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Author Topic: Prayer and Religion in Public Life  (Read 105936 times)
The Scott
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« Reply #300 on: September 05, 2014, 07:52:02 AM »

"perpetually offended atheists"....that made me chuckle.

Apparently this Wisconsin group enjoys its perpetual state of offense so much that it fabricates reasons to remain in it.

This isn't atheism, this is anti-theism.



It's because these downtrodden atheists are just like others (read- libtards) of their kind.  They look for the "offensive" everywhere but in a mirror.

To hell with them and their pussified mentality.
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« Reply #301 on: September 06, 2014, 02:06:28 PM »

Group: Airman denied reenlistment for refusing to say 'so help me God'

Sep. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM
By Stephen Losey


An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

And in a Sept. 2 letter to the inspectors general for the Air Force and Creech, Monica Miller, an attorney with the AHA’s Apignani Humanist Legal Center, said the airman should be allowed to reenlist without having to swear to a deity, and instead given a secular oath. Miller said the AHA is prepared to sue if the airman is not allowed to reenlist.

According to the AHA, the unnamed airman was told Aug. 25 that the Air Force would not accept his contract because he had crossed out the phrase “so help me God.” The airman was told his only options were to sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force, the AHA said.

That is unconstitutional and unacceptable, the AHA said.

“The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being,” Miller said. “Numerous cases affirm that atheists have the right to omit theistic language from enlistment or reenlistment contracts.”

Creech officials referred inquiries to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Officials at Nellis referred questions to Air Force public affairs officers at the Pentagon, who had not confirmed the incident by Thursday night.

The AHA’s letter also called attention to a quiet update last year of Air Force rules governing reenlistments, which now require all airmen to swear an oath to God.

Air Force Instruction 36-2606 spells out the active-duty oath of enlistment, which all airmen must take when they enlist or reenlist and ends with “so help me God.” The old version of that AFI included an exception: “Note: Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.”

That language was dropped in an Oct. 30, 2013, update to the AFI. The relevant section of that AFI now only lists the active-duty oath of enlistment, without giving airmen any option to choose not to swear an oath to a deity.

“Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement under Title 10 USC 502,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said Thursday. AFI 36-2606 “is consistent with the language mandated in 10 USC 502. Paragraph 5.6 [and] was changed in October 2013 to reflect the aforementioned statutory requirement and airmen are no longer authorized to omit the words ‘So help me God.’ ”

The Air Force said it cannot change its AFI to make “so help me God” optional unless Congress changes the statute mandating it.

Miller pointed out that Article VI of the Constitution prohibits requiring religious tests to hold an office or public trust.

“Forcing [the airman] to swear to a supreme being as a condition of his reenlistment is tantamount to a ‘religious test’ and is therefore violative of this constitutional provision as well,” Miller said.

Miller also said that swearing an oath the airman does not believe in would be dishonest.

“This airman shows integrity, commitment to the nation, and respect for religion in standing firm for a secular oath that reflects his true values and intentions,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and a board member of the AHA.


http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140904/NEWS05/309040066/
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« Reply #302 on: September 08, 2014, 08:26:17 AM »

Group: Airman denied reenlistment for refusing to say 'so help me God'

Sep. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM
By Stephen Losey


An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

And in a Sept. 2 letter to the inspectors general for the Air Force and Creech, Monica Miller, an attorney with the AHA’s Apignani Humanist Legal Center, said the airman should be allowed to reenlist without having to swear to a deity, and instead given a secular oath. Miller said the AHA is prepared to sue if the airman is not allowed to reenlist.

According to the AHA, the unnamed airman was told Aug. 25 that the Air Force would not accept his contract because he had crossed out the phrase “so help me God.” The airman was told his only options were to sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force, the AHA said.

That is unconstitutional and unacceptable, the AHA said.

“The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being,” Miller said. “Numerous cases affirm that atheists have the right to omit theistic language from enlistment or reenlistment contracts.”

Creech officials referred inquiries to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Officials at Nellis referred questions to Air Force public affairs officers at the Pentagon, who had not confirmed the incident by Thursday night.

The AHA’s letter also called attention to a quiet update last year of Air Force rules governing reenlistments, which now require all airmen to swear an oath to God.

Air Force Instruction 36-2606 spells out the active-duty oath of enlistment, which all airmen must take when they enlist or reenlist and ends with “so help me God.” The old version of that AFI included an exception: “Note: Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.”

