Evangelicals Favor Official Religion

66 percent of evangelical adults favor a constitutional ammendment making Christianity the official religion of the U.S., according to a Barna survey. While a majority of evangelicals favor such a move, only 32 percent of adults in general favor the move.

The survey explored a number church/state issues, in most cases finding favor for Christian principles, though few favored official support of Christianity. Support for removing the 10 Commandments, “In God We Trust” and “one nation under God” was between 15-18 percent, while support for teaching creationism was at 59 percent. (link via e-vangelism via Youth Specialties)

I went to Las Vegas and all I got was this lousy blog entry.

OK, so that’s not exactly true, but it makes for a good title. I did find myself a few monkey-related items for the office, though none of them were Vegas related. I was really hoping for a damn T-shirt from Hoover Dam (something similar to this one in idea, though definitely not execution), but all they had were crappy souvenirs (it took an act of Congress for the Bureau of Reclamation to sell “official” Hoover Dam stuffed ringtail cats). I also saw a souvenir I really wanted in the midst of an Elvis display in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: buttons that said “Elvis is a Jerk” and “I Hate Elvis.” Of course you couldn’t actually buy the buttons.

Here’s the short attention span review of the trip:

Worst part of the trip to Vegas: I didn’t see a single Elvis.
Temperature in Vegas Thursday afternoon: 113 degrees.
Temperature in St. Paul Friday evening: 62 degrees.
Total gambling losses: $4.05 (is that a tax write-off?).
Most underrated Vegas attraction: Howard Finster artwork at the House of Blues.
Best way to the airport: Limo. It cost only $2 more than a taxi.
Best contradiction: “When the Fun Stops: Understanding Problem Gambling” brochure available next to an ATM outside a casino.
Number of times we got lost in a casino: Twice (MGM & Paris).
Number of billboard-size TV screens viewable from my parents’ hotel room: Four.

For those with longer attention spans, continue reading…

Continue reading I went to Las Vegas and all I got was this lousy blog entry.

Minneapolis Bans Smoking; St. Paul to Follow

Restaurants and bars in Minneapolis will go smoke free on March 31, 2005 after a surprising 12-1 vote by the city council. Minneapolis joins Bloomington, Minn. in stamping out smoking in public places, primarily as a workplace safety issue.

St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly, who vetoed a similar measure last month in favor of a regional approach, said he is now willing to approve a similar ban in St. Paul. Good to know we have such bold, daring leadership in the mayor’s office.

Even Better Than the Real Thing

U2’s upcoming album, Vertigo How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, slated for a November release was stolen from a photo shoot in France last week. Worried the songs might end up online before the album’s release, front man Bono has a plan:

“If it is on the Internet this week, we will release it immediately as a legal download on iTunes, and get hard copies into the shops by the end of the month. … It would be a real pity. It would screw up years of work and months of planning, not to mention f*cking up our holidays. But once it’s out, it’s out.”

As a U2 fan, I find myself torn between hoping the album shows up online so it will be released early and I can legitimately hear it early, and hoping things go according to the band’s original plan.

There and Then They’re Gone

There and Then It's Gone by Patrick AndrewPatrick Andrew, former bassist and vocalist for PFR, performed at a release party in the Twin City suburbs last night, celebrating the release of his solo album, There and Then It’s Gone. Andrew was joined on his accoustic guitar by fellow PFRer Joel Hanson on guitar, Matt Patrick on bass, Paul Eckberg (formerly of Eager) on drums, and Mike Andrew on guitar (yes, three guitars in a stuffy Christian bookstore).

The impressive Andrew originals were punctuated by much laughter and few moments of forgotten lyrics, which only further reinforced the album’s themes. The biggest dissapointment was that the nearly-impromptu band came together only for this show. With two-thirds of PFR present, they did launch into a couple PFR tunes (“Great Lengths” and “Them”), simply whetting appetites for a much rumored upcoming PFR release. (Full disclosure: Monkey Outta Nowhere wrote the bio for Andrew’s press packet)

Passion on DVD

The Passion of the ChristMel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ has raked in an astounding $370.3 million at the box office, and now it’s going to give the DVD market a try. The DVD and VHS copies come out on August 31 but pre-sales are already 20 percent ahead of projections. Part of the boost comes from special packs of 50 DVDs Fox is marketing to churches, a move from the World Wide Pictures bag of tricks (now there’s a phrase you don’t get to write very often!). Despite predictions that The Passion will sell 20 million copies, experts expect Shrek 2 to outsell it.

No More WASP

Protestants are losing their centuries old majority in the U.S., falling from 63 percent to 52 percent between 1993 and 2002. You can thank church dropouts, fewer children being raised as Protestants, and fewer Protestant immigrants. Some of the shift can also be attributed to people who describe themselves generically as Christians, but not Protestants, a category that didn’t exist in the 1970s but now constitutes 2 percent of the population.