Mainline Protestant Churches Offer A Warmer Welcome to Whites

Over at FiveThirtyEight, I've got a rundown of a new paper that tried to check how receptive different Christian denominations were to new members of different races:A team led by Bradley Wright, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, sent emails to more than 3,000 churches across America. Each email was ostensibly from a person who had recently moved to the neighborhood, was thinking about joining the congregation, and wanted information about the church or … [Read more...]

Mallory Ortberg Interviewed Me About Converting

If you've come here from the Toast, and want to know more about my conversion: you might like the series of three posts I wrote before my baptism (which rely heavily on musical theatre).  You might also want to take a look at my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Answer, which talks about what happened after I changed my mind -- once I thought Catholicism was true, how did I learn to think with God in prayer, instead of just thinking about God. And, for al … [Read more...]

Covering Religion Surveys as Both a Catholic and a Statistician

I'm over at First Things today, to talk about how I cover religion statistics as both a Catholic and a journalist (two roles both oriented toward truth).In a way, these religion surveys remind me of the perennial studies of how few Americans believe that the earth goes round the sun, that evolution shaped human development, that vaccines don’t cause autism, etc. Each of those questions touches on something objective, just like questions about sin do—they’re a measure of how widely a fact is k … [Read more...]

Hosting a Hamilton Listenthru

If you've been enjoying listening to the Hamilton cast album, I definitely recommend hosting a listenthru party.  I had about 30 friends over this weekend to hear the whole album together, and we all had a great time.We started the afternoon with the rule "No singing along, and, if you can't stop yourself from mouthing along, try to do it unobtrusively" but, as we got into it, that became "Ok, sing along to choral exclamations and maybe a bit of lipsync" to, eventually: "TOTAL DANCE PARTY FO … [Read more...]

Happy Halloween from Me and Yorick!

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7QT: Magic, Secrets, and Bureaucracy

--- 1 --- I already love Ikea, source of all my bookshelves, but I particularly like their new line of plush toys, all designed to look like actual kids' drawings.There are more examples, all delightful, at this link. --- 2 --- Another example of glorious inventiveness: the Mahler Hammer.I found this via Hello Tailor's tumblr, where there are many more gifs of the Mahler Hammer being deployed and this explanation:It’s even more awesome if you know the story behind it. See, … [Read more...]

The People I Don’t Learn to Love

After reading my essay on "Both/And Philanthropy," one of my friends told me that there was something I was leaving out of my hybrid approach.  Here's how I said that I balance attentiveness to material and spiritual goods: And when it comes to the fundamental divide between Beer and MacAskill, for my own part, I like to hybridize their global vs local approaches. When I have the opportunity to do something for someone close to me (e.g. defraying a friend-of-a-friend’s medical costs, donating to … [Read more...]