This week on Interfaith Voices:
Faith by the Numbers: Americans Inflate Church Attendance
It’s natural to assume people to go church to pray. But sociology tells us many people go to be seen. After all, if you’re not noticed at church, what might happen to your business? What would the neighbors think? It’s the same impulse that leads people to lie and say they’ve gone to church, even if they haven’t. In the first installment of our new series, Faith by the Numbers, we dig into the data that show how lying about church attendance is a common practice in America.
Integrating Calculus and the Catholic Church
During the Protestant Reformation, Jesuit priests where so threatened by early calculus, they tried to get it banned. So what was so dangerous about math? For them, the concept of the infinitely small was messy, unorderly and paradoxical – a threat to the rigid and predictable world they saw in the Catholic Church.
A Monument to Satan in the Bible Belt
If a group called The Satanic Temple gets its way, visitors to the Oklahoma state house will soon be greeted by a 7-foot-tall monument that honors Satan. In December, the group applied for a spot right next to the other religious monument at the capital, a carving of the Ten Commandments added in 2012. It’s caused an uproar and sparked a national debate about whether it’s okay to put privately-funded religious monuments on public property.
The Church of Satan: The Satan Statue is ‘Kind of Pointless’
It turns out Satanism has some of the same squabbles that other religions have; in fact, this religious philosophy has what you might call “denominations.” And not all of them think it’s a good idea to cast the devil in bronze. The high priest of an older group, the Church of Satan, says that as atheists they’re against any religious statue on public grounds – including one that honors Satan himself.
Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute
Amir Alexander, author of Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World
Lucien Greaves, spokesman for The Satanic Temple
Peter Gilmore, high priest of the Church of Satan