Mormons’ love-hate relationship with America

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) As Americans celebrate the nation's founding, some Mormons may outdo their neighbors this week in fireworks, fanfare and frenzy to express their outsized patriotism. Other Mormons caution against linking political perspectives on American exceptionalism to specific theology or teachings. Peggy Fletcher Stack.

Can a creedless religion make it another 50 years?

BALTIMORE (RNS) A recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore ended with an apology. Laurel Mendes explained that religious doctrine had been duly scrubbed from the hymns in the congregation's Sunday program. But Mendes, a neo-pagan lay member who led the service, feared that a reference to God in “Once to Every Soul and Nation” might still upset the humanists in the pews. “I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable by reciting something that might be considered a profession of faith,” said Mendes, 52, after the service. “We did say `God,' which you don't often hear in our most politically correct hymns.”

Evangelicals press Congress on immigration

WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelical activists are pressing Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan — a tricky election-year issue that conservatives' GOP allies have been reluctant to take up. By Chris Lisee.

RNS photo by Kimberly Winston

Nonbelievers flex their political muscles

WASHINGTON (RNS) One of the biggest growth areas in political activism around religion is coming from an unlikely source: the nonreligious. And it's happening far from the marbled corridors of power in the nation's capital. Kimberly Winston tells why.

Religion News Service file photo courtesy of Pete Souza/The White House

White House releases public/private guidelines

WASHINGTON (RNS) A new White House report that offers guidance on public/private partnerships between the government and faith-based groups leaves critical questions unanswered and does not resolve the issue of religious groups' ability to discriminate in hiring and firing, church-state watchdogs said.