religious beliefs

19 Stories

Georgia Passes Anti-Gay Bill, May Face Economic Backlash

Churches, pastors could refuse to serve same-sex couples

(Newser) - Gay rights advocates say discrimination could soon be legal in Georgia if Gov. Nathan Deal signs a bill now on his desk. The controversial Religious Liberty Bill—which would allow churches and pastors to refuse to serve same-sex couples, at least in theory—passed the Georgia legislature late Wednesday, reports... More »

11 Least Religious Cities in the US

Yup, Sin City makes the list

(Newser) - Haven't yet found God and don't plan to? You might feel right at home in Portland, San Francisco, or Seattle. Those are the least religious cities in the country, according to a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute picked up by MarketWatch . Here are the 11... More »

America Might Be Ready for an Atheist President

New Republic essay thinks another political taboo is poised to fall

(Newser) - A Politico Magazine story sounds a pessimistic note about the prospects for an atheist president, noting that Barney Frank came out as gay 25 years ago but waited until after his political retirement to announce that he was a non-believer. But at the New Republic , Isaac Chotiner finds "surprising... More »

Texas A&M Bill Threatens Funds for Gay Group

Student senate passes measure allowing students to opt out on religious grounds

(Newser) - If the Texas A&M student senate has its way, the university's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Resource Center could soon find itself lacking funds. The senate last night passed the Religious Funding Exemption Bill, which allows students to opt out of paying student fees that fund university services... More »

Good Friday Dancing Ban Has Germany in a Twist

But some Germans say one-day ban small price for tradition

(Newser) - No, the "Tanzverbot" isn't the latest German dance craze. It's quite the opposite: the decades-old law that bans all organized dancing in Germany on Good Friday and other religious holidays. And with church attendance falling around Germany, its citizens are increasingly calling for the ban to be... More »

Across the Globe, 1 in 6 Unaffiliated With a Religion

New study sheds light on global religious practices

(Newser) - The third-largest "religious" group in the world isn't actually affiliated with a religion: A new Pew study finds one in six people across the globe don't follow any particular religion. Thus, the "unaffiliated" make up 16% of the world population, or about the same percentage as... More »

Belief in Heaven, Hell Alters Crime Rates

Believers in heaven more likely to be unlawful: study

(Newser) - If God is going to let you off easy, why not commit the crime? That sums up the findings of a study by two US professors who say that countries with a belief in hell have lower crime rates than those with a greater belief in heaven, the Daily Mail ... More »

Atheists 'Scrub Away' Blessing on Highway

Florida non-believers wash road blessed by Polk Under Prayer

(Newser) - Atheists in central Florida scrubbed a major highway this weekend to symbolically wash away holy water left behind by Christians, Bay News 9 reports. Armed with mops, brooms, and hoses, they washed down a road on the Pasco-Polk county line that had been anointed last year by a group called... More »

Godless on the Rise

Religion in politics a sign of fear and dwindling numbers, not strength, says expert

(Newser) - Evangelicals might appear to be everywhere in American politics, but the number of believers is falling, according to studies. Agnostics and atheists are among the fastest-growing segment in the US, reports the Guardian . The number of secular Americans has likely doubled in the last three decades, and has grown especially... More »

Malaysia: Woman Can't Quit Islam

Court refuses to grant 'teapot cultist' permission to change religion

(Newser) - Kamariah Ali may consider herself a member of the Sky Kingdom sect—known as the "teapot cult"—but she is a Muslim under the law, a Malaysian civil court has decided. The court rejected the 60-year-old woman's request to leave Islam to avoid being jailed for apostasy,... More »

Religion to Die Out in 9 Nations

Mathematical model points to extinction in Australia, Austria, Ireland

(Newser) - Religion is bound for extinction in nine nations where it's already in decline, according to researchers using mathematical models. The researchers applied the principle of "nonlinear dynamics" to census data from the countries—Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland—and predicted... More »

Atheists Know the Most About Religion: Study

Average member of the faithful has big knowledge gap

(Newser) - The people who know the most about religion are the people who don’t have one. In a recent Pew survey, atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, about religion than followers of any of the major faiths, the LA Times reports. The faithful displayed startling gaps in knowledge—a... More »

If You're Poor, You've Got Religion...

...Except in the rich US, where 65% say they're devout

(Newser) - The most devout countries in the world are “relatively poor”—except the United States. A new Gallup study shows that in “the world’s poorest countries,” a median of 95% say religion is important in their daily lives. In the richest countries, that number drops to... More »

Troops: Sgt. Punished Us for Skipping Christian Show

Pentagon investigating complaints after concert

(Newser) - The Army is investigating a claim that dozens of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian band's concert at a Virginia military base were banished to their barracks and told to clean them up. Pvt. Anthony Smith said he and other soldiers felt pressured to attend the May concert while... More »

Elton John Lost Lover to Suicide

Former beau couldn't reconcile Christianity, homosexuality

(Newser) - Saying it’s “the right timing,” Elton John and husband David Furnish have revealed that one of the singer’s past lovers committed suicide because he could not reconcile his strong Christian faith with his homosexuality. "I had absolutely no idea in the world he was going... More »

Director Haggis Quits Scientology Over Prop 8

Crash auteur shames church with letter denouncing gay marriage stance

(Newser) - Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis dealt a stunning blow to Scientology when his recent resignation letter went public. Haggis, writer of Crash and Million Dollar Baby, left Scientology after 35 years thanks to the church’s backing of California’s Proposition 8, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Haggis was also angered... More »

Bible-Toting Hijacker: 'Christ Is Coming Soon'

Acted on 'revelation,' with 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost' riding shotgun

(Newser) - The Bolivian man who commandeered a Mexican airliner today told authorities he was acting after a divine revelation, the AP reports, under the premise that today’s date—9/9/09—is the satanic number 666 upside down. Jose Flores, 44, told airline attendants that he and three others were taking control;... More »

To Dodge Obamacare, Turn Amish (or Mennonite)

Measure based on tax laws aimed at Amish

(Newser) - Backers of health care reform on Capitol Hill want a plan that mandates insurance for all—but they appear willing to bend the rules for some religious Americans, Maura Reynolds of CQ Politics reports. Current legislation contains a religious exemption based on tax laws meant to give leeway to the... More »

Judge Orders Minn. Teen to Receive Cancer Treatment

(Newser) - A Minnesota judge ordered today that a teen with cancer must receive an X-ray despite his family’s religious views, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. “Daniel Hauser is a child in need of protection,” the judge said, citing state law requiring parents to provide “medically necessary care.... More »

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