How does one make sense of a US presidential candidate calling for the banning of Muslims entering the country and the tracking and profiling of those who live here? How does one make sense of a US Supreme Court justice suggesting that Blacks should not go to top-tier universities?
We live … More >
A few years into the World War II, the famous American composer Aaron Copland was commissioned to work on a musical piece to honor the first soldiers returning from the war. Copland composed “Fanfare for the Common Man,” not only thinking of those returning from the war, but of those … More >
Jeb Bush’s environmental views seem to be evolving. In a recent speech at Liberty University, he had this to say about environmental protection:
“America’s environmental debates, likewise, can be too coldly economical, too sterile of life . . . Christians see in nature and all God’s creatures designs grander than any of … More >
Throughout the history of our nation, many faith traditions have led on social issues. Religious leaders and faith-based communities played a critical role in the abolitionist movement, suffragist movement, and civil rights movement. Even today, there are vigorous and active communities of faith that speak out publicly to the issues … More >
Many of America’s cultural battles in recent decades seem to be face-offs between science and faith: over the teaching of evolution, the reality of climate change, the value of stem cell research, the personhood status of an embryo, and the so on. Many on the liberal side of these issues … More >
A recent story noted that president of the Hobby Lobby company, the company that took its religious objections to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) all the way to the Supreme Court, is a leader in a campaign to put Bibles and Bible classes into American public schools. As you would expect, this … More >
Atheists are getting evangelical and congregational, bemused press reports would have it. There are the international bus ad campaigns – “Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” in the U.S., and “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” in Richard Dawkins’ Britain.
More recently, a … More >
In 2002, Mike Hout and I identified a new trend in Americans’ relationship with religion. Around 1990, the percentage of respondents to the General Social Survey (GSS) who, when asked their “religious preference,” picked the “no religion” option starting rising, doubling from about 7 percent, where it had been for many … More >
The great scholar Robert N. Bellah, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UC Berkeley and winner of the National Humanities Medal in 2000, died July 30. (He was also a colleague and friend.) Bellah’s seminal contributions range from analyses of Japanese society to a recent, epoch-spanning book on the history of … More >