CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The Church of England is facing a grave constitutional crisis as a result of last week’s failure to allow women bishops. Church leaders are urging a suspension of the rules to allow a second vote, as members of Parliament say they'll move to force the church to abide by civil anti-discrimination laws. By Trevor Grundy.
(RNS) The recession continued to affect how much Americans gave to charity last year, and the triple whammy of Superstorm Sandy, a national election and the looming fiscal cliff may cut how much we donate in the crucial final month of 2012, experts say. By Elizabeth Weise / USA Today.
As it dawns on the Republican Party that the American people are not entirely down with the Norquistian anti-tax pledge, so is it dawning that the upper hand in the culture war may not lie with religious conservatives. So along comes Richard Stearns, president of the evangelical international aid agency World Vision, with a call to Christians to lay down their arms.
The Saudis make a great deal of their honorific as the “Caretaker of the two Noble Sanctuaries” in Mecca and Medina. One has to wonder about a kind of Care that says no to the legacy of Muhammad, bulldozes it, and invites Paris Hilton in its place.
“This book is like a baby that needs to be born and I am looking for a stable.” Can we just say that as a general rule it’s a bad idea to compare your book to baby Jesus? Baby Jesus did not need editing. Mary didn’t send the bambino back and say, “Well, all the basic baby organs are in place, but his eyes are too far apart, and he has redundant navels, and I’m not thrilled with the proposed Jesus title. Can you fix those problems in the second draft?” Those are the kinds of things an editor does.
(RNS) Are American students making the grade when it comes to ethics? A new survey from the Josephson Institute of Ethics finds that the portion of high school students who admit to cheating, lying or stealing dropped in 2012 for the first time in a decade. By Cathy Payne / USA Today.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (RNS) Until his recent retirement, the Rev. Dale Schaefer spent most Sunday mornings wearing vestments and leading worship services at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. Whenever he had a day off, the soft-spoken preacher would slip a helmet over his gray hair, don a racing suit, and climb into the cockpit of a 750-horsepower dragster he built from the ground up. By David Yonke.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The Rev. Don Wester believes homilies should be practical and direct — that they should draw a connection between the everyday struggles of parishioners and biblical truths. And it’s exactly the kind of preaching that Catholic bishops across America are hoping for as part of a new national effort to improve preaching at Catholic parishes. By Tim Townsend.
CONCORD, N.H. (RNS) When Gene Robinson became the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in 2003, his election triggered shock waves and fears of schism worldwide. Now, as this lighting-rod figure prepares to retire Jan. 5, he’s leaving New Hampshire for a city that knows polarization all too well: Washington, D.C. By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.
A couple of weeks ago I called attention to a striking graphic from the Public Religion Research Institute that compared the religious layout of the Obama and Romney coalitions with the religious layout of the electorate by age cohort. Short version: Obama's (i.e. Dems) looks like the electorate of the future; Romney's (i.e. GOP's), like the electorate of the past.
I started this series with some softball advice: Don't mention in a query letter that God told you to write this book. Most of you were probably patting yourselves on the back when you read that, because you're not psychotic. (Well done, you!) So today's advice is a little less intuitive to sane people: don't tell your publisher that you're happy to do interviews.