Bob Smietana, Religion NewsService

Bob Smietana

Religion NewsService

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  • Religion NewsService
  • Christianity Today
  • The Tennessean
  • Sojourners

Past articles by Bob:

Old-school Christian nationalism's avatar of racism, antisemitism and conspiracies

(RNS) —The early version of Christian nationalism turned the fear of communism into an excuse to embrace prejudice and forfeit American democracy. → Read More

Who will pay for the SBC’s abuse reforms over the long term? No one knows.

(RNS) — The SBC’s Executive Committee announced it had lost $6 million over the past fiscal year, mainly due to the cost of responding to the sex abuse crisis. → Read More

After Chaos and Crisis, Beth Moore Still Finds Refuge in the Church

In a new memoir out this week, the Bible teacher opens up about the abuse of her childhood and the people and God who saved her. → Read More

Southern Baptists passed abuse reforms last year. Now they have to make them stick.

(RNS) — A volunteer task force charged with implementing SBC reforms to address abuse said recently that its work will likely require more time. → Read More

Why students at a Kentucky Christian school are praying and singing round the clock

(RNS) — Students have packed the chapel and overflow spaces at Asbury University for nearly a week, holding round-the-clock prayer and worship. → Read More

‘He Gets Us’ Super Bowl Ads Part of Billion-Dollar Campaign

Hobby Lobby’s David Green and other Christian funders back three-year effort to reintroduce people to Jesus. → Read More

After 30 years, Buddhist-inspired message of 'Groundhog Day' still holds spiritual power

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (RNS) — Part Hollywood love story and part secular spiritual parable, the 1993 film shows life can be better if we pay attention. → Read More

'He Gets Us' organizers hope to spend $1 billion to promote Jesus. Will anyone care?

(RNS)—This year’s Super Bowl will feature a $20 million pair of pro-Jesus ads promoting the idea that Jesus ‘gets us,’ part of the larger ‘He Gets Us’ campaign. Organizers hope to spend a billion dollars in the next three years to redeem Jesus’ brand. → Read More

At Boston-area church, a theology lab tackles complex topics with humility, curiosity

(RNS) — In recent years, Highrock Church has held a series of conversations about topics such as Black theology and American evangelicalism — hoping to model conversations where people with differing points of view can listen to one another. → Read More

Federal court dismisses LGBTQ students’ class-action discrimination lawsuit

(RNS) — The lawsuit claimed that the US Department of Education failed to protect LGBTQ+ students at religious schools from discrimination. → Read More

Diane Langberg: The Church ‘Utterly Failed’ God in Its Abuse Response

The psychologist at the forefront of trauma-informed care calls out leaders for protecting institutions over people. → Read More

Diane Langberg on church leaders and abuse: 'We have utterly failed God'

(RNS) — For five decades, psychologist Diane Langberg has worked with survivors of abuse and trauma. She remains amazed by their courage — and dismayed by the way church leaders have failed survivors of abuse. → Read More

Dispute over abuse hotline reveals how far the SBC still has to go

(RNS) — A group of Southern Baptist leaders is working to implement a set of reforms to respond better to sexual abuse. But many survivors still distrust them. → Read More

Chicago pastor James Meeks bids a tearful farewell after 38 years at Salem Baptist

(RNS) — After 38 years as a pastor, Meeks said he wanted to leave while his church was still doing well. The Rev. Charlie Dates, who grew up at Salem, will become pastor of one of Chicago's largest congregations. The farewell service was attended by politicians and friends, including Jesse Jackson and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. → Read More

More Americans stay away from church as pandemic nears year three

(RNS) — Many Americans already had dropped out of church life before the pandemic. COVID-19 gave them a reason to let go completely, according to a new survey. → Read More

Some Americans want less Mariah Carey for Christmas

(RNS) — A survey from the global marketing firm Ipsos found many Americans think the meaning of the season is lost. → Read More

Black atheist leaders quit Black Nonbelievers over alleged misconduct by president

(RNS) — Mandisa Thomas said she mishandled a ‘personal situation’ during a recent cruise held by the prominent Black secular group. → Read More

Urbana missions conference that once drew 20,000 expected to fall far short

(RNS) — Organizers believe that the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a struggling economy have likely caused attendance to falter. → Read More

Shopping for a new church? Your politics may determine which pew fits

(RNS) — A new study examines the role that politics plays in how Americans choose a new church. → Read More

Chicago priest Michael Pfleger cleared of abuse charges, reinstated to St. Sabina

(RNS) — Cardinal Blase Cupic of the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Saturday that an investigation had found no support for the allegations against the well-known priest. → Read More