WASHINGTON — Distinguished scholars from Baylor University on Tuesday decried the myth that religion is on the decline in America and argued that it's actually growing and is stronger than ever.
Professors from Baylor University's Institute for Religion Studies in Waco, Texas, participated in a panel discussion at the National Press Club focusing on the "secularization myth," where they lambasted the media's spin on various surveys which has led many to believe that irreligion is on the rise in the United States.
Even though surveys have found there to be a rise in individuals who don't identify with a particular religion or denomination ("nones") and a decline in church membership for many Mainline denominations, the panelists agreed that those results don't mean that religion is on its deathbed or that atheism is on the rise. more >>
Children in religious homes are more punitive and less generous than their non-religious peers, claims a new study published in the journal Current Biology, saying they found no basis for the popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind toward others.
"Our findings robustly demonstrate that children from households identifying as either of the two major world religions (Christianity and Islam) were less altruistic than children from non-religious households," state researches involved in the study, "Negative Association Between Religiousness and Children's Altruism Across the World."
"Moreover, the negative relation between religiousness and spirituality and altruism changes across age, with those children with longer experience of religion in the household exhibiting the greatest negative relations," adds the study, which involved about 1,200 children, aged between 5 and 12, in the U.S., Canada, China, Jordan, Turkey and South Africa. Roughly a quarter of these children identified themselves as Christian. more >>
All it takes is the mention of one name to set off a political firestorm:
Protests, a potential firing and a law suit spell high drama in "God's Not Dead 2," starring Melissa Joan Hart and Jesse Metcalfe. In a newly released trailer for the film, Hart plays Grace Wesley, a Christian teacher who corroborates the principles of Jesus Christ during a class discussion. When a student notifies a parent of Wesley's actions it isn't long before two opposing camps are up in arms. more >>
Answers in Genesis CEO and President Ken Ham has argued that atheism is a religion that is rising in America, and is being openly supported by government-run schools.
"AiG points out that as a non-theistic religion, atheism is a belief system that attempts to explain everything in our world, including how the universe came to be and how one should relate to his fellow humans. As such, it's a naturalistic, comprehensive worldview (as opposed to a supernatural one) often referred to as secular humanism," Ham wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
"Generations of our young people, including many in our churches, have been educated in government-run schools in the religious view of naturalism, which in reality is atheism," he added. more >>
A series of billboards that promote atheist author Sam Harris' upcoming tour in Australia by attacking Catholic communion and the Quran have been banned.
Think Inc., the group that organized Harris' upcoming January tour in the country, had planned on posting the ads in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The Herald Sun reported that advertising company APN Outdoor rejected the ads, stating that they do not comply with the Outdoor Media Association's code of ethics, which prohibit material that vilifies religion. more >>
Evangelical preacher the Rev. Franklin Graham met with Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill of Moscow earlier this week, where the two discussed issues pertaining to gay marriage, the secularization in the West, and Christian persecution.
"We discussed the persecution of the church worldwide, especially in countries like Syria, and the need to protect Christians. We discussed the refugee crisis and how the church can help these people who are fleeing for their lives," Graham said about the meeting on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
"And we talked about the need to reach a younger generation brought up in secular schools surrounded by a secular culture who know nothing of God and His love for them. I appreciate Patriarch Kirill's very clear moral voice on issues of marriage, family, and the sanctity of life," he added. more >>