Why Are Christians Disowning Their Most Important Symbol?

A federal court ruled that Utah must remove crosses planted alongside highways to remember state troopers killed in the line of duty. They concluded that the crosses violated the law by implying that “the state prefers or otherwise endorses a certain religion.” Many Christians are, predictably, outraged.

I addressed this issue back when the Christmas-vs.-holiday debate was raging. I referred to Steven Waldman, author of Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religion, who pointed out that the cross-defenders are destroying the meaning of the very symbol they’re trying to save:   Continue reading “Why Are Christians Disowning Their Most Important Symbol?”

Faith Healers of Yesterday, Meet the Prosperity Gospel of Today

Religion is good for your health. Honest-to-goodness church folk tend to live healthier lifestyles. They are less likely to drink to excess, smoke, use illicit drugs, and (although news headlines indicate otherwise) engage in risky sexual behaviors. Being part of a community also has benefits—the built-in community can serve as a buffer against psychiatric symptoms or mental illness. A prayer circle or service is a release for stresses and pressures, and is intimate enough for individuals to feel cared for an appreciated. In the disorientation that is modern life, it is reassuring to have your health. In the light of serious ailments, then, it is not illogical to turn to the one thing that, by experience, makes you better.   Continue reading “Faith Healers of Yesterday, Meet the Prosperity Gospel of Today”

16 Days To Go: The (Non-Deadweight-Loss) Joy of Christmas

A search for “Christmas” on Google News today yielded headlines like “Christmas donations falling short for children in low-income families” and “Time dwindling to help needy for Christmas” and “Salvation Army strives to fill Christmas needs” and “US charities face deficit during holiday season.” Here at Trading 8s, we have several ways to rectify that:

  1. Donate to Avow Hospice, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or Serento Gardens Alcoholism & Drug Services.
  2. Add your name to our petition to waste less food this holiday season.
  3. Support the fight against AIDS by buying the Killers’ new Christmas song “Happy Birthday Guadalupe” and purchasing some of your Christmas presents from Product Red.

That same search will also yield a few articles like “Bell ringers find joy in helping others.” That has been a consistent finding here at Trading 8s, too (here, here, and here). Don’t miss out on that rewarding feeling.

17 Days To Go: Christmas — er, Holiday — Confusion

The Christmas-Holiday debate has reared its ugly head once again. This time, President Obama is getting an earful from Christian Americans for omitting the word “Christmas” from the White House holiday cards (and, to a lesser extent, for sending less than half the number of cards that George W. Bush used to send). Do those liberal atheists know no bounds in their mission to secularize our Christian nation?

Seriously though, critics have a worthy opponent in the President. They cannot brand him as just another Jesus-hating Democrat. Barack Obama has been very forthcoming about his devout Christianity. He has touted his admiration for long-dead theologians whom most Christians don’t take the time to read. He has been every bit as proud of “finding Christ” as his predecessor. He has earned praise from George Lakoff, E. J. Dionne, and their contingent of values-minded Democrats for explaining his political views in the vocabulary once reserved for “compassionate conservatives.” He opened his heart to the world in his books, and in so doing he expressed the kind of inner struggle with religion that we all experience at some point but few admit.   Continue reading “17 Days To Go: Christmas — er, Holiday — Confusion”