Religion

In Theory: Is morality tied to belief in God?

A recent poll conducted Pew Research Center revealed that many people worldwide, particularly those who live in poorer countries, are of the opinion that one must believe in God to be a moral person.

In Theory: Should churches take a position on fracking?

In Theory: Should churches take a position on fracking?

Having recently made legal claims to historical gas and mineral rights under vast tracts of British land, the Church of England has taken a position against those who oppose hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of breaking up rock formations underground in order to extract natural...

In Theory: On the legacy of Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps, the founder the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. who was known for his fire-and-brimstone anti-gay public protests — as many as 53,000 of them since 1991, according to church officials — died March 19 at the age of 84.

In Theory: When one's compass starts to turn

Earlier this month, the publication Scientific American reported that a series of studies at both Harvard University and the University of Utah showed that people are more likely to make ethical decisions in the morning than they are as the day wears on.

In Theory: Electing to bypass natural selection

A Missouri lawmaker, Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville), contends that public school children in his state who question Darwinian theory are ridiculed. He introduced a bill into the state's General Assembly that would allow parents to opt their children out of evolution teaching.

In Theory: Is 'radicalization' child abuse?

The mayor of London wrote in a March 2 column in the Daily Telegraph that Muslim children who are at risk of radicalization by their parents are victims of child abuse and should be removed from their homes.

In Theory: On discrimination based on religious beliefs

Although Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has since vetoed it, lawmakers in that state recently approved a measure to allow business owners to refuse service to gays and other groups if it is perceived to violate the practice and observance of the business owner's religion.

In Theory: Belgium, suffering children and euthanasia

The small European country of Belgium is in the news after its parliament voted to remove age restrictions from the country's euthanasia laws. If King Philippe signs the bill into law, it means children will be eligible for euthanasia.

In Theory: On religion and the risk of divorce

Sociologists at the University of Texas and the University of Iowa write in the American Journal of Sociology that "Conservative religious beliefs and the social institutions they create .... increase divorce risk in the contemporary United States."

In Theory: A campaign to include and not exclude

"We should be known not by what we oppose, but rather by what we propose," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez on the launch of his project called the Imago Dei.

In Theory: Who is God rooting for this Super Bowl?

According to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute, "football fans are more likely than other sports fans to report praying to God (33% vs. 21%). They also are more apt to believe their team has been cursed (31% vs. 18%), and to perform rituals before or during games (25% vs. 18%)."

In Theory: Does going to church keep people honest?

A study has found that those who attend church regularly are less likely to commit minor crimes.

In Theory: Why are people downloading 'Mein Kampf'?

E-books have taken off in a huge way among the iPad- and Kindle-obsessed, but one electronic tome that's topping the charts — both free and paid-for — is Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the book of political writings by the Nazi leader published before he became dictator of Nazi Germany.

In Theory: Thoughts on nursing babies in the church

American mothers are choosing to breast-feed their babies in increasing numbers, with about 77% of infants being breast-fed at some point. Public breast-feeding is becoming more socially acceptable — but does that include church?

In Theory: When religion comes into conflict with work

British department store Marks & Spencer has apologized after a Muslim sales assistant refused to sell a customer a bottle of alcohol.

In Theory: Hopes abound for the New Year

Turning on the radio this morning I was listening to a sweet-sounding string ensemble play a selection of Christmas music. The group's virtuosity was quite amazing. Without changing any energy and verve they moved effortlessly between sacred carols, Handel's Messiah, and seasonal sentimental songs...

In Theory: Do the central figures of Christmas have a race?

Earlier this month a controversy arose after a tongue-in-cheek column written by Aisha Harris, a woman of color, was published online...

In Theory: Taking a stab at PG-13 violence

Researchers have discovered that the amount of gun violence in some PG-13 movies is now greater than in R-rated films.

In Theory: What is America's empathy quotient?

A New York Times columnist is wondering: Where is the love?

In Theory: Should schools be a party to religious charities?

Two schools have decided to pull out of a charity toy drive after being challenged by the American Humanist Assn. over separation of church and state issues.

In Theory: Reasons to give thanks

Q: Thanksgiving is around the corner. What's happened over the past year that you're grateful for?

In Theory: What do you think of Pope Francis?

Pope Francis has received praise from all quarters for pausing to hold a severely disfigured man. While receiving an audience in St. Peter's Square, Francis spent several minutes comforting and praying with the unnamed person, who sufferers from neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors to...

In Theory: Can you explain your belief in 10 minutes?

UC Irvine students have been trying a relatively new thing called “speed faithing.” The idea, much like speed dating, is to get as much information across to another person in a set amount of time, and hopefully make an impact.

Upcoming seminars on grief, parenting

Burbank coupe to speak about parenting at La Cañada Presbyterian Church

A Burbank couple will speak about parenting and raising a family at La CaƱada Presbyterian Church later this month.

In Theory: Should the prison at Guantanamo be closed?

