The End Is Here

Yep, that’s right: the end of my hiatus is upon us! Very soon, new content will be gracing the pages of Church & State. Good things come to those who wait. Well, actually I cannot promise that they will be good, so I guess I will just say that things come to those who wait. Thank you all for your patience with me!

Hiatus

To my loyal readers,

I want to thank you for visiting my site and all the encouragement you have given me in continuing my writing. After much consideration, I have decided to take a hiatus from Church & State in order to work on another project. Now that I am essentially working full-time once again, it has been difficult for me to keep up with everything that I had been doing during the time I was not employed. I was beginning to suspect that if I did not do something to clear out space in my schedule, I would never have the time needed to try my hand at something else. I am not saying farewell forever by any means. I do expect to come back to Church & State at some point, but until I have a better idea of when that will be, I am not going to make a promise that I may not be able to keep. Thank you for your understanding, and I hope that when this site gets restarted, you will come back and forgive me for my previous absence.

Sincerely,

Amy Mantravadi

Apologies

Dear Readers,

I am sorry that it has been a while since my last post. Normally, I like to have something new up every week, but I have lately been lacking in time and inspiration. I will try not to let this dry spell last much longer.

Sincerely,

Amy Mantravadi

Religious Freedom in the Era of Gay Marriage

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Culture Clash

Religious freedom in the United States is in peril, or so I have been led to believe. Over the past few weeks, we have seen three flash points in the so-called “culture wars”, events that have caused conservative Christians and/or just plain conservatives to once again sound the alarm about the growing persecution they face in this country.

First, there was the short-lived controversy surrounding the non-profit international aid group World Vision, a favorite charity of many evangelical Christians (and others), who in turn for paying about a dollar a day receive a picture of a child in an impoverished country and the feeling that they are making a positive difference in the world. (I should stress that I am not anti-World Vision and have been participating in their child sponsorship program for about a decade.)

Within a day of World Vision announcing that, due to the beliefs of several Christian denominations with which they work, they were not going to discriminate against Christians working for their organization who were married to same-sex partners, the evangelical Christian world was in a frenzy, with some people cancelling their donations to the organization. Continue reading

Greetings from Motown

Dear Readers,

I am currently spending a week in the Detroit area for new job training. This is consuming a substantial amount of my time and energy, so it is unlikely that I will be able to post anything for a little while. Please rest assured that I will be back to the drawing board once I return home. In the mean time, try not to allow the rest of the world to drive you too insane.

Sincerely,

Amy Mantravadi

Record Breaking Month for Church & State

It seems only appropriate that in this month when we are seeing records shattered at the Olympic games, Church & State has broken a record of its own: highest number of monthly visitors. What makes this more amazing is that the record was broken with more than a week left in February (which is already the shortest month of the year). Now there is only one thing left to do: break the new record. Thank you to all loyal readers and those visiting for the first time!

On the Move

Dear Readers,

I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts in recent days.  My husband and I are moving to another part of the country, so my time has been completely consumed by that project.  I promise that you will be seeing more articles once we get things up and running at our new abode.  I wish you all a very happy Christmas season!

Why the Ads?

Dear Readers,

You might have noticed that we now have an ad on the right-hand side of the screen.  I always hoped that we could keep this place ad free, and I want you to know that I didn’t cave in for monetary reasons.  While it is possible that some day I could see a very small payment in exchange for this advertising space, the only motivation behind this decision was the opportunity to be part of the BlogHer network.  They require that I put at least one ad on my site in order to be publicized on theirs, and my hope is that this will prove to be a very minor distraction for those who visit this site.  I have made an effort to block less scrupulous advertisements, but if for some reason you see something objectionable appearing in that space, please let me know and I will do what I can to get rid of it.  Also, head on over to www.blogher.com, where you can find articles written by females such as myself on a wide variety of issues.  Thank you once again for visiting Church & State!

Sincerely,

Amy Mantravadi

International Tiger Day

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Two Sumatran tigers at the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2007

Today is International Tiger Day, which is aimed at creating awareness of the dangers facing the world’s dwindling tiger population and promoting measures to help preserve one of the world’s most amazing and beloved animals.  As some animal, but I was also born in the year of the tiger according to the Chinese zodiac.  The  tiger is also considered to be a national symbol of India, where much of my husband’s family comes from.  If you too love the tiger, consider making a small donation to help preserve the wild tiger population, or just read about the conservation efforts that are taking place in countries like India, Russia, and Indonesia.  I am including a few links that might be helpful.

First, take a look at the work that World Wildlife Fund is doing.  They are one of the main organizations working on this issue and have a positive track record.  Two other groups that are well established include the Save the Tiger Fund and Panthera.  They have a joint initiative that you can read about here.  Finally, check out this story from Deutsche Welle today that draws attention to the inadequacy of captive breeding programs as the sole method of preventing the tiger’s extinction.

We’ve Arrived!

While your host was on the road yesterday, Church & State passed a major website milestone.  For the first time, we received spam in the comments section!  This must mean that the world has discovered the wonder of this site.  However, it also places a responsibility on our loyal readers to make sure that real comments outnumber fake ones.  Here’s hoping that we’ll be able to achieve that.  On a related note, you can expect slightly less opining from yours truly this week as I will be a few miles out of the country.  In the meantime, try out our new Facebook feature, which allows you to officially “like” C & S for all the world to see.  Our actual Facebook page needs some work, but in the future this will allow anyone who likes this site to receive every post directly in their news feed.  Posting every update to all of my Facebook friends will surely become wearing eventually, so at the risk of sounding repetitive, “like” us today to get updates tomorrow (or at any point in the future).