Weekly Religion News on whether Americans believe Christian values are compatible with capitalism, “God Wants You Happy” by Jonathan Morris and more.
Overall, more Americans believe that Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market (44 percent) than those who believe they are compatible (36 percent), according to a new national survey conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service.
This pattern also holds true among Christian Americans: 46 percent believe capitalism and the free market are at odds with Christian values, while only 38 percent believe the two are compatible.
The new survey also finds that there is some disagreement among religious groups about what issues are most important for religious leaders to address.
"White Evangelical Protestants are more likely than Catholics or white mainline Protestants to say that it is very important for clergy to speak out on the issue of abortion," said Daniel Cox, PRRI research director. "On the other hand, Catholics are more likely to think it's very important for priests to speak out about the gap between the rich and the poor than about the issue of homosexuality."
Nearly 66 percent of Americans say that it's fair for wealthier Americans to pay more taxes than others.
Strong majorities of all religious groups also say it's fair for wealthier Americans to pay more taxes than others. However, white Evangelical Protestants are evenly divided on this question, with 50 percent agreeing and 49 percent disagreeing.
Religious groups say it is important for clergy to address the gap between the rich and the poor rather than other economic issues.
Sixty-one percent of minority Christians, 61 percent of Catholics and 51 percent of white Evangelical Protestants say this is an important issue for clergy to address. Among tea party members, more say it is important for clergy to address social issues like abortion (61 percent say it’s very important) than economic issues like reducing the deficit (37 percent say it’s very important).
Week in Religion
- April 19, 1529, in Germany, a document signed by Lutheran leaders in 14 cities lodged a "protest” that demanded a freedom of conscience and the right of minorities. Henceforth, the German Lutheran Reformers were known as "Protestants."
- April 20, 1943, in Poland, Germans Nazi troops massacred the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
- April 21, 1897, birth of A. W. Tozer, one of the most popular and influential pastors to come out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.
-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian church
Of those who agree with the tea party, 42 percent agree with the conservative Christian movement, 11 percent disagree with it and 46 percent have no opinion or haven’t heard it.
-- Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life
“God Wants You Happy” by Jonathan Morris
Morris argues that self help can only take you so far; what we need is 'God help.' This book offers a life-long spiritual program that teaches you how to open yourself up to God's loving presence in order to become everything he created you to be: joyful, flourishing men and women. In other words, God wants you to be happy. Morris discovered that part of the problem was packaging: People thought the Church dealt only in sin and guilt and not help and healing. But what if we reframed God's good news in the same terms as the self-help world?
-- HarperCollins Publishers
Quote of the week
“Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer (Polish-born American writer, 1904-1991)
Chiromancy: The prediction of a person's past and future through palm reading.
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Germany
Protestant: 34 percent
Roman Catholic: 34 percent
Muslim: 3.7 percent
Unaffiliated or other: 28.3 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service