Happy 4th of July!

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Are Christians Persecuted in the United States?

The answer, of course, to the question posed in the title is obviously “yes.” People of every possible view get persecuted in some way in every society, especially if one defines persecution broadly enough to include things like “being called stupid by a complete stranger on Facebook.” But since by that definition every category of [Read More...]

Where We Focus Our Efforts

The United States lags behind other countries in many respects, despite being wealthier, and in most instances also more populous. We have more money and hours than most other major world powers and developed nations to dedicate to the things we consider important. And so why are things like poverty, health care, and education not [Read More...]

Patheos Public Square

There’s a relatively new feature on the Patheos website: Patheos Public Square. The current topic is “Does America Need a Civil Religion?” [Read more...]

My Fellow Americans

I found this cartoon yesterday on the Polyp website when I was working on my recent post about conspiracy theories and Margaret Atwood’s novel The Year of the Flood. I appreciated its satirical treatment of our tendency to think of Jesus as one of us, one who could address us in this way with no sense [Read More...]

Shutdown and Priorities

Plenty of others are discussing the government shutdown in the United States, and so I won’t try to cover the whole story. What I consider most noteworthy is just how much it says about our priorities. Not everything that is part of the government’s budget is actually shutting down. “Essentials” such as military activities are [Read More...]

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Faith

The Butler University Seminar on Religion and World Civilization got off to a wonderful start this year, with a session focused on freedom of religion as defined in the first amendment to the United States Constitution. Our three guest speakers were Sheila Seuss Kennedy, Rick Garnett, and Dan Conckle. Some who have attended many of [Read More...]

Creationism and Religious Freedom

Today my class on “Religion and Freedom of Expression” met for the first time. It is a class with a non-traditional format – we meet a few Saturday mornings for a few hours, plus also four evenings when students attend lectures in our public lecture series and have dinner and a Q&A time with the [Read More...]

Limits to Religious Freedom

Since Tuesday is Constitution Day, and I will be gathering students from my course on “Religion and Freedom of Expression” soon for the first time to talk about Randall Bezanson’s book How Free Can Religion Be?, I thought I would see if there is interest in discussing the topic on this blog. As a starting [Read More...]

Syria and the End Times

Hemant Mehta shared some interesting statistics and infographics about what Americans think about Syria, and how events there may be leading up to the “end times.” These statistics also give us in the process a good sense of how many Americans have never consulted a scholarly commentary on the Book of Revelation… [Read more...]

Breaking Bad (Anywhere But America Edition)

Via Rachel Held Evans on Facebook, who got it ultimately from someone who said “We're pretty smug up here in Soviet Canuckistan”! I should say that I have not watched the series “Breaking Bad,” but I am aware of the premise, and so am able to understand that this cartoon makes an important point about [Read More...]


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