Study: Religious kids believe the Bible and other ‘fiction’

Is this Clutching at Straws Month? Because I don’t know how to dress or what to buy for it. I do know how to celebrate, though. Just publish a study that counters traditional beliefs. And don’t ask questions that might uncover flaws. The latest example emerged this week in the July issue of Cognitive Science. [Read More...]

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Pod people: Are all political liberals also on moral left?

Every now and then, Issues, Etc., host Todd Wilken take and I off in one direction when doing a “Crossroads” podcast and then — boom — we will suddenly veer off in what at first seems like a totally different direction. Radio is like that, you know. That is certainly what happened this time around, [Read More...]

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Changing climate — of church views on the environment

USA Today has been eroding its standard of short, shallow stories. And for a complex newsfeature like its recent story on religion and global warming, that is an exceedingly good thing. The article focuses on the effort to sell global warming to church people. Religion and the environment is an evergreen topic — I wrote [Read More...]

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Where does anti-Hitler hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer fit?

JOHN ASKS: [Dietrich Bonhoeffer] was a hero and martyr for the faith, but is it possible evangelical Christians in America have lionized someone whose theology is not actually in sync with theirs? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Books by and about Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945) sell without letup, including no less than seven biographies since 2010, plus [Read More...]

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Pod people: Sometimes editors really need to do the math

I have never been much of a math guy, but sometimes you have to see the numbers written on the walls. For example, what essential thread runs through the following religion-beat stories? I am not arguing that this math hook is the only factor at play in these stories, but that this X-factor is a [Read More...]

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Easter season, check … Chip away at basic beliefs, check

You know all of those news articles you see published every year at Ramadan that ask if Muhammad really heard from the archangel Gabriel? No? Well, how about all the stories each Divali that cast doubt on the goddess Lakshmi’s ability to bless her worshipers? No? Then how about those articles for Eastertime questioning whether [Read More...]

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Glorious Pascha! The Baltimore Sun gets the key parts right

I keep saying this year after year, but it’s true. One of the greatest challenges for religion-beat specialists, season after season, is the long, steady march of feature stories that editors want you to produce linked to the major holy days in the various world religions. Easter was always one of the biggest challenges for [Read More...]

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Pod people: So what could reporters cover during Lent?

Long, long ago, back at the beginning of Lent, I put up a post that asked a simple question: In all of those stories about more and more Americans deciding to “do Lent,” what did it actually mean to say that one was going to “do Lent”? The answer, of course, was that whole “give [Read More...]

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