November 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - An amendment from Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) would expand the types of religious groups exempted from a proposed ban on workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgendered people. His plan would also strengthen the language shielding religious employers from the antibias bill, which Toomey supported Monday night, with reservations. As part of the wrangling over Toomey's support for a key procedural vote, he won assurances that he will be able to offer his amendment before the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
October 21, 2013 |
Pastor Bonnie Ortiz raised her voice and pumped a fist in the air. It was near 1 p.m. on a recent Sunday at Bethel United Church of Christ, and she was delivering another impassioned sermon. Preaching on the parable of the sower, Ortiz reflected on families who have strayed from her Olney church. Excuses for missing Sunday services, she told the congregation in Spanish, are often lame: taking time for department-store sales, football games. Her son, boxer Gabriel Rosado, sat alone in a pew and listened with his head resting on his fists.
October 6, 2013 |
FOR 107 years old, Calvary Baptist Church isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The West Philadelphia congregation is led by a dynamic music ministry that keeps worshippers on their feet, and a powerful preacher, Pastor Garth G. Gittens, who's the host of a daily podcast on Praise 103.9FM. Calvary, which celebrates its 107th anniversary this weekend, is about to start a multimillion-dollar renovation project that will expand the church's seating capacity, add commercial space for small businesses and include a community center.
October 3, 2013 |
TEAMS ARE PLAYING press/man coverage to eliminate the bubble screens and other short, quick throws the Eagles were using to great effect the first few games. But the Birds' running attack remains potent, DeSean Jackson said, and he still thinks he can get open against any cornerback playing him one-on-one, even with potential help from a single high safety. "It's almost like you pick your poison," Jackson said yesterday, as the Eagles tried to put Sunday's 52-20 shellacking in Denver behind them and turn the focus to Sunday's visit with the Giants.
September 28, 2013 |
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday praised shale gas developers for being "pioneers of the future" who must resist being held back by "prison guards of the past. " The former Republican presidential candidate told a natural gas industry conference at the Convention Center that new discoveries of oil and gas from shale formations had reversed the nation's energy fortunes, thanks to the much-maligned practice of hydraulic fracturing. "There are people who don't want this future, who don't want these competitive ideas," Gingrich said during closing remarks at the two-day Shale Insight conference sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
September 27, 2013
A FEDERAL appeals court has thrown enforcement of one of the Affordable Care Act's mandates into confusion by accepting a bizarre argument: that businesses can refuse on religious grounds to include birth control in employee health plans. The health-care reform law mandates that if employers provide insurance plans, they must include preventive services, including those specifically for women. Relying on advice from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the administration is insisting on coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
August 15, 2013 |
IF STATE AND CITY political leaders aren't able to secure $180 million in funding for the School District of Philadelphia, then a group of local congregations may seek to boycott schools when they open Sept. 9, the coalition announced earlier this week. POWER, Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild, a faith-based community organization representing 41 congregations, is calling on the state and city to provide a "safe and quality environment on the first day of school," said a spokesman for the group, Bishop Dwayne Royster.
August 9, 2013 |
THE RHAWNHURST faith-healing couple charged with causing the death of their sick baby by praying for him instead of taking him to a doctor will stand trial for murder, a judge affirmed yesterday. In separate hearings, attorneys for Herbert and Catherine Schaible asked that third-degree murder charges be dropped for lack of evidence. But Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner concluded that the District Attorney's Office had ample evidence and rejected those requests, saying, "We've been here before" and, "This is not a close case.
August 7, 2013 |
Whenever I write sympathetically about religion, I get bombarded by tweets and notes from readers who cannot abide the idea that religious belief should be seen as intellectually serious. Getting lambasted doesn't bother me. But my correspondents underscore the existence of a strong antireligious current within a segment of the liberal community that is both an important political fact and a potential problem for progressives. Here's the challenge: Americans who are left-of-center are far more religiously diverse than their opponents on the conservative side.
July 27, 2013 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - Pope Francis showed his rebel side Thursday, urging young Catholics to shake up the church and make a "mess" in their dioceses by going out into the streets to spread the faith. It's a message he put into practice by visiting one of Rio's most violent slums and opening the church's World Youth Day on a rain-soaked Copacabana Beach. Francis was elected pope on a mandate to reform the church, and in four months he has started doing just that: He has broken long-held Vatican rules on everything from where he lays his head at night to how saints are made.