February 2014


Judge rules KY must recognize out-of-state SSMs

Seventy-five percent of Kentucky voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 that recognized the necessity of opposite-sex partners for a marital relationship.  No other union was recognized as a marriage, which would include same-sex marriages solemnized in other states where same-sex marriage is recognized.

On February 12 United States District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that the state of Kentucky must recognize the relationships of same-sex couples who had their marriage solemnized in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, as marriages. He stopped short, however, of declaring Kentucky’s marriage law unconstitutional. For the time being, Kentucky is “only” being required to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as legitimate marriage; they are not (yet) required to solemnize same-sex marriages in their own state.

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No evidence equals atheismWhen you ask an atheist why they are an atheist, it’s not uncommon for them to respond, “Because there is no good evidence that God exists.”  If that is their only justification for atheism, they have made a gross logical blunder.

In the case of genuine dichotomies (such as God’s existence: God exists, or God does not exist), the lack of evidence for A is neither evidence against A, nor evidence for B.  In order to conclude that A is true or B is true, one must have positive evidence for the truth value of A or B.  The absence of evidence for both A and B simply means that we must suspend judgment.

Applied to the debate over God’s existence, even if one wants to argue that there is no good evidence for theism, it does not follow that theism is false, and it certainly does not follow that atheism is true.  To conclude that theism is false one must present positive arguments against theism.  Likewise, to conclude that atheism is true, one must present positive arguments for atheism.  Atheism is not the default position in the absence of evidence for God’s existence.

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Exclamation point“God/Father/Jesus” are not punctuation marks, so they shouldn’t end every sentence we utter in prayer. Prayer is our communication to God. We wouldn’t communicate with any other person by ending every sentence we say to them with their name (“What did you do today John? Are you going to the game John? It was nice to see your kids John. They played so well last week John. The hot dogs at the park were delicious too John.”)

When we talk to God that way, we are not using his name to address Him, but as “filler” material. I doubt God is annoyed by this in the same way that I would be annoyed if someone talked to me that way, but I think we can do better nonetheless.

declineEarlier this month the Guttmacher Institute released the latest abortion figures (for 2011), which revealed that the number of abortions in this country have once again began to decline despite the continued growth in population.  In 2011, there were 1.06 million abortions – a 13% decline from 2008.  The 2011 abortion rate also declined 13% from 2008, with 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.  Compare this to the 1981 peak of 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women.

There has also been a big shift in the way women procure abortions.  In 2008, 17% of all abortions were performed via chemicals (such as RU-486).  As of 2011, that number increased to 23%.

There are also fewer abortion providers (4% fewer than 2008) and abortion clinics (1% fewer than 2008).

See Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2011 for details.

EFCIn 2011, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) Youth and Young Adult Ministry Roundtable commissioned a survey of 2,049 Canadian adults age 18-34 who attended church as a child on a weekly basis to see how many were still active members of the Christian church. They found that:

  • Only 1/3 were still attending church on a regular basis
  • 1/3 no longer identify as Christian
  • The primary reasons cited for abandoning the church were hypocrisy, judgmentalism, exclusivity, and failure.

We must do better at living out our faith, and preparing our young people with good theology and apologetics.

The details are contained in Hemorrhaging Faith: Why and When Canadian Young Adults are Leaving, Staying and Returning to Church. It costs $15 to download, so I didn’t download it. But if any of my readers want to do so, and wish to share some additional details or insights of the report, I welcome you to do so.

See http://hemorrhagingfaith.com/ for more information.