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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Ghosts in blue-state — er, red-state — West Virginia?

There’s a lot to digest in the Washington Post’s nearly 4,000-word political road trip to West Virginia, headlined “A blue state’s road to red.” Even at that word count — mammoth for a newspaper — it’s a definite challenge to boil down an entire state, its people and their attitudes and way of life into a single [Read More...]

Warming the chair? WSJ laments the loss of the pew

It’s five minutes past the hour, and you’re late for services. The cat insisted on one last pass around your leg, and you had to extricate the lint brush from the back of the junk drawer, and in the process you found that key to the shed you’d been looking for forever. But you couldn’t [Read More...]

When religious liberty clashes with gay rights

This was the headline on a Wall Street Journal story this week: Some Businesses Balk at Gay Weddings And the subhead: Photographers, Bakers Face Legal Challenges After Rejecting Jobs on Religious Grounds At this point, the Journal arrives at a critical juncture: the lede. The opening sentences will give a pretty clear idea where this story [Read More...]


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