That language was dropped in an Oct. 30, 2013, update to the AFI. The relevant section of that AFI now only lists the active-duty oath of enlistment, without giving airmen any option to choose not to swear an oath to a deity.

“Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement under Title 10 USC 502,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said Thursday. AFI 36-2606 “is consistent with the language mandated in 10 USC 502. Paragraph 5.6 [and] was changed in October 2013 to reflect the aforementioned statutory requirement and airmen are no longer authorized to omit the words ‘So help me God.’ ”

The Air Force said it cannot change its AFI to make “so help me God” optional unless Congress changes the statute mandating it.

Miller pointed out that Article VI of the Constitution prohibits requiring religious tests to hold an office or public trust.

“Forcing [the airman] to swear to a supreme being as a condition of his reenlistment is tantamount to a ‘religious test’ and is therefore violative of this constitutional provision as well,” Miller said.

Miller also said that swearing an oath the airman does not believe in would be dishonest.

“This airman shows integrity, commitment to the nation, and respect for religion in standing firm for a secular oath that reflects his true values and intentions,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and a board member of the AHA.


http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140904/NEWS05/309040066/

People have the God-given ability to deny God as much as they want.   Folks in US have no right to force another to accept or reject God.   
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« Reply #303 on: September 09, 2014, 01:13:55 PM »

People have the God-given ability to deny God as much as they want.  

How profound. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #304 on: September 09, 2014, 02:24:22 PM »

How profound. Roll Eyes

Always glad to help, but sounds like you stumbled on that new thing called "sarcasm".
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« Reply #305 on: September 17, 2014, 08:16:27 PM »

Finally some common sense instead of enforcing the outrageous demands of paranoid religious extremists.

AF to change instructions for oaths
/ Published September 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses.

In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from the Department of Defense General Counsel addressing the legal parameters of the oath. The resulting opinion concluded that an individual may strike or omit the words “So help me God” from an enlistment or appointment oath if preferred.

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen's rights are protected.”

The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words 'So help me God' from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.

The language in previous instructions was based on an Air Force legal interpretation of 10 U.S.C. 502, 5 U.S.C. 3331 and Title 32, which contain the oaths of office.

The Air Force requested the review following a ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, in which an enlisted Airman struck out the words, “So help me God” on the Department of Defense Form 4 and did not include them in his verbal oath. The Airman's unit was unable to process his paperwork due to the guidance in Air Force Instruction 36-2606, Reenlistment in the United States Air Force, which prohibited any omissions. Now that the Department of Defense General Counsel has provided an opinion, the Airman’s enlistment paperwork will be processed to completion.


http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/497535/af-to-change-instructions-for-oaths.aspx
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« Reply #306 on: September 18, 2014, 07:49:50 AM »

Finally some common sense instead of enforcing the outrageous demands of paranoid religious extremists.


Theists are so dumb!  Can I get a "what what"?!!
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« Reply #307 on: September 23, 2014, 09:57:56 AM »


More Americans see religion’s influence waning, want bigger role in politics: Pew poll
By Mary Wisniewski
SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

Nearly three-quarters of the public think religion is losing influence in American life and a growing number want religion to play more of a role in politics, according to a poll released on Monday.

The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues has gone up 6 percentage points since the 2010 midterm elections, to 49 percent from 43 percent, the Pew Research Center survey found.

Also, a growing minority of Americans, up to 32 percent from 22 percent in 2002, think churches should endorse candidates for political office, the poll found.

Overall, it showed 72 percent of Americans say religion is losing influence in the country, up 5 points from 2010.

“Some of this might be in reaction, perhaps, to the perception that religion is losing influence,” said Jessica Hamar Martinez, a research associate for Pew.

The poll also found that a declining share of Americans see the Obama administration as friendly toward religion, to 30 percent from 37 percent in 2009.

The belief that the administration is unfriendly to religion rose by 19 percentage points since 2009 among both white evangelical Christians and white Catholics, the poll found. Leaders from both these groups have been vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, which they say restricts religious liberty.

The poll also found that nearly half, or 47 percent, of U.S. adults, think that businesses, such as caterers and florists, should be allowed to reject same-sex couples as customers if the businesses have religious objections to serving them.

