Interview with Rodney Stark

From First Thoughts

The Center for Law and Religion Forum has an interview today with Baylor University sociologist Rodney Stark about his recent book,  America’s Blessings . The book critiques public opinion surveys that purport to show the decline of religion in America and an increase in Americans . . . . Continue Reading »

The Economist on Christian Sorrows

From First Thoughts

[caption id=”” align=”alignleft” width=”203”] Photo from The Economist [/caption] The Economist  has a couple of interesting stories this week on the continuing plight of Christians in the Middle East. First, from the magazine’s valuable religion blog, . . . . Continue Reading »

An Ancient Mystery

From First Thoughts

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”500”] Mosaic in S. Costanza, Rome [/caption] Here’s a puzzle. The mosaic in this photo is in Rome’s Santa Costanza, a lovely fourth-century church with some of the oldest surviving Christian art. The . . . . Continue Reading »

Garnett on the DOMA Decision

From First Thoughts

At Commonweal, Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett has some interesting reflections on the implications for religious freedom of last month’s Supreme Court decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case, United States v. Windsor : It is easier to respect religious freedom in law and policy . . . . Continue Reading »

À Nous la Liberté

From First Thoughts

Riots broke out  in a Paris suburb this weekend after police ticketed a woman wearing the full Islamic veil, or burqa, on a local street. Since 2011, France has banned the burqa in public places on pain of a €150 fine. The details of this weekend’s incident are unclear, but police . . . . Continue Reading »

Does Separation Strengthen Religion?

From First Thoughts

At the Center for Law and Religion Forum today, my colleague Marc DeGirolami has a  very thoughtful post  on whether separation from the state, in the American model, really strengthens religion. One often hears the claim, of course, from both the Right and the Left: Religion is strong in . . . . Continue Reading »

Well, They Beat Lawyers, Anyway

From First Thoughts

Pew’s Forum on Religion and Public Life has released the latest version of its periodic survey of public attitudes toward various professions in America. The survey asks whether a given occupation contributes to society’s well-being. The results? The military tops the list, with almost . . . . Continue Reading »