Religion

One-Fifth of Americans Have No Religious Affiliation

A new ABC News poll finds the number of adults expressing no religious affiliation has risen from 12% in 2003 to 21% of all adults in 2017. That includes 3% who say they’re atheists, 3% agnostic and 15% who say they have no religion.

The largest shifts during this 15-year period include 16-point increases among young adults (age 18 to 29) and political liberals.

John Bolton Chaired Anti-Muslim Think Tank

“John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, some of which was amplified by a Russian troll factory,” an NBC News review found.

“The group’s authors also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.”

Megachurch Leader Quits Amid Misconduct Allegations

The Rev. Bill Hybels, founder of one of the nation’s most influential evangelical megachurches, is stepping down “less than a month after a Chicago Tribune investigation disclosed that Hybels had been the subject of inquiries by church leaders into claims that he ran afoul of church teachings by engaging in inappropriate behavior with women in his congregation — including employees — allegedly spanning decades.”

Evangelicals Will Meet With Trump as Sex Scandals Swirl

Several Evangelical Christian leaders are planning a sit-down with President Trump in June over allegations that his lawyer paid an adult film star $130,000 for her silence about an alleged affair, NPR reports.

Said the leader of one ministry: “We’re very concerned… There’s things that are like fingernails on the chalkboard to people of faith. That’s not who we are; that’s not a ‘fruit of the Spirit’; that’s not leading with humility.”

Why Evangelicals Are Sticking with Trump

Monkey Cage: “Why are white Christians sticking so closely to Trump, despite these claims of sexual indiscretions? And why are religious individuals and groups that previously decried sexual impropriety among political leaders suddenly willing to give Trump a ‘mulligan’ on his infidelity?”

“Our new study points to a different answer than others have offered. Voters’ religious tenets aren’t actually what’s behind Trump support; rather, it’s Christian nationalism — their view of the United States as a fundamentally Christian nation.”

Pruitt Says God Justifies His Environmental Policies

EPA chief Scott Pruitt told the Christian Broadcasting Network that his religious convictions led him to conclude that America should use coal freely.

Said Pruitt: “The biblical world view with respect to these issues is that we have a responsibility to manage and cultivate, harvest the natural resources that we’ve been blessed with to truly bless our fellow mankind.”

Billy Graham Is Dead

New York Times: “The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home. He was 99.”

“Mr. Graham spread his influence across the country and around the world through a combination of religious conviction, commanding stage presence and shrewd use of radio, television and advanced communication technologies.”

Trump Adviser Says You Don’t Need a Flu Shot

Gloria Copeland, a controversial minister on President Trump’s evangelical advisory board, said flu shots aren’t necessary when you have Jesus, the HuffPost reports.

Said Copeland: “Inoculate yourself with the word of God.”

She said the faithful who don’t have the flu can ward off the infection by repeatedly saying, “I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.”

Millions Believe God Made Trump President

“If Donald Trump gets a little bored on his flight home from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he can always page through a book handed to him by a delegate not long after he arrived: God and Donald Trump,Politico reports.

“The volume, written by Stephen Strang, a leading Pentecostal figure and the longtime publisher of Charisma magazine, is an easy read—part spiritual hagiography, part Fox News bulletin and part prophecy. It ultimately says far less about Trump than about the charismatic Pentecostals who were some of his earliest religious supporters and who now view his election as the fulfillment of God’s will.”

Brownback Will Get Another Shot at Trump Job

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is going to get another chance to join the Trump administration, the Kansas City Star reports.

“President Trump will formally renominate the Kansas Republican late Monday to become ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom… Brownback was first nominated last July but failed to receive a confirmation vote in the Senate after resistance from Democrats over his record on LGBT rights.”