David Brooks (and Martin Marty) on shared stories, the facts of history and American civil religion

In a remarkable op ed piece heading into the 4th of July weekend, at a time when Americans can't agree on factual matters as whether the 2020 election was fraudulent (spoiler alert: it wasn't) or scientific matters like whether vaccination can wind down the Covid-19 epidemic (it can), David Brooks of the New York Times … Continue reading David Brooks (and Martin Marty) on shared stories, the facts of history and American civil religion

Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Memorial to Bashevis Singer in Biłgoraj, Poland (Wikipedia, Creative Commons) Discovered while I was looking for something else: A remarkable prayer by Nobel Prize-winning Jewish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer. I was reading coverage of the struggle to form a new governing majority in Israel's parliament, and I was pulled right in by a headline that said … Continue reading Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Whitehead and Perry: (white) Christian nationalism, Jan. 6 riot, Jim Crow election laws a fundamental ‘threat to a pluralistic, democratic society’

An op ed piece by sociologists Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry uploaded yesterday to Time magazine's website connects some important dots. Authors of Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States (Oxford, 2020), they conclude white Christian nationalism is "fundamentally a threat to a pluralistic, democratic society." Here's what I shared to Facebook … Continue reading Whitehead and Perry: (white) Christian nationalism, Jan. 6 riot, Jim Crow election laws a fundamental ‘threat to a pluralistic, democratic society’

James Davison Hunter on today’s ‘culture war’ — and why I worry about the runup to the Civil War in the 1850s

https://theweek.com/cartoons/983971/political-cartoon-mcconnell-mccarthy-jan-6-gop A couple of disconcerting long-form articles on the news websites this weekend. They're very different. One is an interview with the scholar who coined the term "culture war" and the other is a news-feature story on this month's shambolic election "audit" in Arizona. But they both show how desperate our times are getting (imho), … Continue reading James Davison Hunter on today’s ‘culture war’ — and why I worry about the runup to the Civil War in the 1850s

Tucker Carlson’s ‘replacement theory’ rhetoric, white Christian nationalism and the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol

Let's connect some dots that could help bring a couple of disparate strands of my immigration history project together. (Spoiler alert: I think some of the difficulties Swedish Lutheran immigrants experienced in the 1850s were similar to those confronting Buddhist, Hindu or Sikh immigrants today, and I think the "great replacement theory" of today is … Continue reading Tucker Carlson’s ‘replacement theory’ rhetoric, white Christian nationalism and the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol

Notes & quotes: Andersonville history, diversity; link to PDF file of 1928 congregational history of Immanuel

Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, "Welcome to Andersonville," Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, http://www.andersonville.org/the-neighborhood/ A neighborhood on Chicago’s north side, Andersonville is known for its Swedish roots, historic architecture, and bustling urban main street, Clark Street. When you arrive in Andersonville, you feel you have arrived someplace special. While our roots are Swedish, we are also recognized … Continue reading Notes & quotes: Andersonville history, diversity; link to PDF file of 1928 congregational history of Immanuel

Supreme Court’s drift to right-wing fundamentalism alarms ACLU, Jewish temple in Philadelphia

Editor's (moderator's) note. In early November the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case brought by a Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia seeking to opt out of the city's requirement that social service agencies serve clients irrespective of race, creed or sexual orientation. It was one of the very first cases heard after … Continue reading Supreme Court’s drift to right-wing fundamentalism alarms ACLU, Jewish temple in Philadelphia

Notes & Quotes: Detailed paraphrase from Hemlandet and texts of America letters in an old Swedish historical society collection

d r a f t An early historical society founded in Chicago in 1905. Moved to St. Paul, Minn., in 1920 and continued annual meetings there until 1934, when it disbanded and its collections were donated to the Minnesota Historical Society. See historical note to its description of the Swedish Historical Society of America's records … Continue reading Notes & Quotes: Detailed paraphrase from Hemlandet and texts of America letters in an old Swedish historical society collection

‘Swedes in Roger Williams Garden’: Main outline and links

D R A F T Working title: Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden: Church, State and Community in Swedish Immigrant Churches, 1848-1860 Link here for earlier outlines and notes HERE for Oct. 23-Jan. 24HERE for Jan. 25-April 7 ** INSERT A (Dec. 17, 2021): ** Scratch outline, from notes I jotted down at 3:57 a.m. during a midnight snack, on … Continue reading ‘Swedes in Roger Williams Garden’: Main outline and links

University of Chicago study of Jan. 6 insurrection: White ‘fears of … losing out’ fueled Trump supporters’ violence

D R A F T Alan Feuer, who wrote up the study for the New York Times, from WaPo's op ed piece, observes in passing, "Other mass movements have emerged, he said, in response to large-scale cultural change." He brings an interesting perspective to his analysis. According to his bio, he "[...] covers courts and … Continue reading University of Chicago study of Jan. 6 insurrection: White ‘fears of … losing out’ fueled Trump supporters’ violence