This week, Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, a period of spiritual reflection, fasting and penitence that many Christians undertake each year to prepare for the celebration of Easter.
Faith and Family
Stay up to date on the latest news and discussions on religion, faith and family.
By Associated Press
The Latest on Pope Francis's historic meeting in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and his subsequent trip to Mexico (all times local): Published February 12, 2016
Human trafficking. It's been called "modern-day slavery" and a "silent epidemic." It affects tens of millions every year and yet remains largely in the shadows - even within the United States.
International aid to the victims of Syria's five-year war, including millions forced to flee their homes, has persistently fallen short, but organizers of Thursday's annual Syria pledging conference hope for greater generosity this time around, despite a record request of close to $9 billion for 2016.
History's first Latin American pope travels to Mexico on Friday for a weeklong tour of some of the most violent, poverty-stricken and peripheral places in the Americas. He'll be bringing a message of hope and solidarity to victims of drug violence, trafficking and discrimination - a message the Vatican hopes will also resonate north of the border.
A slew of oblivious liberals took to Twitter on Wednesday to attack Sean Spicer, the Republic National Committee's director of communications, over the "black smudge" on his forehead for Ash Wednesday, a symbol of his Catholic faith.
"Deadpool" hates its audience, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Our love for chocolate dates back to the Mesoamerican era, 3,500 years ago. Fast forward 2,000 years, chocolate houses opened throughout Europe and served as social clubs and meeting places for the elite. And today, it remains a prized love food of Valentine's Day for everyone -- and even throughout the year.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign a bill stripping government money from Planned Parenthood, a move that might help him with conservatives who dominate the upcoming Republican presidential primary in South Carolina.
Sister Mary Benedicte wants to focus on feeding the hungry lined up outside a soup kitchen in a gritty part of San Francisco. But the city's booming economy means even seedy neighborhoods are demanding higher rents, threatening to force out an order of nuns who serve the homeless.
A compelling, shocking documentary on the Holocaust, plus a bevy of other documentaries, TV movies, foreign films and low-budget independent productions, are on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
The city of Lexington has sued the local mosque, saying it's been violating city zoning ordinances, but the ACLU of Nebraska says the city is violating the Muslims' religious rights.
It's not long after you start snowshoeing that you wonder: Couldn't I walk this trail in boots?
In case you don't follow the global fashion calendar, Fashion Week has just begun in New York, bringing with it a few nice clothes plus the usual over-the-top weirdness - bizarrely themed runway shows and front-row fashionistas teetering on stilt-like heels, swathed in feathers and smoothed out with dangerous doses of Botox.
Rocker Ted Nugent has drawn fire from the Anti-Defamation League with an online post insinuating gun control is the product of a vast Jewish conspiracy.
Experts say Idaho's winter snowpack is looking good but continued cold is needed to keep it in place and a few more snowstorms wouldn't hurt.
It's Ash Wednesday, beginning of the 40-day Lenten season and churches are holding Ash Wednesday masses.
President Obama said Wednesday that he and first lady Michelle Obama are marking the start of Lent with their "fellow Christians" by praying for those who are persecuted around the world for their religious beliefs.
Growing up in the 1950s, William Bell had to enter Birmingham's segregated Lyric Theatre though a side entrance, marked "COLORED," that was walled-off from the elegant lobby. He climbed a dimly lit stairwell to watch movies from the steep balcony where black patrons had to sit for generations.
The widow of a pastor slain with eight others at a historic South Carolina church said Tuesday that shielding her young daughters will be a priority during an upcoming murder trial expected to "open up wounds again."
Rocker Ted Nugent has drawn fire from the Anti-Defamation League with an online post insinuating gun control is the product of a vast Jewish conspiracy.
Pope Francis issued a tough-love message to Mexico's political and church elites Saturday, telling them they have a duty to provide their people with security, justice and courageous pastoral care to confront the drug-inspired violence and corruption that are tormenting the country.
David Brody reports on South Carolina pastors and the 2016 election; Cruz and Rubio on Planned Parenthood; the importance of moms
The mother of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold says she didn't know anything was wrong with her son before the 1999 attack, and she prayed for his death when she heard he was involved and that the rampage might still be underway.
The National Park Service is considering limiting the items it collects at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
A 9-foot-tall menorah at a University of Illinois Jewish student center has been damaged for a third time in less than a year, police said Tuesday, and the center's rabbi believes school leaders need to take a stronger stand against the vandalism.
The Huffington Post has launched an Islamophobia tracking website dedicated to recording acts of anti-Muslim violence and discrimination across the United States.
Chelsea Clinton said God and religion guides so much of her mother's "moral compass" that she can't help but feel insulted when people question her family's faith.
A group of Christian employees have accused NASA of violating their First Amendment rights after allegedly banning the word "Jesus" from the Johnson Space Center newsletter.
People across New Orleans Tuesday are marking the culmination of the Mardi Gras season with elaborate floats, eccentric costumes and marching bands.
