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A Tough Season for Believers

A Tough Season for Believers

By Ross Douthat, New York Times…..
But for Christians, this sunny story has a dark side. Religious faith looks more socially beneficial to America than ever, but the institutional Christianity that’s historically generated most of those benefits seems to be gradually losing its appeal. In the last 50 years, the Christian churches have undergone what “American Grace” describes as a shock and two aftershocks. The initial earthquake was the cultural revolution of the 1960s, which undercut religious authority as it did all authority, while dealing a particular blow to Christian sexual ethics. The first aftershock was the rise of religious conservatism, and particularly evangelical faith, as a backlash against the cultural revolution’s excesses.

How Moses Created Thanksgiving: The Biblical Roots of America’s Holiday

How Moses Created Thanksgiving: The Biblical Roots of America’s Holiday

The real story of Thanksgiving has surprising biblical roots. A few years ago, I set out on a 10,000-mile journey through the hidden symbols of American life that became the basis for my book, America’s Prophet: How the Story of Moses Shaped America. My journey began on a visit to Plymouth, Mass., where I boarded a replica of The Mayflower. A re-enactor was reading from the Bible. “Exodus 14,” he explained. “The Israelites are trapped in front of the Red Sea, and the Egyptians are about to catch them.

The Role of Happiness in the World Religions

The Role of Happiness in the World Religions

By April L. Bogle, Huffington Post
It’s hard to deny that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet and the world’s most famous Buddhist, is the also world’s foremost expert on happiness. He clearly states in writings that seeking happiness is the very purpose of life, and he’s dedicated his life to learning how to be happy and sharing this knowledge with others. But what about other major religious traditions? Is happiness a good thing, or bad? To be sought in this life, or the next?