religion

Austin
7:54 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Austin Boy Scout Troops Would Likely Have Different Sexual Orientation Policies

The Boy Scouts of America is considering a change to its membership policy.
flickr.com/imcomkorea

Boy Scout troops across the country could soon be able to decide for themselves whether to admit scout masters and troop members of all sexual orientations.

If the Boy Scouts of America leaves the decision up to individual troops, Austin could have troops with a variety of policies.

A search of troops in the Austin area shows many are sponsored by churches. A couple of the scout masters for those troops said they couldn’t talk about extending membership to boys and men of all sexual orientations until they got the okay from their sponsoring churches.

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Scientology
4:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Listen: Austin Author Lawrence Wright on 'Going Clear,' His Controversial Book on Scientology

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright believes religion is a more powerful influence in people's lives than politics.
Kenny Braun

 Audio FileKUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Austin author Lawrence Wright about his latest book "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief."Edit | Remove

What do Gloria Swanson and Tom Cruise have in common?

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Arts and Culture
8:21 am
Tue January 15, 2013

More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?

(From left) Yusuf Ahmad, Kyle Simpson, and Melissa Adelman also participated in the discussion about religion with NPR's David Greene at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 5:24 pm

One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. A third of young Americans say they don't belong to any religion.

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Texas
8:47 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Abbott Sides With East Texas Cheerleaders in Bible Verses Case

A judge is expected to decide today if a group of cheerleaders can use Bible verses at public high school football games.
KUHF

A Hardin County Judge is expected to rule today on whether to allow a group of high school cheerleaders to continue to display Bible verses at football games.

The Kountze High School cheerleaders are seeking a temporary injunction after Kountze Independent School District officials told the cheerleaders they could no longer use scripture on banners. An atheist group complained about the displays.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he’ll defend the East Texas cheerleaders.

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Religion
8:45 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Episcopal Church OKs Same-Sex Blessings; Largest U.S. Denomination to Do So

The rings of Michael Johnson and Michael Roberts of New York City stood ready before their marriage ceremony at the Manhattan City Clerk's Office in July 2011.
Craig Ruttle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 10:54 am

With a vote Tuesday evening by its House of Deputies, the Episcopal Church became the largest U.S. denomination so far "to officially sanction same-sex relationships," as CNN's Belief blog writes.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Constitution's 'Supreme Being' Clause Targeted Again

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

In January, an atheist group will lobby the state Legislature to overturn an obscure clause in the Texas Constitution — one that says candidates for public office must believe in a higher power. The group is following in the litigious footsteps of the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who 30 years ago challenged the same provision as an attempt to establish a state religion.

In Article 1, Section 4, the Texas Constitution states: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.” 

In other words, the Constitution maintains freedom of religion, but appears to bar atheists from holding state office. 

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Religion
3:47 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Is an Eruv Coming to Austin?

The Austin City Council is considering the creation of an eruv in Austin.
Alex E. Proimos, flickr.com/proimos

Northwest Austin’s orthodox Jewish community may soon be able to move a little more freely on the Sabbath.

This Thursday, the Austin City Council is calling on staff to study the feasibility of creating an eruv.

“It’s a Hebrew word, eruv, and what it means is to mix together,” says Rabbi Eliezer Langer at the Tiferet Israel Congregation in Northwest Austin, located inside the proposed eruv.

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Religion
4:51 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Help a Sister Out: Protesters Call for Vatican to Support, Not Censure, U.S. Nuns

Supporters rallied in defense of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious this afternoon.
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

A small band of Austinites braved the rain this afternoon to rally in support of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, one of the largest organizations of Catholic nuns in the U.S.

Eight protesters assembled outside of St. Mary's Cathedral in downtown Austin, holding signs reading "In solidarity with Women Religious" and "I stand with LCWR." Similar protests were scheduled in other cities today, including Dallas and New York.

On April 18, the Vatican issued a report chastising the LCWR for an insufficiently hardline stance on homosexuality that places it “outside the Church’s teaching,” and “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

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Religion
4:06 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Tim Tebow Coming to Georgetown Easter Sunday

Tim Tebow takes a knee in prayer during his breakout season.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Clemed, http://bit.ly/HonWTW

Known for his unorthodox quarterbacking and conservative Christian beliefs, Tim Tebow – who helped earn the Denver Broncos a divisional title last season, before going to the New York Jets – is appearing at Georgetown's Celebration Church this Easter Sunday, April 8. Gates open at 8 a.m., and the service begins at 10 a.m.

Celebration Church’s main campus is almost 8,000 square feet, but for an event this large – the church anticipates some 20,000 attendees – services will be held outdoors on Celebration’s 110-acre site. “We’re literally taking our service outdoors for the first time,” says Tara Wall, Celebration Church’s Media and Communications Director.

The estimate is a big bump from Celebration’s already-large numbers: Wall says Celebration hosts five to seven thousand attendees any given Sunday. Parking will not be allowed on site. Street closures will encompass a mile radius around the church, but nine off-site parking lots with shuttle service will deliver parishioners to Tebow.

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Arts and Culture
3:38 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

Billboard Warns Austin Of Judgment Day May 21

This billboard near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport declares May 21 to be Judgment Day. It is one of many scattered across Texas.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

You may have seen billboards like the one above on Highway 71 near the airport. You may have read the various Tweets, or the numerous stories in print and on-air.  The May 21 meme is ostensibly the product of Harold Camping, the 89-year-old founder of Family Radio, who says he calculated the exact date of the Rapture to be this Saturday. His organization and its supporters paid to install Judgment Day billboards across the country.

A caravan of three recreational vehicles drove through Austin in February to deliver the warning and hand out fliers at the University of Texas and outside a Longhorns basketball game, according to a travel log entry on the Family Radio website.

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Texas
11:59 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Atheist Bus Ads Appear In Fort Worth Just In Time For Christmas

An atheist group in Fort Worth is causing a stir with some Christians for these bus ads.
Image courtesy the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason

An atheist group called the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason has purchased what they call "Godless Ads" on busses in Tarrant County.

The ads remind people that "Millions of Americans Are Good Without God." They appear on both sides of the bus. Similar billboard ads appeared in Austin this summer. The parent organization, the United Coalition of Reason, has also helped pay for ads in cities like Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

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