Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others. The RFRA wasn’t meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer’s faith, or to allow businesses to refuse to serve gay and transgender people, or to sanction government-funded discrimination. In the civil rights era, we rejected the claims of those who said it would violate their religion to integrate. We can’t let the RFRA be used as a tool for a different result now.
Based on interviews with evangelical leaders, political strategists, and policymakers, this is an inside look at how the evangelical movement became a major backer of immigration reform, how it turned traditional political allegiances on their head, and what the future holds. (Atlantic)
Despite a popular perception that the 8-1 decision ripped religion out of public schools by banning the ceremonial reading of Bible verses, prominent First Amendment scholars and educators say Abington v. Schempp marked a rare consensus among conservative and liberal justices that actually provided a framework for allowing religion into the public school curriculum. (Deseret News)
The flip-side of that same analysis suggests that GOP’s bigger vote problems actually lie on the other side of the spectrum, counties with smaller evangelical populations. Mr. Romney suffered steep declines in his vote tally from the counties with the smallest percentage evangelical adherents, more than one standard deviation below the norm for evangelical population.
If you really think that head-counts of winners in Supreme Court religious exemption cases are the way to evaluate biases, then I take it you should conclude that the more liberal court of the 1960s to 1980s was biased in favor of Christians and the more conservative court of the 1990s to 2010s hasn’t been.
The red smear left by the application of silicon by the Israel Police Forensics Laboratory in their fruitless attempt to prove forgery has contaminated the word "Yeshua" (Jesus) inscribed on the ossuary and destroyed much of the little patina that remained (Matthew Kalman, James Ossuary Trial)
The latest data from Brazil’s tax authorities shows its churches made about R$21bn ($6.8bn) in revenue in 2011 through weekly contributions, donations and by even issuing credit cards with local banks (Financial Times)
The national event “Spain, we pray for you” took place in Madrid on Saturday, June 13th, with the attendance of thousands of evangelical Christians, who gathered to pray for the necessities of country, and to give a Christian testimony, so that many would know Jesus.
Have we entered a new age of techno-evangelism, in which digital properties like WhatsApp can gain followers at a rate that puts the world’s major religions to shame? Or have we quietly changed from a society in which carefully developed, lifelong commitments have given way to a flurry of casual associations that can be started — or abandoned — with almost no effort at all?
Today, her followers say the scandalous accounts of her life overlook all the good work she did on the streets of Los Angeles, especially during the Depression. When government agencies failed to clothe and feed the poor, Angelus Temple stepped in helping 1.5 million people get back on their feet. But according to Jane Shaw, professor of religious studies at Stanford University, McPherson's biggest legacy is the way she combined "a conservative form of religion with the media of modernity". In many ways her radio station laid the way for America's modern televangelists.
The clergy group did not shy away from Brown’s role as the suspect in a theft, instead acknowledging problems with crime that face black communities and using it as an opportunity to push its main message that more black parents and guardians should raise their children with the added support of the church.
It isn't problematic that Christians "borrow ideas" from Hollywood and put their own spin on them. Every film genre does this. But given the Christian doctrine of creation, it is certainly surprising that so many Christian filmmakers — and artists in general — would choose to mimic someone else's vision, rather than cultivate their own.
Grief at a botched retouching of a church fresco has turned to gratitude for divine intervention — the blessing of free publicity — that has made Borja, Spain, a magnet for thousands of curious tourists. (The New York Times)