It is fashionable in some circles to purge the presence of God from everyday life, whether it’s by banning religious images or language in public places, or media coverage that implies that faith-based anything is not inclusive. Such thinking is not new. In 1966, Time Magazine published an edition titled “Is God Dead?” — suggesting that the faith was wavering, and the U.S. was on a path to secularization.
This has not happened in the 52 years that have passed since then.
“That question proved premature: The U.S. remains a robustly religious country and the most devout of all the rich Western democracies. In fact, Americans pray more often, are more likely to attend weekly religious services and ascribe higher importance to faith in their lives than adults in other wealthy, Western democracies, such as Canada, Australia and most European states,” writes Dalia Fahmy, a senior analyst for the Pew Research Center who examined findings from a massive poll revealing the religious practices of people in 102 nations.
“For instance, more than half of American adults (55 percent) say they pray daily, compared with 25 percent in Canada, 18 percent in Australia and 6 percent in Great Britain. The average European country stands at 22 percent,” Ms. Fahmy says.
“Actually, when it comes to their prayer habits, Americans are more like people in many poorer, developing nations — including South Africa (52 percent), Bangladesh (57 percent) and Bolivia (56 percent) — than people in richer countries. As it turns out, the U.S. is the only country out of 102 examined in the study that has higher-than-average levels of both prayer and wealth. In every other country surveyed with a gross domestic product of more than $30,000 per person, fewer than 40 percent of adults say they pray every day,” says the analyst.
ANOTHER ‘BITTER’ TRUMP ENEMY
Both President Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have pointed out that U.S. residents have to show a photo ID before making a variety of purchases. So why not show an ID before voting? That suggestion does not appeal to the news media, particularly The Associated Press, which said Mr. Trump was making a “glaring false claim” — and that such IDs are required for purchases of alcohol, cigarettes and cold medicine.
The AP’s criticism, in turn, does not sit well with John Hinderaker, an attorney and founder of Powerlineblog.com.
“This is classic Democratic Party press coverage. The AP doesn’t want to deal with the fact that Trump’s point was correct. We have to show ID for all kinds of things; everyone has identification. We should have to show ID to vote, too. The logic is unassailable, and it doesn’t turn on groceries,” Mr. Hinderaker writes.
“Did the AP catch Trump in an untruth? No. Trump wasn’t making a specific point about groceries; he used groceries as an example,” Mr. Hinderaker says, noting that The Associated Press is “perhaps Trump’s most bitter enemy other than CNN and MSNBC.”
WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW
A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 82 percent of likely U.S. voters feel Americans are less tolerant of one another’s political opinions, up from 70 percent in 2016, in a similar survey taken just days before the presidential election. Only 6 percent feel people have become more tolerant these days.
The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted July 25-26.
AND THE WORD FROM WILKES-BARRE
President Trump will stage another jumbo “MAGA Rally” in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on Thursday for a crowd of 10,000 inside a major local arena. A big crowd outside is also part of the mix.
“In addition to road closures near the arena, Thursday’s rally will see a major law enforcement presence and security measures,” reports the Scranton Times-Tribune.
“Police will stay alert to the potential for trouble between Trump supporters and those who show up outside the arena to protest the president and his policies,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Michael Carroll told the news organization.
“We are trying to mitigate any kind of disturbances. We want to make sure everyone is safe and keep the peace. We just hope that whatever side you are on, you are cordial to everyone else,” the officer noted.
FOR THE LEXICON
— Handy new term coined by Newsweek columnist Peter Roff.
“That’s been a hallmark of progressive politics since Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat has taken her party to the edge — and pushed it over. The Democrats, full of hubris over the prognostications of so-called experts who are certain they will retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives, have made a series of bad choices that can only be described as crazy,” Mr. Roff explains.
HILLARY OF HOLLYWOOD
Hollywood is calling Hillary Clinton. The former presidential hopeful, secretary of state, senator and first lady has her eye on a whole new office: executive producer. Mrs. Clinton has teamed up with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television for a major TV project centered on women’s voting rights.
“The drama will mark Clinton’s debut as an executive producer. The expectation is that Clinton will be actively involved in the search for a writer and eventually the script, director and casting,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.
The drama will be based on “Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote” by Elaine Weiss, a new book that chronicles the lives of activists who fought for the 19th Amendment, which was ratified in 1920. The finished work will likely will show up on HBO, Showtime or Netflix.
“At the heart of democracy lies the ballot box,” Mrs. Clinton said of her new project. “The ‘Woman’s Hour’ is both a page-turning drama and an inspiration for everyone, young and old, male and female, in these perilous times.”
Meanwhile, a little acting is also in the cards. Mrs. Clinton will guest star in an episode of CBS’ “Madam Secretary” this fall.
POLL DU JOUR
• 28 percent of registered U.S. voters say “economic issues” will most influence their vote in the midterm elections.
• 19 percent say “security issues” will most influence their vote.
• 16 percent say “healthcare issues” will be the biggest influence.
• 15 percent cite “senior issues.”
• 7 percent cite “education issues.”
• 5 percent cite “women’s issues.”
• 4 percent “energy issues.”
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters.
• Cautious observations, happy talk to firstname.lastname@example.org
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