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Religion in America

Supreme Court Considers Compulsory Prayer

Sally Steenland | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Sally Steenland

The Supreme Court is hearing a case today about whether the act of opening government meetings with official prayer is constitutional -- or if doing so steps on the First Amendment and unlawfully puts the government in the business of promoting religion.

What If Salvation Has Everything to Do With Politics?

Derek Penwell | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Derek Penwell

What if your "personal relationship to Jesus" is informed not just by how much you pray or whether you have the proper view of the trinity, but by how you treat the people Jesus had a nasty habit of hanging out with -- you know, the folks on the fringes... the ones on food stamps, the ones who get fired for being gay?

On Millennials and Faith

Safiya Jafari Simmons | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Safiya Jafari Simmons

It seems the topic du jour in religious circles is the waning faith of Millennials. While I've enjoyed reading the opinions and commentaries of the experts, I thought maybe it was time to have a Millennial lend her voice.

Celebrity Deaths and the Future of American Religion

Gary Laderman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Gary Laderman

The cult of celebrity that is prevalent and powerful in society today is one example of a new religious culture, and when the death of a celebrity occurs, whether as a result of old age or a young life cut short by tragedy, the way we talk about it and the rituals we use in the aftermath are just as sacred as sitting shiva or giving a sermon.

Treasuring the Non-Famous in an Era of Infamous Fame

Charles Redfern | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Charles Redfern

Driscoll and MacArthur become magnets for holier-than-thou snarkiness, especially when they launch disruptive publicity ploys. The anti-Driscollites mutate into mirror images of their nemesis, raising their blog hits, but accomplishing little else.

Will Interfaith Marriage Spell the End of 'Us' and 'Them'?

Yona Zeldis McDonough | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Yona Zeldis McDonough

An interfaith union provides an extraordinary opportunity to make the political personal, to challenge the status quo, and to embrace the kind of tolerance that will benefit us all.

Kitsch Judaism

Rabbi Denise Eger | Posted 10.25.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Denise Eger

Where is the room for a thoughtful, meaningful, joyful Judaism that has respect and honor for our traditions even as they are evolving?

4 Things to Do About Pew Survey Findings on #JewishAmerica

Jerry Silverman | Posted 12.24.2013 | Religion
Jerry Silverman

If we go by numbers alone, the non-Orthodox American Jewish community is facing an existential crisis. The study clearly demonstrates that we stand at an urgent crossroads for American Jewry, and presents us with a major opportunity.

The Hollywood Effect: R-rated Films, Violent Video Games Tied to Lower Religious Practices for Young Adults

David Briggs | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
David Briggs

A steady diet of watching movies such as Ted and Saw through Saw VI may keep young people out of the pews, suggests a new study of R-rated films and religiosity.

Eid Mubarak!

Imam Abdullah Antepli | Posted 12.17.2013 | Religion
Imam Abdullah Antepli

Tomorrow, 1.7 billion Muslims around the world will complete the four-day celebration of one of the two most important religious festivals in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Adha.

An Open Letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Cara McDonough | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Cara McDonough

I cling to my Catholic faith with a dogged perseverance that, frankly, I'm beginning to question. Do I remain Catholic because it's easier than the alternative? Because I'm just apathetic enough that permanently abandoning the religion seems too much work? I'd like to think not.

Attention American Jews: Let's Not Be Afraid

S.R. Hewitt | Posted 12.15.2013 | Religion
S.R. Hewitt

Instead of searching out problems and solutions, maybe we need to trust ourselves, our heritage and our Torah, and take a moment to marvel at the strength of Jewish life that has survived so many cultures throughout so many centuries.

Jews Without God

Isabel Kaplan | Posted 12.15.2013 | Religion
Isabel Kaplan

My Jewish identity is complex, to be sure, and it defies easy categorization. But I don't think it's contradictory, or problematic.

Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore

Steve McSwain | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Steve McSwain

I counsel church leaders within every denomination in America, having crisscrossed this country for nearly two decades counseling congregations as small as two hundred in attendance to churches averaging nearly 20,000 in weekly attendance.

Think Again: 'Who Speaks for the Jews?'

Eric Alterman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Media
Eric Alterman

Now we have the data and so much is clear: Neither the Jewish professional world, which is mostly conservative, nor the hardline Jewish neoconservatives in the media speak for American Jews.

What the Debates About the Pew Study on Judaism in America Missed

Rabbi Jordie Gerson | Posted 12.09.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Jordie Gerson

From me to them: we'd love to have you. We'd love to hear where you've been, what you've been up to and why you haven't been with us. Sit down. Stay for a while.

The Pew Survey of U.S. Jews: Ramifications and Recommendations

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch | Posted 12.07.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch

There are fewer Jews (except for the Orthodox). There are fewer Jews marrying Jews. There are fewer Jewish children. There are fewer Jews who affiliate with the Jewish community. There is fewer Jewish intensity.

"Love Your Neighbor as Yourself": Failing Grade for Religious America

Bernard Starr | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Listen to sermons throughout religious America and you are likely to hear variations on the lofty principle featured in both the Old and New Testaments: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But as we well know talk can be cheap.

Religious and Nonreligious Dreamers

Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D. | Posted 11.19.2013 | Religion
Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D.

This finding struck me as puzzling, in light of the many important roles that dreams have played in the world's religious traditions. I was expecting that more religiosity would correlate with more awareness of dreaming, but the opposite seemed to be the case.

A Stone of Hope: The Multifaith Movement for Justice and the Urgent Need to Move Freedom Forward

Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson | Posted 11.09.2013 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson

In my tradition we say, "So now, as worship ends, the service begins." Now is the time for religious leaders and faith voices to transcend religious divides and pursue bold collective actions to strengthen the march for justice.

What Makes the Encinitas School Yoga Program Religious?

Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D. | Posted 09.23.2013 | Religion
Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D.

The Escondido Union School District used funds from a religious organization with a missionary agenda to implement a religious yoga curriculum. But U.S. and California constitutions prohibit this kind of complicity of government and religion.

America's Religious Future: Dechristianization (Not Secularization)

Gary Laderman | Posted 09.21.2013 | Religion
Gary Laderman

What is this country coming to? Anyone who pays attention to religion in America can see monumental changes and conflicts affecting the present and looming in the future.

Unitarianism: Universalism Unlimited

KidSpirit | Posted 09.11.2013 | Religion
KidSpirit

Unitarian Universalism parallels some of the most important trends in American society, both politically and socially.

Some Churchgoers Say Clergy Contribute "Nothing" To Society: Survey

Posted 07.12.2013 | Religion

Do clergy contribute to America's well-being? A new Pew Research Center survey finds that when it comes to views of professions' positive roles in ...

A Precedent Is a Precedent... Until It's Not

Derek Penwell | Posted 09.10.2013 | Religion
Derek Penwell

As we approach some sort of resolution to the argument about the affirmation of LGBT people in our culture, the question we must answer isn't about how traditions based on the Bible could be subject to change, but how could anyone have ever thought they weren't?