One evening in September 2014, Mariana Yanez left her home in this crime-plagued Mexico City suburb saying she was going to make some photocopies. Then she vanished.
An Indiana anti-discrimination bill failed in the state senate because it would have proved disastrous for religious freedom, one legal expert has said.
The plight of Syrian civilians involved in the nation's ongoing conflict was at the heart of Pope Francis' appeal to the international community on Sunday, in an address where he also called for a renewed commitment to the protection of life at all stages.
Chinese and others around Asia flocked to temples and fairs to pray for good health and fortune on Monday, the first day of the Lunar New Year.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the nation's top abortion rights groups, fired off a series of tweets slamming Sunday night's Super Bowl 50 commercials as sexist, including a Doritos ad featuring an ultrasound that the group said "humanizes" fetuses.
The World Health Organization said Monday it wants to fast-track a better test for the Zika virus as dozens of countries cope with yet another scary pandemic, saying doctors on the front lines should at least be able to single out the disease from similar infections in hard-hit Latin America.
A professor of a Christian college who asserted Christians and Muslims worship the same God will leave her post, the school near Chicago announced.
Ruta Sepetys' latest novel, "Salt to the Sea," tells the story of one of the greatest maritime disasters in history: the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff.
A change in Texas prison system policy means transgender inmates who hadn't started hormone therapy before incarceration can do so behind bars if they go through a thorough process to confirm the diagnosis.
Eventually there will be a 210 feet tall (about 19 stories) cross on that plot of land for all to see. It will be visible to planes flying into Corpus Christi International Airport and be able to seen five miles away by land and double that by air.
One super secret of flying these days, as noted in a recent issue of Business Traveler, is the free stopover. Those are the cities between Point A and Point B where you can actually get out of the plane and even out of the airport without suffering a penalty.
The end may be nigh for a Harlem church known for hateful public messages condemning gays and President Barack Obama to eternal damnation, and two groups that serve gay New Yorkers are hoping to get an ironic last word on the matter.
Eighty-two years after she was born to a teenage girl and put up for adoption, Betty Morrell finally has met her 96-year-old birth mother, thanks to the dogged persistence of her granddaughter during 20 years of searching.
The Vatican says Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a major step to heal the 1000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West.
Can mainline churches rediscover core Christian belief?; Indiana culture wars and business; Phoenix council nixes praying.
The media debate about Western countries accepting "refugees" has been full of more assertions than facts. Here, then, are a few facts.
President Obama urged Americans Thursday not to fear people who are different, building on his theme of accepting Muslims in communities across the U.S.
David Brody writes, "What this victory in Iowa proved is that when a candidate authentically courts evangelicals with their time, a near-perfect ground game along with lots of money to propel it, evangelicals will respond. And when they respond in record numbers like they did in Iowa Monday night, they show that they are more than a force in American politics; they're a game-changer."
Children born after 2000 will be tasked with "founding the new world," The Atlantic quoted an MTV survey as saying. And here's how that plays into what the entertainment channel is calling the youngest generation.
The Coen canon reaches a crescendo - or rather a warped inversion of one - in "Hail, Caesar!" when the brothers assemble a quartet of religious leaders from various faiths before Josh Brolin's 1950s movie studio "fixer" Eddie Mannix. The scene plays like a theological joke: the Coen version of a priest and a rabbi walk into a movie studio.
In his first visit to a U.S. mosque, President Obama thanked American Muslims for their contributions to the nation, promised they will be treated with sensitivity in counterterrorism probes and said Islam is not to blame for terrorist attacks.
Most of the estimated $4.2 billion being waged on Super Bowl 50 will be illegal. You know the annual rituals: friendly workplace wagers, bets at your favorite sports watering hole and bets between rival teams' mayors and governors.
The human remains of two people were discovered in the basement of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, home by authorities who were conducting a narcotics investigation, police said Tuesday.
Nearly half of Americans surveyed in a new poll said they think "at least some" Muslims harbor anti-American sentiments.
As President Obama visits a mosque in the U.S. for the first time Wednesday to show support for Muslims, a new poll finds that Americans are divided along partisan lines about whether the next president should criticize Islam when speaking about terrorists.
Russian forces are not attacking the Islamic State in Syria unless its terrorist army is battling troops of President Bashar Assad, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
Pakistani authorities say they have shuttered over 180 Islamic religious schools called madrassas across the country in a yearlong crackdown on extremism, but even so, the closures affect only a fraction of the total number of seminaries suspected of preaching hatred and promoting a violent brand of Islamic extremism.
President Obama's first visit to an American mosque Wednesday comes as U.S. Muslims are increasingly concerned about anti-Islamic sentiment turning violent.
Utah drivers who want to declare "In God We Trust," on their car's license plate may soon be able to do so without paying an extra $11 fee.
Congressional Democrats on Tuesday told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to "immediately disband" a taxpayer-funded probe into Planned Parenthood, saying a Texas grand jury's decision to indict the abortion provider's opponents had discredited a select committee tasked with scrutinizing groups that harvest fetal tissue.
