Rise of the “secular Catholics”

As a rule, opinion polls are not as important to bishops as they are to politicians.Nevertheless, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips recently asked Bishop Joseph Malone of Maine if he realized just how out of step he is with current doctrinal trends in his own flock."So, bishop, times are changing," she said. "Views are changing. ... So, why not get on board with the 43 percent of Catholics?"The puzzled bishop replied: "The 43 percent who?""Who have no problem with gay marriage," said … [Read more...]

Evangelicals vs. ‘secularists’ (2011)

When evangelical leaders look at the United States of America, they do not see a country defined by the familiar Gallup Poll statistic stating that 92 percent of its citizens profess some kind of belief in God.Nor do they see a land that is only 1.6 percent atheist and 2.4 percent agnostic, according to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. They do not see a land in which another 12.1 percent of the people do not embrace any one religion "in … [Read more...]

Xmas is fake, so deal with it

As the Christmas pageant dress rehearsal rolled to its bold finale, reporter Hank Stuever found his mind drifting away to an unlikely artistic destination -- a masterpiece from the Cubist movement.The cast of "It's a Wonderful Life 2" reassembled on stage at Celebration Covenant Church, a suburban megachurch north of Dallas. There were characters from a Victorian tableau, along with Frosty the Snowman, young ballerinas and children dressed as penguins. Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were … [Read more...]

Pew gap continues on abortion

If researchers want to uncover the roots of America's bitter divisions on abortion, the first thing they should do is ask millions of citizens this question: How often do you attend worship services?This has been a consistent pattern in recent surveys and it can be seen in most pews, from conservative evangelicals to liberal mainline Protestants, said Greg Smith, senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. This pattern is especially clear among American Catholics."The … [Read more...]

Stalking the anti-fundamentalist voter

Any Top 10 list of slogans for abortion-rights signs would include "Curb your dogma" and "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."At the recent March for Women's Lives, one nurse weighed the tensions between Sen. John Kerry and the Vatican and proclaimed: "I'm a Catholic, I take Communion ... and I'm Pro-Choice." She could have added: "And I vote."George W. Bush will receive few votes from these voters. They're not fond of Pope John Paul II, Jerry Falwell and other conservative … [Read more...]


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