Last Saturday, Donald Trump talked about his and Ben Carson’s religions at a rally in Florida: “I’m Presbyterian,” he said. “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.” Think Progress has already done a great job debunking the first part of his statement, pointing out that the Presbyterian Church (USA) is more appropriately characterized as a “liberal mainline denomination, a category that includes… Read more

Pinktober is almost over, which means that Movember is going to be upon us soon and we will be going from too much pink to too much male facial hair. Each set of efforts has at its heart a good thing, to raise awareness about cancer and to raise funds to support research and treatment. All good. What isn’t good is what has been called “pinkwashing:” “Breast Cancer Action coined the term pinkwashing as part of our Think Before You Pink campaign. [It… Read more

It’s called the voter. And all of the beliefs, values, ignorance, convictions, stereotypes, and knowledge that s/he possesses. When Ben Carson made some news last month asserting that he didn’t think a Muslim could or should be president, rather than turn voters off, it drew more to him. Because plenty of voters agree with him, that Islam is somehow inconsistent with the Constitution and their version of American values. Polling consistently shows that U.S. voters are very unlikely to vote… Read more

Today I’m at Belmont University in Nashville for the National Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program national network of church-related colleges and universities. Having served on the National Board for the LFP since 2011, I have been paying attention to many of the headlines about shifting alliances in religious higher education this year. The impetus for recent activities was Obergefell v. Hodges and what federal marriage equality law means for institutions who are actively and historically affiliated with Christian traditions…. Read more

One day about two years ago I walked into the building where I teach two of my classes and found this picture. The juxtaposition of the “no smoking” and “no guns” decals is appropriate. These are things that will kill you, kids. And our job as an educational institution is to make your life better. Despite the fact that yes, I think there should be no guns in my classroom or on my campus, having to face an image of… Read more

The new book, Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings, edited by Joanna Brooks, Rachel Hunt Steenblik, and Hannah Wheelwright is being released by Oxford University Press this month, and I consider it a must-read for anyone interested in constructive engagement at the intersection of feminism and religion. Here is an excerpt of my review of the book, which appeared first over at Feminism and Religion:   Mormon feminists experience what most feminists of faith have heard at some point. Utter dismissal of the possibility… Read more

This week sees the launch of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, a series of 17 goals that together promise to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and justice, and fix climate change. At the United Nations on Friday, September 25, 193 world leaders will commit to support the goals over the next fifteen years. Gender equality is goal number 5: “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” This includes things like ending gender-based discrimination, eliminating violence against women… Read more

Sorry, Carly. You may have won the GOP primary debate last night, by speaking with specifics and often knowing what you were talking about. You may have even elicited a heartfelt cheer from me and women around the nation with that pitch perfect response to Donald Trump’s comments about your face. But that riff on the Planned Parenthood tapes with images of a kicking fetus on a table awaiting its brain harvest that brought down the Reagan Library house was… Read more

A new blog launches this month in partnership with the release of a new book on vocation in higher education. Editor David S. Cunningham describes VocationMatters.org this way: “Over the next several years, a group of about forty academic leaders will be involved in a series of projects designed to create new scholarly resources on vocation and vocational exploration. This project is sponsored by NetVUE, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges. Our work is made possible by a generous grant from the Lilly… Read more

This week, I’m attending the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge fifth annual convening in Washington D.C. It is organized by the Department of Education and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I will be serving on a panel to talk about Illinois College’s partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core, which has taken several forms over the past three years. This work has already benefitted students in multiple ways, from leadership training to educational opportunities, and has… Read more

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