During American Heart Month in February, efforts are made to raise awareness about heart disease -- the number one killer of men and women across all demographics--and how to prevent it.
Recent Opinion Columns
Twenty years ago, Professor Paul Marshall of the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Canada, wrote a book with a particularly uninviting title, "Their Blood Cries Out." This tome, not unlike the 16th century John Foxe's Book of Martyrs, described the persecution of multiple Christians around the world.
It has been postulated that diets high in sodium contribute to an annual 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide and is responsible for 1-in-10 U.S. deaths. And researchers also found that 40 percent of these deaths affect adults 69 years of age or younger.
Forget about "the sex talk" for a moment, just a moment. There's another important talk.
When my husband first went into the hospital, I was scared. My husband Charlie, an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veteran, was not coherent and to see the man I love collapse and transform into someone unrecognizable - it shook me to my core.
This weekend, thousands marched on the Texas Capitol in celebration of life and in memory of the more than 50 million lives lost since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Just two days later, a Harris County grand jury tasked with investigating wrong-doing by Planned Parenthood shocked the nation by instead indicting the messenger.
For a little while last week, I felt hopeful about the world.
When Sarah Palin recently discussed events that occurred at her home involving her son, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and domestic violence, she opened up the discussion of the intertwining of PTSD and domestic violence within the military community.
Snowvalanche? Snowwayout? Snowpocalypse? Snowstorm.
Callista and I saw "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" on Monday. It was a tremendous experience. The intensity of the continuous action reminded me a lot of the movie "Black Hawk Down."
The 2016 State of the Union address was very striking for the one-sidedness and disproportion of the president's concern for religious suffering.
Many feminists hate "meninism." I, a proud and staunch feminist, don't. Yes, meninism is partly a mockery of the real struggles that women face. Yes, self-proclaimed meninists are mostly privileged white men. But they have raised some real issues.
On Monday, the White House tweeted out: "The #EmptySeat in the State of the Union guest box will speak for those who no longer have a voice." As expected, people took quickly to Twitter with their interpretations of that comment.
Have you ever been lonesome? Of course you have. It's natural to feel lonely, especially following a break up or move to a new location. We'd have no country music or blues if no one ever felt lonely!
Our New Year's resolutions reflect our hope and desire to bring about a better us. Our health, whether it is to eat better, exercise more, stress less, or quit smoking, is often a part of this list.
Sitting in a U.N. refugee tent in a camp filled with 18,000 refugees, my stomach turns and my eyes are wet, listening to yet one more horrific, unimaginable crime committed against Yazidi children, girls and women. It is Christmas Eve 2015.
Fatherhood; bias against Christians in graduate admissions?; Hunter S. Thompson; bioethics.
When I hear about the latest bone-chilling crime committed by a member of a group, I ask, "Is this the action of a few very bad apples, or is there something rotten about the barrel?"
Will 2016 be the last year of liberty? If the radical left has its way, it will be. If any of the Democrats are elected president in 2016, it will be.
The newsworthy things people said in 2015 could fill pages of The Washington Times newspaper and then some. There are so many quotes, in fact, the sheer volume might break Al Gore's greatest invention: the Internet. I've selected several notable quotes to refresh your memory, some that you might have missed and a couple on one of my favorite topics, sports.
Entering into the new year brings excitement, reflection and hopes that are often embodied by our New Year's resolutions.
Tanner clothes Mary in simple peasant fabric and places her in a room with rough-hewn stone flooring and ugly, cracked plaster. Even the vase in the background is of the common ceramic variety with no adornment. While other artists depict Gabriel coming to Mary while she is reading, thus showing her industry, intellect, and piety, Tanner's Mary seems to have been doing nothing--just sitting on her bed. Look closely and you will even see her bare toes. How shocking!
Our duty to spread the gospel, however, does not mean that we have a Christian duty to allow them to come to our homes and take our daughters as slaves, or for them to enter our churches and prematurely dispatch to Heaven our brothers and sisters or their children. In that situation, I for one -- while not called to hate or to avenge -- am called to defend. And to defend violently, if necessary.
A detoured life. That is how military caregiver Allyson Bowers describes her life caring for her husband, Benjamin Bowers, a medically retired Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. Along with caring for her husband, Allyson also holds a master's degree in human services with an emphasis on military resilience from Liberty University and is a Fellow Emeritus with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
When confronted with racial injustice, Rosa Parks said "no." When confronted with tyranny, Winston Churchill said "no." When confronted with colonial arrogance, Mahatma Gandhi said "no."
This time of the year, travel plans are on many of our calendars during the next few months and there is something that needs to be addressed in the planning process: germs!
In his Thanksgiving address to the nation, President Obama used his bully pulpit to remind us "all God's children are worthy of compassion and care."
The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a "cold, shivery forecast" with snow blanketing the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States this winter season. Add to that the Monster El Nino forecasted to stir up our nation's winter weather patterns.