Monday, February 19, 2007

Guess What: Heathens Don't Like Paris and Britney Either

The Barna Group are always good for some insights into American culture, and their latest report is no exception. In a recent study, American adults were asked to rate a variety of religious and secular figures with regard to favorable and unfavorable impressions. Unsurprisingly, "born agains" rated evangelical figures more favorably than their secular counterparts (most of whom had never heard of people like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and James Dobson).

But what was most interesting about this report--to me anyway--is that Christians and secular adults had virtually identical favorable/unfavorable ratings for Britney Spears and Paris Hilton:

My take from that is that maybe America's values aren't in the cesspool the way that evangelicals so often say. If believers' attitudes about two symbols of the wanton culture of celebrity excess are indistinguishable from the rest of America--both distinctly to the negative--then that provides support neither to evangelicals claims about how depraved American culture is nor to their own claims of cultural distinctiveness.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

...Because Sometimes, Love Means Just Going Away

His 3-week stint in a recovery center in Arizona now complete, the Loving Restoration of Ted Haggard has now entered its next phase: his being asked to quietly leave town.

Haggard mentioned Missouri and Iowa as possible destinations. Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town, and the Haggards agreed.

"This is a good place for Ted," Ware said. "It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It's like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed."

It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs... where, one presumes, all the people he and his wife loves and labored beside are actually located? The ones that are now supposed to be a part of his Loving Restoration?

This must be what it looks like under the carpet. I wish I could say I was surprised.