Q: What might you say to someone who served in the armed forces — perhaps even decades ago — and who carries guilt over having killed others in a time of war?
An essay by an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania, published July 7 by the Chronicle of Higher Education, posits that religious colleges should not be given accreditation because their programs do not allow for "unfettered skepticism and inquiry" that are the hallmarks of American...
In a controversial decision June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the religious rights of the closely held for-profit Hobby Lobby crafts chain, whose owners objected to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptives mandate. (The court did not apply those rights to publicly held corporations.)
A recent study on religious affiliation and hiring discrimination in the American South, published in the journal Social Currents and reported by the Washington Post, showed that while Southern employers are likely to prefer applicants who make no overt statements of religious identity, applications...
A section of a recent Pew Center Research poll on political polarization and family life asked Americans how they would react if a member of their immediate family told them they were going to marry one of the following: an atheist, a gun owner, someone who had not attended college, someone of a...
The U.S. Navy, which earlier began allowing "humanist" as a designated religious preference despite the fact that many humanists are atheists, recently rejected its first application from a humanist chaplain.
Christian Evangelist Billy Graham is widely quoted as having said, "A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
Exit, a Swiss organization that helps people take their own lives, voted May 24 during its general assembly to extend its services to elderly people who are not dealing with a terminal illness. "Those very advanced in age will no longer have to prove to the same extent as younger people that they...
Public and private schools of higher learning commonly hold commencement exercises this month, inviting speakers from all walks of life to address the new grads.
Mobile apps that address religious questions and ethical needs have been available for download in recent years. This spring, an Australian organization, the Ethicos Group, says it is developing a smartphone app to help Australian politicians and public servants faced with a dilemma know how much...
A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in the case of Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al., that it does not violate the Constitution to offer sectarian prayers during open local government meetings, even if the majority of the prayers offered are Christian and citizens attending the...
The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, known as PAS, a political party with a strong base in the Malaysian state of Kelantan, pushed through the Sharia Criminal Code Enactment (II) 1993, which calls for hudud, or extreme corporal punishment when there is strong evidence of a crime to insure...
A young Italian nun with a powerful singing voice and engaging stage presence has been capturing the attention of millions of television viewers on "The Voice of Italy." Her performance of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" knocked another female contestant off the Italian talent show on April 16. The...
One of the topics up for discussion at the national meeting of the Presbyterian Church (USA) this year is the suggestion that the Boy Scouts institute polices that allow membership and leadership in the organization regardless of gender and sexual orientation.
A recent poll conducted Pew Research Center revealed that many people worldwide, particularly those who live in poorer countries, are of the opinion that one must believe in God to be a moral person.
Having recently made legal claims to historical gas and mineral rights under vast tracts of British land, the Church of England has taken a position against those who oppose hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of breaking up rock formations underground in order to extract natural...
Fred Phelps, the founder the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. who was known for his fire-and-brimstone anti-gay public protests — as many as 53,000 of them since 1991, according to church officials — died March 19 at the age of 84.
Earlier this month, the publication Scientific American reported that a series of studies at both Harvard University and the University of Utah showed that people are more likely to make ethical decisions in the morning than they are as the day wears on.
A Missouri lawmaker, Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville), contends that public school children in his state who question Darwinian theory are ridiculed. He introduced a bill into the state's General Assembly that would allow parents to opt their children out of evolution teaching.
The mayor of London wrote in a March 2 column in the Daily Telegraph that Muslim children who are at risk of radicalization by their parents are victims of child abuse and should be removed from their homes.
Although Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has since vetoed it, lawmakers in that state recently approved a measure to allow business owners to refuse service to gays and other groups if it is perceived to violate the practice and observance of the business owner's religion.
The small European country of Belgium is in the news after its parliament voted to remove age restrictions from the country's euthanasia laws. If King Philippe signs the bill into law, it means children will be eligible for euthanasia.
