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...]

What I Learned From Appearing on CSPAN–(hint) you’re scared, really scared

Over the holidays, CSPAN ran presentations from the Center for Presidential Studies at Southen Methodist University of which I was honored to be one of the speakers. The conference topic was "Religion in the Age of Obama." My topic was Latino/a Religious Communities and the Immigration Issue. Here is the link if you're interested: http://www.c-span.org/video/?322598-2/discussion-religion-social-issuesThat is about all you need to know about the kinds of comments I received, either on my … [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...]

Hunting For Heresy at Regent University…& Hobby Lobby & World Vision (Pt 3)

Keep Calm and Decolonize

About a month ago I gave a plenary address at Regent. The conference was well planned, the discussions were stimulating and I left with a renewed sense of my work as an academic.  The conference, on Latin American and U.S. Latino/a Pentecostalism, was a first of its kind. As someone who has spent a couple of decades studying the latter, it was heartening that such a conference finally occurred. That it occurred at Regent, I will be honest, was a bit of a surprise, since evangelical colleges are … [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...]

Nostalgia is the enemy of history–except when it’s not

Mandela

There are those rare moments of confluence--when history, nostalgia and a child's curiosity all conspire to ensure that my digging into my 80s musical treasures will be for not.My daughter, a precocious 11-year old told me a few days ago she wants to know what the 80s were like? I ignore the obvious feeling that I am OLD, and gleefully prepare Spotify lists hoping she will listen. Making mixed-tapes, the prerogative of every angsty teen was a speciality of mine--I took to making my daughter … [Read more...]


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