Separate But Equal? Why “Freedom of Worship” Makes Religious People Sit at Back of the (Church) Bus

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In light of my earlier post advancing a secular, empirical argument for the value of public prayer, I've been engaged in an interesting discussion with a couple of atheist bloggers at Patheos on what religious freedom really entails (Note: the discussion occurred on a private forum and I don't have permission to share their thoughts so I will refrain from naming  or quoting them or the other participants).   I realize that politics is outside the usual purview of this blog, but I thought this w … [Read more...]

Prayer Works: A Psychological Case for Public Prayer and Graceful Governance

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On the Patheos Atheist Channel, Jeffrey Jay Lowder posted an article titled, "Question for Theists:  Why Is It Important to Begin Governmental Meetings with Prayer?"  I appreciated the honest and respectful attempt to engage believers on this controversial issue--especially in light of Canada's high court ruling that such prayer is impermissible-- so I thought I would attempt a purely secular, non-theist, research-based response to the question.   There actually is a purely psychological ar … [Read more...]

Is Atheism A Mental Illness?

Sean Thomas at the London Telegraph seems to think so....Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but...Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades … [Read more...]

Six Types of Atheists?

According to the University of Tennessee, in what is, reportedly, the first-ever attempt to classify different types of atheism, researchers have identified 6 types of atheists.  If you are an atheist, what flavor are you?  Is there a category they didn't think of?  If you are close to someone who is an atheist, do you recognize them in these types?1. Intellectual Atheist/Agnostic--The true believer (er, non-believer) who seeks to develop his non-belief through reading and other intellectual … [Read more...]

Will Your Kids Stay Catholic? (UPDATED)

Most parents hope that their adult children will remain in the faith in which they were raised.  Lisa and I often hear, both on the radio and in our counseling practice, from parents who are profoundly upset that their adult children have left the Church.Obviously, parents can never guarantee that children will follow in their footsteps with regard to their beliefs but there are things that can be done to stack the deck.  When it comes to raising kids to stay Catholic, the research is pretty … [Read more...]

“I Don’t Believe in God Anymore”–When Your Kids Reject the Faith

I've been hearing from a lot of parents whose teens are rejecting their faith.  The stories are all terrifically painful but they tend to represent different variations on the following theme. The other day my son/daughter was refusing to go to Church.  S/he told me that s/he doesn't believe 'all that stuff' anymore.  We had a huge fight about it.  I don't understand.  I never had any problems before.  When s/he was little, s/he loved to go to Church.   S/he was an altar server (lect … [Read more...]

Why Don’t Christians Blame God When Bad Things Happen?

When terrible things happen, such as the tragic events in Moore, Oklahoma, non-believers often challenge Christians by saying, "You Christians are so quick to thank God for every little good thing that happens, as if God is personally causing the sun to rise on your rear end.  But you never blame God when bad things happen.  Why the double standard?  If God is responsible for every little good thing, why isn't he responsible for the messes too?"This is a truly important question, and one th … [Read more...]


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