First thought: Gilgoff’s right to draw attention to Richard Land’s enthusiasm for Palin as Veep in his CBS interview of a few weeks ago. So she’s the ticket’s energizer bunny: activated evangelicals plus Alaska oil. See Sarah run. Second thought: Palin gives religious right leaders–real, supposed, or would-be–all the grounds they need to jump on […]

Mile High Civil Religion

For connoisseurs of religion in American public life, last night’s stadium extravaganza offered a couple of tasty morsels. Let me begin with Rev. Joel Hunter’s benediction, which ended with the novelty of asking all attendees to pray in the name of whatever they pray in the name of. Or as he put it: Now I […]

Minnery among the Dems

Sarah Pulliam, who’s blogging up a storm from the Democratic Convention for Christianity Today‘s election blog, has a good q and a with Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery. Minnery’s officially an unhappy camper, with no use for the Dems and little use for McCain. Grumble grumble.


In a phone call with 40 Chabad rabbis from around the country, John McCain asks for their support by emphasizing that he will “put my country first. And I want to promise you that. I will put my country first.” That’s in contrast to Obama? Then McCain assures them, “I will do everything in my […]

Press Notes

Over at the Revealer, Jeff Sharlet is puffing Adele Oltman’s Nation piece on Obama and the Martin Luther Kings, Sr. and Jr. Read it if you must, but I wouldn’t take seriously its claim that Barack Obama is more like Daddy than Dr. King. The suggestion that Obama is advocating some kind of throwback to […]

The Book of Gustav

OK, hurricanes are unpredictable things, but as you can see, the National Hurricane Center is predicting that Gustav will be hitting New Orleans, oh, just about the time the gavel comes down to open the Republican National Convention up there at the other end of the Mississippi. If I believed in that sort of thing, […]

Biden and Abortion

As Joe Biden prepares for his self-introduction as Barack Obama’s ticket-mate, it’s a good time to think a little about what he brings to the table in re: the abortion issue, and how this may matter with respect to his Catholic co-religionists. The first thing to say is that, by Democratic Party standards, Biden is […]

New from Pew

Pew’s got its new religion-and-politics survey up, and its lede is the not-so-new news that Americans are less enthusiastic about mixing religion and politics than they were a couple of years ago. Gallup had a bead on this story two years ago. As John Green and I put it in a story in Religion in […]

Et in Acadia Ego

As I head off for another week’s R&R (with at most intermittent blogging) before the semester kicks in, one last reflection on Saddleback. Even for congenital skeptics, it has been hard to resist the prevailing storyline about the expansion and transformation of white evangelicals from footsoldiers of the religious right to a many-splendored faith community […]

Who remembers campaign finance reform?

One more thing from Saddleback. In the first segment of each interview, Warren asked for an example where the candidate had provided leadership against his party’s interest, and even his own best interest, for the good of the country. Obama cited ethics and campaign finance reform, tipping his hat to his opponent for being out […]