Paul Raushenbush at Progressive Revival has put together an excelent list of the “worst religious stories” — meaning the ones that made us groan or roll our eyes. Two samples: 7. Prosperity Gospelers add to the foreclosure crisis by preaching that Jesus had provided poor congregants with a house they could not afford. 6. Elizabeth…

A new study from Psychological Bulletin indicates that church attendance does promote self control. (Hat tip: New York Times) The traditional explanation might be that fear of divine retribution scares youngsters into behaving. But the scientists who did this study suspect a more positive effect: religious ritual stimulates our self-control muscles. Michael McCullough explains: “Brain-scan…

Our gallery of spiritual leaders includes many great men and women. I wanted to ponder for a moment Warith Deen Mohammed, who did more than any other American to bring Islam into the mainstream here. He was the son of Elijah Muhammad, who had founded the Nation of Islam. But after Elijah died, Warith drew…

A thought-provoking post from “Paul”: “About three years ago, my church started asking for prayers for ‘our troops in the Middle East.’ I thought that was a good idea, but suggested three times that the phrase “and all those suffering from the Middle East wars” be added to that petition. Nothing happened. I then sent…

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Steve Waldman

Steven Waldman is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Beliefnet. He's also the author of the Founding Faith: Politics, Providence, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America, which has been published by Random House. Before co-founding Beliefnet in 1999, Waldman was a political journalist, serving as National Editor of U.S. News & World Report and National Correspondent for Newsweek. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Review, The Atlantic, Slate, and many others.

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