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Culture »

As one evangelical church ‘comes out’ for LGBT rights, others cast a wary eye

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Pastor Stan Mitchell’s announcement that his evangelical GracePointe Church would fully affirm gay members met with a standing ovation from some, stunned silence from others, but everybody prayed together quietly at the end of it. A month and a half…
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Faith »

On Purim, are Jews obligated to give money to panhandlers? (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) While teaching an adult class regarding our obligation to preserve the “kavod” or dignity of panhandlers, a predictable question arose: When I give money to someone on the street, how do I know they won’t use it for drugs or alcohol? Other questions followed: * H…
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Faith »

Our Lady of Revenue: NYC churches go on the market, leaving parishioners cynical

NEW YORK (RNS) Our Lady of Vilnius Church, built by families of immigrant Lithuanian longshoremen, started out a century ago as a beloved worship space. Now, it’s a coveted real estate asset. In 2013, six years after the church was closed, it was sold for $13 million to on…
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Politics »

If the US is a Christian nation, whose Christianity do we follow? (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) A recent survey found that 57 percent of Republicans agreed that Christianity should be established as the United States’ national religion. Not only would this violate the clear wording of the Constitution and the intention of the founders to keep religion and gover…
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Culture »

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox women make uphill battle for parliament

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s first political party created by ultra-Orthodox Jewish women is running a novel campaign for parliament: no media ads or endorsements by key rabbinical authorities, just word-of-mouth recommendations and faith. Yet the fact that women in the Haredi…
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