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NEWS
July 27, 1986 | By Ellen Warren, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Religious groups, anti-pornography activists and Christian bookstore owners are about to do something they thought they'd never do: actively purvey porn. On the notion that you must know thine enemy to vanquish him, these unlikely groups are planning to distribute eye-popping plot descriptions of such XXX-rated classics as Deep Throat and Debbie Does Dallas, plus long lists of "adult" titles of books, magazines and films that leave almost nothing to the imagination. At issue is the private reproduction, distribution and sale of the final report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, a 1,960-page treatise that includes more than 250 pages of explicit material - though no pictures - including plot lines of books and films that feature bestiality, child sex and the like.
NEWS
March 25, 2004 | By Jim Remsen INQUIRER FAITH LIFE EDITOR
The Pledge of Allegiance may call this one nation "under God," but whose idea of God does it mean? Not that of the Associated Pantheist Groups. Some pantheists may use the term God, the alliance says, but they are referring to nature, not the "supersentient being" of Judeo-Christianity. Same with the Buddhist Temples coalition. Many of their 300,000 members, as nontheists, regard under God as "a religious paradigm that is at odds with their Buddhist beliefs. " The two coalitions are among a smattering of religious entities to file legal briefs - alongside the American Atheists and the Freedom From Religion Foundation - urging that under God be struck from the Pledge.
NEWS
October 7, 1988 | By Murray Dubin, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than 70 city churches, mosques, synagogues and temples will participate today and throughout the weekend in Human Relations Sabbath. Programs ranging from special brotherhood prayers, speaking out against racism, and choir and pulpit exchanges between black and white churches will fill the three days. "There are times when the religious communities and government agencies ought to work together," said the Rev. Thomas J. Ritter, chairman of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which is coordinating Human Relations Sabbath.
NEWS
January 14, 1990 | By Michael D. Schaffer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ruben Perez sat hunched over a long table, reading the Bible and highlighting passages in yellow with a felt-tipped pen. Perez, 18, who only four days before had been sleeping in abandoned cars and eating from trash cans, was searching the Scriptures for salvation - from sin and drug addiction. Weary of his life on the street, the soft-spoken young man had come to Soldiers of the Lord, a Pentecostal recovery center under the El tracks on Front Street in Kensington. He said that he hoped to put his drug-shattered life back together.
NEWS
May 18, 1995 | By Joyce Vottima Hellberg, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
As part of a comparative religion unit in Haverford High School's 10th- grade world-cultures classes, students heard speakers from the major religious groups in Haverford Township this month. The purpose of the unit was to familiarize students with religions in the community, including Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Jehovah's Witness and Mormon, and to help youngsters understand, respect and tolerate different beliefs and practices. The speakers emphasized the history, liturgy and practices of their respective groups.
NEWS
May 7, 2011 | Associated Press
SYDNEY - Religious groups in Australia are allowed to discriminate against people who are gay or transgender, prompting criticism from gay-rights activists who find it galling that religious social service programs receive millions of dollars in government funding. Such exemptions to anti-discrimination laws exist elsewhere, but other countries including Britain and the United States have narrowed their scope in recent years, limiting them to issues such as the appointment of church leaders.
NEWS
June 30, 1988 | By Maura C. Ciccarelli, Special to The Inquirer
The fight is not over yet. Although the Centennial School District was ordered to allow a religious group to rent its facilities for an evangelical magic show last October, the district is defending its new facilities-use policy in federal court. On Friday, lawyers for Student Venture, an evangelical Christian group that is the high school branch of Campus Crusade for Christ, argued in U.S. District Court that Judge Louis C. Bechtle should issue a permanent injunction to prevent the district from discriminating against religious groups in the new policy, which was updated in March.
NEWS
January 3, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer and David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writers
Several area religious organizations and businesses appeared to be happier Wednesday after an order by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked a requirement that some religious-affiliated employers provide health insurance that includes birth control. Sotomayor's two-sentence order came about two hours before the policies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The order applies only to this issue, but adds to the debate about the law. She gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to a bid by the Denver and Baltimore chapters of the Little Sisters of the Poor for an exemption from the mandate.
LIVING
August 27, 1996 | By Heather Dewar, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
A Brooklyn orthodox rabbi leads his Yiddish-speaking congregation in a fight to block construction of an incinerator in their neighborhood. Four Catholic churches in blue-collar coastal Louisiana build breakwaters of used Christmas trees to slow the sea's steady creep into their bayou, then organize a letter-writing campaign in favor of wetlands protection. Evangelical Christian college students tote their Bibles to the Capitol to lobby Congress in support of the Endangered Species Act, passing out blue-and-white bumper stickers that say: "God made it. We tend it. That settles it. " Those are a few strands of a fragile new web of religious groups embracing environmental causes.