The survey questioned 2,002 U.S. adults between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2014/09/23/more-americans-see-religions-influence-waning-want-bigger-role-in-politics-pew-poll/
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« Reply #308 on: November 18, 2014, 10:12:02 PM »

Orange County School Board moves to change policy to keep Satanist coloring book out of schools

By Lauren Roth, Orlando Sentinel
November 13, 2014

Worried about facing national ridicule if a Satanic group is allowed to give out coloring books to children, the Orange County School Board moved Thursday toward preventing any outside group from distributing religious materials on campus.

The current policy has allowed groups to distribute Bibles and even atheist materials at district high schools in recent years.

The board discussed the issue during a workshop Thursday. The earliest it could vote to change the policy would be late January or early February, officials said.

"This really has, frankly, gotten out of hand," said chairman Bill Sublette. "I think we've seen a group or groups take advantage of the open forum we've had."

But a spokesman for The Satanic Temple, the group the group that wants to give out coloring books featuring cartoon children performing Satanic rituals and drawing pentagrams in school, said it is the School Board that is acting in bad faith.

"It strongly implies they never intended to have a plurality of voices," said Doug Mesner, co-founder and spokesman for The Satanic Temple, who also goes by the pseudonym Lucien Greaves.

An evangelical group called World Changers of Florida has given out Bibles in Orange schools three times.

"We're looking forward to doing it again," said World Changers Vice President Greg Harper. The group has purchased materials and is gathering volunteers to give out the New International Version in 18 district high schools on Jan. 16, he said.

However, district counsel Woody Rodriguez said the Satanists are the only group to have submitted a request.

Harper said he considers the possible policy change an attack on Christians.

"They seem to be moving against the interests of a large part of the community," he said, likening it to the district's August decision to ban football chaplains at schools. "The Bible will open somebody's heart, somebody's mind, and cause them to pursue answers."

Board member Christine Moore also seemed to struggle with the effect of a policy change on Christian groups. "Everyone's upset about the Satanists and the atheists coming,'' she said.

But another group involved in the debate sees an upside.

"It's a bit of a relief," said David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community. His group distributed atheist materials in 2013 as a protest against Bible distributions.

Rodriguez said the district was bound by the terms of a federal consent decree that required Collier County schools to allow the same group to give out Bibles.

"Given that there's a potential change in the policy, we won't be allowing distribution," he said. "We're going to wait."

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-satanic-pamphlets-board-reacts-20141113-story.html
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« Reply #309 on: November 19, 2014, 06:56:27 AM »

after Skeletor posts I always picture the following:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g20_8-TPyTQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g20_8-TPyTQ</a>
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« Reply #310 on: November 19, 2014, 07:32:29 PM »

How profound. Roll Eyes

Don't be such a dicklet, mkay?

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« Reply #311 on: December 03, 2014, 11:33:05 AM »

after Skeletor posts I always picture the following:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g20_8-TPyTQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g20_8-TPyTQ</a>

 Grin
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« Reply #312 on: December 03, 2014, 11:34:30 AM »

Why do atheists have a PR director?? 

American Atheists PR Director Says He's Becoming a Woman, Transition Will Be Slow
BY STOYAN ZAIMOV , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 18, 2014


Dave Muscato (R) participating in a religious debate in a video posted on April 20, 2012.

Dave Muscato, the public relations director for American Atheists, has announced that he'll be transitioning into a transgender woman in the near future, and has chosen the name Danielle as a new identity.

"I consider my gender identity to be personal and, despite my passion for PR, don't intend to do much in the way of interviews about my personal gender identity if I can help it. I fully support intersectionality and working together with LGBTQ activists on mutual goals, but I'm first and foremost an atheist activist, and that hasn't changed," Muscato wrote in a blog post on Monday for The Friendly Atheist.

"There are many other people who are significantly more educated about trans activism than I am and who are already doing great work in that area. I support them and obviously have an interest in their success, but it's not my area of expertise. Exposing the harms that religion causes and making the world a better place for atheists will always be my passion."

Muscato noted that she's (formerly he) grateful for the full support of American Atheists President David Silverman and Managing Director Amanda Knief, as well as other co-workers.

Muscato added that gender identity and gender expression don't always go hand-in-hand.

"While I have identified internally as a woman for a long time, for now, I will be presenting more-or-less as a man; that is, I will continue to wear mostly traditional men's clothing, speak in my natural lower voice, and so on," the American Atheists public relations director wrote.

