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June 5, 2003
I am a Presbyterian minister and one of the consultants called on by my denomination to examine the issue of changing families, the impact of these changes on children, and the social structures, policies, and programs that would enable the church to support and nurture families and children. Martin Marty examined Dr.
May 29, 2003
Observers of religion and Canadian public life rejoice that the Canadian census, taken every ten years, asks questions about religious affiliation. Statistics Canada has now released its report on the religious components of the 2001 census, and things are not entirely what they seem.
May 26, 2003
Sighting flags and bunting in the park below the window of the study where I write inspires me. Not to join the hard-line flag-wavers who measure patriotism by the degree to which one supports or dissents against what our government does, but to recognize real patriotism, born of a love of the many good signs we see in bad times.
May 22, 2003
"The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television.
May 19, 2003
Next week Presbyterians will meet in Denver to kick off the denominational convention season and, as part of their agenda, vote on the findings of a Presbyterian Church (USA)-sponsored report called "Living Faithfully with Families in Transition." My non-Presbyterian colleague Don Browning sees so many public consequences coming from this report that he has critiqued it in various Web and print
May 15, 2003
Jean Bethke Elshtain, ethicist and political philosopher at the University of Chicago, has recently challenged theologians and religiously concerned citizens to rethink the relationship of war to justice in light of the war on Iraq.
May 12, 2003
"Gauging Generosity," a recent headline in The Economist (May 3), assesses how nations rank in respect to their generosity toward others, i.e., "Which rich countries do most to help poor countries?" With its U.K. ("secular") base, the magazine did not think to mention the ("religious") U.S.'s religious impulses in this context. An oversight?
May 8, 2003
In a recent Sightings (April 3), Professor W. Clark Gilpin writes, “It is frequently the case in myth and religious narrative that things are not what they seem. Strangers, animals, even plants, turn out to be gods.” There are plenty of cases in our modern world in which the opposite is true, namely, that gods turn out to be strangers, animals, or even plants.
May 5, 2003
Now that the U.S. proposal, or "road map," for Israel-Palestine futures is unfolding, most columnists, when they discuss American Jews, concentrate on highly-placed figures in the Bush administration. Some Jewish columnists also talk about the nature of the support the administration gets from one element of the Christian right, a "core constituency" of our governmental leaders.
May 1, 2003
The Religion and Values department at Gallup recently initiated a new index called the "Gallup Religious Tolerance Index," which will now be part of Gallup's regular polling. To publicize this new initiative, Gallup organized an on-line seminar led by Al Winseman who described the format of the new index and some preliminary findings.


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