Category Archives: Church

“Mainline” churches are emptying. The political effects could be huge. – Vox

In April, the New York Times’s Ross Douthat wrote a column arguing — appropriately for a Sunday opinion piece — that liberals need to go to church. More specifically, he argued: “The wider experience of American politics suggests that as liberalism de-churches it struggles to find a nontransactional organizing principle, a persuasive language of the common good.”

For a theologically confessional Lutheran and politically conservative Republican like me, this is an interesting suggestion. How much of the cultural and political change we have observed in the past 20 years can be explained by the quiet death of the “mainlines”?

For readers not familiar with Christian denominational classifications, “mainline” is the term that students of American religious life use to refer to more theologically or politically liberal white-majority churches. Since Sunday morning remains America’s most segregated hour, experts separate “historically black Protestant” churches into their own group, and then divide the white churches into various segments.

Source: “Mainline” churches are emptying. The political effects could be huge. – Vox


Support for Same-Sex Marriage Grows, Even Among Groups That Had Been Skeptical | Pew Research Center

Two years after the Supreme Court decision that required states to recognize same-sex marriages nationwide, support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally is at its highest point in over 20 years of Pew Research Center polling on the issue.

By a margin of nearly two-to-one (62% to 32%), more Americans now say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry than say they are opposed.

Views on same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years. As recently as 2010, more Americans opposed (48%) than favored (42%) allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. In the past year alone, support has increased seven percentage points: In March 2016, 55% favored same-sex marriage, while 37% were opposed.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 8-18 among 2,504 adults finds striking increases in support for same-sex marriage among some demographic and partisan groups that, until recently, had broadly opposed it, including:

Baby Boomers. For the first time, a majority of Baby Boomers favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Currently, 56% of Boomers favor same-sex marriage, while 39% are opposed. Last year, opinion among Boomers was divided (46% favored/48% opposed).

African Americans. Blacks have long been less supportive of same-sex marriage when compared with whites, but the share of African Americans who favor same-sex marriage has risen 12 percentage points since 2015, from 39% to 51%.

Republicans. For the first time, a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents do not oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Today, 48% of Republicans and Republican leaners oppose same-sex marriage, while 47% favor this. As recently as 2013, Republicans opposed gay marriage by nearly two-to-one (61% to 33%).

Younger white evangelicals. Overall, white evangelical Protestants continue to stand out for their opposition to same-sex-marriage: 35% of white evangelical Protestants favor same-sex marriage, compared with a 59% majority who are opposed. But younger white evangelicals have grown more supportive: 47% of white evangelical Millennials and Gen Xers – age cohorts born after 1964 – favor same-sex marriage, up from 29% in March 2016. Views among older white evangelicals (Boomers and Silents) have shown virtually no change over the past year (26% now, 25% then).

Source: Support for Same-Sex Marriage Grows, Even Among Groups That Had Been Skeptical | Pew Research Center


Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol – Breitbart

WHY ARE THEY SO ANGRY AT SOMETHING THEY DON”T BELIEVE IN?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument was smashed to pieces early Wednesday by someone driving a vehicle into it less than 24 hours after the 6-foot (1.8 meter) granite statue was placed on state Capitol grounds.

Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell said capitol police arrested the male suspect early Wednesday.

Pulaski County jail records show that Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren, Arkansas, was booked into the jail shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief, with Capitol Police listed as the arrest agency.

A Facebook Live video shot early Wednesday and posted on an account belonging to a Michael Reed appears to show the destruction of the monument.

Arkansas’ monument fell from its plinth and broke into multiple pieces as it hit the ground.

“As far as what happens to the monument, it’s unclear at this time,” Powell said. “The first thing will be to clean up the debris.”

Nearly three years ago, a Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma’s Capitol met a similar fate, when a driver crashed his car into the statue, shattering it. That driver was identified as Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren, Arkansas. He was admitted the next day to a hospital for mental treatment and formal charges were never filed. It is not yet clear if he is the same person who attacked the Arkansas monument.

