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U.S. support for stricter regulations on firearm sales now stands at 60 percent (a 5-point increase from 2016), according to Gallup survey data released on Oct. 16. This matches the support level from 2004 and continues a rising trend that began in 2014. Those affirming the need for stricter laws on firearm sales saw an […] Read More

In a previous column, I suggested that an assumed culture of violence prevails among many of those who are most vocal in defense of gun ownership. They are not alone, however. Even many non-gun owners live in fear, mistrust and suspicion. Therefore, I urged that addressing our assumed culture of violence should be on par […] Read More

One Sunday after worship, I greeted a young man who was visiting with us for the first and – as it would turn out – the last time. Before I had the opportunity to introduce myself and welcome him, and without so much as a “hello, howdy,” he pointed to a name printed in our […] Read More

In 1903 in Kishinev, which was then part of Russia, there was a terrible pogrom, an anti-Jewish riot. During that riot, 49 Jews were killed and more than 500 were injured.  In its aftermath, the Jewish community in the town of Odessa sent a well-known Zionist and poet, Haim Nachman Bialik, to Kishinev, who then wrote […] Read More

I often hear people say that the reason for our country’s moral decline is because we can’t read the Bible in the classrooms and because we took prayer out of the schools. Recently, former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee was asked about the shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people dead, […] Read More

A marred Christmas and a marred New Year. Merry has been stolen from Christmas, Happy from New Year’s. As much as we might desire or long to celebrate the birth of God among us, the violence in Newtown, Conn., does not proclaim birth to us, but miscarriage, death, loss and grief. As I come to […] Read More

Four daily newspapers greet the Martys at breakfast. The morning after the school killings at Newtown, Conn., 24 pages of these informed us, while zillions of twitters and tweets and TV and radio programs also addressed the tragedy. Readers don’t need Sightings to spot traces of religion-in-public-life this time because coverage of it comes in […] Read More

The e-mail message was direct and devastating: “Davius Boyd, a 4th grader in Mrs. Enos’ class, died at approximately 5:45 this afternoon,” wrote my principal. “The coroner informed of his death about 40 minutes ago. He had gone to a friend’s house to play and apparently a gun was discharged and the bullet struck Davius. He […] Read More

The tragic case of Trayvon Martin has brought national attention and outrage to issues such as police corruption, racism and controversial gun laws. Non-Floridians may not realize that Trayvon’s killer is not already in prison awaiting trial because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law. This law is a variation of the Castle Doctrine, which allows […] Read More

Proposed “bring your guns to church” legislation, now on the floor in a couple of states, suggests bringing firearms into houses of faith is sure to become a national craze. So any day I expect to read about some new franchise opportunity that’s uniquely poised to be ahead of the marketing curve in one of […] Read More