The Catholic Church Attacks Nuns

Earlier this month, in something of a surprise, a nun at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix was excommunicated for approving a first-trimester abortion last year at that hospital to save the life of a critically ill patient. “An unborn child is not a disease,” said Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Phoenix diocese. “While medical professionals should certainly try to save

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The Washington Post’s Scott Russell Sanders on “Heaven”

On April 11th, 2010, Scott Russell Sanders reviewed “Heaven” in The Washington Post: “Everybody talking about heaven ain’t going there.” So runs the refrain of an African American spiritual, one source that Lisa Miller happens not to cite in her thorough survey of notions about the afterlife. The material she does reference covers a wide range, from ancient Jewish, Christian

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St James Church Secedes from the Episcopal Church

In 2004 the members of St. James Church in tony Newport Beach, Calif., voted to secede from the Episcopal Church of the United States. Like dozens of other conservative Episcopal churches at the time, St. James found the theology of its denomination insufficiently orthodox (and the consecration of a gay Episcopal prelate unbiblical). So it, and others, sought—and found—protection among

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Public Relations for the Pope

I say this with respect: Pope Benedict XVI has a public-relations problem. You need only remember the 2000 visit of John Paul II to Jerusalem—which earned wall-to-wall cable coverage and produced the unforgettable image of the frail pope praying by the Western Wall—to know it’s true. Pope Benedict, by contrast, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial last week and in

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A Post-Evangelical America

Just as “race” has a whole new meaning in America this week, so, too, does “faith.” For at least four decades, white evangelicals have been the religion-and-politics story in this country. Their power, their rhetoric, their numbers, their theology

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Stop Your Sobbing

Will Bowen takes “uncomplaining” to an extreme. Bowen doesn’t gripe about anything, ever. A reporter asks, “How are you doing?” “Great!” he answers. “Can’t complain.” Really? You can’t complain? What do you do when your car breaks down? “I call the mechanic and ask him to fix my car.” How about when something terrible and unfair happens for no reason?

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Relations between science and religion have grown so strained that it’s hard to imagine they were ever otherwise. Until the Enlightenment, however, science and religion were better than friendly: they were the same thing. The “scientists” at the great medieval universities were students of theology. Mining divine Scripture for insights into human morality and free will was the most rational

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