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WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal watchdog panel that monitors religious freedom around the world is preparing to shut down next Friday (Dec. 16) unless Congress passes a last-minute measure to save it. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has narrowly dodged closure twice this fall. But with only days before the termination date, this […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholic and other Christian health care providers got their day in Congress Wednesday (Nov. 2) at a hearing Republicans called to denounce an Obama administration rule that requires insurers to cover contraception. The rule, part of the health care reform bill passed last year, is scheduled to take effect next August, and mandate […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops dispatched their new point man on religious freedom to warn Congress on Wednesday (Oct. 26) that religious people risk being labeled as “bigots” without greater conscience protections. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of a new Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and members of Congress this week are getting a firsthand taste of what it’s like to eat on $4.50 a day as part of the “Food Stamp Challenge.”In the challenge, participants try to live for a week on the average amount received by people who use food stamps, now known as […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The independent and bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom could be forced to shut its doors if the Senate does not vote by week’s end to reauthorize the panel. The commission appears to be in legislative limbo after the House voted Sept. 15 to extend the panel for an additional two years. […] Read More

We are a nation of hypocrites, at least those of us franchised into the political economy are. We say we want democracy but what we actually want is something more like “Lord of the Flies.” Take the current debt-ceiling battle. We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking it’s simply a fiscal debate. So what is the […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) More than half of U.S. voters approve of God’s job performance, according to a new poll, making God more popular than all members of Congress. The poll—which was conducted by the Democratic research firm Public Policy Polling (PPP)—surveyed 928 people and found that 52 percent of Americans approved of God’s overall dealings, while […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC has issued a formal apology to more than 100 members of Congress for omitting the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during a patriotic montage that aired last month. The letter, signed by Kyle McSlarrow, president of NBC Universal, comes in response to a complaint by 107 members of Congress […] Read More

(RNS) Members of Congress and Christian leaders say they are outraged over claims that a Veterans Affairs official in Houston discriminates against clergy and veterans’ families who want to use religious references in memorial ceremonies. The Liberty Institute, a Texas-based legal group, this week expanded its lawsuit against the VA, claiming that officials told veterans’ […] Read More

LOMA LINDA, Calif. (RNS) Postal carrier Ruth Gomez had prayed and waited for five years to be transferred to the Loma Linda Post Office so that she could finally put to rest the conflicts between her faith and her job. As a Seventh-day Adventist, Gomez observes the Sabbath on Saturday and Loma Linda, with its […] Read More