Religious News From Around the Web February 21, 2022

Changes in Religion and Family Life; What does Religion Have to Do with College Grades? Do Americans Support Religious Freedom? Religious freedom bill gains first-round approval in Missouri House; Russell Moore Interviews NYT Writer David Brooks on Evangelicalism; Hindu vs. Hindutva?

Changes in Religion and Family Life
U.S. Muslims Raise Over $100K to Reunite Detained Parents with their ChildrenRecent research has shown that the country’s relationship with marriage is changing. Americans are getting married later, having fewer kids and generally rethinking what a healthy relationship looks like. Amid all these shifts, religion’s role in family life is also in flux. Single people are now less likely to prioritize finding a partner of the same faith and families are less likely to build their social lives around a religious community.

What does Religion Have to Do with College Grades?
Bowdoin CollegeThe U.S. is the most devout wealthy Western democracy. Does a religious upbringing influence teens’ academic outcomes? Over the past 30 years, studies consistently show a positive relationship between religiosity and academic success. These studies show that more religious students earn better grades and complete more schooling than less religious peers. But researchers debate what these findings really mean.

Do Americans Support Religious Freedom?

Falun Gong Adherent meditating in Tieneman Square By
Falun Gong Adherent meditating in Tieneman Square
Are the rights of individuals to practice their faith inviolate? Legal battles such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, pit religious belief about marriage and family against LGBTQ protections. And a few weeks ago, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Brookings, Oregon, filed a lawsuit because the city passed an ordinance restricting the number of free meals each week that organizations in residential areas could give to people experiencing homelessness. A recent poll indicated that while Americans see value in religious liberty, they believe it has limits.

Religious Freedom Bill Gains First-Round Approval in Missouri House
Gateway Arch CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia CommonsThe Missouri Religious Freedom Protection Act won preliminary approval from the Missouri House on Wednesday. The bill would prevent public officials from shutting down meetings or services held by religious groups. The same bill was proposed last year as a response to restrictions on religious gatherings prompted by COVID-19. This year’s bill, HB1713, is sponsored by Rep. Alex Riley, R-Springfield. It has passed two committees with bipartisan votes.

Russell Moore Interviews NYT Writer David Brooks on Evangelicalism

NYT Columnist David Brooks
NYT Columnist David Brooks
Are the times we’re living in really as crazy as they seem?” This is the first question that Russell Moore has for David Brooks, a New York Times op-ed columnist, author, and commentator. Brooks’ recent column “The Dissenters Trying to Save Evangelicalism From Itself” details some of the unsettling events within evangelicalism over the past few years and highlights individuals who are trying to forge a different path.

Hindu vs. Hindutva?

The Massive Hindu Kumbh Mela Festival
Video screenshot
Hinduism has traditionally been a very tolerant religion. Swami Vivekananda said: “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.” But Hindutva is something different. “Savarkar and Golwalkar crystallized the identity of Hindutva while borrowing most of their political concepts from the West. They indeed internalized the Western – mainly German – notion of ethnic nationalism as a means of strengthening Hindus against their enemies.”