Religion

In Theory: For secular parents, religion raises a question

In Theory: For secular parents, religion raises a question

In a parenting article on PBS, writer Wendy Thomas Russell considers the question, “How young is too young to talk to your kids about religion?” and offers some guidelines for parents to...

In Theory: Does #AllLivesMatter diminish the message of #BlackLivesMatter

In Theory: Does #AllLivesMatter diminish the message of #BlackLivesMatter

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

In Theory: Should humanism be labeled a religion?

The Federal Bureau of Prisons will recognize humanism as a religion, after reaching a settlement in a lawsuit filed by an inmate.

In Theory: Is a city responsible for the homeless?

In Theory: Is a city responsible for the homeless?

In a July 15 Q&A article with Patt Morrison for the Los Angeles Times, Alice Callaghan, a longtime advocate for the homeless, was critical of the city of Los Angeles’...

In Theory: On tolerance of a monument to Satan

In Theory: On tolerance of a monument to Satan

A 1 1/2-ton, 8 1/2-foot tall monument of a goat-headed Satan will be secretly unveiled at a ticketed event in Detroit after the owner of a venue backed out due to threats.

In Theory: The GOP moves to stymie Colorado's IUD program

A state-run program in Colorado that is credited with reducing teen pregnancy and abortion rates is now in jeopardy because GOP lawmakers declined to allocate taxpayer money to support it.

In Theory: On gay marriage and religious liberty

In Theory: On gay marriage and religious liberty

Republican Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton issued a statement, saying that if county clerks or other officials chose not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or perform weddings, then the state would help them fight whatever lawsuit they may face.

In Theory: Was shooting also an attack on religion?

In Theory: Was shooting also an attack on religion?

In a column published online by the Religion News Service, Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin addressed the murder of nine people on June 17, 2015 at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, S.C.

In Theory: The Pentagon takes an inclusive stance

In Theory: The Pentagon takes an inclusive stance

Protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation will now be part of the Defense Department’s equal-opportunity policy, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday, June 9.

In Theory: Is spirituality 'worse' than religious?

In Theory: Is spirituality 'worse' than religious?

Speaking at the Skeptics Society Conference at Caltech late last month, author and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins addressed the recent Pew study, which showed that the number of people who identified with no particular faith had grown 22.8% between 2007 and 2014.

In Theory: Justices confirm faith in religious garments

In Theory: Justices confirm faith in religious garments

This month, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was rejected a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch store because she wore a head scarf.

In Theory: Is the Boy Scouts of America's religious freedom being threatened?

In Theory: Is the Boy Scouts of America's religious freedom being threatened?

Robert Gates, national president of the Boy Scouts of America, said last month he believes the organization’s ban on participation by openly gay adults “cannot be sustained” and called for a change to the policy.

In Theory: What do you think of National Children's Day?

John Ross of Batavia, Ill. has spearheaded a movement to proclaim the second Sunday in June as National Children’s Day.

In Theory: What can be done about the decline in religiosity?

In Theory: What can be done about the decline in religiosity?

The latest study by the Pew Research Center shows that the United States is less Christian than it used to be, and that fewer Americans are choosing to identify with any particular religion.

In Theory: Is it freedom of speech or antagonism?

In Theory: Is it freedom of speech or antagonism?

Pamela Geller, the organizer of the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in gunfire earlier this month, said she has no regrets and plans on hosting more events like it.

In Theory: On a former president leaving his faith

In Theory: On a former president leaving his faith

Last month, a 2009 column written by former President Jimmy Carter about his decision to quit his church on the basis of women’s rights resurfaced and went viral.

In Theory: A judge's 1st Amendment decision raises questions

A federal judge recently ruled that the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority cannot prohibit a pro-Israel group's controversial advertisement.

In Theory: Will the Pope's statement on the genocide help?

In Theory: Will the Pope's statement on the genocide help?

This month, Pope Francis called the deaths of 1.5 Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 "the first genocide of the 20th century."

In Theory: Should conversion therapy be banned?

In Theory: Should conversion therapy be banned?

The Obama administration on Wednesday spoke out against the use of "conversion therapy" on minors, the Los Angeles Times reports. The practice involves a mental health professional trying to...

In Theory: Does belief in a higher power inspire more risk-taking?

Reminders of God, or the concept of a supreme being, may make people more likely to take risks, according to a study at Stanford University.

In Theory: Will there ever be an atheist president?

Author Gary Scott Smith writes in the Washington Post that it's unlikely that an atheist could ever be elected president.

In Theory: Thoughts on NYC's pre-K prayer plan

In Theory: Thoughts on NYC's pre-K prayer plan

Last year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's "ambitious" free, full-day prekindergarten plan began with 53,000 children. While some programs are found in public schools, many are run by religious institutions and community-based organizations under city contract.

In Theory: Thoughts on Utah's SB 296

In a move that was hailed as a "milestone," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert this month signed into law SB 296

In Theory: When we talk Darwin, must we also include Creationism?

In Theory: When we talk Darwin, must we also include Creationism?

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has been criticized by intelligent-design advocates for allegedly canceling a series of events tied to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution rather than including alternative viewpoints toward evolution, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

In Theory: A hotline for people struggling with their faith

A new hotline launched in February aims to help people struggling between religion and atheism, according to the Religion News Service.

In Theory: Should news organizations begin investing in reporters with intimate religious understanding?

In a Feb. 16 column in the Catholic Herald, writer Conor Gaffey argues that news organizations need to begin investing in journalists who have an intimate...

