A different religious liberty angle on gay marriage

The arch-liberal United Church of Christ, which approved of gay marriage back in 2005, is suing North Carolina for infringing its religious liberty by not allowing pastors to perform same-sex weddings. [Read more…]

Supreme Court allows Christian prayers in public meetings

The Supreme Court has ruled that public meetings, including those involving local governments, may feature distinctly Christian prayers, including those that are in the name of Jesus. [Read more…]

Is Jesus just a legend?

Jesus must be either who He said He was–the Son of God–or He must have been a liar or a lunatic.  So goes the “trilemma” as developed in the apologetics of  C. S. Lewis.  But now lots of people are claiming another option, that He was simply a legend.  But was he?  And how can we persuade someone who thinks he was?

Tom Gilson, in Touchstone, offers a quite brilliant line of thought refuting that notion, in what is, in effect, a literary apologetic.  Read it all, but I give a sample after the break. [Read more…]

Pope calls conclave to re-examine sexual teachings

At this rate, maybe Pope Francis will be the last pope!

Contraception, cohabitation, divorce, remarriage and same-sex unions: They’re issues that pain and puzzle Roman Catholics who want to be true to both their church and themselves.

Now those issues are about to be put up for debate by their leader, a man who appears determined to push boundaries and effect change.

On Pope Francis’ orders, the Vatican will convene an urgent meeting of senior clerics this fall to reexamine church teachings that touch the most intimate aspects of people’s lives. Billed as an “extraordinary” assembly of bishops, the gathering could herald a new approach by the church to the sensitive topics. [Read more…]

Global poverty is plummeting, but no one believes it

Thirty years ago, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty.  Now only 21% do.  There is lots of other good news about economic progress in the developing world, including declines in child deaths.  But 84% of Americans are unaware of this progress, and 67% think that world-wide poverty has increased.

So says a Barna study, which expresses a concern that Western attitudes are becoming fatalistic–“nothing can be done about it”–which can stymie efforts to address the very real problems of the 21%, even though they may be quite solvable.  Or is the lesson that global economic progress is happening of itself by market forces apart from outside help, especially governmental help?

[Read more…]

The world’s eucatastrophe

Thanks to Rev. Sam Schuldheisz who posted passages from J. R. R. Tolkien on “eucatastrophe,” a word he coined for “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears.”  Tolkien then developed the idea that the eucatastrophe of history is the Birth of Christ, and the eucatastrophe of the Incarnation is His resurrection. [Read more…]