You don’t have to believe in God or identify with any religion to see a creator’s hand in human life and morality, suggests a new survey.
LifeWay Research’s overall finding — that most Americans believe there is a creator who designed the universe and defines human morality — is not surprising. After all, 3 in 4 U.S. adults identify with a religious denomination.
The surprise is that so many people who don’t identify with a religion — so-called nones — agree.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found that most Americans — 72 percent overall and 46 percent of nones — agree that: “Since the universe has organization, I think there is a creator who designed it.” This view is most strongly held by evangelicals and by older adults.
And most Americans — 79 percent overall and 43 percent of nones — say they agree that: “The fact that we exist means someone created us.”
But when people were asked about how ideas of right and wrong were established, the numbers slid somewhat: 66 percent overall and 33 percent of nones, agree that: “Since people have morality, I think there is a creator who defines morality.”
“The moral argument has less sway here, perhaps because of our changing views on what is and is not moral,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research.
However, he said, overall the case for a creator appears strong: “People of faith have always thought that there were hints of the divine all around us, thinking that ‘all hearts have a God-shaped hole in them.’”
American Girl magazine, which is beloved by many young girls, recently came under fire for including a picture of a family with two dads.
The Christian Examiner reports that One Million Moms (OMM), a group which is part of the American Family Association, is boycotting American Girl because of its decision to include the photo in their magazine.
“American Girl is attempting to desensitize our youth by featuring a family with two dads,” OMM asserts. “If your child has not seen this yet, then be careful she is not exposed and can avoid a premature conversation she is far too young to understand.”
The photo is part of an article called “Forever Family” in the Nov./Dec. issue of the magazine. It shows an 11-year-old girl who is pictured along with her three siblings and “Daddy” and “Dada.” The two gay men in the photo adopted the four children.
OMM director Monica Cole is calling for the magazine to return to its previous position of neutrality toward homosexuality.
Christian Choir Ordered to Stop Singing and Called a ‘Nuisance’ by Neighborhood
A church choir in Oakland, California has been accused of being a “public nuisance” and the church has been threatened with a $3,500 fine if the choir does not practice more quietly.
The Christian Examiner reports that the letter to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church from the city stated, “This activity may constitute a public nuisance due to its impact to the use and quiet enjoyment of the surrounding community’s property.”
The letter said the city may impose a $3,500 fine on the church if the choir does not comply with the demands for quieter practice, with an additional fee of $500 per day.
“Kind of hard to believe because we’ve been here about 65 years in the community and all of a sudden we get some concerns about the noise,” said Thomas A. Harris III, pastor of Pleasant Grove.
Harris and other pastors in the community believe that the complaint against the choir is due to the changing demographics of the city. The city is going through the process of gentrification and the new residents are more particular about the choir’s singing.
NEWS IN BRIEF:
- Advocacy groups for homeschooling have blocked attempts to require homeschooled students to complete annual academic and medical tests. New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinburg had introduced a bill that would have required parents to notify the state if they were homeschooling their children. The bill also required annual academic and medical testing.
- The government should jail scientists and others who don’t support man-made global warming theories, according to 20 climate scientists from several universities and research centers. The group recently sent a letter to the White House, urging President Barack Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to investigate, “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”
- A federal ban on Christmas trees and Christmas carols recently sparked outrage in Virginia. Christian Today reports the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center received an email saying that it could not display Christmas decorations or play Christmas music because doing so would promote Christianity. The VA has now come up with a compromise that will allow Christmas decoration and music, after complaints from employees and the community. Christmas-specific decorations will be permitted at the hospital, as long as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa decorations are also displayed.
The conservative group American Christian Voting Guide has ranked many of the current Republican and Democrat presidential candidates according to their supposed biblical qualifications, and graded former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee an “A,” while Donald Trump was given an “F.”
The list, put together by Rev. Steven Andrew, pastor of USA Christian Church, claimed that only four of the candidates would be biblically qualified to serve as president.
Ranking the candidates on criteria such as truthfulness, hating covetousness, protecting “God-given rights,” fearing God and protecting Christian religious liberty, the guide gave Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Rand Paul B grades, and only Huckabee scored an ‘A.’
“It is time to please God; we must repent of voting based on how much money one raises or popularity,” said Andrew. “Those things can’t make the USA great. However, God will restore His blessings for choosing the strongest Christian after His own heart for president. Mike Huckabee is the closest to a King David running. David did God’s will for the nation and God blessed Israel greatly.”
Trump, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, were all given ‘F’ grades.
For Trump, the guide claims that he doesn’t fear God because he has included transgender participants in his Miss USA beauty pageants; he has said that gay marriage is the law of the land; he has failed to name his favorite Bible verses and ask God for forgiveness, and is “known for covetousness, common belief is Trump serves Mammon (money) not God.”
Trump has insisted that he is “a man of faith,” even if he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, and back in September met with 40 religious leaders at his Trump Tower in New York City.
Homeschool Family Sues New Jersey for $60 Million after Social Worker Enters House without Warrant
A family who homeschools their son is suing the state of New Jersey for $60 million for sending a social worker to search their home without warrant.
MY9NJ.com reports that Chris and Nicole Zimmer homeschool their 15-year-old son. Last January, a social worker knocked on their door and demanded to be let in to question them and search their house.
Chris Zimmer says at first he refused, but then conceded for fear of having his son taken away. “I wouldn’t let her in the house, but then she told me I had ten minutes or else,” Zimmer said.
The social worker did not show any badge or warrant. She then proceeded to meticulously question the Zimmers on the education of their son and what kind of curriculum they used.
The social worker also questioned the Zimmers about the guns the family owned. She asked to see the guns in their safe, and then broke into the safe to see how easy it would be for the Zimmer’s son to break in and get the guns out.
The Zimmer’s son holds a permit to hunt with his father. “If the state trusts my son to walk around the woods with a gun, I can trust him in the house with a gun,” Chris Zimmer stated.
The social worker also asked the Zimmer’s son if his parents ever abused him.
The Zimmers are suing New Jersey for this unlawful entry and search by the social worker. They say, if they win the case, they will donate the money to help other families battling for their rights.