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Court Upholds Philadelphia’s Stance Against Anti-Gay Foster Care Agencies
Apr 24, 2019

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By David G. McAfee Finally, something we can celebrate. The city of Philadelphia’s decision not to send foster children to agencies that refuse to work with same-sex couples was unanimously vindicated by an appellate court. A local Republican may have said not sending kids to such faith-based agencies amounted to “anti-religious” discrimination, but the Third Circuit Court …


Mick Mulvaney: Faith is driving many Trump administration policies
Apr 24, 2019

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By Jack Jenkins White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday (April 23) that faith drives the Trump administration’s policy proposals, arguing that “the principles of our faith (are) being manifest” under the president’s watch. Also in attendance at the breakfast — a largely conservative religious gathering …


Scientists: We kept pig brains alive 10 hours after death. Bioethicists: “Holy shit.”
Apr 23, 2019

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By Brian Resnick Around 15 minutes after a mammal’s brain is cut off from oxygen, the organ is supposed to die. Without life-giving oxygen, the cells of the brain quickly starve. Some of the cells burst open, while the chemistry of others becomes so imbalanced that their membranes break down. This frenzied spiral ends one …


U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades
Apr 23, 2019 · 1 

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By Jeffrey M. Jones As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018. U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average …


How Should France Rebuild Notre Dame?
Apr 23, 2019

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By EJ Dickson Yesterday, the world watched in open-mouthed horror as Notre Dame Cathedral, an 800-year-old monument in Paris, France, burst into flames. As the Paris fire department scrambled to save the priceless relics and artworks inside, French officials gradually started to take inventory of what had been recovered from the wreckage and what had been lost …


Organized religion is losing its followers
Apr 23, 2019 · 2 

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By Jennifer Rubin CNN reports, “For the first time ‘No Religion’ has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity, according to a new analysis by a political scientist. The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals in the long-running General Social Survey.” Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found …


Part-revived pig brains raise slew of ethical quandaries
Apr 22, 2019

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By Nita A. Farahany, Henry T. Greely, and Charles M. Giattino Scientists have restored and preserved some cellular activities and structures in the brains of pigs that had been decapitated for food production four hours before. The researchers saw circulation in major arteries and small blood vessels, metabolism and responsiveness to drugs at the cellular …


99.9999% chance humans are causing global warming, and other science-based facts on climate change for Earth Day
Apr 22, 2019

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By Doyle Rice and Elizabeth Weise Climate change is real and increasingly a part of our daily lives. New research and studies out in just the past six months highlight the latest facts about the human-caused shift to our global weather systems and its effects on our planet. First among them, there’s no longer any question that rising …


Appeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers
Apr 22, 2019 · 3 

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By Tal Alexrod A federal appeals court handed a legal victory to House Rev. Patrick J. Conroy on Good Friday when it ruled he cannot be forced to let an atheist offer a secular prayer on the chamber floor. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a claim brought by Dan Barker, co-president …


Sri Lanka blames local Islamist extremist group for Easter bombings that killed 290
Apr 22, 2019

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By Joanna Slater, Amantha Perera, and Shibani Mahtani Sri Lanka on Monday accused a local Islamist extremist group, the National Thowheed Jamaath, of being behind a string of Easter bombings at churches and hotels that killed at least 290 people. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the group, whose name roughly translates to National Monotheism Organization, …