Washington (CNN) - Religiously affiliated organizations will be able to opt out of providing their employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives under updates to an Obama administration mandate that the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to unveil on Friday, according to two sources.
In March, after an uproar among religious institutions that didn't want to pay for contraceptives, the Obama administration offered several policy suggestions that would require the administrator of the insurance policy, not the religious institution or the insurer, to pay for contraception coverage and invited comment on those proposals.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - For more than 20 years, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the executive vice president of the American Friends of Lubavitch, has presided over the annual event kicking-off Hanukkah in the nation’s capital: the lighting of the National Menorah.
The event has become a tradition, going back to 1979 when President Jimmy Carter was still in office.
Charlottesville, Virginia (CNN) – A scheduling mix-up kept Paul Ryan from participating in a tele-town hall Thursday night with conservatives around the nation coordinated by Ralph Reed and the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
At 6 p.m. ET, when the call was supposed to take place, Faith and Freedom Coalition Executive Director Gary Marx got on the line and announced it was being postponed.
Washington (CNN) - As important as the Catholic vote is in the 2012 election, a new survey finds that the group is far from monolithic and is not largely focused on the issues that get a lot of attention from church leaders – abortion and gay marriage.
Among the Catholics surveyed by the Public Religious Research Institute, 60% believe the Church should focus more on social justice issues and their obligation to the poor, even if it means focusing less on social issues like abortion and right to life.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In a section of the website called Billy Graham's My Answer there had been the question "What is a cult?"FULL STORY
(CNN) - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney met with evangelical icon Billy Graham on Thursday at the evangelist’s remote mountaintop home in North Carolina.
Romney traveled to Graham’s residence in Montreat, just outside Asheville, to meet with Graham and his son Franklin Graham, a high-profile pastor in his own right.FULL STORY
(CNN) – As it organizes Catholic watch parties for Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, who are both Roman Catholic, the Obama campaign hasn’t been shy about suggesting that the GOP vice presidential nominee hasn’t lived up to his Catholic values.
“For Catholic outreach, a defining moment in this campaign has been (Mitt) Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate,” said Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser with Barack Obama’s campaign who spearheads Catholic outreach efforts.FULL STORY
(CNN) - When Ron Johnson takes take his pulpit on Sunday, he will willfully break the law. After presenting his views on President Barack Obama’s handling of religious issues - like abortion, gay marriage, and religious freedom – Johnson will ask his congregation a question.
“In light of what I have presented,” Johnson says he will say, “How can you go into that election booth and vote for Barack Obama as president of the United States?”FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - At campaign events these days, Mitt Romney often says that if he is elected president, he will emphasize the role of God in American society and will not “take God out of the public square.”
That kind of rhetoric is a departure from earlier less God-focused versions of the Republican candidate’s stump speech and his early apprehension with discussing his Mormon faith.FULL STORY
(CNN) – This convention season has not been good for atheists.
The word "God" was reinserted in the Democratic platform after it had been removed. A plan to raise atheist billboards in the convention cities was stymied by opponents. And though there were preachers and rabbis and other religious leaders opening and closing each day of each convention, there wasn’t an avowed atheist talking up unbelief on either convention’s speaking list.FULL STORY