Tracy Simmons serves as the editor and community manager of Spokane Faith & Values.
‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ at Washington state libraries attracts protesters
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
(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
(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
(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
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
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’
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’
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: Welcoming a sister
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
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
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
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
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?
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.