The Episcopal Church, a theologically liberal denomination that has strong historic ties to the former Confederacy, voted at their General Convention in favor of a resolution calling for the removal of Confederate battle flags from public display.
"[The] 78th General Convention recognize that icons and symbols are and have always been important to the liturgical life and practice of The Episcopal Church in leading us to Jesus Christ and in inspiring us to share the Good News that is at the heart of our ministry," read Resolution D044 that was introduced by the Rev. Betsy Baumgarten.
"That as our Baptismal Covenant calls Episcopalians to 'respect the dignity of every human being' and as the fourth Mark of Mission calls Episcopalians to 'transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation,' we consider the continued display of the Confederate Battle Flag to be at odds with a faithful witness to the reconciling love of Jesus Christ …" more >>
Joel Osteen, the popular 52-year-old leader of America's largest protestant church, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, bluntly revealed that the reason why he avoids speaking out on hot button social and political issues, such as same-sex marriage, is because he believes that's not what he's called to do as a pastor.
In a recent interview on WBUR's "Here & Now" radio program Osteen, who was asked if he felt these hot button social and political issues are important, said: "I think they are important but I think everybody has their own calling."
He further explained that "It's not what I'm called to do." more >>
Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled that a Ten Commandments display on the capitol grounds of Oklahoma City must be removed.
In a 7-2 decision released Tuesday, the state's highest court concluded that the privately-funded 6-foot tall granite monument violates the Oklahoma constitution, which states, "No public ... property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any ... system of religion ...."
"Because the monument at issue operates for the use, benefit or support of a sect or system of religion, it violates Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution and is enjoined and shall be removed," concluded the opinion, overturning a lower court decision. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed for a group of Pennsylvania-based Roman Catholic religious charities to avoid being compelled to follow the federal government's birth control coverage mandate while their case is being litigated.
In an order issued Monday, the highest court in the land concluded that the plaintiffs in the case Zubik v. Burwell could seek exemption from providing birth control coverage while their suit against the Department of Health and Human Services continued.
"[The] respondents are enjoined from enforcing against the applicants the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations pending final disposition of their petition for certiorari," read the order. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on a decision upholding Texas' controversial pro-life law, which will allow several clinics in the state to remain open.
Justices from the highest court in the land voted 5-4 on Monday to grant an emergency appeal from pro-choice groups suing Texas over HB 2, a law that increases standards for abortion clinics.
"The Supreme Court order will remain in effect at least until the court decides whether to hear the clinics' appeal of the lower court ruling, not before the fall," reported the AP and KERA News. more >>
A Pennsylvania publication that announced Friday they were banning nearly all columns that support traditional marriage has issued an apology over their decision.
Last Friday, the editorial board of the media group overseeing Pennlive.com and The Patriot-News announced that they were going to "very strictly limit op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage."
However in response to a barrage of phone calls and emails protesting their decision, Pennlive.com and Patriot-News issued an apology. more >>