If Atheists want a creed, they ought to have one

In Florida, some atheists, peeved that a monument to the Ten Commandments could not be protested out of existence are planning to erect their own monument, celebrating their beliefs:A small city in heavily Christian northern Florida is about to become home to the first public monument in the United States dedicated to atheism.Florida members of American Atheists, a national advocacy group, plan to erect a 1,500-pound granite display in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, … [Read more...]

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Dark Joy, Inclusion, Mad Men, Conceit, Accommodation and the American Church

My First Things column this week was more or less (and a little weirdly) inspired by three very disparate things: Pope Francis' thoughts on "the dark joy of gossip" (and his homily from yesterday morning), Harry Crane's outburst on last Sunday's episode of Mad Men and Russell Shaw's new book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in AmericaThe pope's words on gossip have been reverberating within me (and, I know, within others) for weeks, … [Read more...]

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Acts 4:32: Christian Commonality Ends Where Compulsion Begins UPDATED

I love today's reading from Acts, which gives us a beautiful snapshot of the early church:The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the … [Read more...]

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Movement on the HHS Mandate? First Document! First Reactions! UPDATED

I was hearing rumors last night that the Obama administration may be walking back the more onerous, obnoxious and probably-unconstitutional tenets of Obamacare's HHS Mandate, which rides roughshod over the first amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and contradicts Obama's own words about the sacredness of a conscience.Here's the first suggestions that something will come today (scroll down):*** White House to announce contraception rule? We are hearing that the Obama White … [Read more...]

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Pastor Louie Giglio and the Chill Wind of Correctness

(image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Considering the wide media attention accompanying the announcement that laywoman Myrlie Evers-Williams and Atlanta-based preacher Louie Giglio would offer prayers at President Obama’s upcoming inaugural, Giglio’s withdrawal from the podium just two days later garnered little notice outside of Evangelical circles, but it is a story that deserves some attention. So, I'm talking about it over at First Things:For Pastor Louie Giglio, a frequent visitor to … [Read more...]

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“A Question of Liberty Allowing us a Religion”

We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong. In these current fashions it is not really a question of the religion allowing us liberty; but (at the best) of the liberty of allowing us a religion. These people merely take the modern mood, with much in it that is amiable and much that is anarchical and much that is merely dull and obvious, and then require any creed to be cut down to fit that mood. But the mood … [Read more...]

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A Divided Church and a Movement with Momentum

(Image courtesy of shutterstock.com)Over at Egregious Twaddle, Joanne McPort asks (and answers) whether the church can survive the times:The received narrative paints a Church disproportionately and irreconcilably divided between The People, a vast international sea of those who reject doctrinal pronouncements, tradition, and authority in favor of relevance, inclusivity, and individual conscience, and The Bishops (among whom the Pope is just one of the boys), a tiny aged and withering … [Read more...]

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BREAKING: Feds Halt HHS Mandate Enforcement on Small Business Owner

The Newland Family employ about 250 people in their small business, and they try to live out their consciences as Catholics, which means they offer a health insurance plan, that does not include coverage of sterilization or contraception. And the Obama administration's Department of Justice did not like that.Now, they have a "stay" of sorts, on the ruinous (and I believe unconstitutional) "contraception mandate" ordered by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as part of Obamacare.DENVER — A f … [Read more...]

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Big Gay Al on the Boy Scouts and Homosexuality – UPDATES

"Look, I appreciate what you kids did. I really do. But this isn't what I wanted. I'm proud to be gay. And I'm proud to be in a country where I'm free to express myself. But freedom is a two-way street. If I'm free to express myself, then the scouts have to be free to express themselves too. I know these [scout leaders]. They are good men. They are kind men. They do what they think is best for the kids. No matter how wrong we think they might be, it isn't right for us to force them to think our … [Read more...]

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Chick-fil-A: if you’re not sure, this is how fascism works – UPDATED AGAIN

Over at Facebook, I noticed a picture of Kermit and Miss Piggy marrying, with a caption about Chick-fil-A*. I can't seem to find it, now -- perhaps the person who posted it deleted it.I confess, haven't been following this story at all. But after the Muppets picture, I saw someone ranting about Chick-fil-A being denied business licenses because they were "against gay marriage."At that point, I posted to Facebook,"Whether these Chick-fil-A people support gay marriage or not, are … [Read more...]

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