“Religion in Human Evolution” Robert Bellah (1927-2013)

I just saw on the website of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) that the amazing sociologist Robert Bellah passed away yesterday, July 31, 2013, at the age of 86. From the AAR: Bellah was the Elliot Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught sociology of religion. Educated at Harvard where he taught for 10 years, Bellah moved to Berkeley in 1967 and served there until 1997. He did cross-cultural work on religion in… Read more

Power Confirmed and Heading to the UN

Today, by a vote of 87-10, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of human rights activist Samantha Power to serve as ambassador to the United Nations. On June 5, when Power was nominated by President Obama, I posted the following about Power: I am very excited to see that Samantha Power is being appointed as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Power is a strong advocate for a liberal foreign policy that focuses on human rights. In particular,… Read more

There are No “Fake” Geeks, Only Real Jerks. Geek Feminism Fights Back!

Apparently some guy geeks were not being very nice to some girls geeks. Guy geeks can be jerks! So, the band Doubleclicks fought back…with a few cameos from some non-jerk guy geeks…but mostly girl geeks claiming their place in the mighty world of geekdom! As a liberal feminist with postmodern leanings, I am loving geek feminism right now! Does posting this make me a geek? I sure hope so. Please support our efforts here at Approaching Justice to be more… Read more

(UPDATED) Welcome to August and the Approaching Justice Subscription Drive!

As August begins, I am looking forward to this new month at Approaching Justice. This month, I have the goal of breaking 25,000 page views for the first time. August is also our first full month in Las Vegas. We are loving our new home and I hope to do some more writing about our experiences. I also plan on doing some theoretical/cultural/philosophical/theological musings on Sin City. August is also going to be important for Approaching Justice. August 2013 will… Read more

Bradley Manning is Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

Both Politico and the Huffington Post are reporting that Bradley Manning has been acquitted of aiding the enemy. This was the most serious charge facing him. It was also the charge which could have sent him to prison for the rest of his days. The Huffington Post is also reporting that he was found guilty of the lesser charges. My understanding is that Manning will be sentenced next week. He has been held in solitary confinement since 2011. While I… Read more

“…we are Mormons. We do not kill people or animals.”

“Shem, we are Mormons. We do not kill people or animals,” said Geneva (7) to her brother Shem (11) as we passed a creepy gun shop near our new home in Las Vegas which invites all to come and try out machine guns on the shooting range. We laughed at the super-serious tone which Geneva took. She is prone to lecturing her brothers on a range of issues. However, it warmed my heart to hear her begin to develop a… Read more

Another Liberal at Church!! (Adventures in Sunday School)

We are loving our time here in Las Vegas. In addition to the abundance of In-N-Out Hamburger locations, we are very much loving our LDS congregation here in Vegas. They turned out in large numbers to unload our U-Haul. They have warmly greeted us on Sunday, stopped by our home to bring us peaches or to welcome our children, and they made us feel most welcomed and included at the Pioneer Day breakfast we attended yesterday.   As you may… Read more

The Nature of Religious Symbols

Recently Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins were invited to write about the status of God after Darwin. What struck me was the way both wrote about religious symbols. For Armstrong “what we call God is merely a symbol that points beyond itself to an indescribable transcendence.” For Dawkins, symbolic language obscures the central question,which is whether God exists as an “objective reality, just as surely as the Rock of Gibraltar exists.” While I’m sympathetic to Armstrong’s case for God and… Read more

Pope Francis? Or should we just call him Pope Social Justice?!?!

I am totally loving Pope Francis so far. I am not Catholic. I am sure we disagree on quite a few social and theological matters. Heck, I seem to disagree with pretty much everyone on a range of things these days. Not only is Pope Francis hitting social justice themes with regularity, he is going out amongst the people with a manner that exudes humility and meekness. The Washington Post reported the following about his current visit to Rio: Francis… Read more

Chipotle Should Read This Book

Apparently the Chipotle restaurant chain has created a bit of trouble for itself by pretending that their Twitter account had been hacked. As one analyst noted in the Washington Post article: “The cardinal rules of social media are transparency and trust building,” he said. “It is sophomoric and it is dangerous to play with the trust and transparency of your followers and your customer base,” he said. Oops! Mistakes like these are not the end of the world and most… Read more