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Pope Francis Says Church Must Examine Civil Unions

POPE_FRANCIS201310X400_0[1]Pope Francis called on the Catholic Church and its leaders to explore civil unions and how they provide for the economic security and well-being of same-sex couples, according to an interview with an Italian newspaper today. Speaking to Corriere della Sera, the 77-year-old Argentine pontiff said that some governments legalize civil unions “to regularize different situations of living together,” citing the need to provide stronger economic conditions, including access to health care, for a variety of couples. [Read more]

Preacher Instructs Female Church-Goers To Ditch Panties To Be Closer To God

mckenzie-kenya-christian-occult-cnn-640x480[1]Kenyan pastor Rev. Njohi is invoking some unorthodox practices at his church to get his members closer to God. He has reportedly encouraged his female congregants to remove their bras and underwear before coming to church, so that Christ can freely enter their bodies with his spirit, according to The Kenyan Daily Post. [Read more]

French Far Right: No Funds for Religious Groups

460x[1]Marine Le Pen, whose party is riding a wave of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim voter sentiment around Europe, says it will cut public funds to religious groups in towns where it wins municipal elections this month. Le Pen told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that secularism will be strictly applied in towns where her far-right National Front prevails on March 23 and 30, and that referendums will be held on major issues. [Read more]

“Ministers of the Gospel” Property Tax Exclusion Draws Fire

prop-tax-church[1]Clergy would be exempt from a proposed plan to limit the amount of income an employee can generate from an employer-owned property, thanks to a generous exclusion for “ministers of the gospel.” Under the plan — proposed by Michigan congressman Dave Camp — principal residence indebtedness would be limited to between $500,000 and $1 million, and real estate taxes would no longer be deductible. The amount of income excluded from taxation would also be limited under a provision called Internal Revenue Code section 119. [Read more]

Jesus’ Teaching on Hell

jesus-shroud[1]Most of what we believe about hell comes from Catholicism and ignorance of the Old Testament, not from the Bible. This study will cause you to re-examine current teaching on hell and urge you to further study on what happens to the wicked after death. I was righteously indignant when, a number of years ago, a caller uttered these words on a call-in radio show I was conducting. Perturbed by his haphazard use of Scripture, I pointed out to him and the audience, that hell couldn’t possibly be something invented by Catholic theologians because Jesus talked about it. [Read more]

Teaching Children That Dinosaurs Didn’t Exist: How Public Schools Fail Their Brief

Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton Isolated On White BackgroundReligious education in Australian schools should be scrutinised: most parents do not want children to be taught creationism, or their daughters told that their nipples are a ‘temptation to men’. A Victorian primary school principal last week described lessons in his school as “rubbish,” “hollow and empty rhetoric” and with “no value whatsoever.” He closed down the special religious instruction (SRI) classes and explained. [Read more]

Afraid to Criticize Islam?

jyllandsposten_crescent[1]If there is one thing the various world religions are not known for, it would have to be their tolerance of criticism. Throughout history, we have seen again and again what happens to “heretics” and “apostates,” and it generally isn’t pretty. Nick Collins has a thought-provoking article in The Telegraph about political impressionist, Rory Bremner. Bremner, like many comedians I suspect, says that he is afraid to joke about Islam. [Read more]

Passenger Tells Female Airline Captain: Bible Says Cockpit is ‘No Place for a Woman’

ctv_sexistnote_140305c1-615x345[1]A Canadian airline pilot said that she was shocked after receiving a recent note that cited the Bible as a reason flying airplanes were “no place for a woman.” WestJet pilot Carey Steacy told CTV that crews were cleaning the aircraft after a flight from Calgary to Victoria on Sunday, and they found the note from a passenger named “David” written on a napkin. [Read more]

Extreme Reaction to Bible Complaint

As most Iowans know by now, the Bible has been removed from rooms in the Iowa State University Memorial Union Hotel. [Read more]

Philly Schools Accused of Religious Beard Bias

The Department of Justice has accused the Philadelphia school district in a federal lawsuit of discriminating against an employee who said he couldn’t trim his beard for religious reasons. [Read more]

NY Rabbi and Teacher Arrested in Child Porn Case

A Brooklyn rabbi and teacher at a girls’ seminary has been arrested on a child pornography distribution charge. Prosecutors announced the arrest Wednesday of 52-year-old Samuel Waldman at his Brooklyn residence. [Read more]