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Charities fight changes on tax deductions

WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans who file income tax returns won't be affected by proposed changes in how charitable contributions are deducted, but that hasn't stopped charitable groups from lobbying Congress to fight any change in deductions as part of the "fiscal cliff'' negotiations. By Jackie Kucinich / USA Today.
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Brittany Maynard, right-to-die voice, advocates from the grave

(RNS) Brittany Maynard chose to die Nov. 1, but on what would have been her 30th birthday Wednesday (Nov. 19), her voice in support of the Right to Die movement rang loud. Maynard, who had an aggressive brain tumor, was the face of Compassion & Choices, the advocacy group campaign...
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Faith leaders join consumer advocates to push for lower payday loan rates

WASHINGTON (RNS) Dozens of faith leaders and consumer advocates are pressing Congress to create a national interest rate cap for payday lenders instead of the exorbitant three-digit rates currently charged to people in several states. Eighty activists from 22 states came to Washin...
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Pope warns against the ‘false sense of compassion’ in euthanasia

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has warned doctors and ethicists on several hot-button social issues, attacking abortion, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia as “playing with life” and “a sin against God.” In a strongly worded address that marked a departure for a pope who...
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Karen Armstrong on the connections between religion and violence

(RNS) In the West, the idea that religion is inherently violent is taken for granted by everyone from academics to cab drivers, says British religion scholar Karen Armstrong, the former Roman Catholic nun who wrote the best-selling “A History of God.” Her new book, “Fields of Bloo...
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Wheaton College tackles the death penalty with Jesus in mind (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) On Thursday (Nov. 6), Wheaton, “the Harvard of Christian colleges,” is hosting a forum on the death penalty. But it’s not just any forum. It has potential to reshape the way evangelicals in America think about the topic. In addition to Wheaton’s own ethicist Vincent Bacote a...
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Vatican ethicist: No dignity in Brittany Maynard’s physician-assisted death

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s top ethicist condemned Brittany Maynard’s decision to end her life, saying there was no dignity in her physician-assisted death. Maynard, 29, took a lethal prescription provided by a doctor under Oregon’s death-with-dignity law. She died in her bed...
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Brittany Maynard’s death: Does suffering have spiritual meaning?

WASHINGTON (RNS) When Brittany Maynard became the youthful face of the right-to-die movement, she brought to the public table several fierce debates.     Some people wouldn't call Maynard's death a ``suicide'' because, overwhelmingly, the people who commit suicide are people who ha...
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5 things to know about death and dying debates

WASHINGTON (RNS) Brittany Maynard’s decision to die soon by a legal, lethal prescription, rather than let a brain tumor kill her, has provoked a national conversation and debate about end-of-life decisions. In a new video, released Wednesday, she says she feels herself getting sic...
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Mikvahs seek security after hidden camera scandal

WASHINGTON (RNS) In the days since a prominent Orthodox rabbi was charged with spying on naked women in his synagogue’s mikvah, Jews who oversee the ritual baths across the country are rushing to reassure that the same scandal could not happen under their watch. Sharon Weiss-Green...
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Orphans abandoned, shunned in Africa’s Ebola crisis

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. MONROVIA, Liberia (RNS)  Ever since Frank Mulbah’s mother died of Ebola in August, no one will go near him. “I went to my relatives after m...
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