- - Friday, December 4, 2015

(1) Prayer & San Bernarndino:

(a) Prayer Shaming After San Bernardino, by Emma Green (The Atlantic)
(b) Against the Anti-Prayer Pundits, by Joel Miller (Ancient Faith)
(c) Why Prayer Isn’t Enough, by Jonathan Merritt (RNS)
(d) God Won’t Fix This?, by Russell Moore (The Washington Post)

(2) The First Amendment Needs Your Prayers, by Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal)

“Americans are growing weary of being told what they can and cannot publicly say, proclaim and think. We all know what’s going on at the colleges, with the mad little Marats and Robespierres who are telling students and administrators what they are and are not allowed to say or do. This is not just kids acting up at this point, it’s a real censorship movement backed by an ideology that is hostile to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is led by students who, though they managed to get into the greatest universities in the country, seem never to have been taught to love the little amendment that guarantees free speech and free religious observance, the two pillars without which America collapses. And too bad, because when you don’t love something you lose it.”

(3) Why the 2016 Election Will Be So Pivotal, by Sean Wilentz (Rolling Stone)

“If the Republicans win the presidency in 2016, they will also almost inevitably control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, giving them virtually unfettered command over the entire federal government to go along with their domination of the great majority of the state governments. The Republican president could easily be in a position to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court for an unstoppable right-wing majority that would last for a generation to come. Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and Shelby County v. Holder (the 2013 ruling that greatly weakened the 1965 Voting Rights Act) would be merely the prelude to tilting political and social power. If, however, the Democrats win the presidency in 2016, they will almost certainly take back the Senate and make gains in the House – and the Democratic president will likely be able to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court that will eventually comprise a liberal majority. Between these two stark alternatives, there is no middle ground. In 2016, the country will become either one thing or the other.”

(4) Influence of Churches, Once Dominant, Now Waning in South (AP)

Joe Godfrey, a Southern Baptist minister and head of a group that calls itself “Alabama’s Moral Compass,” recalls a time when churches were the center of Southern society.

“I can remember when schools looking to schedule an event would call the local churches to see if they had anything … that might conflict with the school’s tentative plans. If so, the school would find a different date to hold their event. That is no longer true,” said Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program.

“Today, churches try to find a time to schedule their events when ball teams, schools and civic clubs are not already planning something else,” said Godfrey. “Instead of being the ‘hub’ of the community, churches today are simply one ‘spoke’ in the wheel of people’s lives.”

(5) A Lodestar of Religious Liberty, by Father Arne Panula (Wall Street Journal)

Dec. 7 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most pivotal documents in the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history: Dignitatis Humanae, or “On the Dignity of the Human Person.” Issued at the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the work stated the church’s belief “that the human person has a right to religious freedom.”


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