Deja Vu All Over Again

From First Thoughts

As I’ve noted before, I’ve been following presidential faith-based initiatives since early in the Bush Administration.  I’ve hitherto been underwhelmed by faith-based 2.0, the Obama version. But Obama’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships must be doing . . . . Continue Reading »

Interfaith Kumbaya

From First Thoughts

Distinguished sociologist Peter Berger defends what he regards as American civil religion, the first commandment of which is (he says)  “Thou shalt be tolerant!”  He takes as his text this story about an interfaith Thanksgiving service in suburban Westchester, New York. In the . . . . Continue Reading »

Religion in Public Life

From First Thoughts

MoJ’s Rob Vischer uses this story about the culture of marital infidelity in Russia to raise questions about the relationship between law and cultural norms in maintaining general public adherence to the practices constitutive of healthy family life. Do not laws, he seems to ask, that are . . . . Continue Reading »

A Simple Question

From First Thoughts

Might this be a creative examination of what a world without a Creator would look like? Is this what the professor had in mind when he gave his students this assignment? I doubt it, but, then, God works in mysterious ways. . . . . Continue Reading »

Mere Religiosity

From First Thoughts

In reflecting on Putnam and Campbell’s American Grace , Rod Dreher wonders if—indeed, worries that—our (relatively) newfound tolerance of religious diversity doesn’t come at too high a price: The good news is that we Americans of different faith traditions get along remarkably . . . . Continue Reading »

Sauce for the gander?

From First Thoughts

Mark Silk notes that a Christian counseling center that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann co-owns with her husband receives a bit of funding from the Minnesota state government and questions whether she’s in any position to object (as she has) to potential public funding for the . . . . Continue Reading »

Fact-Checking Sarah Palin

From First Thoughts

In her new book, Sarah Palin claims that most people who teach at universities “don’t share the religious faith of their fellow Americans.”  A blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education unearths evidence that he believes proves she’s wrong.  According to a . . . . Continue Reading »