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 holy sacrament of the daily grind

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul directs us to work with our hands. And his own life provides an example, stitching tents as a common tradesman. We call it making a living for a reason. We depend upon our work for our life—mostly because of the money we earn, but also because of the character we develop, relationships we build, and lessons we learn. Work is a holy…

No, growing up religious won’t make you a selfish jerk

Last year the journal Current Biology published a study claiming religion makes kids stingy. While parents in religious homes said their children were angels, researchers decided the opposite was true. The study looked at more than a thousand children from several different countries. Most were either Muslim, Christian, or nonreligious. The kids were presented thirty stickers and allowed to choose ten for themselves. The question was how many they would share from…

Coming clean on cops, race, and crime

Most people wouldn’t guess this, but I once considered becoming a cop. I took several criminal justice courses in college and received my level-3 reserve officer certificate in California after basic arrest and firearms training. Many of my friends took a similar path and are police officers today. I ultimately decided against it. I would consider myself socially conservative, but I’m morally opposed to America’s war on drugs and couldn’t see myself…