Friday's News & Ideas

  • How secular is Europe?
  • Lessons from Kanye
  • Middling esteem for clergy
  • New vernacular for religion
  • Court rejects Liberty Obamacare challenge
  • Fractured relationships

How secular is Europe? A tale of two culturesAustralian Broadcasting, Religion & Ethics blog: Is secularization a move away from traditional levels of participation in religion, or the adoption of an alternative set of values and beliefs that owe nothing to religion.

The church and Kanye WestAssociated Baptist Press: A rapper's outside-the-box marketing campaign holds lessons for a declining church, says the Rev. Amy Butler.

Public esteem for military still highPew Forum: By contrast, just 37 percent of Americans surveyed think the clergy make a big contribution to society, about the same as in 2009.

The word 'religion' has fallen from grace with many AmericansWashington Post: Religion is in trouble in the United States. The word, that is.

Appeals court in Va. rejects Christian university's lawsuit challenging Obama health care lawAssociated Press: A federal appeals court in Virginia rejected Liberty University's bid to overturn the Obama administration's health care law.

The Spark

A life that can fracture a relationshipFor five years, Joe Stewart worked in an isolated part of Colorado in the world of hydraulic fracturing, for two weeks at a time, 14 hours a day, shuffling heavy iron pipes. When he interviewed for the job, he writes in The New York Times, they asked him only one question: "Are you single?" "Yes,"he said. "Good, this job is hard on married people."

Want to get News & Ideas in your inbox every weekday?Subscribe to our News & Ideas newsletter.