces questions over `spiritual fitness’ test

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Army is facing questions over a “spiritual fitness” portion of a mandatory questionnaire, with some atheists calling it “invidious and not inclusive” of soldiers who are nonbelievers. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation learned in December that soldiers were being asked to respond to statements such as “I am a spiritual person” […]

Pope meets with victims, laments `shame and humiliationâÂ?Â?

Francis X. Rocca |

LONDON (RNS) Following two days of meetings with religious and government leaders, Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday (Sept. 18) turned his attention to his own flock as met with victims of sexual abuse and warned of the dangers of legalized assisted suicide. As on previous occasions, controversy _ this time, in the form of thousands […]