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Houston Subpoenas Pastors' Sermons

City says sermons fair game in equal-rights fight

(Newser) - Conservative pastors in Houston complain that the city is trampling on religious freedoms in the battle over a controversial equal-rights ordinance introduced earlier this year. The city's lawyers have subpoenaed several high-profile pastors opposed to the law, seeking, among other things, "all speeches, presentations, or sermons" related to... More »

Political Pastors Pick Fight With IRS

Glenn Beck calls on 1,000 religious leaders to break law

(Newser) - Hundreds of pastors are trying to goad the IRS into a political battle over free speech from the pulpit, the New York Times reports. Organizers of tomorrow's Pulpit Freedom Sunday are urging pastors to flout a law that prohibits tax-exempt churches and other charities from political campaigning. Sponsored by... More »

Priest Calls for Pope to Resign, Applauded at Mass

Mass. Rev. James Scahill says Benedict lied, gets standing ovations

(Newser) - One Massachusetts priest says Pope Benedict is lying when he says the Vatican hasn’t covered up the sexual abuse of children. In four sermons over the weekend, Rev. James Scahill called on Benedict to resign over the scandal, the Longmeadow Republican reports. “There were standing ovations at two... More »

Reformers Teargassed as Iran's Top Cleric Demands Change

(Newser) - Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former Iranian president and most powerful supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi, addressed thousands of young reformists in green today in a highly anticipated sermon that may trigger further protests. The visibly upset cleric demanded that all political prisoners be freed and lamented that "we had... More »

Pope Calls for Peace in Christmas Speech

Middle East, Africa conflicts must be resolved: Benedict

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI passionately called for peace in the Holy Land during his annual Christmas message, delivered from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica. “The horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians,” he said, praying for hope against war, terrorism, and injustice. He also appealed... More »

Plagiarist Priests May Face Jail Time in Poland

Church tries to curb problem of online sermon swiping

(Newser) - If Polish priests don’t stop their plagiarizing ways, they could be slapped with a fine or even thrown in jail for 3 years, church authorities warn. Uninspired priests have been swiping their homilies off the Internet, and “unfortunately the practice has become more usual than not,” said... More »

Obama Speech Injects Race Into Easter Sermons

Many ministers preach anew about ending racial acrimony

(Newser) - Barack Obama altered the agenda for many Easter sermons with his risky speech last week on racial acrimony, the New York Times reports. Ministers of a variety of faiths say they will use Obama’s words—framed to explain the incendiary statements of his former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright—... More »

Huckabee: Lay Off Obama Pastor

Former minister goes to bat for controversial figure

(Newser) - Barack Obama got some unexpected help yesterday from Mike Huckabee, of all people. The former candidate called Obama’s speech “historic” and said it wasn’t fair to hold candidates accountable for everything the people near them say, ABC News reports. Huckabee, once a pastor himself, said he understood... More »

Obama Campaign Drops Rev. Wright

Minister prone to provocative statements will no longer advise the Illinois senator

(Newser) - Jeremiah Wright, the militant Chicago minister and spiritual adviser to Barack Obama, is off the senator’s campaign, CNN reports. Wright will no longer sit on the senator’s African-American Religious Leadership Committee, the campaign announced. Obama has often said he rejects the reverend’s more incendiary opinions, especially his... More »

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