Two American universities with no ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have plans to endow professorships in Mormon studies, making them the first secular schools to establish chairs in the academic study of Mormonism.
The programs, scholars say, could help push Mormonism and its academic study further into the mainstream.
Real money: By one estimate, the war in Iraq may eventually cost the United States $2 trillion. Which raises the question: how else could we have used this money? According to Nicholas D. Kristof (New York Times, October 24), it is four times the amount of money needed to stabilize the Social Security system for the next 75 years, and it is four times the amount needed to provide health care insurance for all uninsured Americans for the next decade. Every minute we stay in Iraq costs another $380,000.
Massachusetts Episcopalians will seek authorization from their denomination to use the church’s official marriage rites in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Delegates in the diocese favored that step, 324 to 43, at a late October convention in Boston.
Half of U.S. evangelical Christians do not support government funding of faith-based organizations, a survey shows. Newly released data from the Baylor Religion Survey show that 50 percent of evangelicals and 65 percent of the total population think federal funding of religious organizations is inappropriate.
One day after the November elections, the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches, holding its annual meeting in Orlando, called for “an immediate phased withdrawal of American and coalition forces from Iraq.” The withdrawal plan is linked to “benchmarks for rebuilding Iraqi society.”