Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a national correspondent for RNS, covering how faith intersects with politics, culture and other news. She previously served as online editor for Christianity Today where she remains an editor-at-large.
Here’s the faith in the ‘American Sniper’ you won’t see in the film
(RNS) “In that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them,” legendary sniper Chris Kyle wrote in his 2012 autobiography. “Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot.”
United Methodists settle complaint against bishop over same-sex wedding
(RNS) Retired Bishop Melvin Talbert, who served as the leader of United Methodists in San Francisco, ignored a request not to perform a same-sex ceremony in Alabama.
Controversial Episcopal seminary dean Katherine Hancock Ragsdale to step down
(RNS) Dean Katherine Hancock Ragsdale has been outspoken in her support of abortion rights, earning the title of “the high priestess of abortion” from critics.
7 ways religious affiliation will (and won’t) change in the new Congress
(RNS) Many of the nation’s smaller religious groups are more proportionally represented in the 114th Congress that is to be sworn in on Tuesday.
Police chaplain * Stained-glass cracks * Jesus’ birthplace: Tuesday’s Roundup
One of the police officers shot in Brooklyn was in a volunteer chaplain program. The stained-glass window industry isn’t doing so great. And Jesus’ birthplace is facing some modern-day struggles.
How adoption has forced evangelicals to grapple with race relations
(RNS) “People who previously assumed that racial prejudice was back in the Jim Crow era are awakened by it with their own kids,” said Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore.
Sydney siege * Pope’s pups * Christmas opposition: Monday’s Roundup
An armed terrorist is holding an unknown number of hostages in Australia. Pope Francis did not say puppies would go to heaven. Plus, why some Christians don’t celebrate Christmas.
Puppy heaven * hands up * gender-neutral marriage: Friday’s news roundup
Pope Francis argues for pups in heaven. Congressional staffers raise their hands outside the Capitol. Plus, Kansas is now issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses.
Bob Jones University president apologizes to victims of sexual assault as report is released
(RNS) A two-year investigation led by Billy Graham’s grandson concluded that the school poorly responded to victims of sexual assault.
Angelina Jolie defends ‘universal’ depiction of faith in ‘Unbroken’
(RNS) “He said he wanted the message to reach everyone,” Jolie said. “He said to make faith and forgiveness universal.”
Will Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ disappoint Christians? It depends
NEW YORK (RNS) The question is whether Hollywood can lure faith-based audiences with a story that’s based on faith but doesn’t pay much attention to it.
Gay activist’s campaign to show Christian love to Oregon bakers falls flat
(RNS) The idea was unwelcome from both gay activists and those who oppose same-sex marriage.
What ever happened to Rob Bell, the pastor who questioned the gates of hell?
(RNS) Exchanging his evangelical bona fides for the blessing of Oprah may yet prove — for some — to be Rob Bell’s most unforgivable sin. Which is not to say that he cares very much what anyone says these days.
Ferguson followup * Francis trip * Advent calendars: Monday’s Roundup
Churches urge both peace and activism after the decision in Ferguson. Pope Francis drew headlines during his trip to Turkey. Plus, 12 Advent calendars to keep you busy.
12 Advent calendars that are just as commercialized as Christmas
(RNS) While many lament the commercialization of Christmas, others aren’t letting Advent escape without a price tag.