Saturday, May 31, 2014

All Around the Web - May 31, 2014

Kevin Eckstrom - Ten Years Later, Why Gay Marriage Is Winning
 What a difference 10 years makes.

In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage. Six months later, with dire warnings about schoolchildren being forced to read “Heather Has Two Mommies” and threats of legalized polygamy, so-called “values voters” passed bans on same-sex marriage in 11 states and ushered George W. Bush to another four years in the White House.

Fast-forward to 2014, and the cultural and legal landscape could hardly be more different. Today, 19 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, and federal courts have struck down bans in 11 more states. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages after ditching a central portion of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act last year, and 44 percent of Americans now live in states that allow same-sex marriage.

After four same-sex couples filed suit Wednesday (May 21) challenging Montana’s ban on same-sex marriage, neighboring North Dakota is the only state that isn’t facing a challenge to its gay marriage ban — at least not yet.

So what changed? The issue is far from settled — and some conservatives insist that it never will be — but pro-gay groups clearly have the momentum. Here’s why:

Chuck Lawless - 10 Ways to Recognize Our Arrogance
Marker #1: You believe few people are as smart as you are.
Marker #2: Your first reaction to negative is to be defensive or to cast blame on others.
Marker #3: Titles matter to you.
Marker #4: You assume your organization cannot fail.
Marker #5: Not knowing “insider information” bothers you.
Marker #6: You are disconnected from your team members.
Marker #7: Spiritual disciplines are secondary, if not non-existent, in your life.
Marker #8: No one has permission to speak truth into your life.
Marker #9: Other people see you as arrogant.
Marker #10: This post bothers you . . . or doesn’t bother you.

Trevin Wax - Christianity’s 5 Most Important Theologians
1. Athanasius of Alexandria
2. Augustine of Hippo
3. Thomas Aquinas
4. John Calvin
5. Karl Barth

Christian Post - Author Debunks Myths About Divorce Rates, Including of Churchgoers
Many of the most demoralizing beliefs about marriage, especially when it comes to discouraging statistics commonly passed around, are just not true, says social researcher and best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn.

"A subconscious sense of futility about marriage is everywhere, as everything we hear says marriage is 'in trouble,'" states Feldhahn. "And while some of the bad news is accurate (for example, 41% of children are born out of wedlock), many of the most demoralizing beliefs just aren't true. For example, the notion that half of all marriages end in divorce or that the divorce rate is the same in the church… neither are anywhere close to true."

The Christian Post recently conducted an interview with Feldhahn, whose recently released, The Good News About Marriage, is the result of an 8-year investigative study that she believes reveals the truth about the state of marriage and divorce in today's culture and churches. Below is the interview.

Independent - Steve Jones at the Hay Festival: Falling birth rates in Europe and rising ones in Africa could spell decline in atheism
A combination of surging population growth in Christian Africa and population decline in Europe could signal the decline of atheism, a world-renowned geneticist has claimed.

According to Steve Jones, a professor in genetics at University College London’s Galton Laboratory, population decline in religiously sceptical European countries combined with rapid population growth in central Africa could see a resurgence of Christianity, leaving sceptics in a minority.

Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival he argued that religion grows rapidly during large population booms, particularly in poorer countries, while in Europe the Christian faith is stagnating as birth rates drop below the levels required to avoid population decline.

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