‘Spiritual but not religious’ is a cop-out

The increasingly common refrain that “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” represents some of the most retrogressive aspects of contemporary society. The spiritual but not religious “movement” – an inappropriate term as that would suggest some collective, organizational aspect – highlights the implosion of belief that has struck at the heart of Western society.

Spiritual but not religious people are especially prevalent in the younger population in the United States, although a recent study has argued that it is not so much that people have stopped believing in God, but rather have drifted from formal institutions.

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Fire Horse Farm gets youngsters ‘back in the saddle’

It was a weekend of working, and a little bit of horsing around, all for a worthy cause.

Volunteers from Luminant’s Martin Creek Lake Power Plant sealed fences, groomed horses and pitched in where needed to help the Fire Horse Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Henderson.

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Mustang stampede upsets undefeated Detroit

Jumping out to a 12-0 advantage early on, the Overton Mustangs (5-3, 2-0) held on to upset the heavily favored Detroit Eagles 34-13 in District 10-1A play.

It wasn’t even supposed to be a close game. Coming in undefeated, averaging 35 points per game behind vaunted speedster Devonya Bell, Detroit’s potent rushing attack was expected to run Overton right off the field.

But the Mustangs didn’t get the memo.

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Death of the Protestant ‘majority’

America was Methodist, once upon a time…  Methodist, or Baptist, or Presbyterian, or Congregationalist, or Episcopalian. A little light Unitarianism on one side, a lot of stern Calvinism on the other, and the Easter Parade running right down the middle: our annual Spring epiphany, crowned in bright new bonnets.

Of course, the average American nowadays would have  trouble recalling the dogmas that once defined all the jarring sects, but their names remain at least half alive: a kind of verbal remembrance of the nation’s religious history, a taste on the tongue of native speakers.

And yet, even while we may remember the names of the old denominations, we tend to forget that it all made a kind of sense, back in the day, and it came with a kind of order. The genteel Episcopalians, high on the hill, and the all-over Baptists, down by the river. Oh, and the innumerable independent Bible churches, tangled out across the prairie like brambles.

Through most of the nation’s history, these endless divisions and  revisions of Protestantism renounced one another and sermonized against one another. They squabbled, sneered, and fought. But they had something in common, for all that. Together they formed a vague but vast unity. Together they formed America.

In truth, all the talk, from the eighteenth century on, of the United States as a religious nation was really just a make-nice way of saying it was a Christian nation — and even to call it a Christian nation was usually just a soft and ecumenical attempt to gloss over the obvious fact that the United States was, at its root, a Protestant nation.

Well, my friends, that culture is over.

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Obama ‘won’ debate simply by not losing

Woody Allen once joked that “80 percent of success is just showing up” and by that rubric President Obama achieved a small triumph during Tuesday night’s second presidential debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Of course, this is not to say that the performance was a victory in and of itself, but it was certainly a way for the president to stem the bleeding after their first encounter two weeks ago in Denver.

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Local landowners wary of pipeline deal

A controversial proposal to build a $7 billion oil pipeline from Canadian tar sands to the Gulf Coast has residents and officials across East Texas wondering about the economic as well as the environmental impact.

In Rusk County the pipeline would cross the southwestern corner at U.S. Highway 79 near Lake Striker and continue southward into Nacogdoches County near the Angelina River.

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Can Islam survive itself?

For all my hand-wringing about dwindling church attendance, increasing secularization, and the inevitable death of Christianity as the preeminent worldview in our culture, I’m not worried about the Christian religion. Yep, Christianity’s going to be just fine.

If there’s a belief system that should be worried right now, it should be Islam.

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