Norman Rockwell’s Saying Grace sold on Wednesday for more than $46 million, double its high pre-sale estimate, setting a new auction record for an American painting, Sotheby’s said.
Faith Driven Consumer, a nonprofit organization connecting Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, is releasing its 2013 Faith Driven Consumer Christmas Guide, empowering more than 46 million faith-driven consumers across the nation to match their wallets to their worldview. The guide enables Christians to shop with brands that are most compatible with their values, and ranks 43 major holiday retailers according to their sensitivity to the faith-driven worldview.
The United States Supreme Court sidestepped an opportunity Monday to take up Liberty University’s challenge to the entire employer mandate, declining to review the case without comment.
Florida’s Capitol building in Tallahassee will become home to a Christmas Nativity scene beginning on Tuesday. The privately funded display of religion in Florida’s public square has been hosted by the Florida Nativity Scene Committee and facilitated by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based nonprofit public interest law firm.
A South Carolina public charter school has removed a ban on Christmas music after receiving a letter from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sent on behalf of concerned parents. School officials had prohibited students from performing the music to “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” after students had already begun rehearsing the pieces for a concert.
A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that allows clergy to shield a portion of their salary from federal income taxes is unconstitutional.
The wording of a radio advertisement asking Christians whether they feel marginalized—which was banned from being aired on a Christian radio station—has been published in a national newspaper.
A split U.S. Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to block implementation of a new abortion law in Texas that already has prompted a dozen clinics in the state to stop performing the procedure.
Although most Christians support and even practice family planning, stories in the media of Christians objecting to the use of contraception on religious grounds are common. In reality, Christian organizations are working in places that struggle with high maternal mortality rates to save the lives of mothers and children and avoid abortions, and family planning is a key component of their strategy.
The battle for the Ground Zero cross is far from over.
The Privacy For All Students (PFAS) coalition recently announced they have submitted over 620,000 signatures to elections officials to qualify a statewide referendum allowing voters to reject the co-ed bathroom law (AB 1266) that was enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The coalition needs 504,760 valid voter signatures to qualify the referendum. Once validated by elections officials, the law will be suspended until voters decide whether to approve or reject it.
God’s Not Dead, a film about the existence of God and defending one’s faith, is making waves on Facebook. The movie’s trailer, posted on the popular social networking site, has racked up 6.5 million views, 1.4 million likes and has been shared 720,981 times.
The Bordentown Regional School District has withdrawn its ban on religious Christmas carols in concert performances at the district’s elementary schools. Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the district on Oct. 28 after administrators implemented the ban. The letter explained the ban was both unnecessary and unconstitutional.
In a case that could determine restrictions on expressions of faith in the public square, the Supreme Court on Nov. 6 will consider religious prayers that convene government meetings.
DALLAS, Oct. 3, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — “Seasons of Gray: A Modern Day Joseph Story,” which opens Oct. 18 in theaters around the country, shares a timely response to the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“If you’re human and you’ve experienced disappointment and confusion, the story of ‘Seasons of Gray’ will resonate with you,” said Todd Wagner, the Senior Pastor at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, which made the film.
Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” doesn’t normally conjure up images of the Bible. However, the executive producers of the Fox television network show Sleepy Hollow have drawn a major connection between one of its main characters and the book of Revelation.
Religion is a hot topic in the news, with the pope’s recent visit to Brazil and unrest in the Middle East leading to increased killings of Coptic Christians in Egypt and Catholics in Syria. It is also a hot topic in academia.
By Pat Fagan
In one recent week, 16 articles were posted on the Social Science Research Network, and more than 50 were posted in the weeks before it. Gallup research recently showed that those who worship weekly are much less likely to smoke than those who never worship. Study after study show this positive impact of religious worship on nearly every outcome measured. Though there are myriad reasons to tout the benefits of religion, two stand out.
First, the proposition that weekly worship of God is indisputably good for individuals—and by extension, good for society—is beyond question. On virtually every outcome measured in U.S. surveys, those who worship weekly score highest as a group on all positive measures and score lowest on all the negative measures, almost without fail.
From such a robust pattern it seems like a common-sense deduction that weekly religious worship is a common good and one to be strived for. Going further, one could conclude that society does not work as well as it might if it does not worship God on a weekly basis. This sounds almost biblical, but that is what the data show at the macro level.
The second reason is that as demographic surveys show, there is a drift away from religious worship. That means society is passing up on significant societal benefits—benefits most citizens take for granted they will naturally continue to have but which will erode further if they continue to worship less and less.
This is all testable: As the coming decades unfold, the drift away from or back to worship of God will reveal measurable effects across all dimensions of concern in our public discourse. The past can be studied more thoroughly as well—researchers can probe data from federal surveys and the like to determine the significance of worship on individual well-being. For example, research on the benefits of religious practice on educational performance illustrates benefits that leave the effects of increased government spending in the dust by comparison.
Religious worship tied to another aspect of a healthy society—intact marriage—yields children who grow up to be much more functional than their nonreligious counterparts. Those children who grow up in intact families that also worship God weekly comprise the high-functioning core of our country, while at the opposite pole, those children from non-intact, never-worshipping families are the lowest functioning group.
It bears emphasizing that this pattern holds for the groups involved, not for all the individuals who make up each group. There is naturally a wide variation between specific individuals.
On the whole, however, as marriage declines, the worship of God tends to decline as well, as Mary Eberstadt has cogently illustrated in her book, How the West Really Lost God. This demographic drift ought to be of major national concern because with both marriage and worship declining, American children are losing the human capital capacities that are needed to sustain a Republican constitutional government.
The Founders were quite aware of the connection between religion and the virtues needed in a republic and expounded on it repeatedly. Benjamin Franklin, though among the Founders least likely to worship God regularly, was still the leader of prayer at a moment of crisis during the Constitutional Convention. His inimitable quip that the Founders had given us “A republic, if you can keep it” may eventually apply to an unhappy loss of piety that leads to a loss of republican sentiments and virtues.
Auguste Comte, the father of sociology, would be amazed that his science, developed to replace religion, now points very definitely to society’s need to worship God weekly if it wishes its citizens to reach their potential and society to function smoothly.
(Source: Washington Times via Charisma Media. Pat Fagan is director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) at Family Research Council.)
Americans marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks with solemn ceremonies and pledges not to forget the nearly 3,000 killed when hijacked jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, in 2001.
A mother of two students at Concord High School in New Hampshire is now allowed to continue to pray on campus before the start of school after Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sent a legal letter to the district addressing Freedom From Religion Foundation’s (FFRF) complaint and request to prohibit her prayers.