June 25, 2014

One side points to a series of brazen attacks attributed to Islamic extremists. The other side complains of religious and ethnic persecution by government authorities. A Washington Post story last month highlighted worsening relations between Chinese leaders and Muslim Uighurs in that nation’s western Xinjiang region. Key history from the Post: For years, many Uighurs and other, smaller Muslim minorities in Xinjiang have agitated against China’s authoritarian government. Their protests are a reaction, Uighur groups say, to ­oppressive official policies, ­including religious restrictions… Read more

June 25, 2014

Welcome to the Latter-day Saints Trivia Game! Here is today’s question: When did the Mormon Church ordain women? Tick … Tick … Tick … Tick … Ding! Sorry, time’s up. But it’s a trick question anyway. The Mormon Church has never ordained women. Dumb question, you say? Then you may know Mormon history better than some reporters and editors. More than one injected a “reform” angle into the story of a Mormon woman who was just excommunicated. It’s Kate Kelly,… Read more

June 24, 2014

Without a theory the facts are silent, the economist F. A. Hayek has written. That may be true of the cold facts of economics, but the facts of war are not cold. They burn with the heat of the fires of hell. — John Keegan, A History of Warfare (1994) The late Sir John Keegan, the renowned military historian known for The Face of Battle and many other superb studies of combat in the Western world, opposed philosophical abstraction. Theories… Read more

June 24, 2014

Like it or not, journalists and editors who are handling coverage of events in Iraq are going to have to learn this controversial word — “dhimmitude.” Trust me, the faithful in minority religions who live in Mosul and on the Nineveh Plain, or who have recently fled this region, are already familiar with this concept. Unfortunately, it is hard to point to a crisp, established online definition for “dhimmitude” right now because of waves of posts attempting to argue that… Read more

June 24, 2014

If the coverage of Pope Francis this weekend was any indication, the Mafia is more interesting to mainstream journalists than torture chambers are. The reporters paid lots of attention to the pope’s anti-Mafia statement on Saturday, but hardly seemed to notice the next day when he urged all Christians to join in ending torture. Meanwhile, torture is used in 141 nations in every region of the world, according to Amnesty International. Yet when Francis focused on it in his weekly… Read more

June 23, 2014

DUANE’S QUESTION: He’d like to know what The Religion Guy was talking about in this from “Religion Q and A” on June 8: “When atheists seized governments in the 20th Century they fused their belief in unbelief with state power and enforced it with a cruel vengeance unmatched by the worst cross-and-crown tyrannies during Christendom’s bygone centuries.” THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: The Guy was thinking of hard facts about Communists holding political power. To explain the comment (which compared Communism… Read more

June 23, 2014

It must be very hard to be a headline writer in the age of Pope Francis. I mean, the man serves up — during his off-the-cuff homilies and chats — a wealth of material that simply screams, “You must put this phrase in a headline because it sounds amazing.” The only problem is that this pope has a way of using words that have specific doctrinal or legal content, in terms of Catholic tradition, in strange ways. He says words… Read more

June 23, 2014

I have no words to describe this story – A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan http://t.co/DM87Ey5fpG— Kimberly Winston (@kjwinston11) June 23, 2014 A Christian Convert on the Run from Murderous Islam. Cherish Your Religious Liberty. This is from the @NYTimes. http://t.co/KsgqoJo1yT— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) June 22, 2014 Striking story by NYT's Azam Ahmed: A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan http://t.co/mjkqHW1n3t (h/t @rcallimachi)— Michael Luo (@michaelluo) June 22, 2014 A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan:… Read more

June 22, 2014

Having thus, according to his own opinion, explained how a clergyman should show himself approved unto God, as a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, [Obadiah Slope] went on to explain how the word of truth should be divided; and here he took a rather narrow view of the question; and fetched arguments from afar. His object was to express his abomination of all ceremonious modes of utterance, to cry down any religious feeling which might be excited, not by the… Read more

June 21, 2014

Day after day, week after week, month after month, religion-beat reporters receive emails from pollsters, academics and think-tank experts promoting new blasts of data about religion, politics, culture or some combination of the above. Honestly, I think I could write a column a month about the material pouring out of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life without sinking into PR territory. There is no way to write about all of these surveys. Some, quite frankly, appear to be… Read more

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