‘True Blood’ sinks its teeth into religion and politics

(RNS) On HBO's “True Blood,” politics is literally a bloody business. The show's fifth season — which coincides with a U.S. presidential campaign — returns Sunday. “We wanted to play with the politics/religion angle, since that seems to be something that never stops,” creator Alan Ball said. By Bill Keveney/USA Today.

Before politics, Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop

Peggy Fletcher Stack / The Salt Lake Tribune |

(RNS) While Mitt Romney was building his career at Bain Capital, he was also a Mormon bishop who had to learn how to give sermons, advise squabbling couples, organize worship services, manage budgets and address the needs of more than 1,000 Mormons in the region. By Peggy Fletcher Stack.

COMMENTARY: We can do better

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) We have seen ourselves up close and decided we can do better. Pouring a lifetime of earnings into showy living becomes embarrassing. Turning religion into shouting matches and rampant bigotry doesn't pass any gospel sniff test. By Tom Ehrich.

Why is it so hard to do religion in prime time?

Piet Levy |

(RNS) ABC's saucy new drama, “GCB” has been panned by critics and called “anti-Christian” by Newt Gingrich. TLC cancelled its controversial reality show, “All-American Muslim,” and anything short of “Touched By an Angel” seems to flop. Piet Levy explores why.

COMMENTARY: In praise of workarounds

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) Workarounds aren't a sad sagging of the spirit. They are the bold, can-do wisdom that that sees challenges not as betrayals but as obstacles to be surmounted. By Tom Ehrich.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Disagreeing without being disagreeable

James Calvin Davis |

(RNS) It's never been easy for us to determine the boundary line between individual rights and civic responsibility. But it doesn't help when pundits resort to name-calling, nor when complexities are reduced to bumper-sticker sound bites. By James Calvin Davis.

Bishops face internal challenges in contraception battle

(RNS) as the U.S. hierarchy stakes its claim as the first and final arbiter of the Catholic position in this hotly contested battle, the bishops are also facing a number of internal challenges. Left unchecked, they could undermine the bishops' position and weaken their future standing if they are seen as losing their faceoff with the White House. By David Gibson.