Scotus puts Scalia’s Smith decision on life support

scotus-puts-scalia’s-smith-decision-on-life-support

(RNS) — In his keynote address to the Federalist Society last November, Justice Samuel Alito hinted that it was time to overrule Employment Division v. Smith, the landmark 1990 decision that, as he put it, “cut back sharply on the protection provided by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.” Alito’s concurrence in Fulton … Read more

One in five young adult Mormons in the US are gay, lesbian or bisexual

one-in-five-young-adult-mormons-in-the-us-are-gay,-lesbian-or-bisexual

With data analysis by Benjamin Knoll More than a fifth of Generation Z Mormons do not self-identify as heterosexual, according to a major national study. One in ten are bisexual. The Nationscape dataset, which canvassed more than 318,000 Americans on a rolling basis in 2019 and 2020, had 3,881 self-identified members of the Church of … Read more

Albert Mohler’s darkest hour

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(RNS) — For more than 30 years, Dr. R. Albert Mohler has been among the best known and most revered leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, and when he chose to run for president of the country’s largest Protestant denomination, he was widely considered the favorite. But at their annual gathering this week, the 17,000 … Read more

The end of the oracular papacy

the-end-of-the-oracular-papacy

As the U.S. Catholic bishops conduct their semi-annual meeting virtually this week, the big question is whether they will approve a proposal to create a teaching document on the Eucharist that would deny the sacrament to politicians who support pro-choice policies. No one doubts that the proposal is directed at regular Mass-goer  Joe Biden, the … Read more

Why the SBC attacks on critical race theory are a good sign

why-the-sbc-attacks-on-critical-race-theory-are-a-good-sign

(RNS) — Nonviolent struggle is a martial art. “War without weapons,” it’s called by many practitioners.  And in martial arts, balance is taught to be a crucial part of victory in battle. Renowned 17th-century Japanese warrior Miyamoto Musashi advised that, once an opponent becomes wibbly-wobbly, “to follow up firmly on any loss of poise … … Read more

“In the Heights” is more Jewish than it seems

“in-the-heights”-is-more-jewish-than-it-seems

I am not a movie critic. But, I will tell you this. “In the Heights” is going to be the movie of the summer. Even though I am not in the Oscar-prediction business, I fully expect this movie to walk away with all sorts of awards. If it were only that we are grateful to … Read more

The social-media-examined life is not the one that sustains us

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(RNS) — I was recently asked if the life I lead — the public one, as a writer, speaker and “influencer” (as they say) — was the one I’d always envisioned for myself. The answer is no. My public life is not what feeds the desires of my heart. It is not the vision I … Read more

The bubbas-that-be in the SBC

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(RNS) — If you think it’s a coincidence that two accusatory letters from Russell Moore were leaked just before the Southern Baptist Convention convenes in Nashville, Tennessee, next week, I’ve got a big granite mountain east of Atlanta to sell you. The main business of the annual meeting will be to elect a new SBC … Read more

How do we talk to young people about Israel and the Palestinians?

how-do-we-talk-to-young-people-about-israel-and-the-palestinians?

(RNS) — “You lied to us!” Few sentences wound me, and other rabbis and educators, quite as deeply. Who is saying those words? Young Jews — college kids and young adults. About what did we supposedly lie to them? Israel. “Lied?” As in: “deliberately deceived?” Hardly. “Didn’t give them a larger, more nuanced picture of the … Read more

As Catholic bishops’ Communion war roils June meeting, look what’s not on the agenda

as-catholic-bishops’-communion-war-roils-june-meeting,-look-what’s-not-on-the-agenda

(RNS) — When the bishops gather virtually for their June meeting next week, all the attention will be focused on whether pro-choice Catholic politicians will be banned from Communion. The answer — spoiler alert! — is no. At the June 16-18 meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will only vote on whether to permit … Read more