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January 28, 2013
Tomorrow is the beginning of what will be a congressional battle over immigration reform. The subject was rarely and lightly handled in the political wars last year, perhaps because both parties found other issues to be more important for the country or more exploitable by their candidates.
January 24, 2013
On December 4, 2012 the U.S. Senate narrowly voted not to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty that has been signed by 154 nations (including the United States) and ratified by 126 of those nations.
January 23, 2013
Next week Crown Forum will publish Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. The weekend Wall Street Journal gave a generous two-page preview.
January 21, 2013
Last Wednesday the Chicago Tribune alerted readers to the release that day of an ambitious set of findings about the effects of divorce on children. Reporter Manya A. Brachear called the project "unprecedented." I crossed the street to the site of the release, Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, 271 steps away—I once measured it.
January 17, 2013
A July 2012 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported that 17 percent of those surveyed thought President Barack Obama was a Muslim. These were mostly conservative Republicans. Assertions that Obama is a Muslim played prominently in critiques of his first campaign and during his presidency.
January 14, 2013
David Cole captures readers' attention with the observation that "the gay rights movement has achieved more swiftly than any other individual rights movement in history, not merely the impossible but the unthinkable." A few years ago, writes Cole, "those who fought for the right to marry. . .
January 7, 2013
Sightings is supposed to be about "public religion." So what are pastors, ministers, priests, rabbis doing here this week? David Brooks mentioned them Friday in his New York Times column; that is a pretty public reference to a religious theme. Let's talk of pastors as column fare, and then see what Brooks does with them.
December 17, 2012
Four daily newspapers greet the Martys at breakfast. The morning after the school killings at Newtown, Connecticut, twenty-four pages of these informed us, while zillions of twitters and tweets and television and radio programs also addressed the tragedy.
December 13, 2012
With the advent of the Holiday Season comes the annual resurgence of the religious neutrality debate. The dispute, as familiar as it is intractable, concerns the question of whether Christmas symbols—including not only mangers, swaddled babies, and pious-faced statuettes, but also wreaths, lights, and decorated trees—belong in public spaces.
December 10, 2012
Sciences live by measurement, be it of size, temperature, numbers, or pace. So do social scientists in the world of religion. David Gibson in Religion News and the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog featured the concept of “intensity” in a much-noted recent item. “Catholic Intensity Fades as Evangelical Devotion Surges.” How is intensity measured?