religion

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal court in Manhattan has knocked down a rule that would make it easier for doctors and other health care workers to refuse care for religious reasons.

Religious exemptions from vaccinations required for school children have been on the rise in Florida.

Public health officials say even a small increase in these exemptions can threaten the herd immunity that protects people who can't be vaccinated due to health reasons, especially when it comes to diseases like the measles.

A majority of parents rarely, if ever, discuss race/ethnicity, gender, class or other categories of social identity with their kids, according to a new, nationally representative survey of more than 6,000 parents conducted by Sesame Workshop and NORC at the University of Chicago.

NBA via MIAMI HERALD

Many freshmen in college don't go into their first day of class with a resume that includes an Olympic Gold Medal, numerous NBA awards, and millions of dollars. But, that's the case for a new Florida International University freshman, Amar'e Stoudemire. 

Aaron Sánchez-Guerra / WLRN News

When Hurricane Dorian was approaching Florida as a Category 4 storm reminiscent of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Miamians and South Floridians included some kind of spiritual practices in their hurricane prep plans. 

Jennifer Kind / Miami Herald

This Fourth of July weekend was one of the few times that Marlins Park has been filled close to capacity in recent memory. Though the park was close to three-fourths of the way full for three days straight, nobody was purchasing the stadium beer, smoking cigarettes outside, or yelling out.

The Southern Baptist Convention has voted to make it easier to expel churches that mishandle claims of sexual abuse.

Delegates representing some 47,000 Southern Baptist churches gathered at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Ala., approved an amendment allowing individual churches to be expelled from the Convention if they mishandle or cover up sexual abuse cases. Delegates also established a special committee to evaluate abuse claims against churches.

The promotion of religious freedom in America, a cause that not long ago had near unanimous support on Capitol Hill, has fallen victim to the culture wars.

A high point came in 1993, when Congress overwhelmingly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, meant to overturn a Supreme Court decision that limited Americans' right to exercise their religion freely.

Lent is meant to be a time of reflection for Christians around the world. But once again this year, it comes at a time of deep disquiet within the faith. Sexual abuse and misconduct scandals have continued to rock the Catholic Church, leading many to question their religious institutions, or even their faith itself.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Rev. Jo-Ann Murphy, dressed in a black cassock, dug her fingers into a small glass goblet containing black, chalky ashes, which are made of burnt palms. She got a good coat before applying it on Gary Sullivan's forehead, making a cross.

“Remember you are dust, and dust you shall return,” said Murphy, an assistant rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, located near Peacock Park in Coconut Grove.

“Amen,” said Sullivan, who parked his bike on McFarlane Road.

United Methodist Church leaders are meeting in St. Louis beginning Saturday to decide whether to lift a ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings.

The topic has become increasingly contentious in recent years, as more United Methodist clergy have come out as gay. United Methodists are among the last mainline Protestant denominations to address the issue, and some worry it could cause a major rift in the church.

Parkland shooting
Isabella Cueto / WLRN News

Rocio Muñoz had gotten used to teaching every Monday night. For the past 12 years, she had been teaching catechism for middle and high school students at the family's church in Parkland, along with her husband and youngest daughter, Leonor.

 

But after everything that happened last Feb. 14 - the shooting at her daughter's high school -  the Muñoz family decided to take a break from teaching at their church for a year.

"What I kept thinking was, 'that could have been my daughter,'" Rocio Muñoz said.

Americans in 2018 got an overdose of stories about marital unfaithfulness. President Donald Trump was accused of making hush payments to at least two women with whom he allegedly had affairs, and the #MeToo movement highlighted sexual misconduct at all layers of U.S. society.

For conservative Christians, such stories were especially disturbing.

Sometimes it's the most well-intended messages that go awry.

Catholic News Service, a U.S. denominational news agency, posted a tweet on Sunday that said: "Hanukkah began at sundown. Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!"

Pages