Health & Spirit

Senators debate when nominee's religion is fair game

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- A Senate Judiciary Committee vote on a controversial appeals court pick Thursday prompted a discussion about when it is appropriate to ask questions about a nominee's religion -- and even a suggestion to hold a public hearing on the issue.

The topic arose because of questions Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and ...Read more

To see 'forgotten people' and stop injustice, Catholic leaders take Mass on the road

Religion / Religious News /

VISALIA, Calif. -- Bishop Armando Ochoa begins the Mass outside a building that resembles a large red barn. He carries a hooked staff covered in animal fur and wears moccasins and a leather sash -- a tribute to the nearby Tule River Tribe.

The recent service among old oak trees in Visalia's Mooney Grove Park was one of nine stops on a yearlong ...Read more

Justice Department issues policy memo declaring religious freedom is 'paramount' in US

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- A sweeping new statement by the Justice Department calls religious freedom a "fundamental right of paramount importance," placing the Trump administration squarely on the side of religious conservatives in America's culture wars.

The statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with a long legal analysis by the department's ...Read more

Light Notes: Actor Kirk Cameron on nationwide mission to help marriages

Religion / Religious News /

Kirk Cameron is a man on a mission, a guy filled with purpose. Interestingly, this go-getter actor is named after another high achiever; a television series character determined to lead -- Captain Kirk of Star Trek.

"That's the story I've been told," Kirk said as he joked about his TV namesake. "And as the family legend goes, my sister would ...Read more

Las Vegas shooting brings more human suffering, but some find hope mixed with the grief

Religion / Religious News /

As investigators try to figure out why a 64-year-old man opened fire onto an outdoor concert crowd in Las Vegas Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds more, some people of faith pondered a more eternal question: Why do terrible things to happen to innocent people?

"The suffering of very good people is a theme that just ...Read more

Evangelicals say Trump should call alt-right by its real name: Evil

Religion / Religious News /

President Donald Trump needs to provide moral leadership and denounce the "demonic racist force" that is the alt-right before it further fractures the country, a group of evangelical leaders says.

Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, along with other conservative leaders from North Carolina and ...Read more

Austin church: We won't hold weddings until we can marry same-sex couples

Religion / Religious News /

AUSTIN, Texas -- An Austin church is making much ado about "I do" as a statement in support of marriage equality.

First United Methodist Church says it will no longer hold weddings in its sanctuary or chapel until denominational leadership lifts its ban on marrying same-sex couples, according to a statement from the church. The downtown Austin ...Read more

Light Notes: 2011 flood victim cherishes keepsake after loss

Religion / Religious News /

The floodwaters had been deep, spilling river water relentlessly over miles of gentle banks. In its wake lay devastation ... and broken hearts.

"They said we'd have 24 hours to evacuate, but it was only four," Tricia Pryor said as she remembered how the Souris River in Minot, N.D., had overtopped its levees back in 2011. "We tried to bring ...Read more

Confederate monuments should go to the scrap heap, Baptist seminary professor says

Religion / Religious News /

WAKE FOREST, N.C. -- Most monuments to Confederate heroes should be removed and destroyed because they celebrate people who fought against the United States, and keeping them up is divisive, a Baptist seminary leader and history professor said this week.

"I just find it strange to venerate someone who waged war against our country," Brent J. ...Read more

NY transplant is South Dakota's lone rabbi: 'You really see what God made here'

Religion / Religious News /

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- In the living room of a sprawling house on the edge of Sioux Falls, Mendel Alperowitz is winding a leather strap around the arm and fingers of Stuart Jacobs.

A box attached to the strap rests in Jacobs' elbow; inside is a scroll inscribed with seminal Jewish prayers that proclaim one God and profess man's duty to love that ...Read more

Hurricanes not enough? Now, word comes that the world's ending on Saturday

Religion / Religious News /

Memo to the Christian conspiracy theorist, er numerologist, who insists that a series of apocalyptic events will begin on Sept. 23 and that the world is about to end. Mr. David Meade, have you logged on to a news site lately? Sept. 23? Please. Mother Nature has already spoken these last few weeks:

Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane ...Read more

How a private meeting with Billy Graham changed actor Steve McQueen's life

Religion / Religious News /

Actor Steve McQueen, who personified cool during his nearly two decades as a Hollywood superstar, retreated from the glamor and excesses of the movie scene late in his short life and embraced Christianity.

When he died at age 50, McQueen was clutching a Bible -- one given to him by Billy Graham.

In fact, it was Graham's personal Bible, the one...Read more

Rev. Rob Lee tells 'The View' that many white churches aren't doing Christianity right

Religion / Religious News /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Rev. Rob Lee IV, a relative of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, said on ABC's "The View" Monday that white Christians need to find "a different way of doing church" that is more aligned with the teachings of Jesus.

It's the latest high-profile appearance for the 24-year-old Duke Divinity School graduate who has spoken with ...Read more

White Christians are no longer US majority

Religion / Religious News /

White Christians, long the dominant religious group in the U.S., now account for less than half of all adults living in America, a recently released survey shows.

More than 80 percent of the nation's residents identified as white and Christian 40 years ago, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. In contrast, the institute's 2016 ...Read more

Iran's 'city of mullahs' has a surprising side

Religion / Religious News /

QOM, Iran -- Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate.

The late Iranian American poet Nader Naderpour once listed as its main features "women with scarves over their heads, men clad in clerical robes, a single golden dome, old storks in the sky, one spiritless garden, a handful of lonely trees."

Qom became the bedrock...Read more

Descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee quits NC church over criticism

Religion / Religious News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee who made headlines for denouncing racism on last month's MTV Video Music Awards has announced he is leaving his post at a Winston-Salem after some in the congregation expressed discomfort over some of the statements he has been making.

Among those concerns is that the Rev. Robert...Read more

NC church known for 'blasting' out demons faces growing human trafficking probe

Religion / Religious News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An international investigation has picked up speed into whether a controversial Rutherford County church operated a human trafficking pipeline with its South American congregations, U.S. Attorney Jill Rose says.

Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale has been the target of government probes in the past over whether it has ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Have faith through the unknown

Religion / Religious News /

It's never a good sign when the pilot walks into the galley to talk to the flight crew, and then begins bouncing his forehead against a cabinet. The man looked troubled.

Looking out the window from seat 10A on Delta Flight 233 from Amsterdam to Seattle, I saw a vast frozen world stretching to the horizon, almost blinding in the sunlight. Our ...Read more

Light Notes: Abandoned dog seems heaven-sent

Religion / Religious News /

Behind her, she could sense fear, feel the heat of the canine edging closer. Then in a heartbeat came a touch as gentle as an angel's kiss. In that sweet moment, their unpredictable journey had begun.

"I'm not a dog person, scared to death of them other than my own," Kim Jasper said of the stray. "When I was a little girl, I was bitten."

But ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Train a child in the right direction

Religion / Religious News /

Driving on Interstate 84 near the town of Grandview, Wash., you can see acres and acres of tall poles strung with lines. These are fields of hops, used in the production of beer.

In early spring, there appear mats of green on the ground. In mid-spring, farmworkers train the young hop vines to grow upward along the guidelines. In just a few ...Read more