Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

Religious Freedom

George Yancey: “Hostile Environment: Understanding and Responding to Anti-Christian Bias”

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Book Review

Some time ago I reviewed the book So Many Christians, So Few Lions,, sociologist George Yancey’s academic report on anti-Christian hostility in the United States. Having had some social science training I found it fascinating. Since then Dr. Yancey has released a follow-up for the rest of us: Hostile Environment: Understanding and Responding to Anti-Christian Bias.

Plenty of books have been written about increasing anti-Christian hostility in the United States. Most are based in anecdotal information, lending themselves to guffaws …


Obergefell: Freedom’s End Foreshadowed

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

My BreakPoint column posted today is about the undeniable differences between Obergefell v. Hodges and Brown v. Board of Education. For those who do not remember, these are the Supreme Court cases in which gay marriage was allowed and school racial segregation was disallowed. Several people have been saying Obergefell is the Brown of our generation, and I show in this column that the differences between the two are too great to permit seeing them that way. Gay rights have little in common with …


Repost: The Court, the Culture, and the Glory of God

Friday, June 19th, 2015

I wrote this early in 2013 following a major Supreme Court decision on marriage. It seems timely again now. I’m reposting it verbatim.

God does not conform to culture. Culture does not conform itself to God. Stated thus, the situation almost seems symmetrical, but obviously it is not. In the beginning the world was not created by the culture, and in the end culture will not own it. The earth is the Lord's, and its fullness, including culture.

In the times in which we …


Is There Christianophobia in the United States?

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Is there Christianophobia in the United States?

According to recent sociological research, yes, in some circles there is virulent anti-Christian animosity.

How widespread is it?

We don’t really know.

Does that mean it’s trivial, or even a paranoid persecution-complex figment of Christians’ imagination?

Not at all, because of the unique demographics of anti-Christian hostility.

Where does this information come from?

George Yancey’s recent book, So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States?, which I reviewed in


10 Americans Helped By Religious Freedom Restoration Act Bills Like Indiana’s

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

[Tim] Cook writes that “Opposing discrimination takes courage.” He’s right. When powerful elites take aim at religious freedom, it takes a heck of a lot of courage to fight against anti-religious discrimination.

Do you think Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is about discriminating against gays? Check your facts.

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Islam and the First Amendment

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I raise questions about Islam and the First Amendment in my current month’s BreakPoint column: Was the Constitution really written with Islam in mind?

This extends what I wrote here earlier on work to be done after Paris, and an even earlier discussion on Islam in America.

I do not claim to know the answers, but I am convinced they need to be discussed.

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Religious Liberty Within the Bounds of State-Imposed Doctrine: Frank Bruni and the NY Times

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

I’ve been called many unpleasant things in my life, and I’ve deserved no small number of them. But I chafe at this latest label: A threat to your religious liberty….

Baking a cake, arranging roses, running an inn: These aren’t religious acts, certainly not if the establishments aren’t religious enclaves and are doing business with (and even dependent on) the general public….

I support the right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish—in their pews, homes and hearts. But outside …


Work to be done after Paris

Monday, January 12th, 2015

There is important work to be done after Paris, as we grieve lives lost and terror multiplied there.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was not written with a religion like Islam in mind. I am confident similar things could be said of other nations’ codes and constitutions.

Possibly the most crucial work to be done in political ethics today, therefore, is to define what constitutional freedom of religion means in the case of a religion that recognizes no constitution but its own, …

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Speech codes: The offense against LGBT people that no one seems to notice

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Lydia McGrew performs a masterful analysis of events and reactions relating to a professor shutting down pro-natural marriage statements in class. Please read her post for the whole story and her insightful comments. I have just one or two things to add.

She quotes a blogger, MarquettePhilosopher, who says, “I am in full support of Marquette’s Harassment policy and Harassment training, which, as I pointed out, clearly states that there is zero tolerance for comments that are hurtful to homosexuals.” The reason for …


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