The New Culture War

By David Brooks, New York Times Centuries ago, historians came up with a classic theory to explain the rise and decline of nations. The theory was that great nations start out tough-minded and energetic. Toughness and energy lead to wealth and power. Wealth and power lead to affluence and luxury. Affluence and luxury lead to... Continue Reading

Inmate’s Right to Free Exercise of Religion Clarified

No meat rule is OK, required martial arts sparring and not appearing nude, not so much. New York Law Journal September 29, 2009 Exploring the parameters of a statute that protects the right of inmates to freely exercise their religion, a federal appeals court has ruled that a prisoner who founded a religion that requires... Continue Reading

Religious life won’t be the same after downturn

By RACHEL ZOLL (AP) NEW YORK — Organized religion was already in trouble before the fall of 2008. Denominations were stagnating or shrinking, and congregations across faith groups were fretting about their finances. The Great Recession made things worse. It’s further drained the financial resources of many congregations, seminaries and religious day schools. Some congregations... Continue Reading

Why can’t Christians unite to change America’s ways?

Study finds faithful can’t agree on Bible, government’s role, social responsibility The commonly referenced “God gap” between Republicans and Democrats is disappearing. Polls released before the 2008 election demonstrated America’s Christian voters are no longer synonymous with the political right: a George Barna survey showed born-again Christians evenly split between John McCain and Barack Obama,... Continue Reading

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan …

AFGHANISTAN: While healthcare reform dominates D.C. these days, politicians face serious questions about raising troop levels | Emily Belz WASHINGTON—The Taliban is growing in power in certain Afghan cities like Kandahar, the results of the recent presidential election are in question, corruption is overwhelming efforts at good governance, and the chairman of the U.S. Joint... Continue Reading

Holy mess: 11 million Irish Americans leave Catholic Church

By Niall O’Dowd A new survey shows 34 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, say they have no religion. Even more significant is that one-third of those, about 11 million people, are Irish Americans. The survey by professors at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, does not explain why Irish Catholics are by far... Continue Reading

Conservative chorus

POLITICS: Republican politicians at this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit stick to singing the same tune | Edward Lee Pitts WASHINGTON—For the second weekend in a row, thousands of the nation’s conservatives are invading what they now call enemy territory: Washington, D.C. And just like at last week’s protest march on the U.S. Capitol, for... Continue Reading

Aid Dependents

World Relief’s almost-hire spotlights ministries need for government funds | Warren Cole Smith World Relief is the compassion and benevolence arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “We’re not the mouth of the NAE, but we are its arms and legs,” said Don Golden, the group’s senior vice president of church engagement. In theory,... Continue Reading

Happy Rosh Hashanah, Christians

The ‘Jewish New Year’ is a day of judgment for all of creation. Yitzchok Adlerstein and Abraham Cooper The High Holiday season that gains fast upon traditional Jews is primarily a time of self-examination and repentance. We scrutinize our deeds and misdeeds, attempting a mid-course correction on the long journey of life. We take stock... Continue Reading

U.S. Conservative Christians Target 16 Democrats

By Ed Stoddard WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Conservative Christians, a key base for the Republican Party, said on Saturday they were targeting 16 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in the 2010 congressional elections. Four other Democratic senators and 11 U.S. representatives were on the list, which was released at a summit in... Continue Reading