Fun fact: when Paul tells his readers in Colossae to "put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry)," it's an example of a common ancient rhetorical device called a "vice list." (This is not actually fun, but bear with me.)
I’ve been dead a long time, my life hidden in Christ. Paul says the hidden life is a moral one, putting off vices like a set of dirty old clothes. The man could preach fire and brimstone when he wanted to.
Let me get this straight: Ryan Braun gets paid north of $20 million a year to be the aw-shucks kid turned Joe DiMaggio, the face of the Milwaukee Brewers, and the great white hope of a metro area that has never come to terms with its racial diversity. And we're supposed to be shocked and angry that he acts like a spoiled celebrity?
According to a recent survey by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute, Americans remain deeply divided on economic values. But the most significant findings may be religious, not economic.
After the Senate refused to take up several gun-control proposals Wednesday, I checked in with faith-based activists on the legislative process. (See my earlier Century article.) Many expressed frustration but also tentative hope for future prospects. "I'm deeply disappointed and very angry at the vise grip the NRA has on this issue," says Katherine Willis Pershey of the #ItIsEnough campaign.
Many activists weren't thrilled with the legislation to begin with.
It's not clear if this is meant to replace The Brady Center's "God Not Guns Sabbath," which has been observed on the last weekend of September for a number of years. But the organizers seem eager to keep the event broadly ecumenical and interfaith.
The verbiage is a bit dense, but here's the upshot: the ACA requires health plans to provide contraceptive coverage to all insured members. Some religious organizations and even a few for-profit companies objected to this requirement, citing religious beliefs.
We hear a lot about the "nones" these days: Americans who claim no connection to any particular faith. We'll hear a lot more too, as recent studies document this ever-expanding slice of the American demographic pie. We hear less, however, about the nones as individuals. But like any pastor, I’ve known more than a few in my time. At 20 percent of society, they are literally everybody's friends and neighbors.
Now, ordinarily a church supplies expo wouldn't capture much of our attention, besotted as it is with term papers and reality television. But the Guardian notes that this particular gathering will include a clerical fashion show, apparently featuring bespoke garments for the ecclesiastical set.
Much has been said about Pulpit Freedom Sunday already, but there's still a thing or two to add.
First, let's talk about the political and legal aspects of the story. Reuters says it's "not entirely clear" why the IRS hasn't gone after churches making endorsements in recent years. I’d say the reason is actually pretty clear: the U.S. House of Representatives.
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