Tri-Faith America and American Pluralism

[The following is a post from The Wild Hunt archives. The Wild Hunt is on hiatus through Labor Day weekend and will return with new posts on Tuesday, September 4th.]Despite the fact that the history of the United States is incredibly well-documented, many of us labor under various misapprehensions regarding our nation’s past. This seems especially true of America’s religious history. Lately it seems as if there’s been an inundation of pundits, amateur historians, and demagogues trying to frame us into a reductive (Protestant) Christian mold, painting a picture of harmony and piety that endured until the post-60s culture wars started raging. This sort of narrative leaves little room for re … [Read more...]

When Non-Christian Faiths Seep Under the Door

On Wednesday, the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida did an admirable thing, they invited a Sikh to give an opening invocation. Ishwar Singh, who gave the invocation, is the president of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, and a small business owner. Singh expressed his hope that his inclusion, coming in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, will show "that we are one family." httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiXyA1LPKf8"I hope that my presence Wednesday on the national stage will play a small part in helping Sikhs – and people of all races, faiths and orientations – be seen as part of the great American family. We Sikhs draw strengt … [Read more...]

Christians, Mormons, and Polytheism

"We represent the rise of something Christian leaders thought they had vanquished long ago, and we should never forget that initial vanquishing involved the sword far more than persuasion." - Gus diZerega At the beginning of this year influential conservative evangelical Christian, and former presidential candidate, Gary Bauer engaged in a “thought experiment” for USA Today. The conclusion of this experiment was that voters should  ”support policies that align with their values,”except in once instance. “I wouldn’t vote for a pagan, I’d vote for a Catholic or a Jew whose policies reflect the traditional understanding of marriage and defend the sanctity of human life much more readily than I … [Read more...]

The Problem with Mount Carmel Moments

When one faith is dominant in a culture, it can sometimes lead to weird things being celebrated as positive moments. For example, certain Christians love to reference Elijah's challenge to the worshipers of Ba'al and Asherah on Mount Carmel. Being an exemplar of intolerant monotheism, Elijah hated the idea that other (false) gods were being worshiped in Israel, so he issued a showdown, a challenge between his God and their gods. "Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. And call ye on the name o … [Read more...]