On Religious Freedom, is Russia the Next Saudi Arabia?

Russia “is the sole state to have . . . continually intensified its repression of religious freedom since USCIRF commenced monitoring it.”

Whether the Kremlin’s treatment of religious groups takes a permanent authoritarian turn in the years to come depends, in part, on what its exact motivation was in cracking down on non-Orthodox groups. Is the Kremlin aiming to purge apparent instruments of Western influence? Or is an effort to ensure Orthodox dominance?   As Donald Trump’s... Continue Reading

The Norm of Marital Monogamy Is Not Crumbling

Despite the big changes to the meaning of modern marriage, monogamy is alive and well.

So, for now anyway, I’m not buying the “marital-monogamy-ideal-is-crumbling” story line. Sure, it bears monitoring, but the pillar of marital monogamy appears to be made of solid stuff, given how strongly people still hold to this ideal. Despite the big changes to the meaning of modern marriage, monogamy is alive and well.   The rumors... Continue Reading

Tenn. Legislature OKs Post-Viable Abortion Ban

The Tennessee House of Representatives voted 69-18 in favor of the Infants Protection Act May 3, two days after the Senate passed the legislation by 27-3.

The legislation prohibits an abortion on any unborn baby who is determined to be able to survive outside the womb with or without medical assistance. An exception exists in the case of a medical emergency for the mother. The measure requires a viability test beginning at the 20th week of pregnancy and establishes a state... Continue Reading

James Comey: The Fall of a Niebuhrian

Comey wrote his undergraduate thesis on Niebuhr

Comey’s thesis treats Niebuhr’s writings as a kind of wisdom literature for Christian office seekers. “Every aspiring world leader,” he advised, should study “Niebuhr’s classic statement of the human condition.”   Last fall, my students were reading Reinhold Niebuhr’s 1952 classic, “The Irony of American History,” when the renowned theologian’s title came alive for them:... Continue Reading

Was Grand Canyon Project Rejected Because Researcher Is a Creationist?

All Andrew Snelling wants to do is collect some rocks from Grand Canyon in order to help prove Arizona's landmark was created in a few days by God

“Snelling, who lives in Kentucky, agrees with the official Answers in Genesis position — that Genesis is literally true, right down to the six-day creation and Noah somehow fathering the ancestors of all human beings alive today.”   All Andrew Snelling wants to do is collect some rocks from Grand Canyon in order to help... Continue Reading

The Future of Christianity May be Different Than You Think

Christians in our generation will be known for dissent.

What if, a hundred years from now, the Christians who have exploded in growth and passion across the world are the ones that sought to reaffirm and embody the historic Christian teaching on sexuality and family? What if we are on the verge of a 21st century of attractive Christian witness because of our morality, not... Continue Reading

Americans Worry About Moral Decline, Can’t Agree on Right and Wrong

For those 35 and younger, fewer than 4 in 10 say right and wrong do not change.

“We are shifting very fast from a world where right and wrong didn’t change to a world where right and wrong are relative,” McConnell said. “We are not all on the same page when it comes to morality. And we haven’t reckoned with what that means.”   NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Most older Americans say right... Continue Reading

Benjamin Franklin, Skepticism, and The Enlightenment

Franklin never questioned the existence of God, but posited that God could only be known through reason and nature, not (claims of) revelation.

Internal, individual guides to Truth – such as reason or our perception of Nature – have not panned out as Franklin and other skeptics had hoped. They understandably wished to move beyond the violence that had marked religious conflicts since the Reformation. But turning within one’s self for the Truth turned out to be as... Continue Reading

France Rejects A Third Gender Category

Recent discoveries in molecular biology back up the social and legal arguments for two genders.

The Cour de Cassation, France’s supreme court, ruled that the distinction between male and female was “necessary to the social and legal organization, of which it is a cornerstone,” and that the recognition of a neutral gender would have “profound repercussions on rules of French law” and necessitate legislative changes, according to Agence France-Presse.  ... Continue Reading

Divinity, Diversity and Division

Professor calls diversity training workshop to which colleagues were invited a “waste,” setting off debate about inclusiveness and civility.

Professors do now spend much more time than they used to on tasks other than teaching, research and traditional service. But many will likely object to the idea that a voluntary workshop about diversity amounts to what’s been called faculty “shadow work.”   Divinity schools aren’t void of infighting, but controversies from these centers of... Continue Reading