Searching for the Path Ahead

If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that my blog output has been spotty since the election. Part of that was the expected emotional low I felt in the days immediately afterward, but I'm mostly past that. However, I have an admission to make. I'm stuck at a dilemma, and I don't see a way to move past it.Here's the problem I'm having: I don't know if I want to keep writing about politics. Truthfully, I don't see what the point is.I have no doubt that I could spend the … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: Matthew Swift

We be light, we be life, we be fire! We sing electric flame, we rumble underground wind, we dance heaven! Come be we and be free! We be blue electric angels.—anonymous spam mail, source unknownI'm always on the lookout for new sci-fi and fantasy series. Here's one I heard about from the Borderlands Books newsletter: the Matthew Swift urban fantasy series by Kate Griffin. I read the first book, A Madness of Angels, and liked it enough to immediately go on to read the … [Read more...]

Fellow White People, We Need to Talk

There are going to be countless post-mortems written about the 2016 election and what lessons we need to learn from it. Here's my contribution.Ultimately, there was nothing magical about Trump the candidate. He didn't win over huge numbers of Obama voters to his cause, he didn't tap into a hitherto unknown faction of the electorate, he didn't excite or energize people who were formerly uninterested in politics. He got about the same number of votes that Republican candidates always get, from … [Read more...]

The America I Thought I Knew

[Note: I've still got a lot of raw emotions, and this post is written in the spirit of catharsis. If that's not what you need right now, feel free to skip it. You may also like this one: Dear America, Stop Gaslighting Me]Over the last few days, I've been cycling back and forth through all the stages of grief, trying to come to terms with what's happened. I've come to realize that the reason that last week's election results were such a devastating and unexpected blow - even besides the … [Read more...]

What to Do Now

This is a guest post by my wife Elizabeth, who blogs and podcasts at Political Flavors. Follow her on Twitter at @MissCherryPi.I'm an optimist and so Trump's election came as a huge shock to me. I was so sure Hillary Clinton would be our next president I never even considered what this would feel like. On election night, family and friends who knew of my certainty in a Clinton victory texted me things like "I'm scared. Please reassure me." and I responded "Don't worry, everything's fine! It … [Read more...]

The Morning After

I was so, so wrong. I'm still numb. Disbelief.If there were anything that gave me even slim comfort on this awful day, it would be that all the polls got it just as wrong as I did. I don't feel that I did the wrong thing by relying on the best data we had. But it's clear that this was the worst polling failure in the history of politics. A lot of pollsters are going to have some serious explaining to do before I ever trust them again.I thought I knew my country. I was wrong. I thought … [Read more...]

Election 2016, Everybody Stop Freaking Out Edition

First things first: Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote for president. Vote in downballot races. Vote if you live in a swing state. Vote if you live in a safe state. Find your polling place. Make a plan for how and when you'll get there. Most of all, get out and vote. And after you've voted, if you have the time and the inclination, help others do it too: Phone bank. Knock doors. Help drive eligible voters to the polls.Have you done all that? Good. Now, here's what I have to say to liberals: For the love … [Read more...]

How Liberal is Catholicism, Really?

Last month, I wrote about a Catholic church's attempt to rebrand itself as a hip, welcoming institution. At the time, I noted that the clergy were striving to broadcast an aura of tolerance without changing any of their actual rules.More recently, I mentioned a conservative archbishop urging liberal and moderate members to quit the church. Much debate ensued, but there was at least one person who felt I was being too harsh:Catholic social doctrine is only "conservative" on a very … [Read more...]

Repost: The Coming Secular Era

[I'm working on a new talk and another big project I hope to announce soon. Blogging may be intermittent for the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy this classic post.]The most important changes don't come in the form of attention-grabbing headlines, but subtle trends that quietly gather momentum until, by the time they finally burst into public view, they're unstoppable. Such is the case with the most important, and paradoxically most underappreciated, trend in American religion today: … [Read more...]

A Fireside Chat with the Tempter

It was a chilly autumn night, and I was up late in my study. In the hearth, a bright blaze of logs had long since crumbled into glowing coals, filling the room with warmth. Outside, an orange harvest moon hung low over dark treetops, and jack-o-lanterns hid among the tangled stubble of the garden path, their grinning faces reflected in the dark glass of the window.My thoughts were growing heavy, turning pleasurably to sleep, when I was roused by a sudden, sharp rapping at the door. The … [Read more...]