‘Unraveling of America’: Viral article in Rolling Stone on COVID, individualism and the inevitable decline of empires

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJJTAz5ux-c I just want America to be the America of my dreams, growing up as a boy in Canada. And that was the America of Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and the Grateful Dead. -- Wade Davis, interview, PBS, Aug. 17, 2020 This video of an interview with an Canadian anthropologist popped up, courtesy of a … Continue reading ‘Unraveling of America’: Viral article in Rolling Stone on COVID, individualism and the inevitable decline of empires

Trump, Putin, toxic nationalism and religion, a match made in heaven

For a little more than a year now, ever since the Jan. 6 insurrection in fact, I've been worried about the rise of xenophobic, far-right authoritarianism and white Christian nationalism in America. I've blogged about HERE, HERE and HERE, for example. Now comes a historian at New York University who puts it in context. The … Continue reading Trump, Putin, toxic nationalism and religion, a match made in heaven

Preach, sister! Michigan state senator returns fire after GOP culture warrior’s rhetoric gets nasty and personal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT7DkOzeLaM Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow on Morning Joe, April 20, 2022 (MSNBC). Can I get a witness? Sometimes you see a flickering of light in the darkness, a little sliver of hope you can cling to like a rock in a weary land. And so it came to pass that a Michigan state legislator … Continue reading Preach, sister! Michigan state senator returns fire after GOP culture warrior’s rhetoric gets nasty and personal

Episcopal survey research shows disconnect between gospel message and public perception of Christians

Something to file away for when we do the book study on Reclaiming the ''E'' Word: Waking Up to Our Evangelical Identity after Easter at Peace Lutheran -- A recent Ipsos survey commissioned by the Episcopal Church shows the "popularity of Jesus’ teachings and the ways Christians are often perceived as failing to live up … Continue reading Episcopal survey research shows disconnect between gospel message and public perception of Christians

Fukuyama on Russia, Trump, ethno-nationalism, religion and other threats to the liberal world order

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwuMMmUCw98 Last month I posted a rather incoherent item saying: (a) I thought some important tectonic plates were shifting with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the Ukrainian resistance to being reabsorbed into a post-Soviet Russian empire; and (b) it might somehow provide a context for writing up some of the historical research I've done in … Continue reading Fukuyama on Russia, Trump, ethno-nationalism, religion and other threats to the liberal world order

Book-burning white evangelical pastor in Middle Tennessee proves: Religion plus extremist politics equals extremist politics

[Roger] Williams described the true church as a magnificent garden, unsullied and pure, resonant of Eden. The world he described as “the Wilderness,” a word with personal resonance for him. Then he used for the first time a phrase he would use again, a phrase that although not commonly attributed to him has echoed through … Continue reading Book-burning white evangelical pastor in Middle Tennessee proves: Religion plus extremist politics equals extremist politics

Putin, Trump, Fox News and white Christian nationalism — a common thread in Ukraine and US ‘culture wars’

Слава Родине https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGXHw7sX4e8 Stephen Colbert's parody of Russian TV (Cyrillic letters spell the English word "Bestie"). When Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin claimed "the west’s 'cancel culture'” victimizes “an entire thousand-year-old country, our people” on March 25, American pundit Robert Reich of Cal-Berkeley noted it "was the third time in recent months Putin has blasted … Continue reading Putin, Trump, Fox News and white Christian nationalism — a common thread in Ukraine and US ‘culture wars’

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