Religion in America
Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
The recent turmoil surrounding the recent passage of healthcare legislation by the United States Congress is providing ample opportunity to look at the absence of Orthodox leadership. As a reminder, this blog’s purpose is not political. To the extent this legislation reflects Caesar’s affairs, it is generally best for the Church to remain silent.
Sadly, though, this legislation is not purely about political matters, for it has provisions for using taxes gathered from individuals, including Christians, to pay for elective abortions in all or part (c.f., here and here). Despite the scandalously equivocal language used by the Ecumenical Patriarch in discussing abortion (c.f., here, here, here, and here), the Church’s teaching cannot be misunderstood. As a best example, consider St. Basil the Great (AD 330-379), who says absolutely nothing new: “Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses” (Letter 188).
Children in the womb are human beings, and their willful destruction is murder. So what about all those who will now find themselves accessories to the crime through the new legal requirement to fund abortion? more »
First Things | by W. Bradford Wilcox | 3/8/2010
Sociologist Christian Smith began his ambitious, multivolume effort to plumb the religious lives of Americans across the life course in his 2005 with Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. In that book—aimed at an audience that the author hoped would include general readers as well as clergy and scholars—Smith painted an incisive portrait of religion among America’s adolescents. Especially insightful was the way Smith explained why the more sectarian religious traditions in the United States, such as evangelical Protestantism and Mormonism, were achieving greater success than more churchly traditions such as mainline Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in transmitting their faiths to the next generation. Also notable was the way Smith explained how the guiding religious ethos of American teenagers—what he aptly termed “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism”—seemed so suited for our culture. more »
BreakPoint | by Gary Scott Smith | Feb. 23, 2010
One of today’s most contentious culture wars is over the religious commitments of our nation’s founders.
Were most of them orthodox Christians, deists, or agnostics? Scholarly books, college classes, radio talk shows, and blogs all debate this issue, and the Texas Board of Education recently joined the fray. Because of Texas’ large number of students, its huge educational fund, and its statewide curriculum guidelines, this board strongly influences what textbooks are published in the United States. Last month the board reviewed the state’s social studies curriculum, and its conservative Christian members injected more analysis of religion into the guidelines, including assessment of whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation and how Christian were the founders. more »
American Orthodox Institute | by Fr. Johannes Jacobse | Nov. 22, 2009
On November 22, 2009 group of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant leaders unveiled a document called “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience” that affirms the traditional Christian teaching concerning abortion, homosexual marriage, and religious freedom. The Declaration asserts that these three issues (sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and freedom of worship) are under assault in western Democracies and call Christians into non-violent resistance against the injustices and, if necessary, non-violent non-compliance with the laws that would require a Christian to violate his conscience. (Read full text.)
The Declaration opens:
We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are (1) the sanctity of human life, (2) the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and (3) the rights of conscience and religious liberty…We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.