NEWS
September 25, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joining forces with a Germantown Jewish group and a South Philadelphia Mennonite congregation, the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia says it will openly defy deportation orders by providing refuge for immigrants facing imminent expulsion from the United States. The policy is to take effect with a planned announcement Wednesday in South Philadelphia, said leaders of New Sanctuary, which advocates on behalf of undocumented immigrants. "This is a national issue. We are the local manifestation," said Rabbi Linda Holtzman of the Germantown group, Tikkun Olam Chavurah.
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NEWS
September 25, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joining forces with a Germantown Jewish group and a South Philadelphia Mennonite congregation, the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia says it will openly defy deportation orders by providing refuge for immigrants facing imminent expulsion from the United States. The policy is to take effect with a planned announcement Wednesday in South Philadelphia, said leaders of New Sanctuary, which advocates on behalf of undocumented immigrants. "This is a national issue. We are the local manifestation," said Rabbi Linda Holtzman of the Germantown group, Tikkun Olam Chavurah.
NEWS
July 22, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
A group of Eastern University alumni has called on the president of the school to remove his signature from a letter urging President Obama to exempt religious institutions from an order that bans discrimination based on sexual identity. Robert Duffett, president of the Christian university in St. Davids, says Eastern does not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender students or employees. He signed the petition, he says, because the school supports the separation of church and state.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2014 | By Terri Akman, For The Inquirer
When Karen Balentine suddenly lost her husband to a heart attack in 2010 after 47 years of marriage, she was devastated. About a year later, though, she decided it was time to move on - and went online to do it. About the same time, Calvin Hubbard, 64, was grieving the loss of his wife, who died in November 2011. He had met her on the Internet, "and for 13 years it was a terrific marriage," he said. So, feeling lonely and hoping to make new connections, he turned to the Web again, though he wasn't looking to get married just yet. Balentine, now 71, and Hubbard were matched in 2012 on ChristianMingle.com, both agreeing they would be friends at first and go on "doctor dates" - he would drive her to medical appointments.
NEWS
January 3, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer and David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writers
Several area religious organizations and businesses appeared to be happier Wednesday after an order by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked a requirement that some religious-affiliated employers provide health insurance that includes birth control. Sotomayor's two-sentence order came about two hours before the policies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The order applies only to this issue, but adds to the debate about the law. She gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to a bid by the Denver and Baltimore chapters of the Little Sisters of the Poor for an exemption from the mandate.
NEWS
May 31, 2013 | By Andrew Kitchenman, NJ SPOTLIGHT
New Jersey officials have begun a small experiment they hope will reap big rewards as they seek ways to improve residents' dietary and exercise habits. And they're using an unusual channel to accomplish this: faith-based organizations. The grant program Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More is providing funding to several faith-based nonprofits, enabling them to offer nutrition classes and exercise programs. The Hoboken-based Jubilee Center, a nonprofit associated with All Saints Episcopal Parish, has launched a nutrition and cooking class that is to last through August and aims to help 100 families improve their eating habits.
NEWS
May 29, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The $19 million renovation and expansion underway at Camilla Hall, a retirement facility for members of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Malvern, highlights the rapid aging of the members of Catholic religious congregations nationwide. But don't expect a surge of building projects on the leafy campuses of religious groups in the region. "I would say it's not a great trend because most cannot afford to build," said Sister Janice Bader, executive director of the National Religious Retirement Office, a unit of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Anne Gearan, Washington Post
ZAGREB, Croatia - The Obama administration Wednesday renounced the proclaimed leaders of the Syrian political opposition and said any group seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad must reject attempts by extremists to "hijack" a legitimate revolution. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Syrian National Council, or SNC, should no longer be considered the "visible leader" of the opposition. That made official what has been the increasingly obvious sidelining of an opposition group led mostly by middle-age Syrian expatriates.
NEWS
September 30, 2012 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter and religious groups that distribute free outdoor meals to the poor have reached a truce, agreeing to temporarily step away from litigation in order to address larger issues surrounding the problems of hunger and homelessness. The interim agreement was signed Thursday by U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr. It put on hold a federal complaint filed last June by faith-based groups arguing that the city's ban on serving outdoor meals in parks violated the exercise of their religious beliefs.
NEWS
September 27, 2012 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Inside a century-old bank at 39th Street and Lancaster Avenue in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia, a pair of carpenters cuts wooden beams for a loft in the big open space. The workers are volunteers from a church in Boyertown, Montgomery County, who have given up their day to help Brian Jenkins convert the site into a 150-person dining hall to serve free meals to anyone who is poor and hungry. It will be the third indoor meal center in the region for his nonprofit, Chosen 300 Ministries, and it comes at a critical time.
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