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Tracy Gordon

Tracy Gordon is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Tracy Gordon

Where was Jesus buried?

By Tracy Gordon — April 3, 2012

JERUSALEM (RNS) During Holy Week, Christians remember the familiar story of Jesus's death and resurrection. But exactly where does that story take place? The Bible offers only a few clues, and different groups of Christians have their own answers. By Kim Lawton.

Bart Ehrman’s new portrayal of Jesus is surprisingly sympathetic

By Tracy Gordon — April 3, 2012

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (RNS) As Christians prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, Bart Ehrman, an agnostic, convincingly demonstrates there was a historical Jesus. As for the "mythicists" who argue otherwise -- many of them his biggest fans -- Ehrman has some choice words: "sensationalist," "wrongheaded" and "amateurish." By Yonat Shimron.

Elderly married couple writes Pope Benedict XVI’s Good Friday talk

By Tracy Gordon — April 2, 2012

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has asked a couple who has been married for nearly 50 years to write the text of this year's traditional Via Crucis at the Colosseum on Good Friday. By Alessandro Speciale.

Women wear hijabs in support of slain Iraqi woman

By Tracy Gordon — April 2, 2012

(RNS) Jean Younis is a Christian but she's donning a headscarf to stand in solidarity with Shaima Alawadi, the Iraqi immigrant and mother of five who died March 24 three days after being beaten in her home in El Cajon, Calif. By Omar Sacirbey

Passover traditions reflect ethnic, regional customs

By Tracy Gordon — April 2, 2012

(RNS) When Jewish families sit down for the Passover seder on April 6, it's a safe bet that they'll eat matzo and ask the traditional Four Questions. It's less likely that they'll be hitting one another with scallions (although Iraqi Jews will) or following the Syrian tradition of saving a bit of matzo as a talisman for safe travels. By Debra Rubin.

Artists painstakingly transfer sacred stained glass windows

By Tracy Gordon — March 30, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) For nearly a century, the stained glass portrait of St. Patrick looked down on parishioners -- as if from the heavens -- from the massive nave of the sacred Heart church in this city's Vailsburg neighborhood.

Vatican wants to revive church’s role in fighting the Mafia

By Tracy Gordon — March 30, 2012

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican-sponsored event in the mother country of the mafia, Sicily, wants to revive the church's role in fighting the cultural roots of organized crime. By Alessandro Speciale.

Passover prep takes spring cleaning to a whole new level

By Tracy Gordon — March 30, 2012

JERUSALEM (RNS) While Passover cleaning has been around since the Israelites fled from bondage in Egypt, some say the lengths to which many modern Jewish families go to avoid the smallest piece of leavened material has turned the "festival of freedom" into a season of domestic slavery. By Michele Chabin.

Religious leaders press Village Voice on sex ads

By Tracy Gordon — March 29, 2012

(RNS) Faith leaders delivered more than 230,000 signatures to the office of Village Voice Media, demanding they shut down the adult advertising section on their website,, where advertisements for sex with underage minors have appeared. By Annalisa Musarra.

Jewish plastic surgeon in trouble over ‘Jewcan Sam’ video

By Tracy Gordon — March 29, 2012

(RNS) A plastic surgeon in Miami who's also an Orthodox Jew is in trouble after commissioning an Orthodox Jewish band to do a music video about rhinoplasty called "Jewcan Sam" which has gone viral on YouTube. By Lauren Markoe.

Dalai Lama wins Templeton Prize for work on science, religion

By Tracy Gordon — March 29, 2012

NEW YORK (RNS) The 2012 Templeton Prize, which recognizes "spiritual progress" in the world, was awarded to the Dalai Lama for his long-standing support of the engagement of religion and science. By Chris Herlinger.

COMMENTARY: Pride goeth before a sail

By Tracy Gordon — March 29, 2012

(RNS) Before we get swept up in romanticized versions of the tragedy of the Titanic 100 years ago, we need to remember what really happened and recall the biblical words of Proverbs: "Pride goes before destruction." By A. James Rudin.

Mississippi, Vermont score at opposite ends of religious spectrum

By Tracy Gordon — March 28, 2012

WASHINGTON (RNS) According to a new Gallup Poll, 59 percent of residents in Mississippi are "very religious," while a nearly identical share of Vermonters are nonreligious. By Annalisa Musarra.

One Psalm, two causes, two meanings

By Tracy Gordon — March 28, 2012

(RNS) For decades, Psalm 139 has been a byword of the anti-abortion movement that has used its line about being "knit together in my mother's womb." Now, its other verse about being "fearfully and wonderfully made" has been embraced by gay and lesbian Christians. By David Van Biema

Food pantry’s prayers violate federal rules

By Tracy Gordon — March 28, 2012

SEYMOUR, Ind. (RNS) After a court ruled that prayers at a food pantry violate federal guidelines, a food pantry here is faced with a Solomon-like choice: Stop the prayers or give up truckloads of free food provided through the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program. By Tim Evans.

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