What this means is that while religious practitioners still enjoy their apparent majority in America, each new generational “cohort” has been less likely to practice religion than the previous generation. Among tenth and twelfth graders, almost all the drop-off in churchgoing happened in the years between 2000 and 2013.
The religious right is at it again. This time, Republicans in Tennessee passed a measure allowing for the construction of a monument to the unborn “victims of abortion.”
What they should be calling it is a monument to the systematic oppression of women by a society that is still run unduly in large part by religious fanatics.
The Republican-led Tennessee House of Representatives already passed a bill, and the Tennessee State Senate added an amendment, sending the legislation back to the house before it went on to Republican Governor Bill Haslam. The proposal would raise private funds to erect what the Tennessee legislature is calling the “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children, In Memory of the Victims of Abortion: Babies, Women and Men.”
Olympic athlete Aly Raisman may not have predicted being able to face down her abusive team physician and actually winning. Her moving speech, delivered at the trial of former team doctor Larry Nassar, has captured the world’s attention.
But even as Raisman was preparing to compete for gold, the story of another member of Team USA Gymnastics, Rachel Denhollander, was falling on deaf ears. Not in the Indianapolis Star, where Denhollander’s story would eventually be published, but inside the halls of an institution she thought would help her feel safe — her church.
No Sanctuary Here
Religious texts are powerful rhetorical devices because they are subject to interpretation. America has no state religion, but the right wing has strongly endorsed what it preaches are a set of Christian values, making the movement more approachable to the seventy percent of Americans who identify as Christians.
You might think that for people who hold this set of values, Alabama’s Republican candidate for Senate, Roy Moore, would be stoned after five women came forward and made claims that Moore came on to them or worse when they were teenagers. The Christian right, however, seems to have taken a position of denial.
Moore’s not the only one setting a bad example for Christians in politics, either. There’s also our president.
Where Organized Religion and Politics Meet
Natural disasters and acts of God tend to appear alongside each other on legal papers and insurance policies. It seems they’re touched on in Joel Osteen’s megachurch operations manual, too. You might think a former NBA basketball arena with capacity for 17,000 would make a good shelter in such a situation. Joel disagrees.
Despite being situated fairly ideally to assist the community during the worst hurricane to hit Texas in over fifty years, Osteen’s only first move was to encourage church members to donate to the church while insisting that flood waters made the facility inaccessible.
Don’t Hate the Pastor, Hate the Megachurch
Religious conservative and FOX news contributor Todd Starnes wrote on June 29th that the recently released US House Republican’s Benghazi report noted that members of President Obama’s administration bullied a Christian pastor about a film he promoted that insulted Islam. Starnes claims that breeched the church and state wall. For a ‘reporter’ with a history of ethics problems, Starnes unsurprisingly gets this so-called ‘violation’ wrong.
Starnes writes on his FOX news website column: