United States

Pope Francis looks down

American Catholics Reel after Sweeping Allegations of Clergy Child Sex Abuse

August 29, 2018

On August 14, a Pennsylvania grand jury released a sweeping, 1400-page report on clergy child sex abuse in six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses.

Over the course of two years, the grand jury reviewed over 500,000 subpoenaed internal diocesan documents containing “credible allegations” of clergy sexual abuse of teenage and prepubescent youth—including babies as young as 18 months old.

In all, the grand jury found over 1,000 victims of sex abuse by clergy and named...

Read more about American Catholics Reel after Sweeping Allegations of Clergy Child Sex Abuse
Protesters and counter-protesters hold signs at the women's march

Civil Rights Groups Question New Religious Liberty Task Force

August 4, 2018

During the Justice Department’s Religious Liberty Summit Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force” designed to interpret and enforce a set of religious liberty guidelines instituted under the Trump administration.

“A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom,” Sessions said Monday. “We have gotten to the point where...

Read more about Civil Rights Groups Question New Religious Liberty Task Force
Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions

In Rare Bipartisan Outcry Against Migrant Family Separation, White Evangelicals Avoid Implicating Trump

June 24, 2018

Two months after the White House announced a new “zero-tolerance” policy for “illegal border crossings” on the Southwest Border, the Trump administration faced perhaps its most vociferous and bipartisan pushback yet. While the policy’s wording was vague, reports have indicated that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been charged with criminally detaining every person that arrives at the border—including asylum seekers, who have...

Read more about In Rare Bipartisan Outcry Against Migrant Family Separation, White Evangelicals Avoid Implicating Trump
Louisiana State Seal

Louisiana Republicans Fight to Keep Unenforceable Anti-Sodomy Law

May 1, 2018

A new anti-bestiality bill has passed the Louisiana Senate despite pushback from 10 Republican members who fear the law would help overturn existing sodomy laws.

State Sen. J.P. Morrell, who proposed the bill, said the state’s current law—which bundles bestiality and sodomy together as illegal “crimes against nature”—is unenforceable and thus needs to be updated.

State laws prohibiting “crimes against nature” have historically been...

Read more about Louisiana Republicans Fight to Keep Unenforceable Anti-Sodomy Law
13 Reasons Why logo

Christian Group Petitions Netflix to Cancel "13 Reasons Why" Series

April 18, 2018

As many anticipate a release date for the second season of hit Netflix drama “13 Reasons Why,” one conservative Christian organization is lobbying for Netflix to pull it from production altogether.

The American Family Association (AFA), founded in 1977, has stated goals of “restrain[ing] evil by exposing the world of darkness” and “motivat[ing] people to take a stand on cultural and moral issues” by sending out mobilizing emails, promoting boycotts, and lobbying. While the organization typically associates with...

Read more about Christian Group Petitions Netflix to Cancel "13 Reasons Why" Series
Child prays

Kentucky House Bill Would Establish Statewide Day of Prayer for Students

March 20, 2018

The Kentucky House passed a bill Thursday that would establish a state-recognized “Day of Prayer” on the last Wednesday in September every year.

The bill, sponsored by Republican representative Regina Huff and four other Republicans, received overwhelming support by House members, passing 83-5. It will now move on to the Kentucky Senate.

Huff said that the bill was inspired by students in her district, who she said “want to know that we are...

Read more about Kentucky House Bill Would Establish Statewide Day of Prayer for Students
AR-15 decorated with American flag

Church Holds Commitment Ceremony With Assault-style Rifles

March 16, 2018

Just two weeks after a gunman killed 17 students, teachers, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, worshipers gathered in Pennsylvania for an elaborate ceremony touting the same assault-style rifles used in the shooting.

According to leaders, the ceremony was intended to serve as a commitment ceremony for heterosexual couples. Participants donned wedding attire and carried rifles as emblems of their commitment to protecting themselves and their community. Several wore crowns made of bullets.

The ceremony was designed and carried out...

