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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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COMMENTARY: CIA torture report ought to disturb all our consciences

(RNS) At Easter, Christians celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead. But in light of new revelations of the CIA's abhorrent acts of torture, it's the United States that needs resurrection, too.     Details of the CIA's post-Sept. 11 torture campaign _ made worse, if that is possible,...
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Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green launches a new project: a public school Bible curriculum

(RNS) The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday (April 14) to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby president, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged arena at t...
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COMMENTARY: Lessons for our democracy from the not-so-distant past

(RNS) As latter-day partisans fling terms like ``dictator'' and ``Nazi,'' I decided to read William Shirer's classic book about the real thing.     In ``The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,'' the historian describes Adolf Hitler as a sad little man _ a layabout and chronic failure...
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Security enhanced at Jewish centers nationwide

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) Allan Finkelstein's phone began ringing soon after a gunman killed three people at two Jewish sites in the suburbs of Kansas City on Su...
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After battling addictions, Creed frontman Scott Stapp renews his faith

(RNS) Even in his darkest hours, trapped in a maelstrom of drugs, alcohol, and rock `n' roll, Scott Stapp never lost faith in God. The former Creed frontman said the only one he lost faith in was himself.     Beginning in the late 1990s, Stapp's soulful voice and Creed's guitar-pow...
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Don’t call it atheist church; secular communities are growing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (RNS) A group of nonbelievers held its first secular Sunday service here earlier this month. These meetings fill a need that area atheists say wasn't being met: Weekly get-togethers for like-minded people in a family-friendly environment.     The group is called Ka...
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COMMENTARY: Even Jesus had a tax man

(RNS) Feeling anxious about your tax liability as April 15 nears? The Bible has many references to taxes that will sound strangely relevant at this time of year  _ beginning with the story of David and Goliath.     Many remember a teenage boy offended by insults thrown by a giant f...
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Pope Francis asks forgiveness for clergy sex abuse scandal

(RNS) In his strongest personal remarks yet on the clergy sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis on Friday (April 11) asked forgiveness ``for the damage'' that abusive priests have inflicted on children and pledged that the Catholic Church ``will not take one step backward'' in efforts to...
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Questions persist after testing of `Jesus Wife’ papyrus

(RNS) A year and a half after unveiling a slip of papyrus that she dubbed ``The Gospel of Jesus's Wife,'' Harvard Bible scholar Karen King on Thursday (April 10) released the results of long-delayed testing on the controversial fragment that appear to show it is not a modern forgery...
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Is the Internet bad for religion?

(RNS) A new paper draws an intriguing conclusion to a question scholars have wrestled with for several decades: Why are Americans dropping out of church?     One reason? They're logging on to the Internet.     Allen Downey, a professor of computer science at Massachusetts' Olin Co...
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