Source: Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol – Breitbart

 


Gov. Matt Bevin publicly signs bill allowing Kentucky’s public s – WDRB 41 Louisville News

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — Public schools in Kentucky can soon teach reading, writing and the book of Revelation.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, Gov. Matt Bevin gave his public “Amen” to a bill allowing Bible courses in public schools.

Normally, a bill signing does not open with prayer, but in this case, it may have been appropriate. At a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, Bevin signed House Bill 128, which allows public schools to teach courses on the Bible.

The bill’s sponsor says students need to understand the role the Bible played in American history.

“It really did set the foundation that our founding fathers used to develop documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” said Rep. D.J. Johnson (R-Owensboro). “All of those came from principles from the Bible.”

The bill, which easily passed the House and Senate, gives local school boards the option of developing a Bible literacy class as part of their social studies curriculum. The course would be elective, not required.

“The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation would not embrace this,” Bevin told the crowd.

The ACLU of Kentucky said it’s concerned about how the law might be used in schools.

“A Bible literacy bill that, on its face, may not appear to be unconstitutional, could in fact become unconstitutional in its implementation,” said Advocacy Director Kate Miller.

Miller told WDRB News the ACLU will monitor the law closely.

“We want to make sure that teachers can teach and make sure that they don’t go in to preach,” Miller said.

Supporters point out that the state Department of Education will help schools develop the course.

“As long as we’re careful with the curriculum itself, there won’t be any constitutional issues,” Johnson said. “And we’ll do that.”

Source: Gov. Matt Bevin publicly signs bill allowing Kentucky’s public s – WDRB 41 Louisville News


Matt Walsh: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell – TheBlaze

I received this email yesterday. The subject line, as you could guess, was “Compassion”:Matt, you call yourself a Christian but you have no compassion. The Jesus I believe in just wants people to be compassionate towards each other. We are not told to be judgmental to others because of who they love or what lifestyle they choose to have or what gender they identify as. Who are you to say what is wrong or right? We shouldn’t be focused on talking about “sin” or telling other people that they might be going to Hell. You have no right to say what a “sin” is. Our job is to be compassionate to all! Compassionate isn’t when you’re judging or telling other people about their sins. I pray that you realize the error of your ways.This is a good example of the bland salad of empty feeling and meaningless sentiment that often passes for “Christianity” in this country. You’ll notice that the adherents to this false version of the faith — and they certainly outnumber Christ’s true disciples by a large margin in our culture — have kidnapped, tortured, and destroyed many words that were previously very useful to Christians. A word like “judge,” for instance, has been so often misapplied and misconstrued by the Sentimental Christians that the rest of us almost have to leave off using it.

Source: Matt Walsh: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell – TheBlaze


Ten reasons millennials are backing away from God and Christianity | Fox News

College-aged millennials today are far more likely than the general population to be religiously unaffiliated. This is true when they are compared to previous generations as well.

In fact, the Pew Research Center documents that millennials are the least outwardly religious American generation, where “one in four are unaffiliated with any religion, far more than the share of older adults when they were ages 18 to 29.”

Just over 60 percent of millennials say that Christianity is “judgmental,” and 64 percent say that “anti-gay” best describes most churches today.

In ministry circles, it has long been reported that of youth raised in homes that were to some degree “Christian,” roughly three-quarters will jettison that faith after high school. Just under half of this number will return to some level of church involvement in their late 20s or early 30s.

It has long been recognized that experience with an earthly father deeply informs the perspective about the heavenly father. In “How the West Really Lost God,” sociologist Mary Eberstadt correctly asserts, “The fortunes of religion rise or fall with the state of the family.”

Why is this? Our most recent research, which includes dozens of interviews with teens, twentysomethings, professed ex-Christians, and religion and culture experts, points to factors like these:

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Source: Ten reasons millennials are backing away from God and Christianity | Fox News