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Church attendants fail

The one bright spot in church affiliation, and it doesn't glow brightly, is that mainline Protestants provided the largest percentage of people who said that torture is never justifiable - 31%. And they were the one group of American Christians not to support torture by a majority. But even 46% of them though torture was often or sometimes ok.

A majority of people who attend church weekly support torture (54%) often or sometimes. Only 42% of non-churchgoers said the same thing. Similar numbers in both groups (25% churchgoers, 26% nonchurch goers) answered that torture was never ok.

These results break my heart. They also confirm what I've felt for a long time - that merely attending church on Sunday is worthless unless you're willing to have Christ in your life the rest of the week. It also provides justification for Jesus' words in Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

It was hard coming up with a title for this post. I thought about "Christians Against Christ", "Imperial Christianity Strikes Again", "Our Civil Religion: Example 705″ and even "Religion of Peace: Torture A-OK." But in the end, a headline that critiqued folks who bemoaned the lack of church attendance in this country seemed most appropriate.

Source: Pew Forum: The Religious Dimensions of the Torture

April 29, 2009

Updated May 7, 2009

Staycation Observations

Posted on May 10, 2009 by alaskanlibrarian

As I mentioned on this blog yesterday, I have returned from a week's staycation/news fast. It worked for me and I suggest it to you with Walt Crawford's general observation that YMMV and that what works for me may not work for you.

During the past week I avoided all sources of news, which included not checking my e-mail because I have people who like sending me political commentary and staying off of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites because people often post news items. This and not going to work allowed me to:

- Upgrade my internet connection. I'm now getting an official 3 Mps at home. It only cost me about $25 a month more and I now see why Netflix "Watch Instantly" is a big deal. I think it we may break even on DVD rental fees.

- Discover the unintentional humor in Dragnet 1967 with Jack Webb.

- When I upgraded my internet connection, I also got caller ID. Now I can let all of the Unknown Number/Unknown Name telemarketers talk to my machine. Yay.

- Work on my photography, which you already know if you're subscribed to my RSS feed.

- Feel reengerized about my work, both official and unofficial.

While I didn't get to hike as much as I wanted to because of weather, I did a lot of walking which I need to log into the President's Fitness Challenge.

I think the biggest benefit came from cutting out news for a week. Worrying and/or gnashing my teeth about news takes up more energy than I care to admit. Without that emotional investment in news following, I felt like I've been able to focus on the parts of my life actually within my control.

I'm thinking about cutting back on some of the work and home RSS feeds that I subscribe to, but we'll see.

Anyway, I felt like I got a rich reward staying home from work and exploring my neighborhood for a week. Try it and see what happens. If you don't like it, you never have to do it again.

Daniel Cornwall is a librarian, amateur photographer and hiking enthusiast who lives in Juneau, Alaska. Find more about him, and lots about libraries, on his blog:, where this column first appeared.