"Transitioning is a slow, painful, and expensive process and can take many months to several years. As I begin to take bigger steps to change my appearance, I will also begin dressing differently and changing other aspects of my gender expression.

American Atheists, one of the largest secular organizations in the U.S., launched the world's first ever TV channel dedicated exclusively to atheism earlier this year.

"Atheist TV," as the channel is called, is shown through Internet-streaming service Roku 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has partnered with other notable atheist groups, such as the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

"There's a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials," Muscato told New York Daily News in May. "But there's no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void. ... We'll have shows about philosophy, science, history — a critical examination of the facts."

http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-atheists-public-relations-director-announces-transition-into-transgender-woman-129855/
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« Reply #313 on: January 06, 2015, 12:04:44 PM »

Pew: Christians Make Up 92 Percent of New Congress
Tuesday, 06 Jan 2015
By Jason Devaney

More than 90 percent of the new Congress is Christian, a 2 percent increase from the previous Congress.

The Pew Research Center reports that 92 percent of the 114th Congress is made up of Christians, a figure dominated by Protestants at 57 percent. Thirty-one percent of those Christians are Catholic.

Pew claims those numbers are higher than the American average; 49 percent of American adults are Protestant, according to the data, while 22 percent are Catholic.

Twenty percent of Americans say they are not affiliated with any religion, while that number falls to just 0.2 percent in Congress. The only lawmaker on Capitol Hill without a religious affiliation is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, according to Pew.

Fifteen percent of Congress is Baptist, while another 8 percent is either Methodist or Anglican/Episcopal. Presbyterians make up 7 percent of the 535 lawmakers in the House and Senate.

Five percent of Congress is Jewish, higher than the nationwide figure of 2 percent. Seven members are ordained ministers.

Of the 301 Republicans in Congress, only one of them — freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York — is not Christian. Zeldin is Jewish. Sixty-seven percent of the GOP Congressmen are Protestant, while 27 percent are Catholic. Five percent are Mormon.

Forty-four percent of the 234 Democratic Congressmen are Protestant, 35 percent are Catholic, and 12 percent are Jewish. There are two Mormons, two Buddhists, two Muslims, and one Hindu.

Meanwhile, Pew reported in September that 72 percent of Americans think religion is losing influence. But the figures did show that 78 percent of Americans still claim to be Christian.

Nearly half of Americans, on the other hand, would like to see more religion in the world of politics, according to the Pew data.

http://www.Newsmax.com/Newsfront/congress-christians-protestants-religion/2015/01/06/id/616640/#ixzz3O4NdUk00
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« Reply #314 on: January 06, 2015, 12:32:32 PM »

Why do atheists have a PR director??  

American Atheists PR Director Says He's Becoming a Woman, Transition Will Be Slow
BY STOYAN ZAIMOV , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 18, 2014


Dave Muscato (R) participating in a religious debate in a video posted on April 20, 2012.

Dave Muscato, the public relations director for American Atheists, has announced that he'll be transitioning into a transgender woman in the near future, and has chosen the name Danielle as a new identity.

"I consider my gender identity to be personal and, despite my passion for PR, don't intend to do much in the way of interviews about my personal gender identity if I can help it. I fully support intersectionality and working together with LGBTQ activists on mutual goals, but I'm first and foremost an atheist activist, and that hasn't changed," Muscato wrote in a blog post on Monday for The Friendly Atheist.

"There are many other people who are significantly more educated about trans activism than I am and who are already doing great work in that area. I support them and obviously have an interest in their success, but it's not my area of expertise. Exposing the harms that religion causes and making the world a better place for atheists will always be my passion."

Muscato noted that she's (formerly he) grateful for the full support of American Atheists President David Silverman and Managing Director Amanda Knief, as well as other co-workers.

Muscato added that gender identity and gender expression don't always go hand-in-hand.

"While I have identified internally as a woman for a long time, for now, I will be presenting more-or-less as a man; that is, I will continue to wear mostly traditional men's clothing, speak in my natural lower voice, and so on," the American Atheists public relations director wrote.

"Transitioning is a slow, painful, and expensive process and can take many months to several years. As I begin to take bigger steps to change my appearance, I will also begin dressing differently and changing other aspects of my gender expression.

