In a country churchyard

Ruth Gledhill reports in the London Times that England’s Catholic bishops will be wading into the election campaign with a “controversial” document condemning moral failures and urging a return to the “classical Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity in public and private life.” Meanwhile, staying with old friends in the Gloucestershire village of Berkeley […]

Off to Oxon.

Health care summit or no health care summit, I’m heading to England today, to give a talk at Oxford entitled, “From Christian to Judeo-Christian to Abrahamic: the Shibboleths of American Civil Religion.” Theology Faculty Seminar Room, 31 St Giles. Tuesday, March 2. 5 pm. Research Seminar on the Abrahamic Religions: Contemporary Perspectives. Be there or […]

Arianna Does Religion

With Steve Waldman gone to the FCC and Sally Quinn trying to sort out her family wedding schedule, comes Huffington Post with a new religion section. Despite the central role religion plays in American life, all too often, when talking about it, we end up talking at each other instead of with each other….The conversation […]

Bias at the Religious Freedom Commission

Here you’ve got the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom struggling to get out from under persistent (and, yes, reasonable) charges that it is more interested in making the Muslim world safe for Christian missionaries than in evenhandedly tracking religious freedom issues around the globe. And who does it appoint as its new executive director? […]

SSRC’s Religion Blogosphere

Yr humble proprietor is happy to let you know that this blog has been included among “nearly 100 of the most influential blogs that contribute to an online discussion about religion in the public sphere and the academy” in a new report by the Social Science Research Council. OK, you’re asking, how many non-influential such […]

Meae culpae in Germany

Top Lutheran apologizes for drunk driving.Top Catholic apologizes for sexual abuse of children at church schools.Top Lutheran faces criminal investigation and possible loss of job. Update: And top Lutheran resigns.

Lying to Gallup, part 2

Very close readers of this blog will notice a little dispute I’ve been having with SIU sociology professor Darren Sherkat (Go, Salukis!) over how to think about the tendency of Americans to fib about their church attendence. I made the argument that there may be less regional variation than Gallup indicates, because people in states […]

With the pope on your side…or not

One of the crosses Catholic intellectuals bear is having an occasionally infallible leader with whom you sometimes agree and sometimes, well, not so much. So John Gehring of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good today gladly uses the pope’s recent encyclical embrace of environmental concerns as a club with which to beat anti-environmentalist conservatives. […]

Catholic Charities: the benefits issue

So the Archdiocese of Washington has gotten out of the foster care/adoption business, for which they’ve been receiving $2 million annually from the public purse. D.C.’s new same-sex marriage law requires all married couples to be treated equally, and because the Catholic church regards same-sex marriage as a crime against nature, it won’t be involved […]

Don’t do that Voodoo

Sam Freedman, now the sole NYT Saturday religion columnist, has a nice piece today slamming Haiti coverage for lack of attention, except negative, to what is commonly known in Anglophone countries as Voodoo. Pointing out that this is one of Haiti’s official religions, practiced by at least half its citizens, Freedman notes that reporters and […]