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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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When it comes to religion, modern Americans think religious beliefs are good, but they tend to worry about beliefs that affect other people.
As a rule, religious words are safer than religious actions.
Consider these numbers from a new Ellison Research study that shows surprising support -- on the left and right, among believers and skeptics -- for freedom of expression when it comes to words and symbols.
An overwhelming 90 percent of adults agreed that faith groups should be allowed to rent public property, such as a school gym, if laws gave non-religious groups the same right. Asked about allowing a moment of silence in public schools, 89 percent said that was fine. Another 88 percent said teachers should have the right to wear jewelry, such as a cross or a Star of David, in public-school classes.
"There is a lot of unity out there about these kinds of issues," said Ron Sellers, president of the research firm in Phoenix. "But the specifics do matter. Wearing a cross on your lapel is not the same thing as showing up at school wearing a T-shirt with a big cross on it and the words, 'Believe in Jesus or you're going to hell.'
"There's no way to say that approving one thing is the same as approving another, even though the same principle is at stake."
Read it all.
Next entry (above): The NY Times Magazine: Waving Goodbye to Hegemony
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