Archive for the ‘secular’ Category

Survey finds a nation divided by faith, politics: Muslims, atheists, conservative Christians bear brunt of fears, distrust

Technology does not scare us. Nor especially does the fear of Hell or worries about getting into heaven. But the fears and suspect motives we place on belief systems different than our own very much concerns Americans, according to the latest wave of the Baylor Religion Survey. For centuries, Catholics and Jewish people bore the[ READ FULL COLUMN ]

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Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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A profile in intellectual humility: Templeton Prize winner builds place for God in philosophy

Alvin Plantinga started out at a time when much of the academic community in philosophy was hostile to the idea of belief in God. Yet he became a leading figure in making belief in a divine reality an option to take seriously. More than a half-century later, his work in such areas as free will and evil, the role of God in the universe and the compatibility of science and religion continues to be a major influence in philosophy.

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Study: Americans more likely to vote for highly religious candidates. A challenge for Democrats with growing secular base

A new study finds Americans, with the notable exception of strong Democrats with little or no religious commitments, are significantly less likely to vote for a secular candidate. Instead, U.S. voters, including independents, are far more disposed to cast ballots for candidates who are members of worshipping communities and describe themselves as people of faith.

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Faith and health: When TV goes low in depicting religion, marginal believers may suffer most

What is the impact of the public trashing of religion on the lives of the great majority of Americans who profess a belief in God? New research exploring the relation between mental health and negative media portrayals of religion reveals some surprising findings.

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Think your God is "awwwesome?" How the answer may affect your health

Three new studies explore how faith may help or hinder individuals coping with the loss of a loved one, in the battle against obesity or in providing resources to protect against anxiety and depression.

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It's the faith talking: How religion may reduce alcohol abuse

More than a few New Year’s resolutions for 2017 will involve reducing alcohol use or stopping drinking altogether. A lot of people will not succeed. What may give them a better chance, however, is having a strong faith, research suggests. A new wave of studies provides insights into the myriad ways religion appears to protect against alcohol abuse.

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The war at home: Four ways good faith can help defeat ISIS

Protect religious freedom. Maintain an independent judiciary. Respect your neighbor. Get to know your neighbors. These are the ways the nation can help reduce the threat of terrorism and preserve civil liberties, research suggests.

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Fewer cheerful givers: The financial crisis facing U.S. churches

Even as the economy improves from the depths of the recession, several U.S. religious groups are not keeping up financially, according to two new studies. Giving as a percentage of income continues to fall for many Protestant groups, while the Catholic Church faces several financial challenges from changing demographics to church embezzlement and the fallout from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

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A 'Great Abdicating' or Much Ado about Nones? Growing, diverse body offers few easy answers

Americans with little or no ties to organized religion are significantly more likely to be male, single, and liberal. But within this broad portrait researchers are discovering a more nuanced diversity that provides a clearer picture of the nation’s “nones,” those who claim no religious affiliation on surveys. Maybe it is even time to stop calling them nones.

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