Military Religious Freedom Foundation

God and Man at the CIA? Foreign Policy drags director's faith into analysis piece

God and Man at the CIA? Foreign Policy drags director's faith into analysis piece

Here's a shocker: Many of the appointees of the Trump Administration are very different people than those who served in the Obama Administration.

The sun, I am reliably told, also rises in the East and sets in the West. Bears use the woods for a bathroom. And the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church -- despite some naysayers out there -- really is a Roman Catholic.

Sorry for the #sarcasm, but it's difficult to suppress the impulse after reading a lengthy piece at the website of Foreign Policy magazine about the issues arising at the Central Intelligence Agency since Mike Pompeo, a now-former U.S. Representative from Kansas, became the agency's director.

The headline says (almost) all: "More White, More Male, More Jesus: CIA Employees Fear Pompeo Is Quietly Killing the Agency’s Diversity Mandate." This is a feature, a "soft" piece, so one has to dive in a bit before finding the blast at Pompeo and his personal faith:

Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, has said previously that Islamist terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
The concerns are not that Pompeo is religious but that his religious convictions are bleeding over into the CIA.

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America is 26 percent atheist these days? Kansas City Star's uncritical report on shock stat

America is 26 percent atheist these days? Kansas City Star's uncritical report on shock stat

"Everything's up to date in Kansas City," the musical Oklahoma once told us, and if Oscar Hammerstein said it, it must be true. They had a building "seven stories tall, about as high as one should go," after all.

Kansas City, and its flagship daily newspaper have received recurring attention here in GetReligion-land. Earlier this week, my colleague Julia Duin examined a Kansas City Star piece about the local Catholic archdiocese and the Girl Scouts that left readers hunting for details

Last August, the Star was found wanting in its coverage of a gay clergy issue within the United Methodist Church -- again, crucial facts were missing. 

So the, ahem, "revelation" that a stunning 26 percent of all Americans are atheists, in the same Kansas City Star merits close attention. Particularly when -- surprise! -- elements that would make for a fully orbed report are M-I-A.

Let's get to the news element of the article:

A recently published study based on 2,000 interviews suggested that a quarter of Americans or more are atheist — multiples of what other surveys have found.
[University of Kentucky psychologist Will] Gervais and fellow University of Kentucky psychologist Maxine Najle posed a list of innocuous statements — “I own a dog,” “I enjoy modern art” — and asked how many of the declarations applied to a respondent. Then they put the same statements to another group but added the statement, “I believe in God.”
By comparing the results, they concluded that 26 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t believe in God. Previous surveys in 2015 by Pew and Gallup asked directly about the belief in God and found the number of atheists at between 3 and 11 percent.
“Obtaining accurate atheist prevalence estimates may help promote trust and tolerance of atheists — potentially 80 million people in the USA and well over a billion worldwide,” the study said.

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Media treatment of Mikey Weinstein under scrutiny

Earlier today I mentioned some questions I have about this crazy “court-martial” story that blew up this week. The post is headlined “I share, you evangelize, they proselytize,” in reference to GetReligion reader Will Linden’s saying about how the same action can be described in different ways.

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I share, you evangelize, they proselytize

Defense Dept. say proselytism is banned but evangelism is ok (and no one’s getting court martialed) ow.ly/kERmC

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West Point cadet quits, citing religion

I’ve long been fascinated by stories about religious practice at the service academies. My brother attended the Air Force Academy in the 1990s and the religious pressure there was quite strong. His commanders didn’t quite accept that the generic Protestant service at the beautiful chapel there wouldn’t quite work for him (Missouri-Synod Lutherans don’t worship in a unionistic manner). They were suspicious as to why he needed to go off base for Divine Service, etc.

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