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Culture »

At Idaho wedding chapel, a hollow victory for religious freedom (COMMENTARY)

WASHINGTON (RNS) Same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho on Oct. 15, and within days, two faux clergy wedding profiteers and a gaggle of lawyers from the professional victim class began making headlines. At issue are thorny conflicts between religion and law, civil liberties…
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Culture »

Idaho city: Chapel owners exempt from discrimination law

(RNS) Husband-and-wife Pentecostal ministers who own a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, refused to marry same-sex couples after a recent court ruling, and the American Civil Liberties Union says that’s OK — as long as the chapel only operates as a religious establishm…
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Politics »

Is California forcing churches to pay for abortions?

(RNS) Religious groups are battling the state of California over whether employee health insurance plans require them to pay for abortions and some forms of contraception that some find immoral. So is the state forcing churches to pay for abortions? It depends on who you a…
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Culture »

Secularism grows as more U.S. Christians turn ‘churchless’

(RNS) If you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are “nones” — people who claim no particular religious identity — brace yourself. How does 38 percent sound? That’s what religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds “the unchurched, the never…
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Faith »

Pope Francis blasts supermax prisons as ‘torture’

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis said Thursday (Oct. 23) that keeping inmates isolated in maximum security prisons is “a form of torture,” and called life sentences “a hidden death penalty” that should be abolished along with capital punishment. “All Christians and people o…
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