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Tom Krattenmaker
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Tom Krattenmaker is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in religion in public life. He is the author of "The Evangelicals You Don't Know," published in April 2013

Entries by Tom Krattenmaker

What Tolerance Truly Means

(15) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 10:27 PM

Following revelations that recently appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had supported California's anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8, he is out. And so is tolerance in this country -- at least according to critics of the pressure campaign that led to Eich's involuntary resignation, and other campaigns like it.

For those involved in...

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Young Evangelicals Change Look of the Culture Wars

(28) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 6:02 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The culture wars might be heating up in these parts as the Oregon Family Council and allies mobilize for a ballot measure exempting Christian business owners from providing services for same-sex weddings -- or "participating" in these unions, as proponents prefer to phrase it.

We know how...

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Religious Freedom in Balance

(7) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 3:35 PM

Can a Christian merchant legally refuse service to gay people? Should a Christian business owner be exempt from providing employees with health insurance that includes contraceptives he deems immoral? As the debates rage and the Supreme Court nears oral arguments in the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate case, it's instructive...

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Churches Confront Sexual Violence

(4) Comments | Posted February 2, 2014 | 7:04 PM

It's a scourge as old as the ages, yet sexual violence against women and children is fresh in the headlines as President Obama launches an initiative to address sexual assaults on college campuses, while the military tries to fix its own problem and newly released documents shed galling light on...

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Evolution Is Not a Matter of 'Belief'

(454) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 5:50 PM

Do you "believe" in evolution? A new survey reveals that your answer can be predicted in large part by your political loyalties. The Pew Research Center finds that two thirds of Democrats accept the validity of evolution, in contrast with the 43 percent of Republicans who accept it....

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Pope Francis Is Not Liberal Or Conservative: He is Prophetic

(23) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 11:15 AM

(RNS) It's one thing to say kind words about gay people and atheists while admonishing those who would bury them in stones.

It's one thing to walk humbly and call the Catholic Church to compassion for the poor.

It's one thing to kiss a horribly disfigured man from whom most...

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Prayer at Public Meetings: Be Reasonable

(33) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 11:20 AM

For the first time in a generation, the Supreme Court is revisiting an issue that has divided, confused and angered Americans for many decades: What's in and what's out when it comes to prayer at government meetings?

The justices heard arguments this week in a case from Greece, N.Y., where,...

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Brain Damage in the NFL: A Moral Thorn for Christians

(220) Comments | Posted October 13, 2013 | 6:34 PM

Pro football has a serious morality problem.

I am not talking about promiscuous players or racist team nicknames. Nor am I referring to the "obscene" amounts of money changing hands between the masses obsessed with football and the sports industrial complex that keeps them supplied.

I am talking about...

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New 'Safe Zones' Drive Signals Growing Push for Secular Inclusion

(34) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 3:38 PM

New on the high school and college landscape as the academic year begins: "safe zones" for non-religious students who are fed up with going along to get along with the religiosity that prevails on many campuses, and with the harassment that sometimes awaits those who reveal their secular stripes.

...
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What the Christian Left Can Learn From the Christian Right

(46) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 12:56 PM

On most Mondays this summer, protesters have been congregating in North Carolina to raise a moral voice against the actions of elected officials in the Tar Heel state. Beginning at the Capitol last spring, and spreading to other North Carolina cities with the legislative session finished for the year, the...

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Evangelical Shift on Gays: Less Fear, More Heart

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 12:33 PM

"This is a new season," declares Exodus International President Alan Chambers, who has shut down his controversial gay-to-straight conversion ministry and apologized for the hurt the program inflicted. In the weeks following Chambers' bombshell, the Supreme Court has issued rulings accelerating this change of season for gay rights in America,...

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6 Evangelicals You Don't Know... But Might Want To

(256) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 4:12 PM

For many progressives and/or seculars, there's a certain five-syllable word that often triggers irritation: "evangelical." This is understandable. Many of the evangelicals we have gotten to "know" from politics and media say and do a great deal that offends progressive values and sensibilities (not to mention common sense and simple...

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What Evangelicals Can Learn From Superman (and Other Secular Culture)

(24) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 3:43 PM

To mark the opening of the much-anticipated Man of Steel, the marketing machines were churning as they always do when a blockbuster movie is coming to a theater near you. But amid the merchandizing madness comes a "product" tie-in that might surprise you -- outreach to evangelical pastors with free...

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A New Evangelical Engagement With Public Schools

(78) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 4:57 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Why would evangelical Christians want anything to do with public schools? Judging from decades of culture war rhetoric, these are bastions of secular humanism where God and his fearers are unwelcome. School prayers -- not allowed. Teaching creationism -- verboten. Abstinence-only sex education -- few to be...

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When Will Boy Scouts Accept the Non-Religious?

(958) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Depending on what happens at the Boy Scouts' national meeting this month, gay Scouts might soon be accepted into the venerable organization. Even then, there will remain a large and growing group of Americans still barred by the Boy Scouts.

When will the Boy Scouts accept the non-religious?

The Boy...

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A Progressive's Confessional Journey to Focus on the Family

(166) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 1:22 PM

Many of my fellow progressives and seculars will wonder what possessed me to journey to Focus on the Family as part of the legwork for my new book -- not just with a bundle of questions but an olive branch as well.

Those four words -- "Focus on...

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Religious Freedom, Meet Secularism: Your Best Ally

(11) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 11:29 AM

In what could go down as one of its most notable reckonings of the era, the Supreme Court heard arguments this week in two major gay marriage cases. While the advocates and justices sparred over California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, some important constitutional principles had...

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Is Birth Control Fight Really About Religious Freedom?

(1107) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 9:35 AM

The Obama administration has now gone a step farther to address religious freedom objections to contraceptive provisions under the health-care reform law, creating, through new rules issued last week, a way for employees of religiously affiliated organizations to access birth control without their employers getting their hands dirty.

Given the...

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Progressive Spirit: Occupy Finds Its Soul

(89) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 2:27 PM

If you've ever been hounded by debt collectors about an impossibly large bill saddling you through no fault of your own, as many Americans have, imagine receiving a letter that goes like this:

"We write with good news: You no longer owe the balance of this debt. It is gone,...

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Welcome to the 'Radical Middle'

(3) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 12:11 PM

Who wants to be in "the middle"? Not many. Or so you might think after a quick tour through cable news, talk radio and the Internet, or after a look at one of those red-state, blue-state maps. Political analyst Michael Barone writes for many when he observes that we have...

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