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July 7, 2013 | By Lawrence M. Krauss
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish . - David Hume Last week the Vatican announced that a meeting of cardinals and bishops had ruled that the late Pope John Paul II was responsible for a second miracle, and thus the way was cleared for sainthood. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints decided he had cured a woman from Costa Rica in 2011 after a panel of doctors apparently ruled that her recovery was otherwise inexplicable.
July 1, 2013 | By Tony Perry
If you're in the downward dog position, don't move: A San Diego County judge's decision is expected Monday on a lawsuit filed by parents against the practice of yoga in Encinitas elementary schools. Judge John Meyer, who heard the case without a jury, has indicated he will issue his ruling Monday on whether yoga is an improper attempt at religious indoctrination or just an exercise program. Having the program in the school district "represents a serious breach of the public trust" and is a violation of state law that prohibits religious instruction in public schools, said Dean Broyles, attorney for the Escondido-based National Center for Law and Policy.
July 1, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
I have little sympathy for folks like Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, devout Christians who sued the Encinitas Union School District, claiming that teaching yoga to their kids twice a week amounted to unconstitutional religious indoctrination. Despite the quasi-spiritual trappings, yoga, as it's widely practiced by millions of Americans of all faiths, is no instrument of religious indoctrination. It's exercise. In Encinitas, it's being taught to kids in an effort to reduce bullying, obesity and overcompetitiveness.
June 25, 2013
Re "Devious ban on abortion at Hoag," Column, June 23 How reprehensible that officials at Hoag Hospital in Orange County blatantly lied when they stated that the discontinuation of abortion services had nothing to do with the hospital's merger with the Roman Catholic St. Joseph Health System. Hoag was a leader among community hospitals and could have partnered with any number of other facilities. One has to ask why Hoag's leaders chose St. Joseph when the cost to their own autonomy was so high.
June 10, 2013 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
As the Supreme Court prepares a decision on the fate of Proposition 8, nearly six in 10 California voters now believe same-sex marriage should be legal, with support rising among older voters and in all regions of the state, a new poll has found. The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll reveals that attitudes in the state toward gay marriage have changed significantly since Californians banned it in 2008 by a vote of 52% to 48%. The Supreme Court will decide this month whether the ban will continue.
May 28, 2013
Re "Prayers in public offices," Editorial, May 21 Here we go again: A few people are offended by official meetings in Greece, N.Y., beginning with a prayer. Just how do such occurrences actually constitute a "law respecting an establishment of religion"? I have never heard a good explanation of how the few activists who take offense to these things have actually had any rights infringed upon. In this case, there is no official religion and no way to enforce one. To the best of my knowledge there is no constitutional right not to be offended.
May 27, 2013 | By Wes Venteicher, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A bearded young comedy writer espousing progressive views in Hollywood in the early 1970s might not have surprised anyone. But when the same man, who is now the Very Rev. Gary Hall, started advocating the same views from the Washington National Cathedral's pulpit, people noticed. Shortly after Hall became the Episcopal cathedral's 10th dean in October, the church's leaders announced the cathedral would start performing same-sex marriages. The ensuing wave of news stories surprised Hall, who said he has been blessing same-sex relationships since 1990, when he was a priest at Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church.
May 21, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Ideally, governmental bodies would refrain from including prayers - even ecumenical, "lowest-common-denominator" ones - in their public proceedings. But if prayers are to be offered, they certainly shouldn't be monopolized by a single religious tradition. That is how the Supreme Court should rule in a case involving a town in New York state. On Monday, the justices agreed to hear a case involving the town of Greece, N.Y., which since 1999 has begun its official meetings with a prayer.
May 20, 2013 | By David G. Savage, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will revisit the issue of church-state separation and decide whether a town council can begin its monthly meetings with a prayer from a Christian pastor. Thirty years ago, the court upheld a state legislature's practice of beginning its session with a non-denominational prayer. The justices said that “to invoke Divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making laws” did not violate the 1st Amendment's prohibition on an “establishment of religion.” But since then, several lower courts have said that a city council or county board may violate the 1st Amendment if its opening prayers favor one religion only.
May 10, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
High-end jeans seller True Religion Apparel Inc. will be sold to investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners for $835 million, the companies said. The Vernon, Calif., designer denim brand, known for pricing its products well into the three figures, said its board unanimously accepted the $32-a-share offer. The deal represents an 8.7% premium on Thursday's $29.44-a-share closing price and a 52% increase from the stock price on Oct. 9, the day before True Religion disclosed that it would explore strategic alternatives for the company.
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