Most Christians have non-Christian worldviews

vision-154854_640A new study from Barna has found that most “practicing Christians” in America–defined as those who attend church regularly and say that their faith is important to them–hold to non-Christian worldviews.  Or at least elements of those worldviews.  Only 17% look at the world through a predominantly Biblical perspective.

Here is the breakdown:

61% hold to some elements of “New Spirituality,” that is, to New Age, Eastern, or Neo-Pagan beliefs (such as all religions being one; the karmic view that if we do good we receive good, and vice versa).

54% have postmodernist views, that truth and morality are relative.  (Interestingly, the less educated hold to postmodernist ideas to a greater extent [31%] than the college educated [21%], despite the prominence of postmodernism in the university!)

36% hold to Marxist views, such as the evils of private property and the desirability of government control.

29% agree with secularism, on materialism and science.

Now the respondents had to agree with only one of several questions associated with each worldview, in order to count in that total.  So the extent of their indoctrination with these various worldviews isn’t completely clear.

After the jump, start reading the report and go to the site for more details of the study and what these different categories mean, with the questions asked. [Read more…]

Dissolving Illinois


Due to its long history of corruption, political paralysis, and bad management, the state of Illinois is a basketcase.  It has $15 billion in unpaid bills, $251 billion in pension liability, and a looming revenue drop.  It hasn’t had a budget in three years.

State lawmakers are meeting in a special session with a July 1 deadline, but are making little progress in finding a way forward.  If they don’t, two major bond-rating services are saying they will downgrade the state’s bonds to “junk.”

Any attempt to raise money by selling bonds–which is inevitable, since the state has such a big shortfall–would demand the highest interest rates, assuming any investors would take the risk.  That, in turn, would mean the state would have even less money, which sets up a death spiral.

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass is proposing that Illinois just be dissolved.  Distribute its land to the surrounding states.  Chicago can be split between Indiana and Wisconsin (which can rename its part of the city “South Milwaukee”).  We can have the Milwaukee Cubs and the Indiana White Sox.  He goes on in this vein for Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri.

He is being (mostly) facetious, but I don’t know what happens if a state implodes on this scale.  Any ideas or suggestions (facetious or serious) about what Illinois should do?

Read both an account of the problem and the proposal for dissolution after the jump.

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Court throws out most charges against makers of Planned Parenthood videos


Pro-abortion fanatics have been trying to get David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt put in prison for making tapes of Planned Parenthood employees joking about their grisly business and talking about selling the organs of their victims.

The state of California has cooperated with this attempted persecution by filing 15 felony charges against the pair, mostly having to do with recording people’s private conversations against their permission.  But the San Francisco Superior Court has thrown out 14 of those charges.

The one charge that remains has to do with their posing as someone they are not, a tactic commonly used by investigative journalists.  The Los Angeles Times, seeing the threat to the freedom of the press, is supporting Daleiden and Merritt, despite the newspaper’s support of abortion. [Read more…]

Von Uhde’s “Let the Little Children Come to Me”


More from Fritz von Uhde, the 19th century Lutheran artist we’ve been discussing.  This one, “Let the Little Children Come to Me,” is an example of von Uhde’s device of portraying Bible stories in contemporary settings (that is, contemporary for his time).  The effect is for viewers to see their reality of these Biblical truths for today and for people like themselves.

And this painting is particularly Lutheran, as I’ll explain after the jump. [Read more…]

What percentage of gays have gotten married?


Gallup now has some data about same-sex marriage.

According to Gallup’s survey, 10.2% of LGBT adults are married to someone of the same sex.

Interestingly, this is fewer than the number of LGBT adults who are married to someone of the opposite sex: 13.1%.  Gallup says that this is because half of LGBT folks are bisexual!  (What are the implications of that fact?  For pastoral care?  For the same-sex marriage debate?)

Other findings:  Of all LGBT adults who are cohabiting, 61% are married to each other.  The number of domestic partnerships has plummeted to 6.6%.  But the number of gays who are not living with a partner, who consider themselves “single,” has shot up, to 55.7%. [Read more…]

The Senate’s health care bill


Senate Republicans released their proposed health care bill, which, if it passes, must be reconciled to the bill passed by the House of Representatives.

Go here for a helpful comparison of the Senate bill with that of the House of Representatives and with Obamacare.

But the Senate bill is already in trouble.  Republicans have 52 seats, so they can lose two votes.  But four senators have announced their opposition:  Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and Ron Johnson (WI).

These are conservatives, but moderates aren’t fond of the bill either.  Changes to satisfy these four might jeopardize it with the moderates.

Obamacare is unlikely to be replaced, just revised.  And maybe not even that.

Photo of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee (from left), by Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons License

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