Buffalo massacre shows how widespread and dangerous white Christian nationalist conspiracy theories are becoming

Two articles by scholars published in the wake of the mass murder at the Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo struck me like Thomas Jefferson's fire bell in the night. The scholars are Samuel Perry, of the University of Oklahoma, and Philip Gorski, of Yale; they have written extensively about white Christian nationalism -- the … Continue reading Buffalo massacre shows how widespread and dangerous white Christian nationalist conspiracy theories are becoming

How ‘holy envy’ enhances religious pluralism and guards against spiritual shoplifting or appropriation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdXAGm5xm9M Palm Sunday, 2016, Saint John's Orthodox Church, Warren, Ohio. I've been thinking lately about the concept of "holy envy" and the Swedish academic who coined the term. That's partly because I worry that the whole idea of pluralism -- both religious and secular -- is under sustained attack now at home and abroad. I … Continue reading How ‘holy envy’ enhances religious pluralism and guards against spiritual shoplifting or appropriation

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

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

Timothy Snyder on Ukraine, code-switching, national identit(ies)

d r a f t Timothy Snyder, "Timothy Snyder on the Myths That Blinded the West to Putin's Plans," interview by Ezra Klein, The Ezra Klein Show, New York Times, March 15, 2022 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/15/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-timothy-snyder.html Verbatim quotes at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/15/podcasts/transcript-ezra-klein-interviews-timothy-snyder.html: So the way we tell the Second World War is completely inside out, you know, Western Front … Continue reading Timothy Snyder on Ukraine, code-switching, national identit(ies)

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?

Notes on a scientific study on spirituality — how doing good does you good; also Jewish-Christian relations, book of Hebrews

When I taught mass comms at Benedictine, I used to tell the kids sometimes you can do pretty darn well for yourself by doing good. I thought it fit our mission as a faith-based college, and, besides, I believed it. Now comes Lisa Miller, a psychologist at Columbia Teachers College, with a study offering scientific … Continue reading Notes on a scientific study on spirituality — how doing good does you good; also Jewish-Christian relations, book of Hebrews

Notes & quotes: Books on polarization, culture wars, tribalism; Trump a ‘gigantic … middle finger’ to cultural elites

d r a f t Carlos Lozada, "The united hates of America," Washington Post, Oct. 30, 2020 https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/10/30/polarization-books-trump-election/. Carlos Lozada is WaPo's nonfiction book review editor   [...] The growing polarization of the United States into a nation torn by partisan identities is one of the legacies of the Trump presidency, even if it began … Continue reading Notes & quotes: Books on polarization, culture wars, tribalism; Trump a ‘gigantic … middle finger’ to cultural elites

Smithsonian article on Know Nothing Party, class, nativism of 1850s

Anti-immigrant cartoon showing two men labeled "Irish Wiskey" and "Lager Bier," carrying a ballot box. (Everett Collection Historical / Alamy Stock Photo) Excerpts from a 2017 article by Chicago free-lancer Lorraine Boissoneault: "[...] At its height in the 1850s, the Know Nothing party, originally called the American Party, included more than 100 elected congressmen, eight governors, … Continue reading Smithsonian article on Know Nothing Party, class, nativism of 1850s