Do religions influence China’s atheistic rulers?

MADDIE ASKS: How much of … eastern and western religions have had an influence on the [atheistic Chinese Communist] Party’s ideology? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Not much, on the surface, but there’s obvious affinity with Confucianism that the Communist authorities don’t admit. However — Is Confucianism a “religion” or a mere humanistic philosophy, since it [Read More...]

Axing the wrong questions after Brat-Cantor stunner

There’s analysis, and there’s hack ‘n’ slash. When blindsided by the come-from-behind election of David Brat over Virginia’s longtime congressman Eric Cantor, many mainstream media fell back on the latter. Often with dull, rusty blades. Brat is a (gasp) fiscal conservative, some pundits said. He’s an (gasp #2) evangelical, said others. And a Calvinist. And [Read More...]

NYTimes notices old doctrine wars over InterVarsity chapters

The debate started out behind closed doors but quickly jumped into the mainstream press. The news hook was that a lesbian student at Tufts University claimed that, under the campus nondiscrimination policy, she had been unfairly denied access to a leadership role in the Tufts Christian Fellowship, which was affiliated with InterVarsity. The campus chapter [Read More...]

What? You thought Francis, Peres and Abbas really prayed?

Let’s state this in journalistic terms. What? You thought that the mainstream journalists covering the remarkable Vatican rite offering prayers for Middle East peace rite would actually produce coverage that included any content from the prayers? Friends and neighbors, this event was all about politics and statecraft. Clearly, if the men wanted to produce real [Read More...]

Which religions favor separation of church and state?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionqanda/2014/06/which-religions-favor-separation-of-church-and-state/ LISA ASKS: Do all religions teach separation between church and state? If not, which ones and why? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Separation of church and state (the usual phrasing though “of religion and state” is often more accurate) is an achievement of modern politics and by no means a universal one. Among world religions, [Read More...]

Writing on houses of worship? Ignore the religious

Pop quiz: When you write about baseball or surgery, whom should you quote? That’s right. And when you write about playing a piano or cello, whom should you quote? Right again. And when you write about religion, whom should you quote? Nope, missed that one. When writing about any field, you must include its practitioners [Read More...]

What language did Jesus speak? The Tablet knows

So, did the pope and Israel’s prime minister have a rancorous exchange in Jerusalem over the topic of Jesus’ mother tongue? One thing is certain: Headline writers had a field day with the “spar”, as Reuters characterized the encounter. Was it a “spat,” as per The Chicago Tribune? Did they “publicly bicker” as per The Age [Read More...]

What was the ‘real’ reason Francis made this pilgrimage?

It’s time, once again, to face the obvious. There is no subject in the world of religion that matters more to the big-hitters in mainstream journalism than the world travels of a pope. Therefore, we have work to do, after the wave of media coverage of the Middle East trip by media superstar Pope Francis. [Read More...]


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