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

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 …

A Massive Star Has Disappeared From a Distant Galaxy, And No One’s Sure Where It Went
Jul 1, 2020

By Michelle Starr Massive stars aren’t like your car keys. They’re not going to disappear under a pile of mail on your kitchen counter, or end up in the washing machine. But a massive star that astronomers were observing for a decade now appears to be totally missing. The star, in the very late stages …

Trump’s white evangelical approval slips, Pew finds, but 82 percent still likely to vote for him
Jul 1, 2020

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey As cases of the novel coronavirus rise and protests have erupted over racial injustice across the nation, President Trump’s approval rating has dropped among his base of white evangelicals, though the vast majority still plan to vote for him, a new survey shows. White evangelicals remain the religious group most supportive of the president, …

How Do Flying Snakes Glide Through the Air? ‘It’s Hard to Believe’
Jun 30, 2020

By David Waldstein Jake Socha is an expert on flying snakes who uses detailed scientific terminology such as “this big, wiggly, ribbon thing” to describe his soaring quarry. It is an apt description, but don’t be fooled. When a snake launches off a tree in its Southeast Asian habitat and lands on another tree dozens …

Trump appointee at USAID repeatedly made anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ comments, said ‘female empowerment is a civilizational calamity’
Jun 30, 2020

By Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott A Trump administration appointee at the United States’ agency responsible for foreign aid has a history of inflammatory rhetoric aimed at refugees, the LGBTQ community and women. The comments come from Merritt Corrigan, the recently appointed deputy White House liaison at the US Agency for International Development, in tweets …

Despite a culture ‘entrenched in fear,’ LGBTQ students find ways to thrive at Liberty University
Jun 30, 2020

By Jack Jenkins When LeeQuan McLaurin enrolled at Liberty University as an undergraduate in 2012, he was still trying to understand his sexuality. So McLaurin, a Christian who now identifies as queer, did what many students at the conservative Christian school do: He joined a Bible study. Specifically, he joined “Armor Bearers,” which McLaurin said …