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Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

December 2010 Archives

Downeastward Ho!

posted by Mark Silk

UConn women’s basketball streak is done. Trinity men’s squash streak continues. I’m headed north to Acadia for a little rest and recreation. And a little holiday from blogging. A Happy New Year to you all!

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How Americans track religion’s influence

posted by Mark Silk

Over the years, Gallup has asked Americans whether they “think religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life or losing its influence.” And unlike other Gallup survey questions having to do with belief in God and worship […]

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Protestantism in the U.S.

posted by Mark Silk

A short graphical history, courtesy Culturomics.

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War on Christmas?

posted by Mark Silk

Not so much, according to Culturomics:

World religions in America

posted by Mark Silk

In American English, that is, in the World according to Culturomics. Note that Judaism and Islam cross in 1999. And that references to Islam bulk larger now than references to Christianity did in 1980. No surprise that, in the publishing […]

Yes Sandra, military chaplains must obey the rules

posted by Mark Silk

Responding to my post on military chaplains post-DADT, commenter Sandra Brown writes: First of all you are missing one thing, the clergy takes an oath before God to uphold God’s message. Religiously speaking this is suppose to be their first […]

The Vatican’s official condom comment

posted by Mark Silk

So now we have the official word from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Condoms are a lesser evil, when used by prostitutes infected with HIV. Ultra theologians who have claimed the the use of condoms in such […]

Military chaplains, post-DADT

posted by Mark Silk

GetReligion Commandante Mattingly and I have have been having a bit of a back-and-forth about chaplains in the military post-DADT over on Cathy Grossman’s Facebook page, and I thought the issue worth venting a bit more publicly. (Here’s his official […]

Secularization in decline, says Culturomics

posted by Mark Silk

If you go to the Google Culturomics site and type in “Jesus” in English language publications, you’ll see that after sinking steadily from the middle of the 19th century, usage incidence plateaued between 1940 and 1980, and then began to […]

Family Research Council carries torch against DADT

posted by Mark Silk

Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose – to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a […]

Let’s hear it for Culturomics!

posted by Mark Silk

Fifteen billion printed words from 5.2 million books, or 4 percent of all books published! Graphed and searchable! Thank you, Google! Thank you, Harvard! Why am I ecstatic? The project, reported in the journal Science yesterday and available for the […]

Kissinger and Soviet Jewry, “contextualized”

posted by Mark Silk

Henry Kissinger’s attempt to weasel out of the appalling comments he is now revealed to have made regarding U.S. policy on Soviet Jewry is not, shall we say, convincing. Here, courtesy of Jim Besser’s good post on the subject, is […]

Faith-based, in the air and on the ground

posted by Mark Silk

Over at WaPo’s On Faith, Melissa Rogers, the key player on the first Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, offers an appreciative but not uncritical assessment of the Obama continuation of the Bush faith-based […]

The pope and the “lesser evil”

posted by Mark Silk

The AP report on Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi’s clarification of Pope Benedict’s notorious condom-and-AIDS remark concluded with the following portentous penultimate graph: Lombardi said the pope didn’t use the technical terminology “lesser evil” in his comments because he wanted his […]

Among the Bush accomplishments

posted by Mark Silk

The ethnic cleansing of Christians from Iraq. Great job, Georgie!

Smart’s kidnapper not crazy enough

posted by Mark Silk

Hardly anyone, including me, is likely to lose any sleep over yesterday’s verdict in federal court in Salt Lake City that found David Brian Mitchell guilty of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart and transporting her across state lines for purposes of sexual […]

OSV goes where bishops fear to tread

posted by Mark Silk

When the Catholic lumpen-laity needs to be told what the Church teaches, Our Sunday Visitor is there to teach it. So it should not be surprising that, in the wake of the brouhaha over Pope Benedict’s statement on condoms, OSV […]

Divine Exceptionalism

posted by Mark Silk

I’m basically down with Dan Schultz’s suggestion that God takes sides, and that the side God takes is the side of the poor. Of course, being me, I’d probably get all professorial and say that the Judeo-Christian tradition, or maybe […]

Yo, Social Media bishops!

posted by Mark Silk

At the USCCB meeting in Baltimore a month ago, Bishop Ron Herzog of Alexandria, LA, summoned his fellow hierarchs to join the Social Media World. (I’ve posted his talk after the jump, courtesy of Rocco.) There’s plenty of tasty food […]

Arguments for same-sex marriage

posted by Mark Silk

My pro-family argument for accelerating same-sex marriage has run into some flak from Touchstone‘s Jordan Ballor, who thinks I’ve committed a non sequitur. The burden of his argument: It’s true that we need to connect the natural telos of marriage to […]

Gov. Beshear’s excellent idea

posted by Mark Silk

Sure, the usual First Amendment purists think there’s something wrong with Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear’s plan to help solve his state’s unemployment woes by giving big tax breaks to support the construction of a Noah’s Ark Theme Park. Personally, I […]

Solving the marriage problem

posted by Mark Silk

Ross Douthat today is touting a new study from the University of Virginia bemoaning the decline of marriage in Middle America. OMG, the educated elite is now more committed to family values and religion than Sarah Palin’s flyover majority–i.e. they […]

Politico sleuths out faith-based stimulation

posted by Mark Silk

OMG, Politico is reporting, in a front-of-the-site, top of the page story by Ben Smith and Brian Tau: “Obama’s stimulus pours millions into faith-based groups.” And some of those groups were pleased at the manna from heaven! Who knew? Thanks […]

Archbishop Broglio hearts DADT

posted by Mark Silk

Inasmuch as I previously singled out evangelical chaplains as responsible for the intensity of resistance to doing away with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, it seems only fair to note the comparable opposition of the Catholic-in-charge, Timothy Broglio, Archbishop for the […]

“Shut up, you papal ignoramus!”

posted by Mark Silk

Lest you think the pope’s condom comments aren’t continuing to explode conservative Catholic heads, check out Sandro Magister’s latest post, “Friendly Fire on Benedict XVI. And a Condom’s to Blame.” In particular, consider this juicy scolding from Luke Gormally, Ordinary […]

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Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Religion and Public Life. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Latest News Story on Beliefnet Happy Reading!  

posted 3:10:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

The Ayn Rand Republicans
I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network's new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a look. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TxCW

posted 7:13:30pm May. 24, 2011 | read full post »

Whither evangelicals?
I'm fully prepared to believe that Mitch Daniels' family proved to be the unleapable hurdle in his abortive run-up to the GOP presidential race. Imagine yourself as wife Cheri, having split for the coast to marry on old flame, your husband and young daughters left behind in Boone County, Indiana,

posted 9:19:56am May. 23, 2011 | read full post »

No more "social conservatives"
With the presidential election cycle getting up to speed, it's time for reporters and yakkers like me to stop writing about "social conservatives" as if they were an identifiable segment of the voting population. I say this as someone who has happily been using the term since late 2008, when it

posted 8:25:11am May. 20, 2011 | read full post »

So clerical celibacy was not the problem?
Those on the Catholic left are not very happy that the Jay Report declines in no uncertain terms to blame clerical celibacy for the sexual abuse crisis. As the report puts it: Factors that remained consistent over this time period, such as celibacy, do not explain the sexual abuse "crisis." Celib

posted 9:50:34am May. 19, 2011 | read full post »

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