RNS Updated Budget — Monday, December 23, 2019

IMPEACH-EVANGELICALS: Impeachment debate suggests shifting religious and political winds
(RNS) – Scholars assess what has become an atypically religion-fueled impeachment debate, complete with Bible battles on the House floor, fierce debates over the nature of evangelicalism and a Billy Graham family feud. By Jack Jenkins. 1,410 words. (category: a)

RNS-HUMANIST-CHRISTMAS: Do humanists celebrate Christmas? Ethical humanist Anne Klaeysen on how the holidays can unite
(RNS) — Do ethical humanists celebrate Christmas? Yes, and other people of faith and no faith should, too, according to Anne Klaeysen, leader emerita of the New York Society for Ethical Culture. The holiday's humanistic messages can bring people together at a time the country feels divided. By Emily McFarlan Miller. 1,700 words. (category: a)

RNS-RamDass-Obit: Ram Dass, who introduced a generation to Hindu meditation, dies at 88
(RNS) — Pioneering the use of psychedelic drugs as spiritual practice, he also explored Buddhism and Hinduism, which took him to India and resulted in his 1971 best-selling book "Be Here Now." by Kimberly Winston. 1,117 words. (category: a)

RNS-CURIA-ADDRESS: In Christmas message, Pope Francis calls on Vatican officials to embrace change
VATICAN CITY (RNS) — As the decade comes to an end, Pope Francis focused on change — of all sorts — during his Dec. 21 Christmas speech to the cardinals and heads of the Vatican departments that make up the Roman Curia. “Christian life is a journey, a pilgrimage. The history of the Bible is a journey, marked by constantly new beginnings,” Francis told the officials gathered in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. By Claire Giangravé. 1,052 words. (category: i)

RNS-BETHEL-MEMORIAL: Church that prayed to resurrect girl from the dead is moving on with memorial service
(RNS) — Bethel Church announced Friday (Dec. 20) that it would be moving on with memorial services for the two-year-old child it prayed to resurrect from the dead. By Alejandra Molina. 275 words. (category: a)

RNS-USCIRF-Continues: Religious freedom agency reauthorized with Trump’s signature
WASHINGTON (RNS) — The independent religious freedom watchdog whose future was in question in recent months has been reauthorized after President Trump signed an omnibus bill on Friday (Dec. 20). By Adelle M. Banks. 500 words. (category: a)

RNS-Silk-Oped: Christianity Today roils the evangelical waters
(RNS) — Whatever its effect on the impeachment debate, CT's editorial calling for Trump's removal started a fight over Billy Graham's legacy. By Mark Silk. 1,110 words. (category: k)

RNS-Moore-Oped: Christianity Today's anti-Trump editorial misrepresents the evangelical masses
(RNS) — The editorial's chief contribution was to pull back the veil on the divide between self-proclaimed 'elite evangelicals' and the mass of Christians who support the president, writes a member of the president's unofficial evangelical advisory board. By Johnnie Moore. 1,046 words. (category: k)

RNS-Rifkin-Oped: A spiritual icon to the Boomers, Ram Dass was godfather to the 'nones'
(RNS) — His first book, “Be Here Now,” was full of life lessons for those seeking sense after the hippy scene descended into chaos and excess. But his legacy can best be seen in the burgeoning “spiritual but not religious” movement that continues to siphon dissatisfied, mostly young, people from the traditional Western religious faiths. By Ira Rifkin. 1,200 words. (category: k)

RNS-Riess-Oped: When pastors were spies
(RNS) — The East German secret police used a network of Christian pastors and theologians as informants. Forty years later, thanks to author Elizabeth Braw, their stories are coming to light. A Q&A. By Jana Riess. 1,550 words. (category: k)

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