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Richard Yeakley

(RNS) When Hurricane Katrina roared ashore six years ago, it brought in its wake untold property damage and emotional distress to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but also something deeper. “Where,” countless people asked, “was God?” Some conservative religious leaders warned that Katrina was a divine rebuke for abortion or perhaps a warning from […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) A slim majority of evangelicals favor government shutdown over a budget compromise, according to new research by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The U.S. government will shutter all non-essential services at midnight, Friday (April 8) if congressional Republicans and Democrats cannot reach an agreement on the U.S. budget […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned a book by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a prominent feminist theologian, charging that her attempts to forge new understandings of God depart from traditional Catholic theology. The bishops’ Committee on Doctrine on Wednesday (March 30) said Johnson’s 2007 book, “Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in […] Read More

(RNS) Almost all U.S. churches witnessed a change in the financial giving they received in 2010 compared to 2009, with smaller churches feeling the squeeze but larger churches faring relatively better, according to a new report. Only 12 percent of churches reported unchanged giving from 2009, according to the State of the Plate survey released […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition of religious and civil liberty groups is pushing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to stop employers from segregating “visibly religious employees from customers and the general public.” In a March 25 letter submitted to the EEOC, the groups asked the agency to “exercise its regulatory authority” and enforce Title VII of […] Read More

(RNS) Tennessee lawmakers are rewriting a bill that described Islamic law as a threat to U.S. security and seemed to equate peaceful Muslim practices with terrorism. State Sen. Bill Ketron and House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, both Republicans, offered the revision after questions arose about the proposed bill’s constitutionality. “The revision reflects our original […] Read More

(RNS) While the Vatican and U.S. bishops maintain a hard-line stand against most gay rights causes, American Catholics are more supportive of gay rights than other U.S. Christians, according to new research released Tuesday (March 22). A report by Washington-based Public Religion Research Institute found that 74 percent of Catholics favor legal recognition for same-sex […] Read More

(RNS) The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling on Wednesday (March 16) that orders an 11-year-old girl to enroll in public school instead of being home-schooled by her mother. Although the girl’s mother, Brenda Kurowski, argued that the original ruling violated her religious rights, the high court based its decision on the […] Read More

(RNS) The Justice Department has filed suit against California prison officials on behalf of a Sikh inmate who says his religious freedom was violated when officials punished him for not cutting his beard. Sukhjinder Basra, incarcerated at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo on a drug offense, was punished for refusing to shave […] Read More

(RNS) Southern Baptist bookstores have quietly suspended a four-year-old program that warned customers to read with “discernment” books by several up-and-coming authors whose books “could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.” Chris Rodgers, the director of product standards and customer relations for Nashville-based LifeWay, said the warnings were discontinued because they were “irrelevant to […] Read More