Century Marks

Century Marks

Discuss (with young adults)

Christian Piatt identifies seven reasons why many young adults don't go to church: They've been hurt by the church. College or adult life doesn't seem to mix well with church. Unlike credit card companies, churches don't know how to connect with mobile young adults. Many other activities are competing for their time and attention. They are especially skeptical about people or organizations that are trying to get their attention. Their lifestyle leaves them exhausted. And they don't see any relevance to the church (Patheos, March 11).

Fact check

A line from a 1952 speech by President-elect Dwight Eisenhower is often cited as an example of civil religion: "Our form of government has no sense unless it is grounded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don't care what it is." In the 1980s historian Patrick Henry studied many accounts of that speech, including those in the New York Times and the Christian Century as well as several copies of the speech itself, and found that sources don't agree on what Eisenhower actually said. Henry concluded that we may never know (Church History, December).

Religious profiling

In late 2007 officers in the New York Police Department's secretive Demographics Unit were assigned to investigate the region's Syrian population. They kept records on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans because the owners were Muslims. Most of the Syrians in the region are Jewish, and they were excluded from the clandestine investigations. Similarly, when the NYPD unit investigated Egyptian businesses, they excluded Coptic Christian-owned ones (AP).

Leaving Iraq

Iraqi Christians who fled to the northern Kurdish provinces to escape attacks and intimidations are starting to leave that area too. Dis­couraged by unemployment, non-Arabic-speaking schools and a deteriorating security situation, they are making a quiet exodus to Turkey, Jordan, Europe and the United States. Kurdish officials had welcomed them, offering them land, free fuel and other assistance. The Christian population in Iraq is thought to be less than half of its pre-war level (New York Times, March 10).

Bible trumped

Fifty percent of Americans would choose Donald Trump as their financial adviser, despite his history of bankruptcies. Only 32 percent would look to the Bible for financial advice, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Bible Society and Compass—Finances God's Way. The survey also found that 86 percent of Americans do not follow what the Bible says about managing money, and 24 percent of those think they would have more money if they did follow that advice. The two nonprofits sponsoring the survey recently released The Financial Stewardship Bible, an integrated study guide that highlights more than 2,000 Bible verses that discuss money and finances (RNS).