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)

The “Least Resistant Personality Profile” and Factory Farms

While studying rural communities that face poverty, shocking rates of cancer, and poisoned fishing waters from industrial pollution, sociologist Arlie Hochschild learned about a disturbing money making scheme. A “waste-to-energy conversion” company wanted to build plants that burn highly toxic and noxious smelling waste—representing “locally undesirable land use.” This corporation paid half a million dollars … Continue reading The “Least Resistant Personality Profile” and Factory Farms

Remembering

The Arlie Hochschild book that I have been pondering includes passages about the Areno family, whose formerly lovely and ecologically rich land—which sustained them both with beauty and food—was turned into a poisoned wasteland by industrial pollution. They talk of their role as “rememberers,” or witnesses to how it used to be. Interestingly, they do this … Continue reading Remembering

“Women’s Equality”: Does It Include Valorizing a Woman Who Preaches to the KKK at Her Own Megachurch?

I’ve just published an article in the American Studies journal, Quarterly Horse, which features concise scholarly interventions. Here it is for you to click on. It uses the case of a pioneering radio evangelist, megachurch founder, and Pentecostal empire builder—one of few such leaders who was a woman in a subculture that earned its reputation … Continue reading “Women’s Equality”: Does It Include Valorizing a Woman Who Preaches to the KKK at Her Own Megachurch?

Empathy Walls: Thinking about People Who Are Oppressed But Love Trump

There isn’t much point in sending readers from this little blog to the American Academy of Religion’s review portal, Reading Religion—I wish I could send traffic the other way!—but I want to link to a review I recently published there, on Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American … Continue reading Empathy Walls: Thinking about People Who Are Oppressed But Love Trump

Against the Stereotype of Assuming That End-Times Believers Are Fatalistic

In both of the classes I am teaching this term, I have heard classroom comments about how end-times theologies correlate with "fatalism”—which in turn seems to correlate with some flavor of politics that is Trumpian and/or Republican and/or shading off toward wherever (if anywhere) the alt-right becomes so extreme that our resident criminal in the … Continue reading Against the Stereotype of Assuming That End-Times Believers Are Fatalistic

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