The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon


Atheist seeking God?

June 29, 2013 --

By Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights

Bill Donohue comments on the atheist quest for God:

On June 22, CNN ran a piece on atheists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a veritable religious wasteland, who meet on Sundays in a “rapt conversation” led by a “chaplain.” Described as a “church without God,” the poor souls are experiencing “Sunday school for atheists” at these “atheist services” and “atheist congregations.”

On June 24, the New York Times reported that in Baton Rouge the godless ones meet on Sundays to experience “exhortations to service.” There is “swinging and light swaying” at the “atheist service,” complete with an “impassioned sermon” led by a “hard-line atheist.”

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Liberal faith groups denounce drone strikes

June 28, 2013 --

by Institute on Religion and Democracy
Jeff Walton

Religious Left Charges U.S. Drone Policy on Autopilot

“The pacifist Religious Left is again denouncing drone strikes against terrorists without offering plausible alternatives.”
-IRD President Mark Tooley

Washington, DC—A letter to President Obama from United Methodist, United Church of Christ, Quaker, Brethren, and Christian Reformed officials, plus the head of “Nuns on the Bus,” is expressing “great concern” about drone “targeted killings” of “alleged” al Qaeda militants.

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Same-Sex ruling & impact on Oregon petition effort

June 27, 2013 --

KGW-TV News looks at how the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage impacts local petition efforts. Please watch the video below.

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1 in 5 on Oregon Food Stamps

June 26, 2013 --

By Elise Hilton,
Cascade Policy Institute


One in five Oregonians participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the federal government’s “food stamp” program. Despite indications that the national economy is showing signs of revival, SNAP usage is at an all-time high:

Food-stamp use rose 2.7% in the U.S. in February from a year earlier, with 15% of the U.S. population receiving benefits….One of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn’t shrinking back alongside the recovery.

Food stamp rolls increased on a year-over-year basis, but were 0.4% lower from the prior month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Though annual growth continues, the pace has slowed since the depths of the recession. The number of recipients in the food stamp program…reached 47.6 million, or nearly one in seven Americans.

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When Evangelicals act like predatory salesmen

June 25, 2013 --

By Paul Louis Metzger and John W. MoreheadiStock_000013364303_ExtraSmall
New Wine Skins Ministry, Oregon

Most of us cringe when we hear a knock on the door and see a salesperson there. We often have a similar distaste for the prospects of visiting a car lot as we try to buy a new or used car. It’s not that we aren’t interested in purchasing products; it’s that we don’t want to engage certain kinds of salespeople—those geared toward hard sales. Hard sales salespeople follow a predetermined script with the goal in mind of getting us to buy their product, and quite possibly at the expense of our wants and needs. For these salespeople, it’s about the ABC’s of hard sales: always be closing, like Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry, Glen Ross, as he pushed the company’s salespeople: “Always Be Closing.”

We may not realize it, but many times Evangelicals are perceived in this same way by others when it comes to sharing our faith.

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Study: Web dating = longer marraiges

June 24, 2013 --

computer-shadowMarriages Forged on the Internet May Last Longer
By Health day News,

If you’re looking for the perfect mate, a new study suggests you might be on the right track if you turn to the Internet: Married couples who met online were slightly more likely to be happy and stay together than those who ran into each other the old-fashioned way.

The difference was small, although the number of people who met online was big, and researchers who study marriage say the study has some weaknesses. Still, lead author John Cacioppo, of the University of Chicago, said it should give comfort to anyone who fears that meeting online isn’t the best way to begin a romantic relationship.

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Study: Faith helps in treating mental illness

June 21, 2013 --

Faith May Complement Treatment for Mental Illness
By Health Day News

A belief in God may boost the effectiveness of short-term treatment for mental illness, according to a small new study.

The study included 159 psychiatric patients whose levels of depression, well-being and self-harm were assessed at the start and end of the study. The patients also were asked about their belief in God.

Patients with higher levels of belief in God were twice as likely to respond to treatment as those with no or little belief in God. Even among the more than 30 percent of patients who said they had no specific religious affiliation, those who had a moderate or high belief in God had a better response to treatment than those with little or no belief.

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CA bill targets Scouts, Catholic Church

June 20, 2013 --

Wall Street Journal Editorial,Newspaper

Democrats have a supermajority in the California legislature, and one fear is that they’ll use it to punish their political enemies. Consider the bill moving fast in the legislature to suspend California’s statute of limitations on child sex abuse torts and expose nonprofits to unlimited litigation.

The main targets are two liberal betes noires: the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, which is still paying off debts from claims filed in 2003 when the legislature suspended the statute of limitations for a year. Nearly 1,000 claims were subsequently filed against the Church, which resulted in damage awards of $1.2 billion. Attorneys in many cases skimmed off more than half in fees.

The claims gusher has since dried up, so lawyers want the legislature to open it again next year. This is necessary, attorneys say, because some adult victims need decades to make a “causal connection” between their childhood abuse and psychological afflictions.

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Inside Oregon’s Teen Sexuality Conference

June 19, 2013 --

by ParentsRightsinEd

Do you think minors teaching a group of adults about porn is “best practice” or “research-based”?

Below is a link to yet another article from a non-Oregon resident who attended last month’s Adolescent Sexuality Conference. As you read this, keep in mind that many students and teachers from around the state attend via grants and scholarships. One popular grant is the W.I.S.E. Grant (Working to Institutionalize Sexuality Education), which is promoted by the Department of Education’s “Sexuality Specialist”, Brad Victor.

Teens teach porn class to adults at Oregon Adolescent Sexuality Conference
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2013-05-15

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Tornados, God & lingering questions

June 18, 2013 --

By Tom Krattenmaker

Tom is an award-winning Portland-based writer
Recent books Onward Christian Athletes & The Evangelicals you Don’t Know
– Featured also at USA Today here

God is all good. God is all-powerful. Evil and tragedy happen. Pick two, as the saying goes, but all three of those postulations can’t possibly be true at the same time.

As seems to happen all too often in a troubled world, religious people are left to struggle with these riddles of life and belief following the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday, killing at least 24, including at least nine children, injuring hundreds, and destroying homes and buildings by the score.

People have struggled mightily over the centuries to make sense of the evil that happens on the watch of a God believed to be both beneficent and omnipotent. Legion are the ex-believers who cite the inescapable problem of evil in their explanations for why they gave up faith. But to this friendly religious skeptic, the persistence of evil hardly disproves the existence of a good and all-powerful God — provided we’re clear about what we mean by “all powerful.”

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