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Tracy Simmons

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

All Stories by Tracy Simmons

Washington voters weigh the ethics of genetically modified foods

By Tracy Simmons — 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’

By Tracy Simmons — 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’

By Tracy Simmons — 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

By Tracy Simmons — 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

By Tracy Simmons — 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

By Tracy Simmons — 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

By Tracy Simmons — 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

By Tracy Simmons — 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

By Tracy Simmons — 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?

By Tracy Simmons — 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.

Sravasti Abbey a dream fulfilled for American Budddhist nuns

By Tracy Simmons — May 7, 2012

NEWPORT, Wash. (RNS) Just outside of town, Sravasti Abbey is one of the only monastic communities in the West for Americans to study the Buddha's teachings. The abbey now has five U.S.-born, fully ordained nuns, which allows ceremonies to be held. By Tracy Simmons.

Pro-Tutu petitions flood Gonzaga

By Tracy Simmons — April 23, 2012

(RNS) After nearly 700 people tried to push Gonzaga University to rescind its commencement speaker's invitation to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, supporters of the anti-apartheid hero responded with 11,000 signatures of their own. By Tracy Simmons.

Alumni don’t want Desmond Tutu to speak at Gonzaga

By Tracy Simmons — April 13, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) A group of alumni at Gonzaga University is pressing the school to rescind an invitation to Archbishop Desmond Tutu as commencement speaker, saying the anti-apartheid activist supports abortion and homosexuality. By Tracy Simmons.

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