American Atheists, one of the largest secular organizations in the U.S., launched the world's first ever TV channel dedicated exclusively to atheism earlier this year.

"Atheist TV," as the channel is called, is shown through Internet-streaming service Roku 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has partnered with other notable atheist groups, such as the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

"There's a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials," Muscato told New York Daily News in May. "But there's no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void. ... We'll have shows about philosophy, science, history — a critical examination of the facts."

http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-atheists-public-relations-director-announces-transition-into-transgender-woman-129855/

all the best to Danielle

"Convince me your religion is true" LOL!! 
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« Reply #315 on: March 25, 2015, 03:54:08 PM »

Survey: Nearly 92% of Congress is Christian
By Dan Merica, CNN
Mon January 5, 2015

Washington (CNN)The men and women of the 114th Congress, despite being bitterly divided and partisan, almost universally share one thing in common: Their faith.

Nearly 92% of Congress -- or 491 of the 535 members -- identifies as Christian, according to a study by Pew Research's Religion & Public Life Project. That number is slightly up from 90% in the 113th Congress and continues a trend where the percentage of Christians and Jews in Congress outpaces their national average.

Though Christians dominate both parties, Democrats are more religiously diverse than Republicans. Of the 301 Republicans in the 114th Congress, Jewish freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York is the only non-Christian.

A large majority of Democrats in Congress (80%) are Christian, with 44% Protestant, 35% Catholic and 1% Mormon. But unlike Republicans, Democrats in Congress are 12% Jewish and have two Buddhist, two Muslims, one Hindu and one unaffiliated member.

"You could say that the religious diversity in Congress is concentrated on the Democratic side," said Alan Cooperman, director of religious research at Pew. "The vast majority of the Jews, all of the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus in Congress and the one unaffiliated member are all on the Democratic side."

Congress, the most representative and responsive branch of the federal government, has seen some aspects of their religious affiliation mirror nationwide trends.

For example, as the country has grown more religiously diverse over the last 50 years, so has Congress. Only 3% of the 87th Congress (1961-1962), according to Pew, was non-Christian. Today, that number has roughly tripled to 6%.

What's more, there has been a noticeable decline in Protestants that mirrors nationwide trends. In 1961, 75% of Congress and roughly 2/two-thirds of the country identified as Protestant. Fifty-seven percent of the 114th Congress is Protestant, while 49% of the country identifies as such today.

One area where nationwide trends have not been reflected in Congress is with the religiously unaffiliated, the most underrepresented in the country.

Though 20% of the country does not identify with a faith, only one member of Congress -- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- publicly identifies as such.

Cooperman said the under representation of unaffiliated Americans might be a political decision by members of Congress.

"One of the things we have seen in our surveys is that the American public says one thing they like to see in candidates for office is strong religious beliefs," said Cooperman, who noted that when Pew asked voters what qualities impact their vote, the most negative attribute was someone who doesn't believe in God.

"On the whole, American adults tend to say that they do want strong religious beliefs in candidates and they tend to say that they would be less likely to vote for someone who says they do not believe in God," he added. "Candidates are reflecting the views of the public when they do tend to affiliate with a religious group."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/05/politics/religious-survey-congress/index.html
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« Reply #316 on: March 31, 2015, 09:42:03 AM »

Survey: Nearly 92% of Congress is Christian
By Dan Merica, CNN
Mon January 5, 2015

Washington (CNN)The men and women of the 114th Congress, despite being bitterly divided and partisan, almost universally share one thing in common: Their faith.

Nearly 92% of Congress -- or 491 of the 535 members -- identifies as Christian, according to a study by Pew Research's Religion & Public Life Project. That number is slightly up from 90% in the 113th Congress and continues a trend where the percentage of Christians and Jews in Congress outpaces their national average.

Though Christians dominate both parties, Democrats are more religiously diverse than Republicans. Of the 301 Republicans in the 114th Congress, Jewish freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York is the only non-Christian.

A large majority of Democrats in Congress (80%) are Christian, with 44% Protestant, 35% Catholic and 1% Mormon. But unlike Republicans, Democrats in Congress are 12% Jewish and have two Buddhist, two Muslims, one Hindu and one unaffiliated member.

"You could say that the religious diversity in Congress is concentrated on the Democratic side," said Alan Cooperman, director of religious research at Pew. "The vast majority of the Jews, all of the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus in Congress and the one unaffiliated member are all on the Democratic side."

