Demands for Diverse Faculty and Trigger Warnings At Colleges

I've done two recent pieces for FiveThirtyEight looking at activist movements on college campus. Here Are The Demands From Students Protesting Racism At 51 CollegesA list of formal demands made at 51 U.S. campuses has been collected on a website called The Demands. FiveThirtyEight sorted through the list, categorizing each request and looking for patterns in the students’ priorities. The results, which offer a fuller portrait of this new movement, are shown in the following chart:Read … [Read more...]

God & Comics invited me on to discuss webcomics

I had a lot of fun spending an hour with God and Comics' three nerdy priests as we discussed the way comics change when they move online, our favorite weird niche strips made possible by the internet, and different stories' different views of what it means to be a hero.Here's the link to the episode.And here are the top five comic recommendations I'd give to readers of this blog (in alphabetical order):Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel, two linked stories set in C … [Read more...]

Big Discounts on Arriving At Amen Today

If you've been meaning to check out my book on prayer, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer, today's a great day to pick up a copy (or grab one as a gift for a friend).  The kindle edition is $4 on Amazon.If you'd prefer a paper copy, Ave Maria Press will take 30 percent off of the cover price when you buy from their website on Monday and use the code CYBER15 to check out.And if you already have all the copies of Arriving at Amen that you, your friends, and your … [Read more...]

Discussing the Limits Of Religion Polling on What’s The Point?

I had a great time talking to Jody Avirgan (my colleague at FiveThirtyEight) and Emma Green of The Atlantic about the limits of statistics to tell us interesting things about religion.  (This was the first time I got to meet Emma in person, and she's just as sharp and delightful as her performance on this podcast implies).We wound up talking about our biggest gripes with the way religion data is covered (or collected!), some of the information we'd most like to collect, we both confess our … [Read more...]

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...]