A ‘new twist’ in states’ same-sex marriage debates

A time or two, we’ve highlighted media coverage of what happens when religious liberty clashes with gay rights. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported back in October: As more states permit gay couples to marry or form civil unions, wedding professionals in at least six states have run headlong into state antidiscrimination laws after [Read More...]

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Oh, those religious fund-raisers

GRETCHEN ASKS: (Paraphrasing) She attended a fund-raising event for an unnamed organization where a slide show began by saying that “on the eighth day God created” this group and then presented its purposes. She found that “arrogant and self-serving” and it “bothered me beyond belief. Am I being overly sensitive?” THE GUY ANSWERS: In The [Read More...]

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AP skirts key element of ‘tips for Jesus’ story

As anyone who’s done it can testify — or, to be candid, so I’ve heard — waitering is a tough job. People are rude, hours are long, and wages are often sub-sub-minimum wage, all in the hope of getting some tips. Thus it ever has been, apparently, and thus it ever shall be. Or, shall [Read More...]

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AP’s not-too-religious airport chaplain story

The entire long Thanksgiving weekend, it’s widely reported, is the busiest air-travel season in the United States. So, it’s not too difficult to imagine human interest stories about life in and around major airports, which The Associated Press rightly declares are “mini-cities” with a life and culture all their own, right down to a local [Read More...]

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Hobby Lobby, the Little Sisters of the Poor and the NYTimes

As a rule, conflicts between church and state are extremely complex and often produce headaches, even among those who have years of experience working in such dangerous intellectual terrain. Frankly, I have no idea how general-assignment reporters can handle this stuff without the help of thick research folders and very experienced editors. Today’s New York [Read More...]

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Does help for communities justify churches’ tax exemption?

GORDON ASKS: (Paraphrased) Secularists challenge tax exemptions for houses of worship, saying this denies valuable revenue to communities that get little or nothing in return. True? THE GUY ANSWERS: False, judging from new scholarly research. Putting money aside for a moment, those knowledgeable about troubled urban neighborhoods will especially shudder to think what local conditions [Read More...]

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Surprise! A same-sex marriage story that gets religion

For the latest Christian Chronicle, I wrote a news story on judicial authorities in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington formally admonishing a superior court judge — also a Church of Christ elder — for voicing his preference not to perform same-sex marriages. As part of that story, I cited the Wall Street Journal’s recent report [Read More...]

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Is Columbia, Md., really a spirit-enriching secular city?

I am not a huge fan of Utopian visions, but I have always had a fond place in my heart for the dreamers who have invested time and money in the movement known as New Urbanism. I love older neighborhoods that are close to shopping areas, especially those that have retained their old trees, wide [Read More...]

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