It is time to Retire the Term “Bible-Thumper”

I am still deciding what to think about the Indiana RFRA law. But one of the opponents of the law recently made a disturbing comment. He chose to use the comment “Bible-Thumpers” and talked about “thumping the Bible-Thumpers.” Regardless of the arguments the speaker was making, he lost me once he said “Bible-Thumper.” Bible-Thumper is [Read More...]

Confirmation Bias: Everybody’s Problem

In a recent study, researchers found that both conservatives and progressives tend to have less faith in scientific findings that go against their political presuppositions. This comes as no surprise to me. I was always suspicious of arguments that appreciation of science is tied to a given political perspective. In fact, scholarship that reinforces the [Read More...]

One Step Forward, but Now What?

Repost from Patheos Public Square: March From Selma In 1965, participants of the American Civil Rights Movement from around the country gathered in Selma, Alabama to walk fifty-four miles to Montgomery, Alabama. The purpose of the walk was to make a statement: to voice the need for protection of non-violent protest marchers and a federal [Read More...]

What Tenure at Marquette University Means?

According to a recent article, Marquette University is on the verge of stripping Professor John C. McAdams of his tenure and then relieving him of his job. This prospect should strike fear in every professor in the country, but it will not. Instead, I am concerned that many academics will attempt to find ways to [Read More...]

The Nature and Consequences of Christianophobia

Okay. I know I am being lazy in not writing a full blog entry. But I just put up a video with some of the themes I have blogged about before and so I will just share it here. I do not respond to comments on YouTube but as you may know I sometimes respond [Read More...]

Saving the Market: Harry Potter, Churches, and Globalization

Harry Potter fans made the news recently for their political victory. Due to four years of advocacy work, all Harry Potter chocolates produced by Warner Brothers are guaranteed to be fairly traded or ethically produced. As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, chocolate is commodity where how its traded  makes a difference, with significant [Read More...]

What Vanderbilt Says, What Vanderbilt Does

Most Christians know about what has been called the “5 love languages.” If you have not heard of it, I suggest you look it up, whether you are Christian or not, as it is a good way to help us understand our relationships. My love language is acts of service. You can tell me how [Read More...]

Charlie Hebdo’s Cartoons, Piss Christ and the Associated Press

The tragedy of Charlie Hebdo produced a generous amount of commentary. If I were to write directly about that particular event then I would probably just regurgitate some of what has already been said. In my blogs my preference is for arguments that have not been previously enunciated. So instead of directly discussing that horrible [Read More...]

Jonathan Gruber knows what is best for us.

Usually people do not pay attention when academics talk. Well, students in our classes may pay attention, but I wonder if even that is true. We go to conferences to discuss the latest theories, innovative methodologies and/or new data sources. I enjoy that interaction and the new information but know that most working in the [Read More...]

Disrespect, Intimidation and Prejudice at the University of Colorado

Sometimes social scientists unexpectedly find out about data that was collected for reasons other than peer-review social research. That was the case when I found out about the 2014 Social Climate Survey conducted at the University of Colorado. The survey was commissioned by the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents. It was conducted on all [Read More...]

Ferguson, Staten Island, What’s Next?

So when will we have our next racial controversy? We know that there will be more after Michael Brown and Eric Garner. We will see another issue of racial conflict, confusion and miscommunication again. It may not involve the police but it will happen. Activists of color will flock to the area where it occurred. [Read More...]

If Physicians Acted Like Sociologists (or, Why We’re Mostly Irrelevant)

Imagine a physician seeing a patient who has been diagnosed with cancer. If that physician approached matters as sociologists do, the physician would sit the patient down in their office and start by presenting several general theories regarding why cancer occurs. For example, maybe one theory might explain why cancer rates have changed over the [Read More...]


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