WEEK IN RELIGION

In a recent letter sent to Wisconsin state officials, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) demanded the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to cut ties with a ministry that helps inmates earn degrees in Biblical studies. The Wisconsin Inmate Education Association (WIEA) and Trinity International University partnered to create an education program offering a Bachelor of Science in Biblical studies, called Operation Transformation, but in the letter the FFRF said the program was a “grave” violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Operation Transformation is offered to inmates that are serving life or long-term sentences and after complete the four-year course, graduates are reassigned to other prisons as “field ministers.” The FFRF argues that inmates would be better served by a non-religious education. Currently, 14 states have active or developing seminaries within their prison systems.

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STUDY SAYS

Americans will take time to celebrate holidays

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 43 percent of U.S. workers said they plan to take a vacation during the holidays. Of the 43 percent, 21 percent of said they will completely disconnect from work during the holidays.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics” by R. Marie Griffith

Gay marriage, transgender rights, birth control — sex is at the heart of many of the most divisive political issues of our age. The origins of these conflicts, historian R. Marie Griffith argues, lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians a century ago. From the 1920s onward, a once-solid Christian consensus regarding gender roles and sexual morality began to crumble, as liberal Protestants sparred with fundamentalists and Catholics over questions of obscenity, sex education, and abortion. Both those who advocated for greater openness in sexual matters and those who resisted new sexual norms turned to politics to pursue their moral visions for the nation. “Moral Combat” is a history of how the Christian consensus on sex unraveled, and how this unraveling has made our political battles over sex so ferocious and so intractable.

— Basic Books

THE WORD

ijtihad: Pronounced “IJ-tee-haad.” The process of reasoning and interpreting the Quran, hadith and other sacred texts to uncover God’s rulings.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Grenada is:

— Protestant: 49.2 percent

— Roman Catholic: 36 percent

— Jehovah’s Witness: 1.2 percent

— Rastafarian: 1.2 percent

— Other: 5.5 percent

— None: 5.7 percent

— Unspecified: 1.3

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