Belief Beat
August 2011 Archives

Ramadan, the holy Islamic month of daytime fasting and spiritual reflection, has ended with the usual Eid-al-Fitr festival fanfare — plus some controversy at Rye’s Playland amusement park (my old stomping grounds), confusion in Indonesia, and continued civil disobedience in Egypt. […]

Hurricane Irene may not have wreaked quite as much destruction as initially feared — my family and friends are all OK, if a bit waterlogged and powerless, but that’s typical after any big storm in the New York suburbs — […]

I dearly love the premise of GetReligion, a blog that points out weaknesses in the mainstream media’s coverage of faith-related issues, but I do get annoyed at its conservative Christian perspective at times. For example, all the pearl-clutching over Bill […]

I’ve been busy this week covering some interesting research studies (blog posts to follow) on  American faith, politics and behavior. In the meantime, the world is still turning — and shaking. Surprisingly, no word yet from Harold Camping or other doomsday Christians […]

Growing up Orthodox Christian, I always scratched my head at the Catholic Church’s unique insistence on celibate parish priests. A priest’s wife can be such an asset to the community, and it certainly makes sermons and pastoral counseling feel more […]

Catholic World Youth Day is underway, with Pope Benedict and ministering to hundreds of thousands of teens and young adults who have converged on Madrid, Spain for August 15-21 celebration. (This event takes place every three years, visiting a different […]

Religious leaders and faith-based groups have taken an active role in the debate over immigration reform vs. enforcement – some louder than others, some conspicuously quiet. The new flare-up over Alabama’s extreme new law is no exception. Catholic clergy tend to […]

With Rep. Michele Bachmann winning the Iowa straw poll, and Gov. Rick Perry entering the race hot off his Texan prayer rally, we’ve got ourselves a Christian horserace for the Republican presidential nominee. (My theory is they’ll split the white […]

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly aired an interesting piece this weekend about whether faith-based groups that accept government funding may continue only hiring members of their own faith. (Remember, the ongoing controversy here is that these groups are supported by taxpayer […]

If President Obama and other politicians are feeling down about their unpopularity these days, perhaps they can take some consolation in God’s surprisingly low approval rating. (He’s still more popular than the politicians, of course, but not by as much […]

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