From a little eggcorn. . . .

The dictionary has added a new word:  “eggcorn.”  Read what it means after the jump.  And then supply eggcorns of your own. [Read more...]

Asserting vs. Explaining

On Trinity Sunday yesterday, I worshipped at the church of my son-in-law, the Rev. Ned Moerbe, who made a useful distinction between “asserting” and “explaining.” [Read more...]

America’s most “churchless” and “dechurched” cities

The Barna group has data about which American cities are the most “unchurched,” breaking that category down further into “churchless” (people never having been involved in a church) and “dechurched” (people who used to be involved in a church but aren’t now).

English teacher that I am, I disapprove of the twisted grammar that went into those terms–using the noun “church” as a verb so as to add -ed to it, making it a past participle, and then using that as a noun again. But I’ll let that go.  I sample some of the findings after the jump.

At the link, for $99, you can buy a detailed study of individual American cities, showing the religious breakdown, the denominational percentages, and other useful demographic information. [Read more...]

Everybody’s a populist

Just about everybody in politics is claiming to be a “populist” these days–leftwinger Elizabeth Warren, rightwinger Ted Cruz, establishment icon Hillary Clinton, the Christian right’s Mike Huckabee, Occupy Wallstreeters, Tea Partiers, and on and on.

Rutgers history professor David Greenberg points out that the term once had a very specific meaning, relating to the farmer/labor coalition against the railroads and bankers in the late 19th century,  as led by William Jennings Bryan.  The ideology combined a type of socialist economics (nationalize the railroads!) with respect for “ordinary” Americans (a man of the people! champion of the common man!).  Today liberals are seizing upon the economic part (while comprising the cultural elite that the old populists scorned), while conservatives are seizing upon the ordinary American part (a demographic that today tends not to like socialism).

But this reminds us that the left owes a big debt to William Jennings Bryan, today often mocked for his creationism at the Scopes Monkey Trial.  And that there was a time when evangelical Christians were often leftists. [Read more...]

Hillary says “religious beliefs. . .have to be changed”

Hillary Clinton says that “religious beliefs. . .have to be changed” when they interfere with “reproductive health care” (that is, abortion).  And pro-abortion laws “have to be backed up with resources and political will.”

Notice that she doesn’t say “religious beliefs have to change.”  That would arguably be bad enough, but it allows for religions to change themselves, from within, perhaps over time.  Instead, she said religious beliefs have to “be changed.”  The passive construction here means  that religious beliefs have to be acted upon from the outside.  Nor did she say, “religious beliefs should change,” expressing a moral opinion. No, they “have to” be changed, an imperative, as in giving an order.  Then when she throws in that line about “political will,” the language is clearly that of government suppression.

[Read more...]

Access to the Bible

So what percentage of the world’s 6,101 languages do you think have translations of the Bible?  WRONG (probably)!

The Barna Group has conducted a study of Americans’ perceptions of how accessible the Bible is globally.  Most Americans think the Bible is more available than it really is.   See the findings–as well as the correct statistics–after the jump. [Read more...]


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