Congress, the most representative and responsive branch of the federal government, has seen some aspects of their religious affiliation mirror nationwide trends.

For example, as the country has grown more religiously diverse over the last 50 years, so has Congress. Only 3% of the 87th Congress (1961-1962), according to Pew, was non-Christian. Today, that number has roughly tripled to 6%.

What's more, there has been a noticeable decline in Protestants that mirrors nationwide trends. In 1961, 75% of Congress and roughly 2/two-thirds of the country identified as Protestant. Fifty-seven percent of the 114th Congress is Protestant, while 49% of the country identifies as such today.

One area where nationwide trends have not been reflected in Congress is with the religiously unaffiliated, the most underrepresented in the country.

Though 20% of the country does not identify with a faith, only one member of Congress -- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- publicly identifies as such.

Cooperman said the under representation of unaffiliated Americans might be a political decision by members of Congress.

"One of the things we have seen in our surveys is that the American public says one thing they like to see in candidates for office is strong religious beliefs," said Cooperman, who noted that when Pew asked voters what qualities impact their vote, the most negative attribute was someone who doesn't believe in God.

"On the whole, American adults tend to say that they do want strong religious beliefs in candidates and they tend to say that they would be less likely to vote for someone who says they do not believe in God," he added. "Candidates are reflecting the views of the public when they do tend to affiliate with a religious group."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/05/politics/religious-survey-congress/index.html

Doesn't surprise me at all...
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« Reply #317 on: April 09, 2015, 05:44:39 PM »

Doesn't surprise me at all...

Me either.   Smiley
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« Reply #318 on: February 29, 2016, 02:59:20 PM »

Worried Enough to Pray
February 29, 2016   

Last week’s blog struck a nerve. I wrote a piece entitled “Decency for President.” The premise was a simple one. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate who claims to be Christian talk like one? When a candidate waves a Bible in one speech and calls a reporter “bimbo” in the next, isn’t something awry? Specifically, when Donald Trump insists that he is a Christian (“a good Christian” to use his descriptor) and then blasts, belittles, and denigrates everyone from Barbara Bush to John McCain to Megyn Kelly, shouldn’t we speak up?

If the candidate is not a Christian, then I have no right to speak. But if the candidate does what Trump has done, wave a Bible and attempt to quote from it, then we, his fellow Christians need to call him to at least a modicum of Christian behavior, right?

Again, I struck a nerve. More than three million of you read the article in the first 36 hours! Thousands of you weighed in with your comments. They were fascinating to read. (Not all of them pleasant to read, mind you. The dozens of you who told me to stick to the pulpit and stop meddling in politics– I get it. By the way, I’d like to invite you to attend our services. My upcoming message is “Kindness”.) Detractors notwithstanding, your comments were heartfelt and passionate.

I detected a few themes.

You have a deep sense of love for our country. Patriotism oozed through your words. You cherish the uniqueness and wonder of the USA. You have varying opinions regarding leadership style, role of government, and political strategy. But when it comes to loving the country, you are unanimously off the charts.

You have an allergy to “convenient” Christians. You resist people who don the Christian title at convenient opportunities (i.e., presidential campaigns). You would prefer the candidate make no mention of faith rather than leave the appearance of a borrowed faith that will be returned to the lender after the election.

You are concerned, profoundly concerned, about the future of our country. The debt. Immorality. National security. The role of the Supreme Court. Immigration. Religious liberty. The list is as long as the worries are deep.

So where does this leave us? When a person treasures the country, but has trepidation about its future, what is the best course of action?

Elijah can weigh in on this question.

He lived during one of the darkest days in the history of Israel. The Northern Kingdom had 19 kings, each one of whom was evil. Hope had boarded the last train and optimism the final flight. The leaders were corrupt and the hearts of the people were cold. But comets are most visible against the black sky. And in the midst of the darkness, a fiery comet by the name of Elijah appeared.

The name Elijah means, “My God is Jehovah.” And he lived up to his name. He appeared in the throne room of evil King Ahab with a weather report. “‘As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word’” (1 Kings 17:1).

Elijah’s attack was calibrated. Baal was the fertility god of the pagans, the god to whom they looked for rain and fertile fields. Elijah called for a showdown: the true God of Israel against the false god of the pagans. How could Elijah be so confident of the impending drought? Because he had prayed.

