Mr. President, J’accuse!

In 1898, Émile Zola stunned the French nation by publishing “J'accuse,” an open letter to French President Félix Faure charging him with anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus. Tom Junod's stunning article in the latest Esquire, “The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama,” is a “J'accuse” for 21st century America.

RNS photo courtesy Pete Souza / The White House

Catholic hospitals reject Obama’s birth control compromise

(RNS) In a blow to the Obama administration and a boon for the Catholic bishops, the influential Catholic Health Association that supported health care reform has rejected the White House’s proposals that were aimed at addressing faith-based objections to the controversial contraception mandate. By David Gibson.

RNS photo courtesy Tim Pierce / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/548661793/)

Federal appeals court rules against gay marriage ban

(RNS) A federal appeals court in Boston has ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, setting up a potential showdown over same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court and providing another culture war issue for the already contentious presidential campaign. By David Gibson.

RNS photo courtesy U.S. Department of State from United States [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Gary_Locke_With_Chen_Guangcheng_May_1,_2012.jpg)

Is Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng pro-life?

(RNS) During the dramatic diplomatic negotiations over blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, anti-abortion groups in the U.S. hailed Chen as one of their own. But Chen is now in the U.S., and he may not be as “pro-life'' as some of his American supporters assumed. By David Gibson.

President Obama endorses same-sex marriage, religious leaders respond

Citing his Christian faith, President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC news on Wednesday. “At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said, less than a week after Vice President Joe Biden also backed same-sex marriage.  “I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama said. “I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.” Obama's announcement on Wednesday marked a shift in his religious views on marriage. When he was campaigning for the Senate in 2004, Obama said: “What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting.” Obama repeated that sentiment in a 2008 campaign event at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, saying “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

RNS photo by Josh Haner/New York Times

Why Ross Douthat thinks we’re ‘a nation of heretics’

(RNS) New York Times columnist Ross Douthat doesn't mince words in his new book “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.”  In an interview with Religion News Service, Douthat explains his definition of heresy, why he thinks Mitt Romney and President Obama are both heretics, and why more Americans should argue about religion. By Daniel Burke.

RNS file photo by Ted Parks.

Louis Farrakhan blasts Jews, Obama

(RNS) Saying “I'm not anti-Semitic, I'm just telling the truth,” Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told followers that Jews control the media and entertainment industries, and said President Obama could be assassinated in an inside plot that could be blamed on Muslims. By Omar Sacirbey