12 Songs for Christmas: I Got So High That I Saw Jesus

 Little by little, I have come to a realization that (as a commentator on a youtube thread articulated it) “Holy shit, I think I’m a Miley Cyrus fan.”  It’s been a long time coming, and by no means implies interest in everything she’s ever done. If you think this sounds absurd, click on this link, … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: I Got So High That I Saw Jesus

Hegemonic Half-Truths: Why 9/11 Did Not Necessarily Strengthen the Religious Right in the Long Run

(This post is cross-published here on Narrative Paths Journal) Last week I fielded a query from the University of Tennessee campus newspaper about legacies of 9/11/2001. Its reporter asked: “How did 9/11 strengthen or weaken the religious faith of Americans? How did it change the way people think about mortality, evil, and hope? In what … Continue reading Hegemonic Half-Truths: Why 9/11 Did Not Necessarily Strengthen the Religious Right in the Long Run

Experts Agree—”Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Extremely Important—Too Bad They Can’t Define It

Since I spend my summers near Minneapolis, I'm part of a working group at my alma mater, the University of Minnesota, called the Religion and the Public University Collaborative (RPUC). Tomorrow we will discuss research by sociologist Nancy Ammerman that led to her important book, Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes. Although I’m often delinquent at RPUC, … Continue reading Experts Agree—”Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Extremely Important—Too Bad They Can’t Define It

Don’t Deem a Melting Glacier Irrelevant (Just Because the Rest of the Glacier is Still Cold and You Really Hate Cold Things)

“Many evangelicals are likely to switch their loyalties to the Democrats [in the coming election]—and the exact numbers will depend partly on whether they perceive that mainstream liberals are treating them with nuance and respect, as opposed to stereotypes and contempt.” I said that in 2008, in a context I will discuss shortly. It remains … Continue reading Don’t Deem a Melting Glacier Irrelevant (Just Because the Rest of the Glacier is Still Cold and You Really Hate Cold Things)

Another Day, Another Reporter: True and Useful Generalizations About “Agnosticism” in 700 Words or Less

Earlier I discussed a reporter who wanted my sound-bite wisdom about “religion” in the south—and how I wrestled the subject into "True and Useful Generalizations About US Religion in 1000 Words or Less." Yesterday I got a query about “agnosticism in the south” from a reporter from a paper grounded in the LGBTQ community. His … Continue reading Another Day, Another Reporter: True and Useful Generalizations About “Agnosticism” in 700 Words or Less

True and Useful Generalizations About U.S. Religion in 1000 Words or Less

Before I began my previous post, I imagined a quick introduction to set up a lightly edited version of notes that I prepared for the student reporter whom I mentioned. Ironically—or is that “symptomatically? “pathetically?”—by the time I finished, it was already long enough for a full post, although it was about pressure for concision. … Continue reading True and Useful Generalizations About U.S. Religion in 1000 Words or Less