WEEK IN RELIGION
The United States Supreme Court will soon hear a case that could affect faith-based organizations around the country. The Court agreed to hear the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri v. Comer 15 months ago, in which the church had applied for a Missouri state program to reimburse nonprofits for rubber playground surfaces made from recycled tire scraps, but was later denied funding based on the state constitutions Blaine amendment in 2012. The state said it could not allow money from the state treasury to go directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion. Missouri is one of 38 states that have Blaine amendments, which forbids direct government aid to educational institutions that have a religious affiliation. Erik Stanley, senior counselor for the Alliance Defending Freedom who will argue the case on behalf of Trinity Lutheran, said states shouldnt be allowed to use its constitutions to treat religious organizations and churches as second-class citizens. The state shut the door to Trinity Lutheran solely because of its religious status as a church. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources had originally ranked Trinitys application for the $20,000 grant fifth out of the 44 entities bidding for the scraps, but Trinitys preschool was not one of the 14 applicants chosen. A ruling is expected by the end of June from the Supreme Court.
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American atheists underreported
According to University of Kentucky scholars, there could be more than twice as many atheists in the U.S. than previous studies have found. Polls from Gallup, the Pew Research Center and Barna have previously reported that the number of atheists in the U.S. is between 3 and 10 percent. The study, conducted by psychologists Will Gervais and Maxine Najle, found that the real number of atheists in the U.S. could be as high as 26 percent. Gervais and Najle said that the numbers could be artificially low because people are embraced to admit they dont believe in God.
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In Gods Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope John Paul II by Pope Saint John Paul II
Available for the first time in English, the private reflections of the modern pope recently elevated to sainthood deeply personal writings that reveal a spiritual leader who agonized over his service to God, continually questioning whether he was doing enough. In Gods Hands lays bare the soul of this powerful, influential statesman, revealing a devout man untouched by his celebrity status; a selfless servant of God who spent decades questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out. Over forty years, from his bishopric in Krakow to his election to the papacy to his final years, one question guided him: Am I serving God? Entrusted to his personal secretary who defied John Paul IIs instructions to burn them after his death these notebooks provide us with a privileged glimpse into the life of a humble man who never took for granted his mission or his exalted role in the church and in the world.
glossolalia: Pronounced glos-uh-LAY-lee-uh. A form of speaking in tongues. Mentioned as a practice in the New Testament, and a hallmark of contemporary Pentecostal and some charismatic Christians.
RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD
According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Ireland:
Roman Catholic: 84.7 percent
Church of Ireland: 2.7 percent
Other Christian: 2.7 percent
Muslim: 1.1 percent
Other: 1.7 percent
Unspecified: 1.5 percent
None: 5.7 percent
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