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More Americans Tailoring Religion to Fit Their Needs

More Americans Tailoring Religion to Fit Their Needs

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY…..
If World War II-era warbler Kate Smith sang today, her anthem could be GodsBless America. That’s one of the key findings in newly released research that reveals America’s drift from clearly defined religious denominations to faiths cut to fit personal preferences. The folks who make up God as they go are side-by-side with self-proclaimed believers who claim the Christian label but shed their ties to traditional beliefs and practices. Religion statistics expert George Barna says, with a wry hint of exaggeration, America is headed for “310 million people with 310 million religions.”

'Simple Churches' Find A Foothold Across the US

‘Simple Churches’ Find A Foothold Across the US

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, HuffPost Religion….
(RNS) This weekend, Jeanne O’Hair, her friends and family will raise their voices in Easter hymns “as the spirit leads us,” she says, in her “house church” — O’Hair’s living room in Brea, Calif. In a metal outbuilding at a shuttered horse track near San Antonio, Jeff Bishop says he will celebrate at his “simple church” under a rough-hewed cedar cross, with “folks who speak ‘cowboy’ like I do.” In Washington, D.C., at the Saturday night Easter Vigil, “we’ll keep it casual and focused on Christ,” says William D’Antonio, a member of a network of Catholic-style house churches called “Intentional Eucharistic communities.”

What happens when athletes bump into God's rules?

What happens when athletes bump into God’s rules?

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY….
Playing by God’s rules seems quaint as an Amish buggy. We often look at believers, following codes of faith, like peculiar artifacts. So when an athlete — a big, powerful Brigham Young University basketball player or a tiny dynamo like a 7 year old Jewish gymnast — bumps into those rules, we seem surprised.

Obama scoffs at Jesus: Frankin Graham

Obama scoffs at Jesus: Frankin Graham

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today….
Clearly, “they” is aimed squarely at Obama and Carlos Gonzales (the physician who gave the Native American blessing) and others who gave their speeches a faith-based coloration that didn’t match Graham’s vision. This seems odd, given how many of the speeches were rooted to the Bible. The Los Angeles Times tracked the development of President Obama’s speech, written with deep consultation with pastors including Joshua Dubois on his staff and frequent adviser Rev. Joel Hunter of Northland, an Orlando, Florida, megachurch

Did Arizona Shooting Suspect Have Occult Shrine or Left Over Halloween Decor?

Did Arizona Shooting Suspect Have Occult Shrine or Left Over Halloween Decor?

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today Faith and Reason…..
The New York Daily Newsis showing an image of what they call an occult shrine in Jared Loughner’s back yard: A terra-cotta plant pot holding a replica of a skull sits, surrounded by shriveled oranges, on a brick ledge with three tall, dirty glass cannisters holding candles beside it. Signs of the occult, says their story on Loughner, the alleged gunman who killed six people and wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and nine others. This evaluation is pegged to unnamed “experts.” I’ve hunting now for word of cults that call for messy backyard altars but in the mean time, here’s what a pagan-witch-occultist says.

Americans’ views of God shape attitudes on key issues

Americans’ views of God shape attitudes on key issues

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY  If you pray to God, to whom — or what — are you praying?  When you sing God Bless America, whose blessing are you seeking?  In the USA, God — or the idea of a God — permeates daily life. Our views of God have been fundamental to the […]