The Diverse, Dramatic History of Northwest Religions

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Why was Mt. Rainier regarded as a female god? What started the bitterness between Whites and Indians? Why did revivalists work so well in the Pacific Northwest?

Seattle’s “Moral Majority”: Reverend Mark Matthews’ Outsized Role in Early Seattle

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There were few matters in our post-Alaska Gold Rush town of 80,000 that failed to inspire Doctor Matthews. 

How ‘The Prince of Lies’ Has Split and Infected Evangelical Churches

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There is a demonic power that is at work in our country today. And at work in some “churches.”

Seattle Church Closure Provokes Pushback

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"Aroused by the looming threat of closure, the wider community organized, filling the church hall that night to confront Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo."

Polarized Frenzy: Is There Room for the Moderate?

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The immediate effect of the leak has been to ratchet our polarization higher and tighter — which may have the intent of the leak.

Russia’s War and a Struggle for Civilization

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The war casts a sharp light on the fact that this is not for us only an external conflict. It is, and perhaps even more importantly, an internal conflict.

“If I Remain Silent, I am not a Priest”

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“We don’t have to repeat mistakes of those Christians who supported the German government when they invaded Poland many years ago.”

Ukraine Fallout: An Orthodox Awakening May be Stirring in the Russian Orthodox Church

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For more than a decade, Russian imperial bullying has been paralleled by the bullying of other Orthodox communions by the Patriarchate of Moscow, as it seeks hegemony in the Orthodox world.

The Church of the Imperfects, the League of the Guilty

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The church is not a gathering of the righteous, the perfect, those without fault or blemish, not to mention catastrophic failure. It is a gathering of those who know they stand in need of grace and mercy. It is a gathering of the “League of the Guilty.”

The Ukrainian Challenge to All of Us

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In America, and particularly among its elites, we’ve been living for some time in what philosophers term post-modernity. One of the hallmarks of post-modern thought is the idea that there isn’t really anything that can be called truth, there is only power.

Of “Just” Wars and Moral Responsibilities

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One of the problems with the just-war tradition for Americans is that America has overused it.

Uncomfortable Dance: The Religious Factor in the War in Ukraine

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Orthodox Christianity is divided between Moscow and Istanbul, and the Ukrainian church is a key battleground and proxy.

In Apocalypse, all is Revealed: Lessons from COVID (and the Olympics)

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The virus has done what viruses do — take advantage of the vulnerabilities of an unhealthy host. It is this that has been revealed, or “apocalypsed” to us.

Digitized Worship, a Blessing for a Time, Is Now a Threat to Churches

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Will the church go with the increasingly digitized modern, or post-modern world, where more and more of our interactions are disembodied and distanced?

Mind the Gap: The Case for “Mediating Institutions”

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Libertarians tend to emphasize the role of “mediating institutions” as a bulwark against the state. But I think they also serve, and perhaps are even more needed, as a bulwark against very large, concentrated, global corporations.

Why Young People are Leaving the Evangelical Church

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What if people don’t leave the church because they disapprove of Jesus, but because they’ve read the Bible and have come to the conclusion that the church itself would disapprove of Jesus? That’s a crisis.”

When Bigger isn’t Better: Welcome Back the Mini-Church

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While small congregations can fight an inferiority complex, the truth is they can and are doing real ministry even if they are small, maybe because they are small.

Religious Missionaries in the Northwest: Feuds, Failures, and Fevers

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Catholics may have enjoyed more early success than Protestants in the Oregon-Washington country. 

Light Against the Dark: The Faces of Fanaticism

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Reflections on the torn faces of survivors of the terrorist attack in Paris. One says, "I made it out alive, but now I am dead among the living."

Pope Francis To US Bishops: Stay Out of Politics!

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The Pope had a long chat with reporters during a return flight from Slovakia to Rome. He was asked about the communion flap in the United States.

Should Churches Continue On-Line Worship After the Pandemic?

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For me, in-person worship, the worship of a gathered community, falls in the category of “burdens that we should not want to be rid of.”

Study: Evangelicals in Decline, Mainline Protestantism Makes a Comeback

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Heralding a “rebirth” of mainline Protestantism would be premature. What does seem clear is that the Evangelical world is roiling. Chickens are coming home to roost, specifically, (mixed metaphor alert) the way that Evangelicals lashed themselves to the Trump mast.

Terminally Earnest? Hard to “Enjoy the Show”

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We want to take seriously matters of justice and human suffering. As we should. But at some point, such seriousness — an excess of earnestness — becomes unbalanced and a little self-important.

Why Is Church Membership in America Falling Off a Cliff?

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Overall, the cultural Christians, those who belonged because it was what you did and might have social benefits, don’t any longer. And in some parts of the country, the Northwest for example, this has entirely flipped. Being part of a church is considered, at best, curious, but often something far more suspect.

Catholic Church’s Mixed Easter Message to Same-Sex Parishioners

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The strongest response to the stern Vatican directive came from Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, who pronounced himself “ashamed for my Church . . . I mainly feel moral and intellectual incomprehension. I would like to apologize to all for whom this responsum is painful, incomprehensible. The pain the Church has caused them is today my pain.”

Pro-Choice Joe Biden and the Catholic Wars

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The Catholic right has revived a cause that goes back to the 2004 election, when Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis said he would deny holy communion to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a pro-choice Catholic. A South Carolina priest, in 2015, denied the eucharist to Biden.

Christianity Is Not a Religion. So what is it?

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Growing up, I thought Christianity was really — boiled down — about being a good person. Actually it’s not about that.

Different Times: Prayer, Fellowship Across a Partisan Divide

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Our bonding became evident among our Congressional colleagues, who took notice of how our friendships transcended the usual political norms on the House floor. This was before the rise of the Moral Majority and its politicizing of the evangelical community,

Beginnings: The Mythic Origins of Puget Sound People

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History has treated this mythic sanctuary with destructive indifference. But traces of the Native People's origins of the human world can still be glimpsed.

A “Christian Insurrection” at the Capitol?

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Trump’s playbook bears remarkable similarity to Hitler’s in Germany. Hitler wasn’t really a Christian, nor is Trump. But both saw the church as either a potential ally or enemy and tried to enlist it, or neutralize it.