Supporters pray during the “Nuns on the Bus” kick-off rally on May 29, 2013 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. RNS photo by David Gibson

‘Nuns on the Bus’ kick off immigration tour

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (RNS) With the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, the “Nuns on the Bus” on Wednesday kicked off a cross-country tour for immigration reform aimed at giving a faith-based push to legislation that is hanging in the balance in Congress.

Fiona Shaw in a scene from The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín, directed by Deborah Warner.  Photo by Paul Kolnik/courtesy The Testament of Mary production

A controversial Broadway play on the Virgin Mary closes Why?

NEW YORK (RNS) A Tony-nominated play with a controversial take on the Virgin Mary reflecting on her life closed far earlier than planned. Now the question is: Why? After all, biblically themed shows are all the rage on television and in the movies. Was “The Testament of Mary” too controversial – or not controversial enough?

Defaced billboard

Newest front in the Christmas wars: billboards

(RNS) A billboard bearing a positive message about atheism has been vandalized — again. A billboard posted in Chico, Calif., that originally read “Don’t believe in God? Join the club” was defaced on Dec. 12, less than a week after it appeared, with vandals removing the word “don’t.” The billboard was one of 12 purchased this month by a local chapter of the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR),  a national organization that works to unite small, local groups of atheists and other freethinkers. They are the latest in a long line of billboards erected by atheist groups to draw ire, both locally and nationally.