Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kemp Dies

Jack Kemp has died. Diagnosed with cancer this year, the former vice presidential candidate ran with Bob Dole in 1996. Kemp became a Presbyterian in the 1950’s and said he become a born-again Christian though he's remembered more for championing conservative economic policy over conservative social policy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Torture Survey

Here's the results of a survey asking if the use of torture against suspected terrorists is ever justified:

White evangelical Protestants – Yes 61%
Those who attend services at least once a week – Yes 54%
All Respondents – Yes 49%
Those who seldom or never go to services – Yes 42%
unaffiliated with any religious organization - Yes 40%
mainline" Protestants – Yes 31%

Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Abortion Poll

The # of Americans favoring abortion has fallen to its lowest level since 1995, according to a new poll.

I believe abortion should be legal in most cases
August 09 - 54%
Now -46%

Moderate and liberal Republicans who say abortion should be legal in most cases:
August 09 – 57%
Currently – 43%

White mainline Protestants who say abortion should be legal in most cases:
August 09 – 69%
Currently – 54%

White Evangelical Protestants who say abortion should be legal in most cases:
August 09 – 33%
Currently – 23%

Source: Pew Research

The National Day of Prayer

Thursday is the 58th Annual National Day of Prayer. Groups will gather on the front steps of County Courthouses at noon to pray for the nation. This year’s theme is Prayer...America's Hope. It’s based on Psalm 33:22: "May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has been chair of the National Day of Prayer since 1991. The Continental Congress first set aside a day of prayer in 1775. In 1952, Congress established an official day of prayer and in 1988 it was designating the first Thursday in May.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Creationists Settle Dispute

A fight between two creationist groups is over. Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International once were allies but began fighting over copyrights and ownership of mailing lists four years ago. Soon there were accusation of financial mismanagement and poor business decisions. Mediation failed and the two went to court but now they’ve agree to put aside their complaints- though terms of their settlement are not being made public. Answers in Genesis (led by Ken Ham) is based in the US and grew out of Australia’s Creation Ministries International (founded by Carl Wieland). Answers has made a splash recently with its well-attended $27 million Creation Museum in Kentucky.

Methodist Keep Gay Marriage Ban

Methodist pastors are being told not to perform same-sex marriages or gay civil unions. The denomination’s highest court says that goes even in districts where the regional church officials support same-sex unions. Last year, the United Methodist General Conference voted to keep a ban on same-sex marriages and clergy were told to stay away from performing the ceremonies in the church.

Judge Nixes Name Change

Jonathan L. Thomas wants to change his name to Sinner Lawrence Bilskirnir but a Nebraska judge has said, “no”. Thomas says he wants the change because of his Norse religion. He calls himself a heathen who follows Thor as his God and is serving a prison term for burglary, drug possession and theft.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Robertson Stepping Down

Pat Robertson is retiring from the University he founded. He’ll step down as president of Regent University next summer. The religious broadcaster founded the Virginia Beach school in 1978. The 79-year-old Robertson will continue as chancellor and a member of the board of trustees.

Brotha Car Tag

A Florida state senator is proposing a specialty tag that would read: Can A Brotha Get a Break? Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson is reacting to another proposed license plate that would feature an image of Jesus on the cross. Lawson wants to money from sale of the plates to go toward the Employees Relief Fund for the purpose of offsetting salary and benefit cuts by the Legislature and providing grief counseling. Lawson plans to run for a seat in the US Congress next year.

Howard: Catholics Will Like A&D

Director Ron Howard writes this about his new film Angels & Demons: "I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic. And let me be a little controversial: I believe Catholics, including most in the hierarchy of the Church, will enjoy the movie for what it is: an exciting mystery, set in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rome."

Monday, April 27, 2009


BeliefNet explores some of the reasons Contemporary Christian Music may be dying.

Thanks But No Thanks

A Harvard Law School professor is refusing to accept an award from Notre Dame because President Obama will deliver this year's commencement address. Mary Ann Glendon will not accept the Laetare Medal because the school is giving Obama an honorary degree despite a request from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Glendon says she’s concerned her award was designed to give the appearance of balance.

Why They Leave

Most former Protestants and Catholics say their decision to leave their church was not prompted by a single event or issue but gradually took place over time (71%). Here are some other findings in a new study:

Was clergy sex-abuse scandals an important reason for why you left your church?
Yes- 27% of those who are now unaffiliated

Was finding a religion you liked better an important reason for why you left your church?
Yes – 58%

Was “unmet spiritual needs” an important reason for why you left your church?
Yes – 51%

Was the reason for your withdrawal from faith because you "just do not believe in God" or most religious teachings any more?
Yes – 42% Catholic
Yes-39% Protestant

Was the notion that "modern science proves religion is superstition" an important reason for your disaffiliation?
Yes – 32%

Do you see religious people as hypocritical, judgmental and insincere?
Yes -75% (unaffiliated)

Are you open to returning to the faith sometime in the future and just have not found the right religion yet?
Yes – 33% (unaffiliated)

Did you stop believing in church teaching?
Yes – 65% Catholic
Yes - 50% Protestant

Wa the Catholic Church's specific teachings on abortion and homosexuality an important reason for your departure?
Yes – 56% (former Catholics who are now unaffiliated)
Yes – 23% (former Catholics who are now Protestant)

Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Pastor's Pay Dispute

Members of New York’s Riverside Church are trying to stop a new pastor from making $600,000 a year. That would be about twice what his predecessor was paid. They went to court claiming Brad Braxton is refusing to reveal the church’s financial condition. But a judge has put the case off until after Braxton’s Sunday installation. His base salary will be a quarter-of-a-million dollars along with a monthly housing allowance, insurance benefits; money for a maid, private school tuition for his daughter, entertainment, travel and other expenses. Braxton calls himself a progressive evangelical. The dissenters complain the Southern Baptist minister will push the church toward more conservative positions.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Miss Cali Speaks at Church

Miss California spoke today at a San Diego megachurch where she’s been a member for several years. The San Diego Christian College junior told the congregation that her state sponsors wanted her to apologize for saying marriage should be between a man and a woman during the Miss USA pageant but Prejean refused. The Rock Church where she spoke was founded by former San Diego Chargers defensive back Miles McPherson and was involved in the campaign to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriages in California. Some pageant observers say since Prejean was first runner-up, low scores from one judge in response to her answer would have been enough to cost her the title.

Gay Clergy Voted Down

The Presbyterian Church, USA has turned aside efforts to allow gay clergy – but the margin is getting narrower. Two church districts (or presbyteries) voted against the plan yesterday which ensures the proposal will be defeated. It passed the denomination’s General Assembly last summer but still needed the approval of of the nation's 173 presbyteries. The margin of rejection was smaller than a similar earlier measure.

"Great Sex for You"

A Florida church may lose its meeting site because of sermons on sex. Melbourne’s New Hope Church pastor Bruce Cadle is going through a series titled Great Sex for You. But the Brevard Public School District's risk-management department isn’t happy about it and is threatening to kick the Church out of the Sherwood Elementary School because of complaints over a flier sent to thousands of people titled Is Your Sex Life A Bore? New Hope regularly meets inside the school auditorium.

Standing O for Miss Cali

The conservative audience attending the Dove Awards gave Miss California a standing ovation when she came out to introduce Mercy Me singing their hit I Can Only Imagine. At the Miss USA pageant last weekend, Carrie Prejean was asked by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton about gay marriage. Prejean responded that she believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.