The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon


Walmart’s Catholic problem

October 31, 2014 --

By Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights

Bill Donohue comments on the way Walmart is responding to complaints about its Halloween wear:

“Fat Girl Costumes” sold by Walmart were the subject of a deep apology and a pledge to rid the store’s inventory of such demeaning garb. Yesterday, when Catholics who are on our news release list complained to Walmart about three offensive Catholic costumes—a Virgin Mary with blood dripping from her eyes, a nun outfit with a skeleton head, and a costume that mocks the confessional—they got a different response.

“We apologize if we offended you. Because we have multiple buyers of customers, we try to provide them with plenty of options. However, we have documented your concern in order to improve our inventory at and in stores.”

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PDX Archbishop’s plea on Assisted Suicide

October 29, 2014 --

Oregon Faith Report News Note: Oregon has made recent national news on assisted suicide with the news of a fiancee with terminal cancer who is planning her own death date in Oregon (see story here).  The news has revived the topic in Oregon.  Below is a statement from the Portland Archbishop on the topic of Assisted Suicide in general that was released this week.

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample – Pastoral Statement on Assisted Suicide
Provided by Portland Archdiocese News Release

Death can be a frightening prospect. Coupled with suffering, it can be even more frightening. What is the proper human response in the face of death? How can we find meaning in an earthly existence that ends in death?

Assisted suicide offers the illusion that we can control death by putting it on our own terms. It suggests that there is freedom in being able to choose death, but it fails to recognize the contradiction. Killing oneself eliminates the freedom enjoyed in earthly life. True autonomy and true freedom come only when we accept death as a force beyond our control. Our lives and our deaths belong in the hands of God who created and sustains us. Through the suffering, death and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus, we know that death is not the final word. Eternal life awaits all those who entrust themselves to God.

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Missing link: Faith & science

October 27, 2014 --


Multnomah University, Portland

Multnomah Biblical Seminary was recently awarded a national grant  that addresses the missing links between faith and science in a seminary education. MU seminary professor Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D., comments.

All truth is God’s truth

It is well known that Evangelical Christianity has often experienced a difficult relationship with science. The Scopes “Monkey Trial” in 1925 left an indelible mark on the psyche of many segments of the movement. As George Marsden wrote, “It would be difficult to overestimate the impact” of the trial “in transforming fundamentalism.” George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism — 1870-1925 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 184.

Ironically, the Evangelical movement has benefited greatly over the decades in various ways from implementing scientific and technological advances in communication and media for gospel proclamation and archeology for apologetics. Given the widespread Evangelical conviction that all truth is God’s truth as centered in Christ and Christian scripture, it is incumbent upon Evangelicals, including their universities and seminaries, to extend the interface of faith and science to other spheres.

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Episcopal Church slide loses a million members

October 24, 2014 --

by Institute on Religion and Democracy

— Jeffrey Walton

Episcopalians have been captivated in recent weeks by an unfolding meltdown at the denomination’s General Theological Seminary, but statistics released this week by the Episcopal Church’s Office of Research reveal that the wider denomination is also struggling to find its footing. The church has faced steep losses since the early 2000s with a perfect storm of changing demographics, low fertility and departures by traditionalists.

The 2013 reporting year saw a continuation of the downward trend, with a membership drop of 27,423 to 1,866,758 (1.4 percent) while attendance dropped 16,451 to 623,691 (2.6 percent). A net 45 parishes were closed, and the denomination has largely ceased to plant new congregations.

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Gallup shows our moral trends

October 22, 2014 --

Rebecca Rifkin,
Gallup USA.

To see the trends over 15 years click here

The American public has become more tolerant on a number of moral issues, including premarital sex, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia. On a list of 19 major moral issues of the day, Americans express levels of moral acceptance that are as high or higher than in the past on 12 of them, a group that also encompasses social mores such as polygamy, having a child out of wedlock, and divorce.

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Cabo looks to NW for help

October 21, 2014 --

caboBy Forward Edge International
Vancouver Washington based charity

Responding to Hurricane Odile in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Vancouver, Washington (October 21, 2014). Vancouver-based Forward Edge International (FEI) is responding to the Hurricane Odile disaster that struck Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on September 14, 2014. With winds of up to 135mph, it was the strongest hurricane to hit the Baja Peninsula.

At this point, all of the aid is being distributed through the government to help rebuild the resorts and restore the profitable tourism industry. Unfortunately, Cabo’s poorest are being overlooked.

Forward Edge is raising money for relief efforts and sending short-term relief volunteers to assist victims of the storm by helping with clean-up and home repair in the barrios (neighborhoods). Relief teams will also help rebuild 15 kitchens used by a local feeding center.

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Beaverton Religion Forum: Do Ghosts Exist?

October 20, 2014 --

By Evergreen Presbyterian,

Beaverton Religion Forum — Do Ghosts Exist?

It’s Halloween time — do ghosts really exist? At this time of year, people dress-up as ghosts and demons, and even believe they exist. But to ghosts and demons really exist? And are they out to get you? What about the ‘Holy Ghost’ (sometimes translated as ‘Holy Spirit’) of the Bible? Pastor Nathan Lewis and Bernie Gehler of the Westside Science & Religion Discussion will explore this question and present their viewpoints on Sunday, October 26.

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Subpoena over pastors sermons

October 17, 2014 --

A group of pastors in Houston Texas received a subpoena to turn over sermons relating to sexual issues as part of a city  investigation over their new equal rights ordinance.   The subpeona have since been retracted (see here) but not before a public debate took off (see video below).


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Oregon pro-life president shares cancer story

October 15, 2014 --

gayleatterbeerryby Gayle Atteberry
Oregon Right to Life

Dear Oregon,

I wanted to take a few minutes to address all that pink you’ve been seeing in stores, on athletes and on your TV screen. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and it has never hit home harder for me than this year.

“We did find cancer cells in your breast biopsy,” said the doctor matter-of-factly. Cancer!!! I was stunned, shocked senseless with words I never thought I would hear! Cancer happens to other people, not to me! The doctor’s words were droning on: ”…we need to start treatment right away; do you have a surgeon, or would you like me to recommend one?” Treatment! Am I going to die? My mind raced. The thought of heaven was a peaceful one in this sin-filled, trouble-wracked world. But am I ready to leave my family just now? How could I find someone to take my job quickly? My mind darted to all of the things I needed to do before I die. The doctor’s voice was assuring me that she would have the surgeon call and set up an appointment quickly. I hung up the phone.

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Oregon in spotlight over Fiancee who sets death date

October 13, 2014 --

A decision by a fiancee who has terminal brain cancer to set her day of death has sparked national attention to her story and to teh role Oregon plays. See KGW-TV Video below.

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