Although some people poke fun at professional athletes like Ray Lewis, who glorified God throughout his journey to the Super Bowl, a new study has found that Americans look to these types of high-profile individuals more than they do to faith leaders for inspiration.
The Barna Group, a market research firm that specializes in studying religious beliefs among Americans and how they impact faith and culture, recently released a study claiming that athletes have more influence than pastors. An estimated two-thirds of Americans- about 64 percent- believe that professional athletes influence people in American society more than professional faith leaders, according to the report released on the Barna Group website.
This belief seems to be most prevalent among whites, parents, people who have graduated college and those who make more than $60,000 a year. However, some still believe that faith leaders impact their lives the most, including those who attend church weekly and take in earnings of less than $40,000 each year. more >>
Regis College, a Jesuit-run theology school at the University of Toronto, is surprising some people by offering a course on atheism. But the course is not what people might expect.
"This is an outreach class offered in the middle of the day. We have 125 students in attendance; normally we have half that number," said Dean Gordon Rixon of Regis College to The Christian Post on Wednesday. "There has been such an interest that we have decided to offer a one-day course on a Saturday."
The course was created as a response to Canada becoming more secular, Rixon shared. "This is not a course to villainize but to understand," said the dean of Regis College. "This is more of a reflecting course that allows us to form a Christian response to atheism." more >>
WASHINGTON – An influential United Methodist pastor who delivered the sermon at the 57th Inaugural Prayer Service stated in his message that America needs a "compelling vision" that unites the country in a time of strong political partisanship.
Adam Hamilton, author and senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., said on Tuesday morning to those gathered at the Washington National Cathedral, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden:
"To many Americans we can feel like a house divided that cannot stand," said Hamilton, regarding the apparent intractability of the current political climate at the federal level and the desperation to find a "common vision….that brings us all together." more >>
An interfaith group of leaders commended President Barack Obama over his recent gun control efforts and are looking toward Congress to continue to advance more gun control.
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a group comprised of 40 faith-based organizations and denominations, stated their support for the new efforts to reduce gun violence that were announced Wednesday.
Jim Winkler, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and chair of the coalition, said in a statement that Congress should seek to ban assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines. more >>
An Episcopal church in Pasadena, Calif., has been receiving a rash of hate emails for opening its doors to participants of the upcoming Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Convention in December.
The Rev. Ed Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church told CBS Los Angeles that the emails are "toxic stuff," ranging from "scapegoating Muslims, totally misreading what Islam is all about, telling us we can't call ourselves a Christian body because we've allowed Muslims into our church."
"They're saying we have abandoned our Christian roots, that we are gullible and being used by terrorists, all of which is totally unfounded," the Rev. Bacon told CBS. more >>
An interfaith group that brings Christians and Jews together for common goals, including the support of Israel, announced on Friday that it will increase its funding of emergency aid for families in southern Israel. Rocket attacks on cities in southern Israel occurred this week and are said to be continuing as the IDF launches a wide assault on what it describes as "terror activity sites" and military infrastructure in Gaza Strip.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) said that $2.7 million in funds will go to an emergency and security aid package that includes supplies for the people in communities under fire, including Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Sdot Negev, and Eshkol.
"With 20 percent of the nation's people in bomb shelters today, improving the security of the residents of the south is a vital priority for The Fellowship," said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and CEO of The Fellowship. "The untenable situation of more than 1 million residents living under constant threat of rocket fire must top the list of concerns of every friend of Israel. We are working hand-in-hand with the Israel Ministry for Home Front Defense and the IDF, and we will continue to cooperate to ensure the security of Israel's people." more >>