Sociologists at the University of Texas and the University of Iowa write in the American Journal of Sociology that "Conservative religious beliefs and the social institutions they create .... increase divorce risk in the contemporary United States."
"We should be known not by what we oppose, but rather by what we propose," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez on the launch of his project called the Imago Dei.
According to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute, "football fans are more likely than other sports fans to report praying to God (33% vs. 21%). They also are more apt to believe their team has been cursed (31% vs. 18%), and to perform rituals before or during games (25% vs. 18%)."
A study has found that those who attend church regularly are less likely to commit minor crimes.
E-books have taken off in a huge way among the iPad- and Kindle-obsessed, but one electronic tome that's topping the charts — both free and paid-for — is Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the book of political writings by the Nazi leader published before he became dictator of Nazi Germany.
American mothers are choosing to breast-feed their babies in increasing numbers, with about 77% of infants being breast-fed at some point. Public breast-feeding is becoming more socially acceptable — but does that include church?
British department store Marks & Spencer has apologized after a Muslim sales assistant refused to sell a customer a bottle of alcohol.
Turning on the radio this morning I was listening to a sweet-sounding string ensemble play a selection of Christmas music. The group's virtuosity was quite amazing. Without changing any energy and verve they moved effortlessly between sacred carols, Handel's Messiah, and seasonal sentimental songs...
Earlier this month a controversy arose after a tongue-in-cheek column written by Aisha Harris, a woman of color, was published online...
Researchers have discovered that the amount of gun violence in some PG-13 movies is now greater than in R-rated films.
A New York Times columnist is wondering: Where is the love?
Two schools have decided to pull out of a charity toy drive after being challenged by the American Humanist Assn. over separation of church and state issues.
Q: Thanksgiving is around the corner. What's happened over the past year that you're grateful for?
Pope Francis has received praise from all quarters for pausing to hold a severely disfigured man. While receiving an audience in St. Peter's Square, Francis spent several minutes comforting and praying with the unnamed person, who sufferers from neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors to...
UC Irvine students have been trying a relatively new thing called “speed faithing.” The idea, much like speed dating, is to get as much information across to another person in a set amount of time, and hopefully make an impact.
A Burbank couple will speak about parenting and raising a family at La Cañada Presbyterian Church later this month.
The Pentagon has appointed an envoy tasked with shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The prison, which holds terror suspects including those involved in planning the 9/11 attacks, currently holds 164 detainees.
The argument between believers and atheists has found a new and very public forum in recent years — billboards.
In their quest for donations during tough economic times, many churches are turning to business consultants who specialize in helping religious institutions. For example, Eagle Brook Church in St. Paul, Minn. used Dallas company RSI Stewardship, which aided the church in raising almost $25 million...
Persecution affects some 600 million Christians annually, according to a study by the Hudson Institute, and the Pew Forum says Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. In countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and Kenya, Christians are being murdered, raped and kidnapped.
Several Republican congressmen have come under fire for quoting the Bible as justification for cutting nutritional assistance to America's poor.
A pair of scientific reports released in recent weeks are related to life on Earth: One raises the possibility that the planet was jump-started by a comet, and the other calculates that Earth will end in 1.75 billion to 3.25 billion years.
Holding a church meeting in a pub may at first seem a bit odd, but so-called theology pubs — regular pubs and bars where meetings are held, usually once a week — are catching on across the country.
President Barack Obama this month asked Congress to authorize punitive military action in Syria. He made the request in response to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus.
The birthrate in America has fallen to an all-time low, with one in five women not having children in 2010, compared to one in 10 in the 1970s.
Aug. 28 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous “I have a dream” speech, which some say was so peppered with scriptural allusions that it was more sermon than speech.
The Obama administration has surprised its supporters and some in the Republican party by agreeing that town councils should be allowed to open meetings with a Christian prayer.
There are some 11 million undocumented people in America. Arguments rage about what can be done about them, from deporting each one to awarding citizenship depending on length of time in the U.S.