“Nones” and the Future of Religion in America

Since the 2010 elections, and some would argue since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Christian social conservatism in the United States has been flexing its muscles. Anti-abortion legislation is at record highs, contraception is a hot-button issue once more, same-sex marriage (not to mention gay soldiers) continues to be used as a political football, and disturbing moments of Christian nativism have been creeping back into our national discourse. There are two popular theories as to why religiously-motivated culture wars have intensified at this moment. The hubris theory, which posits that Christian conservatives have already "won" in changing the American landscape and now are slowly p … [Read more...]

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.NME and LAShTAL are both reporting that Led Zeppelin guitarist, and noted Aleister Crowley fan, Jimmy Page, is releasing his unfinished soundtrack to Kenneth Anger's film "Lucifer Rising." The album is being released on vinyl, in three formats. The first 93 copies (of course) of the "Deluxe Edition" will be signed. Release date? March 20th, the Equinox (of course). Want to know what it may sound like? Here's a bootleg excerpt on Youtube. Author and magician Donald Michael Kr … [Read more...]

The Anxiety Over America’s Shifting Spirituality

A recent essay by Jay Michaelson at Religion Dispatches, and a post by fellow Patheos blogger Fred Clark, shone new light into a phenomenon that I've pondered for a long time now: the general anxiety over America's (and more broadly, the West's) shifting spiritual practices and demographics. Michaelson, taking note of a recent anti-Yoga hit-piece in the New York Times, blasted a certain tendency to "ridicule any non-Western, non-rationalistic, non-neurotic spiritual practice." "How ironic to criticize spiritually-minded people for indulging themselves, when what’s really indulgent is to coddle the fear of anything that might disturb the status quo, might actually attack the neurosis and do … [Read more...]

Voting For A “Non-Christian”

I truly admire it when public figures bluntly state their true views on a subject. There is so much hedging, retracting, and re-positioning in modern politics that it can be hard to pin down anyone on anything. So when Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 10,000-strong First Baptist Church of Dallas, introduced and endorsed presidential contender Rick Perry at the Values Voters Summit it was something of a jolt to hear him publicly proclaim what many Christians secretly profess. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aF2Cnhr5jQ“That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult,” Jeffress told reporters here. “Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Chri … [Read more...]