Hobby Lobby, however, is an arts-and-crafts chain owned by evangelicals. The stores pipe in Christian music, close on Sundays, and carry a number of home decor items with conservative themes.Eden Foods, by contrast, is a pioneer in the organic-food business and draws its most loyal customers from the nation's 140 food co-ops, whose members tend to hold more politically liberal views.
Biblical counseling is a major force among conservative American Protestants. It is so popular, and so widespread, that in 2005 the Southern Baptist Convention’s theological seminaries announced a “wholesale change of emphasis” in favor of biblical counseling over an earlier “pastoral care” model that had drawn in part on the behavioral sciences. But biblical counseling also faces serious difficulties. It has been confronted with mounting external criticisms and widening internal divisions, and the result, among its practitioners, is a looming crisis of principle. How Christians address this crisis will shape the mental health choices of millions of Americans.
Lalibela – described by Hilary Bradt, the travel guide author, as "the number one sight in Ethiopia and perhaps the most astonishing man-made site in sub-Saharan Africa" – is crucial to a drive by officials to banish images of famine and conflict, and turn the east African country into a fashionable destination.
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)
Serah Blain at the Secular Coalition for Arizona thinks many atheist politicians are closeted because of “a strong association in the U.S. between morality and religion — this idea that morality comes from faith. Right now it’s still politically risky to say you can be ethical without a belief in God,” she said.
The peace agreement between the government and Muslim guerrillas provides for the creation of an autonomous region, to be governed under Islamic rules. Wao, the only municipality with Christian majority, wants out. (Asia News)
Since 2013, the small Central African nation of Burundi has seen a gradual but serious contraction of political rights and social freedoms. The government has even targeted leisure activities. (The Washington Post)
"So when we do them (baptisms), the tanks are all outside, the changing areas are all outside, we rent huge tents, people don't know where to go so we've gotta have volunteers to lead the way so that people know which direction to go." (Christian Post)
Putin has cultivated strong ties with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopting more conservative policies and prompting some critics to suggest the line separating state and church has become blurred. (Reuters)
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)
"Arguing that the traditional Jewish day-school model they grew up with is outmoded and too clannish for 21st-century Judaism, a new generation of parents and educators are flocking to Montessori preschools and elementary schools that combine secular studies with Torah and Hebrew lessons."
In his new book, Culture and the Death of God (Yale, Mar.), Eagleton goes beyond his critique of the New Atheism to illustrate the ways in which theology raises foundational questions in a culture where political science, linguistic philosophy, and positivist science have run away from such questions.