religion

Louisiana Rep. Johnson Claims California Atheists Are Trying to Spy on Students
Accusation relates to a federal lawsuit against public schools accused of teaching Christianity

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., accused atheist groups in California of spying on a school in his district where officials have been accused of teaching Christianity. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mike Johnson, who represents a vast swath of Louisiana’s northwestern corner, accused California atheist groups of trying to spy on students at a school in his district by taking covert video.

“WARNING TO OUR FRIENDS IN BOSSIER SCHOOLS (Please share),” Johnson wrote on Facebook Tuesday, referring to Louisiana’s Bossier Parish (the state’s equivalent of a county) that includes parts of Shreveport.

Whether Church or State, Powerful Men Are Letting Us Down
From priests to Duncan Hunter to Trump himself, leaders need to get back to earth with the rest of us

From coverups to guilty pleas, it’s been a bad month for both our churches and our politics, Curtis writes. Above, sitting between Cardinal Timothy Dolan and wife Melania Trump, Donald Trump attends the annual white-tie Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in 2016. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — It is not a good time for those who want to believe — in their faith or in their government. No one expects any institution to be perfect, particularly those that are large and complicated. But why do so many have to be perfectly corrupt, spurring cynicism in those once so willing to give the benefit of the doubt?

There is the church I was raised in, one whose good works and ministries I loved while acknowledging flaws and grudgingly accepting the stern teachings of nuns and priests, and obeying the commandments as best I could. Pope Francis, a pontiff I admire for his common touch and common sense offered a message of understanding after a Pennsylvania grand jury report recounted horrific sins and crimes — the abuse of 1,000 minors by 300 priests over 70 years — covered up by Catholic Church leaders.

North Carolina GOP Candidate Preached Extensively on Wives Submitting to Husbands
Former Baptist preacher Mark Harris is running in the 9th District

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris upset Rep. Robert Pittenger in the 9th District GOP primary in May. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Democrats were already targeting North Carolina’s 9th District before incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger lost his Republican primary in May. And they’re hoping that past comments from the former Baptist minister who defeated him improves their chances of flipping the seat this fall. 

Mark Harris on multiple occasions — as a preacher and political candidate — has said that women should submit fully to their husbands and that he believed homosexuality is a choice. Before venturing into politics, he was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Charlotte. 

Officials Silent on Trump’s Turkey Sanctions Over Detained Pastor
President often announces policy moves before notifying aides and agencies

President Donald Trump welcomes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to the West Wing of the White House on May 16, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

White House and Treasury Department officials are so far unable to provide details about which entities and individuals will be targeted by sanctions on Turkey that President Donald Trump announced Thursday, another sign how he often announces policies while his aides scramble to craft them. 

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that his administration will slap “large sanctions” on Turkey in retaliation to its imprisonment of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, answering cries from lawmakers over charges they have called unfounded.

Administration Denies Notion Jerusalem Embassy Isolates U.S. in Region
Trump to address Monday’s opening ceremony via video, official says

President Donald Trump listens to introductions as he waits to speak to supporters at a rally on Friday in Elkhart, Indiana. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Senior administration officials on Friday dismissed the notion that President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has isolated the United States in the region.

The officials also told reporters on a morning conference call that an ample number of U.S. lawmakers are expected to attend a Monday afternoon event at the Jerusalem facility to mark its official opening. They did not, however, name names.

Opinion: We Just Can’t Shake That Old-Time Religion
Nation’s anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic fervor not that far in the past

Recently ousted House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy speaks during a memorial service in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Sept. 27, 2017. His removal by Speaker Paul D. Ryan set off a small furor. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

“Bless your heart” is a phrase I got to know well when I moved from the Northeast to the South several years ago. Though often spoken in soft, sympathetic tones, there was nothing blessed about the sentiment. And when those three syllables were delivered in an email, usually after I wrote a column a reader did not like, they landed like a punch to the gut.

Oddly enough, it was commentary on faith and values that elicited quite a bit of high dudgeon, topped only by the historically reliable topic of race, which, like religion, carries the taint of a North versus South, “them” against “us” spiritual split.

Pompeo Vows ‘Tough Diplomacy,’ Return of State’s ‘Swagger’
Trump cryptically touts U.S. activities that are ‘not even a glimmer in your eye’

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, meets with Mike Pompeo in the Capitol on March 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Flanked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised Tuesday to conduct “tough diplomacy” and told employees at the agency he wants to restore its “swagger.”

Trump and Pence made the short trek to Foggy Bottom on Wednesday morning for a ceremonial swearing-in of Trump’s second secretary of State. The president hailed Pompeo’s experience — as well as his own business school performance — while cryptically alluding to unspecified “things” the U.S. government is doing around the globe.

Lawmakers Worried About Religious Freedom After Chaplain Ouster
Democrats raise questions about anti-Catholic sentiments from Republicans

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said there’s only division coming out of Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update 8:45 a.m. | A spokesman for Rep. Mark Walkertold USA Today that the congressman was stepping down from the group searching for a new House chaplain.

Emotions are running high in the House as members grapple with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy. And religious tensions started to spill into public view last week before lawmakers departed Washington for a one-week recess.

What is a House Chaplain and What do They Do?
Background of the job and what’s up with Rev. Patrick Conroy, explained

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, blesses the walnut tree during the tree planting ceremony in memory of Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul Ryan’s move against Rev. Patrick Conroy caused political ripples as many speculated he requested the Reverend’s retirement because of a prayer he gave before the tax code.

Conroy, Congress’s Jesuit Priest, is the first Chaplain to leave his 2-year elected position mid-term in decades.

100 Years of Past Chaplains and Their Denominations
Here’s which Christian sects have been in the Capitol chambers recently

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., center, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., attend a swearing-in ceremony for the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rev. Patrick Conroy submitted a letter of resignation April 15 at Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s request.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, said she was surprised that Ryan, who is Catholic, would try to oust the Roman Catholic priest.