What Lots of Americans Don’t Get About Islam

Veterans during a rally Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, at the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I., held to demonstrate against allowing Syrian refugees to enter Rhode Island following the terror attacks in Paris.

Veterans during a rally Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, at the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I., held to demonstrate against allowing Syrian refugees to enter Rhode Island following the terror attacks in Paris.

I am a Christian. So is Pope Francis. So was the Rev. Fred Phelps.

I don’t think anyone reading this would confuse any one of the three of us for the other.

Yet too many of us here in America do exactly that when it comes to dealing with Islam and Muslims, and in our current paranoid state in the wake of the ISIS attacks on Paris, our inability or refusal to recognize diversity within Islam may mean that we will fail in meeting a humanitarian imperative. Read more »

Dispatch From a Philly Church: Trying to Make Sense of the Paris Killings

Overbrook Presbyterian Church (photo via Google Maps)

Overbrook Presbyterian Church (photo via Google Maps)

Other than during summer, when the Jersey Shore tempts even the most God-fearing families to its surf and sand, the parking lot at Overbrook Presbyterian Church is generally pretty full; a couple of times each year — Easter Sunday and Christmas — it is positively overflowing.

Yesterday’s service had no official significance, but less than 48 hours after ISIS-sponsored militants took to the streets of Paris, committing cold-blooded murder at least 129 times, the parking lot was more reminiscent of one of those holy days than your average Sunday morning. Read more »

City Settles Suit With Catholic Pediatrician Over Birth Control

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Philadelphia has reached a settlement with a Catholic pediatrician who was fired after she refused to prescribe birth control options like Depo-Provera and the morning-after pill to the young women in her care, and part of that settlement includes the implementation of a policy that precludes the city from forcing healthcare workers to provide care that goes against their religious beliefs. Read more »

Chaput: More Big Families, Please

Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, listens to a speaker during a news conference Friday, March 7, 2014, in Philadelphia.  Vatican officials say Philadelphia is scheduled to host a large gathering of the Roman Catholic church called the World Meeting of Families in Sept., 2015. Chaput and others are scheduled to visit Rome this month to invite the pope to the eighth World Meeting of Families. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The huge Catholic family is something of a cliché — and these days something of a thing of the past: A reported 98 percent of American Catholic women use birth control, after all, despite church doctrines against doing so.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, in Rome for a controversial synod of bishops advising the church on how it should approach marriage and family issues in the future, misses the old days. He gave an interview to the French Catholic magazine Famille Chretienne, reprinted at CatholicPhilly.com, lamenting tiny, two-children families. Read more »

Delco Group Predicts World to End October 7th

Last Day - New Heaven, New Earth - 17th and Market

Photo | Dan McQuade

Remember when Family Radio president Harold Camping predicted that the world would end in 1994? And then again in 2011? Well, according to Delaware County religious organization eBible Fellowship (they’re adamant that they are not a “church”), Camping wasn’t wrong: May 21, 2011 marked the beginning of the end, while October 7, 2015 (as in this Wednesday) marks the actual end. Here, eBible Fellowship leader Chris McCann (pictured) explains. Read more »

They Believed What? Eight Philly Religious Fanatics


Photo illustration by Alyse Moyer. Source images via Shutterstock and Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

For all the mountains of fuss being made over Pope Francis’s impending visit, you’d think we’d never seen a holy man hereabouts. Not true! Pennsylvania was founded as a haven for heretics, so it shouldn’t be surprising that its major city has been home to some curious religious figures in its 333 (oooh, that’s half of 666!) years of history. Here are eight of the most intriguing local believers — and what they’ve believed. Read more »

A Miracle in Charleston

When the arguments about guns and race subside after last week’s Charleston massacre — and, inevitably, they will — there is one moment from the whole ugly affair that I expect to remember for a long, long time.

That moment came after the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, had been captured and brought before a judge to hear the charges and have bail set. In a moment unlike any I’ve experienced in court, the judge then allowed family members of the victims to speak to Roof.

And what happened was kind of extraordinary. Read more »

Honolulu Bishop Condemns Philly Mag Writer for Saying Jesus Would Have Been Nice to Gay People



Earlier this month, Philadelphia magazine writer Joel Mathis, who also does a syndicated column picked up in papers across the nation, wrote a piece following the religious freedom laws that were making news in Indiana and Arkansas. In it, he makes the point that, contrary to some thinking, Jesus would actually have liked and been nice to gay people. His words on the matter:

Read more »

Pa. Bill Would Recognize May 7th as “National Day of Prayer”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

A new bill in the state House would recognize May 7th as the “National Day of Prayer” in Pennsylvania.

State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, a Berks County Democrat, introduced the measure.

“This annual event was not created for political reasons,” he said in a memorandum to lawmakers, “but exists to encourage all citizens to pray for our leaders, communities, families, and each other, and for national healing, reconciliation and unity.”

Read more »

6 Gay-Friendly Churches in Philadelphia to Attend Easter Sunday Service

Congregation at Broad Street Ministry.

Congregation at Broad Street Ministry.

With all the talk this week about the Religious Freedom Act, it may seem, as LGBT folk, that we’re anything but welcome inside the doors of a church. But that’s not exactly the case. There are tons of faith-based congregations in the region that welcome the LGBT community with open arms. I’ve rounded up six that I know of on this Good Friday, so you can know where to go if you feel like taking in an Easter Service on Sunday. Read more »

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