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Paul O'Donnell

Paul O'Donnell is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Paul O'Donnell

‘We still have work to do’: How to understand the new Juneteenth holiday

By Paul O'Donnell — June 18, 2021
(RNS) — Theon Hill, an expert on rhetoric, race and social change in American culture, discusses Juneteenth and how holidays in general reflect our realities as well as our aspirations as a nation.

A guide to what’s at stake at the Southern Baptist Convention’s historic annual meeting

By Paul O'Donnell — June 15, 2021
(RNS) — A one-stop update on what will be decided in Nashville, and how the Southern Baptists arrived at their crossroads on race, gender and sexual abuse.

Leaked Russell Moore letter blasts SBC conservatives, sheds light on his resignation

By Paul O'Donnell, Bob Smietana — June 2, 2021
(RNS) — In a letter written more than a year before his resignation, Moore explained his troubles with the SBC leadership in bitterly frank terms. Then-President Donald Trump barely makes an appearance.

Lutherans elect Megan Rohrer first transgender bishop

By Paul O'Donnell — May 9, 2021
(RNS) — The San Francisco pastor is the first transgender person to be elected bishop in the denomination or in any of the US' major Christian faiths.

Man or robot? Justin Baldoni takes on masculinity in a new book

By Paul O'Donnell — May 7, 2021
(RNS) — 'You can be masculine,' said the film director and 'Jane the Virgin' actor, 'but not at the expense of your humanity.'

Somber, deeply Anglican funeral honors Prince Philip for his service and devotion

By Paul O'Donnell — April 17, 2021
(RNS) — Hewing closely to the traditional Anglican funeral liturgy, the service's hymns and readings reflected Philip's service in the Royal Navy and his environmental work, with only a nod to his Greek Orthodox beginnings.

Anglican convert and Pacific Island deity: 5 faith facts about Prince Philip

By Paul O'Donnell — April 9, 2021
(RNS) — Married for 73 years to the head of the Church of England, the prince consort built a religious profile that was more complicated than his official role might suggest.

Adapting a faith-led effort to fight opioids to encourage vaccinations

By Paul O'Donnell — April 8, 2021
(RNS) — Using a model to educate clergy about substance use disorders is being adapted to defeat uncertainty about the vaccine.

Brian Houston apologizes for Hillsong NYC’s ‘failings,’ promises whistleblower policy

By Paul O'Donnell — March 4, 2021
(RNS) — ‘On behalf of the Global Board and as Global Senior Pastor, I accept responsibility for these failings and apologize unreservedly,’ Houston wrote in an email addressed to ‘Dear Church.’

Rihanna’s Instagram pose with Ganesh earns criticism from Hindus

By Paul O'Donnell — February 19, 2021
(RNS) — Rihanna's topless Instagram portrait featuring a pendant depicting a Hindu deity drew calls of blasphemy — and payback for her recent comments on India's farm crisis.

Florida church says offering free beach parking is a religious act. Judge agrees.

By Paul O'Donnell — January 29, 2021
(RNS) — A federal judge ruled this week that the city could not stop a local church from allowing beachgoers to use its parking lot, calling the practice a legitimate ministry.

How the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation got included in Congress’ $900 billion relief bill

By Paul O'Donnell — December 24, 2020
(RNS) — The bill’s concern with reincarnation is aimed at reining in China’s meddling in Tibet’s religious affairs.

Ranin Karim, woman in Carl Lentz’s alleged affair, seeks ‘closure’ in GMA interview

By Paul O'Donnell — November 20, 2020
(RNS) — 'When you give somebody so much power, they become God to people,' Ranin Karim told GMA. 'People look at Carl like he's God.'

Raphael Warnock, heir to MLK’s pulpit, heads for runoff for Georgia Senate seat

By Paul O'Donnell, Adelle M. Banks — November 3, 2020
(RNS) — The pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, once co-pastored by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., now faces incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

In Disney’s ‘Clouds,’ Justin Baldoni makes a teen cancer movie about joy

By Paul O'Donnell — October 23, 2020
(RNS) — Justin Baldoni, best known for his role on the CW's 'Jane the Virgin', has modeled his career of late around Western culture's allergy to talking about death.
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