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The Daily Beast: InterVarsity’s Growing LGBTQ Controversy

I have a new article up at The Daily Beast on InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s controversial LGBTQ+ employee policy; employees are not allowed to endorse or affirm LGBTQ+ relationships and remain at IVCF.  InterVarsity’s re-entrenchment of heterosexuality as the only acceptable identity is seen by many of those who are personally invested in their organization as troubling. It may lead to not only their de-recognition by colleges and universities—something they’ve faced in the past—but also the inability to have a table at the annual Society of Biblical Literature.

Check out the piece:

“When InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA endorsed Black Lives Matter last December, it saw racial reconciliation as “an expression of the gospel.” The evangelical student outreach, which has 1,011 chapters on 667 campuses, was both criticized and praised.

A recent controversy over the group’s position on same-sex relationships and how it affects employees, however, shows that any fears of their impending liberal takeover are greatly exaggerated….”

Read the full article at The Daily Beast….

Photo: Abo Ngalonkulu (CC0).

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The Daily Beast: Where are Progressive Evangelical Millennials to Go?

I’ve been meaning to update my blog the last couple weeks, but other projects have kept me preoccupied. So here I am trying to play catch up.  A couple weeks ago I had a new piece in The Daily Beast on progressive millennial evangelicals. Check it out.

They’re young, liberal, LGBTQ+, pro-choice, feminist, science loving, climate change accepting, and immigrant welcoming. They’re evangelicals.

No, this is not a report from an alternate universe, where history took a different turn. This is about a growing rift in the evangelical continuum, one with significant uncertainty about its future. It’s about a tribe within a tribe within a tribe—outcasts on the inside.

Read the entire piece at The Daily Beast….

Photo: Dan Gribbin (Realistic Shots): CC0.

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The Daily Beast: The Cost of Non-belief in America

It’s a political season—a long, long political season—and politicians invoke the name of God and even try to court powerful voting blocs. But what if you’re not a religious person in the United States? Atheists, agnostics, and others among the non-religious are used to not having representation in government.

In fact, for many, political representation rank among some of the least significant costs of being non-religious in America.

In my recent piece at The Daily Beast, I interview four former Christians now turned nonbelievers, and asked them about the personal and social consequences of their de-conversion. From a grandfather who is no longer able to see his grand kids to a woman told that her children would be better off dead, their stories are worth reading if one wants to understand what life can be like for some without faith in America.

Below is an excerpt. Read the entire article at The Daily Beast.

“…America is still ‘Christ haunted’—to use the words of Flannery O’Connor. Fears of public shunning and the risk of losing family connections and employment, keep many atheists quiet about their identity. There is a significant difficulty in being honest about disbelief in a country where prominent religious leaders warn that it leads to a nation’s demise.

‘I have 5 grandchildren now, and 4 of them I have never held,’ says Dave Warnock, a former pastor and now board member for The Clergy Project (TCP), a safe place and network for former religious professionals who no longer have supernatural beliefs. ‘They [his children] also withhold relationships from my wife—their mother, simply because she stays married to me, an apostate.'”

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HuffPost: Study Shows Counterfactual Thinking Increases Faith In God

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote for HuffPost and a little longer for the science section, but I have a piece up this week about an interesting study I recently read. “There But for the Grace of God: Counterfactuals Influence Religious Belief and Images of the Divine” is in this month’s Social Psychological and Personality Science. Want to know more about the research, click to my article at HuffPost below.

In this new study (“There But for the Grace of God: Counterfactuals Influence Religious Belief and Images of the Divine”), published in this month’s Social Psychological and Personality Science, authors Anneke Buffone (University of Pennsylvania), and Shira Gabriel and Michael Poulin (State University of New York at Buffalo), found that religious faith was increased in participants when they were asked to deliberately consider the “it could be worse” scenario.

Read the full article at The Huffington Post…