The Tragic Sense of Historical Illiteracy

Pear of Anguish

What we believe to be the motives of our conduct are usually but the pretexts for it. --Miguel De Unamuno The Tragic Sense of LifePresident Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast noting several historically accurate examples where Christianity was used to justify terroristic amounts of violence means that as a historian of American religion, I will never lack for material to once again note that conservatives in the U.S. are mired in a tragic cycle of distorting and ignoring … [Read more...]

How to Keep Latinos/as in Church?

Catholics at a Crossroads

Aside from the cottage industry of Christian publishers who crank out lots and lots of books about maintaining church numbers, growing healthy churches, and diversifying aging congregations, it seems that the next big trend will be how to "reach out" to Latinos/as.Two issues here will be most interesting to watch. One will be, with the popularity of Pope Francis in Latin American and among U.S. Latinos/as, will that stem the long-standing tide of Latinos/as leaving the Church? The other will … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas! (Culture) War is Over If You Want It.

Every year around Christmas I make my plea for folks from all spiritual walks to give up on the culture wars.A great way to start is this week's remarkable breakthrough with Cuba. It seems that Pope Francis is not content with upsetting the Cold Warriors in the Church. I can hardly wait to lead a Study Abroad to study the diversity of Cuba's religious communities!  If the U.S. can turn the corner on 5o futile years of failed foreign policy and if we are counting, over 100 years of colonial … [Read more...]

The Obsession with What Latinos Will Do This Election

This semester is brutal, but not so brutal, that I will be posting much more often over the next few weeks about the media's near obsessive concern with how Latinos will vote, if they will sit out the mid-terms, etc.Basically what the media wants to know "how pissed off are we?" that  Obama promised for 2 election cycles, to do something about immigration reform--and so far has done next to nothing.This story is typical, not of voting per se, but of much of the religion media, many of … [Read more...]

A Latino Moment

Back from an extended summer break...there will be more on this endless summer coming soon, for now, looks like the U.S. Catholic Church has finally recognized the "Latino Moment." Not sure what this means but here is the article for your perusal.Coming soon....a quick checklist on why the summer of 2014 may be one of the worst on recordIn two weeks, a couple of posts on the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the death of Pentecostal pioneer, Sister Aimee McPherson.Glad to be … [Read more...]

Nothing New Under The (Pew) Sun

Virgen de Guadalupe 15

A Few (Not So New) Things About the Pew Study: (and its a good study btw, its just not particularly new to us) here it is for your perusal:http://www.pewforum.org/2014/05/07/the-shifting-religious-identity-of-latinos-in-the-united-states/ 1. Latinos/as have been raised in and/or converting to various branches of Protestantism for over a hundred years, and that includes Pentecostalism.2.  One cannot examine the conversion efforts of Protestants towards Latinos/as without c … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage for Ricardo works…for now

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On Monday January 13th, there was a peregrinación for Ricardo Ramos in Cleveland, Ohio.  This pilgrimage ended at St. Casimir church where the pilgrims were going to pray to Our Lady of Czestochowa (the Polish Madonna) to intervene on Ricardo's behalf.   Combining Our Lady of Guadalupe with the Polish Madonna is part of what occurs in these ethnic parishes that have been in the process of changing hands from the European immigration of the last century, to the immigration of the global South tod … [Read more...]


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