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Friday’s religion wrap

Politics vs religion

Fairfax newspapers report that our political leaders are doing God and it’s about time.

Senior figures, including the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader among others, have been discussing their religious beliefs in a new book on faith without the usual deer-in-headlights reaction that occurs whenever a politician spots a godless and cynical journalist looking for a gotcha moment.

Should you raise your kids religious? What does science say?

Quartz reports that many parents assume that raising kids with some measure of religion is the best way to teach children how to behave ethically—both when they’re young and as they grow into adults. But worldwide, the total number of religiously unaffiliated people (which includes atheists, agnostics and those who do not identify with any religion in particular) is expected to rise from 1.17 billion in 2015 to 1.20 billion in 2060.

And so parents are confronting a complex dilemma: while they may not be religious themselves, they were raised with religion, and they feel a nagging obligation to do the same for their children, in a myriad of ways and for a multitude of reasons. 

Religion working against Republicans in the midterms

According to the Religion News Service, not since the religious right burst onto the national political scene four decades ago has an American president done more to cultivate its good will than Donald Trump. 

After assembling a who’s who of evangelical activists as his religious advisors, there’s no question that these positions have locked in Trump’s support among white evangelicals, who make up about a quarter of the electorate. Eighty percent voted for him, and his favourability rating with them remains in that neighbourhood.

Argentina’s Senate rejects elective abortion bill

Argentina’s Senate has rejected a bill to legalise elective abortion, a defeat for a grassroots movement that came closer than ever to achieving the decriminalisation of the procedure in the homeland of Pope Francis.

The decision could echo across Latin America, where anti-abortion forces remains strong even if the Roman Catholic Church has lost influence and moral authority due to secularization, an out-of-touch clerical caste and an avalanche of sex abuse scandals.

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