Read more about Church Holds Commitment Ceremony With Assault-style Rifles
Students hold signs, "Thoughts and Prayers Don't Save Lives, Gun Reform Will"

After Deadly Florida Mass Shooting, Faith Groups Follow Students' Lead

February 24, 2018

In the days following one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, religious groups have mobilized to support a new swell of gun regulation activism. After a gunman killed 17 students, teachers, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, students from the school have received unprecedented press attention as they have engaged with politicians, National Rifle Association representatives, and corporations in an effort...

Read more about After Deadly Florida Mass Shooting, Faith Groups Follow Students' Lead
Trump at 2017 National Prayer Breakfast

Before National Prayer Breakfast, Muslims and Evangelicals Connect

February 18, 2018

Last week, the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast rounded off a three-day event promoting interfaith communication and understanding.

Compared to the 2017 prayer breakfast, during which newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump sparked controversy by promising to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment and mocking fellow reality TV personality Arnold Schwarzenegger’s television ratings, some saw Trump’s 2018 speech as being comparatively “subdued.”

The president’s 14-...

Read more about Before National Prayer Breakfast, Muslims and Evangelicals Connect
Burns Strider

Clinton Kept 2008 Faith Adviser Despite Harassment Allegations

January 31, 2018

Hillary Clinton opted to keep on her senior faith adviser despite sexual harassment allegations during her 2008 presidential campaign, the New York Times reported late last week.

Burns Strider, a 52-year-old who has made a name for himself as a liaison between the Democratic Party and influential faith leaders, reportedly harassed a 30-year-old coworker with whom he shared an office. The New York...

Read more about Clinton Kept 2008 Faith Adviser Despite Harassment Allegations
Russell M. Nelson

LDS Church Announces New President

January 19, 2018

Two weeks after the death of leader Thomas S. Monson, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a new president.

93-year old Russell M. Nelson will take the helm as the 17th president of the Church, LDS leaders announced via live broadcast Tuesday. Nelson’s “setting apart” was no surprise—the LDS Church operates according to a fairly predictable hierarchy, and as first counselor to President Monson, Nelson was expected to take his place.

In a live broadcast...

Read more about LDS Church Announces New President
Roy Moore

Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Split Voter Base for Republican Roy Moore

November 21, 2017

Earlier this month, Republican nominee in Alabama for the U.S. Senate Roy Moore came under fire for allegations of sexual misconduct with minors as young as age 14 in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

On November 9, The Washington Post reported that, while working as a prosecutor in Alabama’s Etowah County, Moore allegedly propositioned...

Read more about Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Split Voter Base for Republican Roy Moore
Counter-protester clergy link arms at Unite the Right rally

While Religious Groups Condemn Trump’s Charlottesville Comments, Evangelicals Remain Devoted

August 27, 2017

After a white supremacist rally resulted in the death of a counter-protester, President Donald Trump has been criticized from religious leaders of a variety of political leanings, but has largely retained the support of white evangelicals, who overwhelmingly voted for him in the 2016 election.

The Saturday, August 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia saw the coalescence of assorted white nationalist...

Read more about While Religious Groups Condemn Trump’s Charlottesville Comments, Evangelicals Remain Devoted
Empty LDS conference center

LDS General Authority Excommunicated, First in Decades

August 11, 2017

A mid-level Mormon church official was removed from his post and excommunicated from the church Tuesday—the first excommunication of an LDS leader in almost three decades.

59-year-old James J. Hamula had served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy—a body of leadership just below the church’s First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles—since 2008. This body of top officials, together called General Authorities, are the only leaders that work for the church full-time, leaving behind their former careers. Hamula had previously worked as a lawyer.

The Church of...

Read more about LDS General Authority Excommunicated, First in Decades
Gay vet supporting trans rights

Trump’s Twitter Policymaking Jeopardizes Transgender Troops

July 28, 2017

On Wednesday, President Trump announced in a series of three tweets that the United States military will no longer allow transgender people to serve “in any capacity” on the grounds that transgender troops cause the military to “be burdened with tremendous medical costs and disruption.”

Transgender people have only been allowed to serve openly in the Armed Forces since last year, when the Obama administration...

Read more about Trump’s Twitter Policymaking Jeopardizes Transgender Troops

Pages