Showing posts from August, 2008

Catholics, Evangelicals and Abortion

Ed Kilgore has a fascinating essay at Beliefnet about the fact that Evangelicals are foar more pro-Life than Catholics:

There are variable measurements of this phenomenon, but no real doubt about the basics. A September 2007 Pew survey showed white evangelical Protestants agreeing that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases by a 65-31 magin; Catholics favored keeping abortion legal in all or most cases by a 51-44 margin (with no appreciable difference between Hispanic and non-Hispanic Catholics). On a related issue that helps measure the intensity of anti-abortion views, the same poll showed white evangelicals opposing embryonic stem cell research by 57-31, while white non-Hispanic Catholics favored it by 59-32.

Moreover, the evangelical-Catholic gap on abortion looks likely to increase in the future. An April 2004 Pew survey providing generational breakdowns showed that white evangelicals under 35 favored abortion restrictions by more than a two-to-one margin (71% among tho…

Political Interlude: The State of the Race

Charles Franklin consistently offers great analysis on politics and polling and this chart is a great example. It compares polling in this year's presidential race to the last two races. It shows that Obama is in better shape now than Kerry and Gore were at this point in the race. But it also shows the extreme volatility in all presidential races inthe final months that means that this race really is too close to call. Democrats who want Obama to be elected presidnet can't be complacant: they need to work hard for the victory.

Here is some analysis by Franklin:

But what about the future? The dynamics of the next 92 days are all important for where we stand on November 4. Since we can't foresee those 92 days yet, let's see what happened during the same time in 2000 and 2004. That gives us a better idea how much change we might anticipate in the next three months.

In 2004, Kerry slowly built a 2 point lead by this time, and held a small lead through much of the summer.…

Its the Creation Stupid

Nick Reeves, executive director of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, has this post on the Guardian's "Comment is Free" blog that argues that religious leaders need to take an interest in environmental issus:

Profiling the award-winning environmental campaign work of Archbishop Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians, Riazat Butt asks if religion can help prevent eco-catastrophe (The pope of hope, June 18). After all, as the archbishop told Butt: "Religious people were indifferent, or even hostile, to science. Scientists and ecologists could see little relationship between their world and the world of faith."

At a global environment conference in London last year, my professional institution, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, brought together representatives of all the major faiths. There was one matter on which they all agreed: the need to collaborate for acti…

Doug Chaplin on Scripture and Homosexuality III

In his wonderful series on homosexuality in the Bible, Father Doug Chaplin reaches the critical reference to Romans 1:18-32. I really urge you to read the whole post--it has many themes that are well worth thinking about. But here are some highlights to whet your appetite:

I think Romans is written to a very specific situation in Rome, where there are significant divisions between Jew and Gentile Christians. I think Paul both wants to secure a welcome for himself as a character some saw as divisive, and to encourage them to mend the breach. In the opening chapters he is keen to get both sides to agree that in fact all, Gentile and Jew alike, have sinned. He first expounds a common view of Gentile sinfulness from a Jewish perspective, then a typical Gentile criticism of Jewish hypocrisy. Both of these are examples of a rhetorical device – speech-in-character (prosopopeia). They serve to get heads nodding in agreement first on one side, then on the other, until both have been led togethe…

Bishop Kirk Smith on Lambeth

My bishop, Kirk Smith of Arizona, offers some encouraging words about Lambeth:

I was amazed about how well this morning's session went. You may be reading in the press about how fragmented we are. But this is due to the fact that a few hot heads are are quick to cozy up to any reporter they can find. There are two or three American bishops here who would like nothing better than to see the Conference fail. The truth is that there is an (dare I say it?) almost miraculous cooperative and respectful spirit at work here. This morning for example, there was no mention of punishing the Americans. The word "accountability" was not even mentioned. Instead, we talked a lot about the example of a marriage covenant which is based not on punishment but on a spirit of the parties "loving each other no matter what." It was pointed out that the current proposed Covenant with all its provisions for kicking people out of the Communion sounds more like a pre-nuptial agreement tha…