America’s declining faith in pastors and churches

Religion holds powerful sway over people’s lives—but not always in ways we might expect. We typically imagine that the faithful check their brains at the church door and follow whatever dicta religious leaders offer. Maybe not. While religious belief represents the greatest influence on how people voted in our recent presidential election, the opinion of their pastors mattered far less to them, according to research by Barna. A third of adults said…

The strange, countercultural message of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

Last week my wife and I watched Netflix’s new show, The Crown. I found the story riveting, its characters compelling, and the angle surprisingly countercultural. The first season (out of projected six) deals with the ascension of Elizabeth II to the English throne in 1952 and the first decade of her reign. Her father, George VI, died of lung cancer. But Peter Morgan’s script suggests it was the weight of a job…