In Theory: Should church leaders abstain from alcohol?

The Religion News Service recently surveyed representatives from five Christian denominations, asking them how they have addressed alcoholism among their leaders.

In Theory: Should religious institutions that receive public money have hiring practices open to all?

State lawmakers in Indiana are considering a bill that would allow religious institutions that receive government contracts to make hiring decisions based on religion, according to the Indianapolis Star.

In Theory: Are religious beliefs enough to exempt parents from vaccinating their children?

The ongoing measles outbreak tied to visitors at Disneyland in December has put increased scrutiny on the antivaccination population.

In Theory: Can secularism stem 'dangerous' ties between politics and religion?

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Rabbi David Rosen, the international director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, said the greatest threat to religion in the world is when it...

In Theory: Is Father Junipero Serra worthy of sainthood?

In Theory: Is Father Junipero Serra worthy of sainthood?

Pope Francis announced this month he plans to canonize and elevate to sainthood Father Junipero Serra, the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan priest who famously founded nine of the California missions.

In Theory: In wake of Paris attacks, is an unfair burden placed on the Muslim community?

In the wake of the attack on the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and the deadly hostage crisis at a Paris kosher market last week, the Muslim community has once again been thrust into the public eye. This, of course, comes less than a month after the hostage crisis at a Sydney café...

In Theory: What do recent numbers say about religion in America?

According to a survey published by the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, more than a quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith they were raised in for another religion or no religion at all. Within Christian Protestantism, if including changes from one denomination...

In Theory: Can a court restrict speaking about religion to kids?

As part of a custody dispute, a woman in Utah is fighting a court order that prohibits her from talking to her children about her fundamentalist Mormon beliefs, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

In Theory: What can we learn from #illridewithyou?

In Theory: What can we learn from #illridewithyou?

Last week, self-proclaimed Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis took 17 people hostage in a café in Sydney, Australia. After a 16-hour standoff, during which Monis reportedly demanded to speak with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and have an Islamic State flag brought to the café, police stormed...

In Theory: Should public displays of faith be taken out of sports?

All across sports, athletes are known to express their religious faith, from pointing to the heavens after a score to thanking their respective higher power in post-game interviews.

In Theory: Is Michigan's Religious Freedom Restoration Act necessary?

Lawmakers in Michigan are considering passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that would legally protect people from practicing “sincerely held religious beliefs,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

In Theory: Should sex-ed in schools tell the whole story?

The documentary “deepsouth” chronicles four people in the American South and how they are trying to find a solution to the region’s HIV epidemic. In the film, there is a scene where a health teacher in Mississippi uses candies in cups...

In Theory: How should faiths deal with uncomfortable truths?

A Washington Post blog post points out that in this digital age, when people can come across all manner of stories on the Internet, leaders of well-established religions are being forced to acknowledge certain historical truths and as a result are making concerted efforts to become more...

In Theory: Should the Washington National Cathedral be open to different faiths?

On a Friday afternoon earlier this month, a section of the Washington National Cathedral was reserved for the first-ever gathering of Muslims in the sanctuary, there for their weekly recitation of prayers. According to the Washington Post, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the cathedral who had...

In Theory: Should nonprofits endorse candidates?

According to a story on Politico.com, in the recent election some pastors across the nation endorsed candidates from the pulpit, ignoring IRS rules barring nonprofits from participating in...

In Theory: Letting the waves wash over them

A Nov. 2 article that appeared on worldreligionnews.com focused on the spiritual experiences shared by people who are religious and people who like to surf, including feelings of “wholeness,...

In Theory: Should we abolish capital punishment?

Speaking in late October to delegates from the International Assn. of Penal Law, Pope Francis called for the abolition not only of capital punishment, but also of life in prison, which he called a “hidden death penalty” and maximum security prisons, which he likened to torture chambers.

In Theory: On mandated tolerance at religious schools

After allegations last spring that several schools in Birmingham, England had been infiltrated by a group of people “with a restricted and narrow interpretation of...

In Theory: Spotting the morality of a parking app

In Theory: Spotting the morality of a parking app

The MonkeyParking smartphone app, which, in the words of a recent Los Angeles Times editorial, “allows drivers in parked cars to let others know when they are leaving parking spots — and to turn the...

In Theory: Does a prisoner have a right to facial hair?

The U.S. Supreme Court this month heard the case of Gregory Holt, a prisoner serving a life sentence in Arkansas who says he wants to grow a beard in observance of his religious beliefs. The state of Arkansas considers the converted Muslim, who now calls himself Abdul Maalik Muhammad, to be...

In Theory: What to do with a windfall of funds?

Officials at the LaSalle Street Church Chicago announced during a recent Sunday service that the church would be sharing 10% of a $1.6-million windfall, the result of the sale of a property, with all 320 members. Each would be given a $500 check to use as they desired. Senior Pastor Laura Truax said...

In Theory: Reflections on 'What's it all for?'

The British Humanist Assn. recently began a poster campaign in the London Underground offering a daily “Thought for the Commute,” not only to garner attention for the association, but also to get commuters to ponder the meaning of life.

In Theory: To spank or not to spank?

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was arrested earlier this month for alleged child abuse after he used a switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. In a statement issued Sept. 15, Peterson, who was later suspended indefinitely, said, in part, “My goal is always to teach my son...

In Theory: How would a united body of religions work?

Retired Israeli President Shimon Peres during a meeting with Pope Francis this month proposed a new global peace initiative: A “United Nations of Religions,” the Washington Post and other news sources reported.

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