CNN newsletter highlights disconnect between ‘culture war,’ real-world problems in a time of real war

In my email on March 23, from CNN Reliable Sources <reliablesources@newsletters.cnn.com>, after this headnote: Oliver Darcy here at 10:47pm ET on Wednesday, March 23. Here's the latest on Reuters, BuzzFeed News, Fox, Meta, "Wheel of Fortune," Spotify, "Real Housewives," and more... [...] this item, which is too good to clean out of my inbox and lose forever. Darcey … Continue reading CNN newsletter highlights disconnect between ‘culture war,’ real-world problems in a time of real war

For the futures file? Another look at ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’ in light of new circumstances

d r a f t In memoriam, Oley the Cat, ca. 2006-March 13, 2022. LTK Seems like the tectonic plates are shifting again, in my life and in the world at large ... In ways that may give a new context for my study of the church-planting stage of Swedish-American immigration and the foundation of … Continue reading For the futures file? Another look at ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’ in light of new circumstances

A New Yorker profile of Justice Amy Coney Barrett raises difficult questions of church-state relations

For several months now, I've been wondering if the U.S. Supreme Court's First Amendment fundamentalism on the "free exercise" clause is going to lead them to weaken protections under the "establishment" clause. I blogged about it HERE, HERE and HERE, toward the end of the court's spring term when decisions with troubling implications for church-state … Continue reading A New Yorker profile of Justice Amy Coney Barrett raises difficult questions of church-state relations

UConn sociology prof explores a multi-faceted backlash against the religious right in the light of religious pluralism

d r a f t A recent article in The Guardian that makes sense of some of the cross-currents roiling today's culture wars. It might also suggest a conceptual framework -- or, at the very least, 21st-century parallels -- for the kind of religious pluralism I find in my study of immigrant Swedish pastors in … Continue reading UConn sociology prof explores a multi-faceted backlash against the religious right in the light of religious pluralism

Oh, joy! Are the ‘culture wars’ taking us into a new civil war? or sectarian conflict like in Northern Ireland?

Battle of Chickamaugua, lithograph, ca. 1890 (Wikimedia Commons). Here's a cheery note: If civil war comes to America as Barbara Walter of the University of California San Diego and other scholars are now predicting, it won't involve armies marching out to Gettysburg and Chickamauga in blue and gray uniforms -- it'll be more like the … Continue reading Oh, joy! Are the ‘culture wars’ taking us into a new civil war? or sectarian conflict like in Northern Ireland?

Op ed piece connects important dots between Jan. 6, white Christian nationalism and uproar over ‘CRT’

A very useful op ed piece on the New York Times' website today connects the dots between former President Trump's violent assault on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021; white Christian nationalist fears of being replaced and persecuted by non-Christian immigrants and secular society; and the past year's hysteria over "Critical Race Theory" and other … Continue reading Op ed piece connects important dots between Jan. 6, white Christian nationalism and uproar over ‘CRT’

Is there a theological basis for anti-vaxxer militancy in prophecies of end times?

Intriguing article on yesterday's Washington Post website by Michael Gerson, op ed columnist, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and occasional talking head on CNN. Gerson, who is an evangelical himself, dismisses anti-vaxxer assertions of religious exemptions to vaccine mandates as "heresy compounded by lunacy." This amounts, he says, to a "substitution of libertarianism … Continue reading Is there a theological basis for anti-vaxxer militancy in prophecies of end times?

19th-century Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden: Applying a Japanese discernment concept to a historical research project

With an awkward footnote preserving a middle-of-the-night scratch outline on how to further revise my ALPLM paper 'Swedes in Roger Williams' Garden: Acculturation in Immigrant Churches, 1848-1860.' A useful discernment or decision-making technique I learned in a class for Dominican lay associate candidates -- it's called ikigai, and I wish I'd known about it when … Continue reading 19th-century Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden: Applying a Japanese discernment concept to a historical research project

Notes & quotes: Heather Cox Richardson

Verbatim quotes from interviews with Heather Cox Richardson of Boston College pointing up parallels between the 1850s and the crisis of American democracy today ... also the parallel between Christian nationalism and "illiberal/Christian democracy" in Hungary today Mass Humanities (interview) "What Was at Stake in Our History," interview with Michelle Wilson, Mass Humanities, Aug. 24, … Continue reading Notes & quotes: Heather Cox Richardson

Paraphrase of Talmudic scholar who fled the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE hits home in another time of apocalypse

Screen grab from my Facebook news feed, Oct. 29, 2021 Here's something that's been on my mind for quite a while now. I started writing something on it when the this meme popped up in my Facebook "memories." It's a paraphrase of a saying in the Talmud by a second-century Jewish sage whom I'd never … Continue reading Paraphrase of Talmudic scholar who fled the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE hits home in another time of apocalypse