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Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons serves as the editor and community manager of Spokane Faith & Values.

All Stories by Tracy Simmons

‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ at Washington state libraries attracts protesters

June 21, 2019

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) — As drag queens read ‘Not all Princesses Wear Pink’ and ‘Love Is Love Is Love’ inside, protesters cited the Apostle Paul in saying that God’s wrath will be revealed.

Portland bans discrimination against atheists, other nonbelievers

March 4, 2019

(RNS) — Portland now bans discrimination against atheists, agnostics, and those who don’t believe in “god or gods.”

Fires at Jehovah’s Witness halls in Washington state puzzle authorities

December 11, 2018

(RNS) — Blazes that were purposely set have damaged or destroyed five of the Olympia area’s kingdom halls in the past nine months.

Some protest, others celebrate Roe v. Wade with festive meals

January 22, 2014

(RNS) Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho is hosting “Celebrate Roe” parties throughout the region to commemorate “reproductive justice.” It’s a tradition started by Mary Wissink 41 years ago.

Update: Washington voters reject genetically modified foods measure

November 6, 2013

Initiative 522 would have required product labels to disclose when genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are included in grocery store items.

Washington voters weigh the ethics of genetically modified foods

November 4, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Proponents of the initiative say it’s an ethical issue about giving consumers the right to know what they’re eating.

Pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims straight ‘to hell’

June 21, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) An Idaho company has launched a line of bullets coated in pork-infused paint, saying the bullets “don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell.”

Victims raise profile of ‘spiritual abuse’

March 25, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Spiritual abuse is when authoritarian religious groups use power and control to instill fear and guilt into worshippers. Similar to domestic abuse, if victims don’t deal with the trauma, survivor Karen Wanjico said, it can damage one’s mental health, relationships and worldview.

Audio Slideshow: Spokane mass celebrates new pope

March 15, 2013

Today Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane celebrated Mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in honor of Pope Francis, the newly elected pope.

Audio Slideshow: Welcoming a sister

January 21, 2013

NEWPORT, Wash. (RNS) On Sunday Sravasti Abbey welcomed a new novice nun to its community. In an ordination ceremony Daniela Mieritz took vows and became Venerable Thubten Jampa. Ruby Pan also took vows to become an Anagarkia.

U.S. mosques struggle with shortage of imams

January 14, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) The Spokane Islamic Center wants something mosques all across the country are seeking and can’t seem to find: an educated, bilingual, experienced imam who understands American culture. So far, the search has taken 18 months. By Tracy Simmons.

Lesbian answers bishop’s call for dialogue on gay marriage

October 30, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) The Catholic bishop here has asked for an honest dialogue about same-sex marriage, so Charlene Strong was happy to take him up on his offer, telling a Catholic campus why the state's domestic partnership law was insufficient when her partner of 10 years was dying. By Tracy Simmons.

Woman crusades to save sister’s life, end the death penalty

October 29, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Victoria Ann Thorpe's sister has been on death row for 18 years for a crime she says she didn't commit. Now Thorpe is leading a grass-roots campaign to abolish the death penalty in Washington state, saying Jesus would never tolerate it. “Nothing that he did or said can be manipulated into harshness,” she said. By Tracy Simmons.

Washington churches told not to collect funds for gay marriage fight

August 30, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Churches in Washington state are being reminded that collecting money for a political cause is not OK — including a high-stakes ballot battle over gay marriage. By Tracy Simmons.


Can conservatives overcome Washington’s secular bent to ban gay marriage?

June 15, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Conservative activists are confident they can overturn the state's gay marriage law this November, but one thing might get in the way — the more than 4 million voters in the state who are “unchurched.” By Tracy Simmons.

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