Religion

Colorado To Become 16th State To Ban Ex-Gay Torture

The Denverite reports: A bill banning conversion therapy across Colorado is a step closer to becoming law after the Senate on Monday voted to pass the bill, which would ban licensed professional from the discredited practice of attempting to “cure” LGBTQ youth. The bill is headed back to House, which already approved it in February, for approval after the bill …

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SURVEY: As Many “Nones” As Catholics Or Evangelicals

Religion News Service reports: According to newly released General Social Survey data analyzed by Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University, Americans claiming “no religion” — sometimes referred to as “nones” because of how they answer the question “what is your religious tradition?” — now represent about 23.1 percent of the population, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. People claiming …

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WEST VIRGINIA: Republican AG Sues Catholic Diocese, Alleges Former Bishop Knowingly Employed Pedophiles

WHSV-TV reports: On Tuesday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey [photo] filed a lawsuit alleging the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield knowingly employed pedophiles. The suit also alleges they failed to conduct adequate background checks for those working at the diocese’s schools and camps. The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese encompasses the entire state of West Virginia. The complaint alleges …

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Man Charged For Threatening Arizona Mosque

CBS News reports: Police say a man threatened and intimidated members of a Phoenix mosque Saturday evening. According to the Phoenix Police Department, 40-year-old Noel Thomas Becht was reportedly acting suspiciously at the United Islamic Center of Arizona located near 35th Avenue and Yorkshire Drive. He first entered the mosque and told members he was curious about the Muslim religion. …

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Poll: 37% Of Catholics Mull Quitting Over Sex Scandals

Just out from Gallup Polling: As the Catholic church responds to more allegations of sexual abuse of young people by priests, an increasing percentage of Catholics are re-examining their commitment to the religion. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. Catholics, up from 22% in 2002, say news of the abuse has led them to question whether they would remain in the church. …

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Top Cardinal Sentenced To Six Years For Sexual Abuse

NBC News reports: The most senior Catholic cleric ever to be convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced to six years in prison in Australia on Wednesday morning. Cardinal George Pell, 77, faced as many as 50 years in prison after being convicted in December for the molestation of two choir boys while he was the archbishop of Melbourne in …

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Brooklyn Diocese Demands Apology For SNL Joke

Via press release: The Diocese of Brooklyn is demanding an immediate public apology from “Saturday Night Live” and NBC after Saturday night’s disgraceful and offensive skit in which cast member Pete Davidson, during the Weekend Update segment, said: “If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” The statement clearly shocked the …

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KANSAS: Hundreds Petition Archbishop In Support Of Child Denied School Enrollment Over Same-Sex Parents

The Kansas City Star reports: A Prairie Village Roman Catholic grade school this year denied enrollment to a kindergartner who is the child of a same-sex couple. Now almost 1,000 people have signed a petition asking church leaders to reconsider. The petition over St. Ann Catholic School on Mission Road is addressed to Archbishop Joseph Naumann [photo] and school Superintendent …

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FRANCE: Top Cardinal Convicted In Abuse Coverup

France 24 reports: The archbishop of Lyon, the most senior French Catholic cleric caught up in the paedophilia scandals that have rocked the church, was convicted of helping covering up abuse and handed a six-month suspended jail term on Thursday. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was found guilty of failing to report the abuse of a minor between 2014 and 2015. His …

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SCOTUS Rejects Historic Churches Preservation Case

USA Today reports: The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider whether churches and other religious institutions should be able to receive public taxpayer funds for historic preservation. The action stopped short of extending the justices’ 2017 ruling that churches can be eligible for purely secular grant programs such as playground renovations. New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously last year that …

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AUSTRALIA: Vatican Cardinal George Pell Appeals Child Sexual Abuse Convictions On Jury Plea Technicality

The Guardian reports: George Pell is arguing his child sexual abuse convictions should be overturned or he should receive a retrial, because of a “fundamental irregularity” that prevented him from entering a not-guilty plea in front of his jury. The Victorian court of appeal has released Pell’s grounds for appeal against his December conviction for sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys …

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Hail Satan? The Satanic Temple Documentary [VIDEO]

From the trailer’s description: Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge …

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LGBT Issues Threaten To Split United Methodist Church

The New York Times reports: The United Methodist Church on Tuesday voted to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages, a decision that could split the nation’s second-largest Protestant church. After three days of intense debate at a conference in St. Louis, the vote by church officials and lay members from around the world doubled down …

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SOUTH AFRICA: Outcry Over Faked Raising From The Dead Spawns Viral “Resurrection Challenge” [VIDEO]

The BBC reports: A group of funeral directors in South Africa say they will sue a self-styled prophet who claims to have resurrected a dead man. A viral video of Pastor Alph Lukau shows him shouting “rise up” to a man lying down in a coffin who then jerks upright to cheers from worshippers. The funeral companies say they were …

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Vatican Cardinal Guilty On Multiple Child Sex Charges

CNN reports: One of the most powerful men in the Roman Catholic Church was found guilty of multiple historical child sex offenses at a secret trial in Melbourne in December, the existence of which can only now be revealed. Australian Cardinal George Pell, 77, is almost certain to face prison after a jury found him guilty of one charge of …

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Pope Calls For “All-Out Battle” Against Clerical Abuse

The Wall Street Journal reports: Pope Francis closed an unprecedented Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse by promising to protect children and help victims of what he called a plague of clerical sex abuse, but he offered few policy specifics. The pope, in his widely awaited closing speech on Sunday, said the church’s response should avoid “defensiveness that fails to …

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Cardinal Admits: We Destroyed Files On Pedophiles

Agence France-Presse reports: A top Catholic cardinal admitted Saturday that Church files on priests who sexually abused children were destroyed or never even drawn up, a move which allowed pedophiles to prey on others. “Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created,” German Cardinal Reinhard Marx told a landmark Vatican …

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UTAH: LDS Church Won’t Oppose Ex-Gay Torture Ban

Salt Lake City’s Fox affiliate reports: A bill to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ children is set to be unveiled in the Utah State Legislature. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told FOX 13 it will not oppose the bill, which could give it a boost on Capitol Hill. The bill is being carried by two Republican lawmakers: …

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“Christian Witches” To Hold Salem Convention: The Bible Is A Book Of Sorcery And Jesus Was A Magician

The Christian Post reports: The first annual Christian witches convention is set to be hosted in Salem, Massachusetts, this April and will feature internationally recognized Prophet Calvin Witcher who agrees with the convention’s host that Jesus was a sorcerer and the Bible is really a “book of magic.” The Rev. Valerie Love, the force behind the event who describes herself …

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Megachurch Pastor Ousted: Caught On Hot Mic Talking About Planting Child Pornography On Critics’s Computer

The Christian Post reports: Longtime leader of the Chicago-area megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel James MacDonald has been ousted as senior pastor in light of unsavory remarks he made on a hot mic that were aired on local media last Tuesday. MacDonald’s firing comes after the publication of a lengthy investigative piece by Julie Roys in World magazine. Her article, “Hard …

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