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8-year-old student not feminine enough, school says

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) The family of a little girl in western Virginia has removed her from her school after administrators said she did not appear feminine enough.     Sunnie Kahle, 8, likes autographed baseballs and hunting knives alon...
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Southern Baptists change their tone but not their substance on homosexuality (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission wrapped up a conference in Nashville this week outlining the denomination’s posture toward cultural changes and challenges on issues of marriage and sexuality. In a brief, 48-hour span, dozens of speaker...
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Remembering the Holocaust after the survivors are gone

(RNS) As aging Holocaust survivors gathered at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to celebrate its 20th anniversary last year, a question hung in the air: How will the world remember the Holocaust — the Nazis’ systematic murder of 6 million Jews —  when the last survivors are gone...
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Bishops object as Catholic universities offer same-sex benefits

(RNS) The decision by a Jesuit university in Nebraska to provide benefits to spouses of gay employees has prompted a strong protest from the local archbishop, the latest skirmish in a battle that seems likely to widen as gay marriage becomes more common. The Rev. Timothy Lannon, p...
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Negotiations with Boko Haram a farce, says Catholic priest

NAIROBI, Kenya ( RNS) While the Nigerian government negotiates with the Islamic militant group Boko Haram for the release of 200 abducted schoolgirls, some church leaders in the country’s conflict-ridden north are expressing doubts about any impending resolution. Nearly two weeks...
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America isn’t a ‘Christian nation,’ and never has been (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Right-wing Christians and the politicians who pander to them like to say that the United States was, is and always should be a “Christian nation.” Why, then, are they so obsessed about money and political power and so determined to make people afraid? After all, Jesus spen...
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Malaysian Muslims feel heat for petting dogs, and social media bites back

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (RNS) Syed Azmi Alhabshi has been labeled a heretic, a closet Christian, a Zionist spy or even a Shiite Muslim. His crime? Inviting other Muslims to touch a dog. The subsequent death threats and online abuse sent him into hiding, fearing for his life. So whe...
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An eerie calm: Iraqi Christians anxiously ponder their future

ALQOSH, Iraq (RNS) Basima al-Safar retouches a picture of Jesus on an easel outside her house overlooking the flat Nineveh plains, 30 miles north of Mosul. The murals she paints tell the story of her people, Christians in Iraq. But with Islamic State militants nearby, she is worri...
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Ted Olson: ‘Point of no return’ on gay marriage passed

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. WASHINGTON (RNS) Former solicitor general Theodore Olson, the Republican lawyer who argued Bush v. Gore and the challenge to California’s Pro...
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Why Americans want more religion in their politics (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) A plurality of Americans now say that they want a greater role for faith in our political life. So says the latest survey from the Pew Research Center on the subject of faith in America. According to the survey, 49 percent of all Americans said that they support churches and...
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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 and civ...
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