RNS photo courtesy Huntsville Times

Film traces Southern preacher’s trip to hell and back

ATHENS, Ala. (RNS) A new film, “Hell and Mr. Fudge,'' follows the story of Edward Fudge as he began an intensive study of the Bible and the doctrine of hell. What he found made him question one of the bedrock doctrines of Bible-based Christianity — and nearly got him run out of town. By Kay Campbell.

RNS photo courtesy Ogden's Own Distillery

Idaho bans ‘Five Wives’ vodka over risque label

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Idaho regulators have decided not to carry Five Wives Vodka because of its label, while Utah booze cops have deemed the bottle’s depiction of 19th-century women in petticoats holding kittens near their lady parts as acceptable. By Dawn House.

COMMENTARY: We can do better

(RNS) We have seen ourselves up close and decided we can do better. Pouring a lifetime of earnings into showy living becomes embarrassing. Turning religion into shouting matches and rampant bigotry doesn't pass any gospel sniff test. By Tom Ehrich.

RNS photo by Amanda Greene

What Would Jesus Brew? Lots, beer makers say.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (RNS) Christopher McGarvey is a recent seminary graduate, a cantor at St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church and the brains behind the What Would Jesus Brew class — part of a yearlong Heavenly Homebrew Competition of church teams brewing individual beers for a fall event benefitting a hospice center. By Amanda Greene.

RNS photo by John O'Boyle/Star-Ledger

Pillsbury Bake-Off puts crimp in cook’s Passover prep

(RNS) Amy Siegel will compete in the Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando on Monday (March 26) with her strawberry swirl-peanut-butter-brownie cupcakes, but the contest is getting in the way of preparing her kitchen for Passover. By Vicki Hyman.

Photo by Nick S. Adams / USA Today.

Bowling lanes disappearing from U.S. churches

PEORIA, Ill. (RNS) When Max and Nancy Carson got married at St. Ann Catholic Church in 1974, the organ music was accompanied by the unmistakable sound of balls crashing into bowling pins from the basement. But now church bowling alleys are a dying breed, with fewer than 200 remaining in the U.S. By Judy Keen.

RNS photo courtesy Tim Schenck.

Saints compete for top ranking in ‘Lent Madness’

(RNS) Combining a love of sports and passion for the saints, the online “Lent Madness” competition includes 32 saints from the Episcopal calendar of saints who are eliminated one by one through online votes. By Annalisa Musarra.

RNS photo by Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger.

Fans to be shut out of Whitney Houston’s church funeral

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) With TV trucks and camera crews clogging the streets and thousands of fans hoping for a glimpse of the event, Whitney Houston's family has decided that no one but invited guests will get near her church funeral on Saturday. By James Queally and Peggy McGlone.