Devoted as Sightings authors are to the craft of religion newswriting, we know that there is inevitable distortion when religion-as-news as opposed to religion-in-features dominates. We also know that congregations, parishes, movements, and denominations at peace, or in their peaceful modes, are often under-noticed.
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January 26, 2004
January 22, 2004
Reconciliation and peace. This is the banner under which the Catholic Church and its leadership have been marching this week.
January 19, 2004
Our house has always remembered Martin Luther and Martin Luther King. Our children sometimes confused the two. Son John's teacher once advised me to confront our six-year-old about his fibbing. "He claimed to have spent a week in a dormitory with Martin Luther" -- whose name had come up in a Lutheran Sunday School class.
January 15, 2004
The 2004 presidential race is shaping up to be as much an old time religious revival as it is a political contest. Informed by consultants that sixty-two percent of American voters prefer candidates with religious convictions, Democratic presidential hopefuls are boning up on their pious platitudes.
January 12, 2004
No metropolis makes our mission of "sighting" religion in public life easier than Indianapolis. Decades ago, the BBC, for their classic world-religion TV series "The Long Search," chose the U.S. for its Protestant program (with me as the American consultant) and chose Indianapolis for the close-up.
January 8, 2004
There has been interest, recently, in the religious faith of the current crop of Democrats running for the presidential nomination. Howard Dean, the frontrunner, was interviewed on "Hardball" on MSNBC, by Chris Matthews and asked about his faith.
January 5, 2004
Today is the Twelfth Day of Jesusmas, a.k.a. Christmas. The word Christmas, or "Christ"+ "mass," gives many citizens problems today. The mass part, an issue when anti-Catholicism was prime, is no scandal: Americans are patient with each others' rituals. But Christ means anointed, as in the Anointed of God. That is what offends many.
December 29, 2003
In three more days Kwanzaa will end. If you are not an African-American, it will mean little to you. Ron Karenga, the inventor in 1966 of this "family, community, and culture" event timed to overlap and compete with Christmas observance, devised it as a "whites'-hands-off" celebration. If you try to be wholly enclosed in African-American culture, you will be wholly for observing Kwanzaa.
December 22, 2003
All is well in America at Christmas. The Wall Street Journal (December 19) cheers the superabundance of Christmas lighting around American homes. "Energy Puritans may denounce the inessential use of electricity," but aesthetic pleasure and low costs, thanks to consumerist economics, should and do win out. Joy to the world!
December 18, 2003
Experts estimate that there are at least four million problem gamblers in the United States. As signs of gambling-related problems are not well known, nor understood, it is vital that faith communities be informed about the impact of gambling addiction on individuals and their families.
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