Closing the Clergy Gender Pay Gap

Equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land in the USA for my entire life.  That legal expectation, however, has not translated into actual dollar per dollar gender equality. In fact, the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates women earn just $0.83 for every dollar men earn. American Clergy Since the Christian church holds equality of all persons as a core value, one should reasonably expect it would be a model of pay equality.  Unfortunately, the pay gap for clergy is Read More …

From Mainline to Sideline to Oldline

I grew up in a Mainline Protestant congregation.  The congregation I was raised in belonged to one of the seven sisters of Mainline American Protestantism: the Congregational Church (now a part of the United Church of Christ), the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, the American Baptist Convention, and the Disciples of Christ. While my childhood congregation has remained a part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Read More …

The Great American Religious Decline

Tobin Grant, political science professor at Southern Illinois University and associate editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, recently blogged about what he calls "The Great Decline" of American religion over the last two decades.  From 1994-2014 Gallup surveys show significant declines in religious identity, worship attendance, membership in churches or other religious communities, religion's importance in life, and religion's relevance for today.  When these five are Read More …

The Great Decline

Tobin Grant, political science professor at Southern Illinois University and associate editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, recently shared a graph that illustrates what his research suggests has happened to religion in America over the last 60 years. Grant terms this period "The Great Decline," due to the significant decline in religiosity. The Graph The graph is based on the results of Grant's analysis of existing data sets.  More specifically: We start with Read More …

Why America Is and Isn’t Unusually Religious

Tobin Grant, associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, recently wrote an article for Christianity Today about the unique nature of American religiosity.  In that piece, he noted that the United States continues to be quite religious while most other developed countries have become increasingly secular.  Upon deeper review, ongoing American religiosity is not an aberration but a logical outcome resulting from our unusually high level of economic inequality.  The Read More …