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Lauren Markoe

WASHINGTON (RNS) Exhibit A in the fight over President Obama’s mandate for religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception: a ham sandwich. At a hearing Thursday (Feb. 16) convened by House Republicans to cast opposition to the mandate as a matter of religious liberty, Roman Catholic Bishop William E. Lori invoked the image of […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans are split on a federal mandate requiring nearly all employers — even institutions with strong religious affiliations — to provide insurance covering contraception. That’s according to a new poll that found that 62 percent of Americans are aware of the controversy, which has pitted the Obama administration against Catholic bishops and evangelical […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama connected his faith with his policies toward the poor at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday (Feb. 2), a subtle but sharp contrast to remarks made by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney the day before. “Living by the principle that we are our brother’s keeper. Caring for the poor and those in […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) They may not be as large as Catholics or as active as evangelicals, but white mainline Protestants have a big thing going for them this election cycle: they are divided, and possibly persuadable. That’s according to a new poll released Thursday (Feb. 2) that found white mainline Protestants are more evenly split between […] Read More

(RNS) After causing a bit of turbulence with some passengers, Alaska Airlines will no longer serve prayer cards with in-flight meals, the company announced Wednesday (Jan. 25). The cards, which take a line or two from the Book of Psalms, have been an Alaska Airlines trademark for 30 years, uplifting some flyers but annoying others. […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Following days of tension between the Obama administration and the U.S. hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, the White House on Wednesday (Jan. 25) heralded nine Catholic educators as “Champions of Catholic Education.” “Irony is the word of the day,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic […] Read More

(RNS) Before you meet your match, you’ve got to meet your matchmaker. That’s the new strategy of a group of rabbis who are launching a different kind of Jewish dating website called the “J sites”—JMontreal, JMiami, JBoston and, coming soon, JNew York, JLondon, JBerlin and JHong Kong. Like most dating sites, users pay a fee […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday (Jan. 11) unanimously threw its support behind a church school that fired a teacher, using a widely watched church-state case to bolster a legal doctrine that exempts religious institutions from some civil rights laws. Religious groups heralded the ruling as a firm assertion of religious freedom that […] Read More

(RNS) Ten years after the sex abuse scandal erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley has written a contrite public letter, faulting the church’s response and insisting that the church can never again fail to protect the young. “As a church we must continue to express the depth of our sorrow and contrition […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans: the most generous people in the world. In this season of giving, that’s no idle gloat. According to a new study, the United States tops a massive global charity survey, rising from fifth place in 2010. The “World Giving Index,” based on 150,000 interviews with citizens of 153 nations, ranks the U.S. […] Read More