The Pentagon has appointed an envoy tasked with shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The prison, which holds terror suspects including those involved in planning the 9/11 attacks, currently holds 164 detainees.

In Theory: Should pro- and anti-religion people advertise their beliefs?

The argument between believers and atheists has found a new and very public forum in recent years — billboards.

In Theory: Should churches hire business consultants?

In their quest for donations during tough economic times, many churches are turning to business consultants who specialize in helping religious institutions. For example, Eagle Brook Church in St. Paul, Minn. used Dallas company RSI Stewardship, which aided the church in raising almost $25 million...

In Theory: Why is the church silent about religious persecution?

Persecution affects some 600 million Christians annually, according to a study by the Hudson Institute, and the Pew Forum says Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. In countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and Kenya, Christians are being murdered, raped and kidnapped.

In Theory: What is our obligation to help the poor?

Several Republican congressmen have come under fire for quoting the Bible as justification for cutting nutritional assistance to America's poor.

In Theory: Do reports on Earth's life span fit with faith?

A pair of scientific reports released in recent weeks are related to life on Earth: One raises the possibility that the planet was jump-started by a comet, and the other calculates that Earth will end in 1.75 billion to 3.25 billion years.

In Theory: Must church be held in church?

Holding a church meeting in a pub may at first seem a bit odd, but so-called theology pubs — regular pubs and bars where meetings are held, usually once a week — are catching on across the country.

In Theory: Faith and the decision to fight

President Barack Obama this month asked Congress to authorize punitive military action in Syria. He made the request in response to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus.

In Theory: Does America need more babies?

The birthrate in America has fallen to an all-time low, with one in five women not having children in 2010, compared to one in 10 in the 1970s.

In Theory: How would you update the 'I have a dream' speech?

Aug. 28 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous “I have a dream” speech, which some say was so peppered with scriptural allusions that it was more sermon than speech.

In Theory: Is Christian prayer fair game at council meetings?

The Obama administration has surprised its supporters and some in the Republican party by agreeing that town councils should be allowed to open meetings with a Christian prayer.

In Theory: Illegal immigration: WWJD?

There are some 11 million undocumented people in America. Arguments rage about what can be done about them, from deporting each one to awarding citizenship depending on length of time in the U.S.

In Theory: Is the Internet the enemy of faith?

The Internet can be a source of information and illumination, but for some it's also a cause for worry, and in some cases, a loss of faith, as one Mormon man discovered.

In Theory: Where do you stand on 'stand your ground'?

In Theory: Where do you stand on 'stand your ground'?

In February 2012, teenager Trayvon Martin was shot dead by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. Last month, Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and freed.

In Theory: Does God answer simple questions?

A post has been making the rounds recently on social media sites such as Facebook in which a man asks God a series of questions and God answers.

In Theory: Does military spending betray America's religious ideals?

America spends more on its military than any other country. U.S. military spending in 2012 was $682 billion, which is $516 billion more than incurred by China, the next biggest spender. This means the U.S. has the most technologically advanced and best-equipped armed forces in the world.

In Theory: Does belief in the divine protect against depression?

Religion may be good for the soul, but there's now evidence it's good for a healthy mind, too.

In Theory: What is the fate of gay marriage without DOMA?

The Supreme Court's decisions to strike down the Defense Of Marriage Act and reject a lawsuit aimed at upholding California's Proposition 8 have caused jubilation among gay-rights supporters and anger among opponents of gay marriage.

In Theory: How do you teach children to pray?

Praying is a central and vital part of religion. But how do you teach and explain prayer to children?

In Theory: What's our responsibility toward sweatshops?

More than a thousand workers were killed in Bangladesh when a building used as a garment factory collapsed. It's alleged that a factory in China making products for Apple has nets installed to stop people leaping to their deaths after 18 suicides there. And in Pakistan, 300 people burned to death...

In Theory: Evangelicals for immigration reform

In Theory: Evangelicals for immigration reform

Reforming America's immigration laws to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship has long been seen as a cause championed by liberals.

In Theory: Why the rise in Anti-Semitism?

Anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout the world, according to a report by the State Department, which is taking the increase so seriously it's appointing a special envoy to monitor the rise.

In Theory: Were early Christians persecuted for their beliefs?

Were early Christians really persecuted for their beliefs? The popular image is of them being thrown to the lions and having to meet in secret, but an author is challenging what she calls the "myth" of Christian persecution.

In Theory: Do pastors' kids have it tough?

Growing up can be tough, but children of preachers face an extra element — the added pressure to keep up appearances and not give in to temptation.

In Theory: Are parts of Scripture outdated and in need of change?

It's not often that a Christian minister agrees with the New Atheist movement, but the Rev. Michael Dowd believes it's possible when it comes to what he calls the "idolatry of the written word."

In Theory: Can believers and nonbelievers find common ground?

Can believers and nonbelievers connect? Is there a common ground they can agree on?

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