‘I accept full responsibility:’ Calvary Chapel pastor talks church’s COVID-19 outbreak
Jul 7, 2020 · 1 

By Amanda Henderson Calvary Chapel San Antonio’s Pastor said he is heartbroken after a COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in dozens of positive cases. “Immediately we shut down the church to get everyone through a quarantine period,” said Ron Arbaugh, Pastor of Calvary Chapel. Arbaugh said if he could go back to when they reopened he …

Supreme Court hands victory to school voucher lobby – will religious minorities, nonbelievers and state autonomy lose out?
Jul 7, 2020 · 1 

By Frank S. Ravitch The Supreme Court’s recent decision that Montana cannot exclude donations that go to religious schools from a small tax credit program could have consequences felt far beyond the state. The 5-4 ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which came down June 30, follows on from recent cases that have expanded what counts …

The U.S. Government Gave Nearly $10 Billion in Forgivable Loans to Churches
Jul 7, 2020

By Hemant Mehta A few months ago, when the seriousness of the pandemic was finally making itself known, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowing businesses to borrow money from the U.S. government in order to cover costs (including salaries) during the pandemic without having to repay those loans at a later …

Six months of coronavirus: the mysteries scientists are still racing to solve
Jul 7, 2020

By Ewen Callaway, Heidi Ledford, & Smriti Mallapaty In late December 2019, reports emerged of a mysterious pneumonia in Wuhan, China, a city of 11 million people in the southeastern province of Hubei. The cause, Chinese scientists quickly determined, was a new coronavirus distantly related to the SARS virus that had emerged in China in …

Some question replacing Mississippi’s Confederate symbol with ‘In God We Trust’
Jul 7, 2020

By Jack Jenkins The Rev. Isiac Jackson Jr. was one of many Mississippi residents who took it as a spiritual victory when the state’s lawmakers voted Sunday (June 28) to remove the Confederate symbol from the state’s flag. “God answers prayer,” said Jackson, president of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention. “He may not come …

DOJ backs Kentucky photographer who won’t do gay weddings
Jul 3, 2020

By Brooke Sopelsa The Department of Justice is backing a Kentucky wedding photographer who is suing the city of Louisville over an ordinance banning local businesses from discriminating against gay customers. The DOJ’s “statement of interest,” filed this week in federal court, asserts that the photographer, Chelsey Nelson, is likely to succeed in her claim, …

How a hidden ocean circulates beneath the Antarctic ice
Jul 2, 2020

By Craig Stevens and Christina Hulbe Jules Verne sent his fictional submarine, the Nautilus, to the South Pole through a hidden ocean beneath a thick ice cap. Written 40 years before any explorer had reached the pole, his story was nevertheless only half fiction. There are indeed hidden ocean cavities around Antarctica, and our latest research explores …

Christian Pastor and Wife Plead Guilty in Convenience Store Embezzling Scheme
Jul 2, 2020 · 2 

By Hemant Mehta A Missouri pastor and his wife just got charged in a huge embezzling scheme, and for once, the church wasn’t involved in the scam. Here’s the backstory: A few years ago, the owner of two Doc’s Stop gas station and convenience stores hired Jeanine Poe to manage them. In 2015, however, Poe told the …

The Coronavirus Spread In A Dallas Megachurch’s Choir And Orchestra. Then It Hosted Mike Pence.
Jul 2, 2020 · 1 

By Rosalind Adams, Dan Vergano, and Ellie Hall At least five members of the choir and orchestra at the Dallas megachurch visited by Vice President Mike Pence this weekend tested positive for the coronavirus in June, according to Facebook posts and internal church emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News. An additional orchestra member had symptoms several days after …

Scandals, compensation programs lead Catholic clergy sex abuse complaints to quadruple in 2019
Jul 2, 2020

By Michelle Boorstein The number of allegations of Catholic clergy sex abuse of minors more than quadrupled in 2019 compared to the average in the previous five years, U.S. church officials reported this week, in part the result of new church-run compensation programs for victims as well as survivors driven to come forward by several …

Humanist Candidate Jillian Freeland Will Face GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn in Election
Jul 1, 2020

By Hemant Mehta Since 2007, Rep. Doug Lamborn has represented Colorado’s 5th District in Congress. This is a guy who has argued Humanist chaplains should not be allowed in the military because the “chaplain corps is historically a religious institution.” His protests led to the rejection of one well-qualified applicant in 2018. One reason he’s been able to promote this form …

Catholic pastor in Indiana faces backlash for calling Black Lives Matter protesters ‘maggots and parasites’
Jul 1, 2020

By Morgan Gstalter A Catholic diocese in Indiana is facing calls to remove a local pastor after he compared the Black Lives Matter movement and its demonstrators to “maggots and parasites.” Father Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel made the comments during his weekly message on Sunday, The Indy Star reported. “The only lives that …