White House insists contraception talks are on track

(RNS) The Obama administration is pushing back against charges by the nation's top Catholic bishop that talks to create a broader religious exemption from a controversial birth control coverage mandate are “going nowhere,” and that White House officials are dismissing the central role of the bishops. By David Gibson.

Both sides gear up in N.C. gay marriage fight

Amanda Greene |

WILMINGTON, N.C. (RNS) Here in the only Southern state that does not have a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, both sides are gearing up for a fight at the ballot box on May 8. By Amanda Greene.

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Ala. bill would move religion classes off campus

Greg Garrison |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) A proposed Alabama law would allow churches or ministries to teach a religion class to public school students off campus, if parents and school boards give permission and the churches provide transportation and other expenses. By Greg Garrison.

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Sparks fly as House GOP blasts contraception mandate

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) A House committee holds hearings Thursday that will find the Obama administration guilty of trampling on religious freedom by requiring employers to provide insurance that includes contraception coverage. By Lauren Markoe.

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Washington becomes seventh state to legalize gay marriage

Tracy Simmons |

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Gov. Christine Gregoire was scheduled Monday to sign legislation to make Washington the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage, although opponents promised a high-stakes fight at the ballot box. By Tracy Simmons.

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Wednesday Godbytes: SOPA; Tea Party Jesus; Scholarship for Atheists

While sections of the internet have “gone dark” today in protest of SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act. Internet companies such as Google (which is has a special logo today) and Wikipedia (which has taken itself down for the day in protest) think the legislation goes too far, and are taking action against it. […]

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Wednesday Godbytes: Iowa God-Talk; Wintery Worship; More Zen of Steve Jobs

The Republican Iowa caucuses finished up last night, and while Mitt Romney technically won by 8(!) votes, there wasn’t a real “clear” winnerâÂ?¦except for God: There was a LOT of God-talk last night in the candidate’s concession speeches. Mitt Romney, a Mormon, made sure to state that “Freedom is a gift from God,” while barely […]

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