The Pew Research Center has released a study of marital status in U.S. religious groups.  It gives the percentage of those married, living with a partner, divorced or separated, widowed, and never been married, broken down by denomination or religious affiliation.  The results are interesting, disturbing, and surprising.  But also deeply misleading. Among all American adults, 48% are married, 7% are cohabitating, 13% are divorced, 7% are widowed, and 25% have never been married.  This chart shows how various religious groups… Read more

President Trump has been fending off lawsuits from three women accusing him of mistreating them on the grounds that the President of the United States is immune from civil litigation in state courts.  His argument is based on the Supremacy Clause of the U. S. Constitution, which has been construed to grant “intergovernmental immunity.”  But this claim has never been tested in court.  Now a judge has ruled that the president has no such immunity, that “no one is above… Read more

In his sermon last Sunday, here in Australia, Pastor Pfeiffer quoted some fascinating words from St. Ignatius of Antioch, which he wrote just before being thrown to the lions in Rome. Ignatius was one of those very early second-generation Christians that we blogged about who confessed the deity of Christ (disproving the liberal contention that such beliefs were the product of a long period of doctrinal development).  The date of his birth is uncertain.  Though a tradition says that he… Read more

In the Supreme Court case we blogged about regarding the California law forcing pro-life clinics to promote abortion, the arguments and the justices’ reactions seemed to go in favor of the clinics.  My former Patrick Henry College colleague Mike Farris conducted the oral arguments for the pro-life side, and some interesting issues emerged. Here is an account of the proceedings by John McCormack: At oral arguments Tuesday for the case NIFLA v.Becerra, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed skeptical about… Read more

Having spent time lately in the “happiest” countries that are also allegedly among the least religious, I have pointed out that they are not nearly so “secularist” as they are usually portrayed.  (Do a search on my blog for my posts on Christianity in Finland, Denmark, Scandinavia, and Australia.)  Now Christian Smith’s sociology of religion, as developed in his book Religion:  What It Is, Why It Works, and Why It Matters, gives us some new ways of thinking about secularism…. Read more

Today the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding California’s law that forces pro-life clinics, among other restrictions, to provide their clients information about how to receive free or low-cost abortions. The arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) vs. Becerra have to do with a California law passed in 2015 that requires pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to prominently post information, including phone numbers, about how to procure an abortion. A rhetorical tactic of pro-abortionists is to raise the… Read more

The 10 happiest countries one earth are among the least religious; conversely, the 10 least happy countries are among the most religious.  Such information would seem to discredit religion, but it shouldn’t at all.  Christian Smith’s theory of religion helps us to see why. As we blogged about, Smith in his book Religion:  What It Is, Why It Works, and Why It Matters. defines religion in terms of people seeking help from “superhuman powers.” Thus, he observes, people who suffer more—that is, deal… Read more

Cambridge Analytica is a British data firm that harvested information about 50,000,000 users on Facebook.  It then “weaponized” that information by applying military techniques of psychological warfare to identify, motivate, and manipulate voters on behalf of the Trump campaign.  And, yes, the Russians were involved. Does this new information coming out implicate Donald Trump?  No, but it will probably be spun that way.  But it illustrates how people’s privacy is being invaded by Facebook and how that information can be… Read more

Christian Smith is the Notre Dame sociologist who identified the religion of America’s youth as Moralistic Therapeutic Deismand who exposed the bias in the field of sociology.  Now he attempts to put the field of the sociology of religion on a more rigorous basis in his new book Religion:  What It Is, Why It Works, and Why It Matters. The book includes many provocative insights, which we might go into later, but I’d like to concentrate first on the question of… Read more

Sweden and Finland are not members of NATO.  But they are on Russia’s doorstep.  During the Cold War, they developed plans for “total defense,” in which the whole population would be mobilized to resist an invasion.  After the Soviet Union collapsed, Sweden let their mobilization plans lapse, though Finland kept theirs going.  Now with Russia throwing its weight around again, Sweden is implementing a new “total defense” plan. The Second Amendment, with its “well-regulated militia” clause, arguably calls for a… Read more

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