Eight centuries later the prayers of Elijah were used as a model.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:16-18).

James was impressed that a prayer of such power came from a person so common. Elijah was “a human being” but his prayers were heard because he prayed earnestly. This was no casual prayer, comfortable prayer, but a radical prayer. “Do whatever it takes, Lord,” Elijah begged, “even if that means no water.”

What happened next is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. Elijah told the 450 prophets of Baal: You get a bull, I’ll get a bull. You build an altar, I’ll build an altar. You ask your god to send fire; I’ll ask my God to send fire. The God who answers by fire is the true God.

The prophets of Baal agreed and went first.

“At noon Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’

“So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:27-29).

(Elijah would have flunked a course in diplomacy.) Though the prophets cut themselves and raved all afternoon, nothing happened. Finally Elijah asked for his turn.

“Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come here to me.’ They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, ‘Your name shall be Israel’” (1 Kings 18:30-31).

Elijah poured four jugs of water (remember, this was a time of drought) over the altar three times. Then Elijah prayed.

“LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.   Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (1 Kings 18:36-37).

Note how quickly and dramatically God answered.

“Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!’” (1 Kings 18:38-39).

“Pow!” the altar was ablaze. God delighted in and answered Elijah’s prayer. God delights in and answers our prayers as well.

Let’s start a fire, shall we?

If your responses to my blog are any indication, you are anxious. You love this country, yet you are troubled about the future. You wonder what the future holds and what we can do. Elijah’s story provides the answer. We can pray. We can offer earnest, passionate prayers.

It’s time to turn our concerns into a unified prayer. Let’s join our hearts and invite God to do again what he did then; demonstrate His power. Super Tuesday, March 1, is the perfect day for us to step into the presence of God.

Dear Lord,

You outrank any leader. You hold sway over every office. Greater is the occupant of Heaven’s throne than the occupant of the White House.

You have been good to this country. You have blessed us in spite of our sin and guarded us in spite of our rebellion.

We unite our hearts in one prayer. Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done. Please, speak through the electoral process to reveal your leader.

This we pray in the name of Jesus,

Amen

© Max Lucado
 February 29, 2016

https://maxlucado.com/worried-enough-to-pray-2/
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« Reply #319 on: February 29, 2016, 05:20:50 PM »

Quote
When a candidate waves a Bible in one speech and calls a reporter “bimbo” in the next, isn’t something awry?

Not necessarily.  The writer sounds dishonest, too.  I'd bet we could find all sorts of hypocritical things in this article, versus the author, if we looked.
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« Reply #320 on: February 29, 2016, 05:50:04 PM »

Not necessarily.  The writer sounds dishonest, too.  I'd bet we could find all sorts of hypocritical things in this article, versus the author, if we looked.

Max Lucado dishonest?  I think not.  lol  Classic ad hominem.  This is about Trump, not Lucado. 
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« Reply #321 on: February 29, 2016, 05:59:31 PM »

Max Lucado dishonest?  I think not.  lol  Classic ad hominem.  This is about Trump, not Lucado. 

Do you think Lucado has ever called someone a name?  Because if he has, then he's made this about himself, actually.

All someone needs to do is look to find Trump say he's never asked for forgiveness.  That's it.
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« Reply #322 on: February 29, 2016, 07:39:49 PM »

Do you think Lucado has ever called someone a name?  Because if he has, then he's made this about himself, actually.

All someone needs to do is look to find Trump say he's never asked for forgiveness.  That's it.

I have no idea.  What I do know is he has never run for office, then called himself a Christian, held up a Bible, tried to quote it, then simultaneously have all sorts of filth come out of his mouth.  So, apples and oranges.

This commentary is about Trump, not Lucado. 
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« Reply #323 on: February 29, 2016, 08:20:47 PM »

I have no idea.  What I do know is he has never run for office, then called himself a Christian, held up a Bible, tried to quote it, then simultaneously have all sorts of filth come out of his mouth.  So, apples and oranges.

This commentary is about Trump, not Lucado. 

And those comments are being weighed, which is the main purpose of a discussion board.
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« Reply #324 on: March 01, 2016, 12:00:00 PM »

And those comments are being weighed, which is the main purpose of a discussion board.

They are being contorted.  You can obviously talk about whatever you want.  I'm pointing out how your comments have nothing to do with Lucado's commentary.  His commentary is about Trump. 
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