November 8, 2018

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently announced that the Hill Cumorah Pageant will end after its 2020 production. The Church stated that “larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged,” as it further shifts its focus to “home-centered, Church-supported curriculum that contributes to joyful gospel living.” I grew up outside of Rochester, New York, and have been familiar with the Hill Cumorah Pageant for quite some time. My wife and I attended a performance at the pageant in 2002,… Read more

November 7, 2018

As Watergate smolders, a Bible college student proposes an evangelical political party. Read more

November 6, 2018

While the Evangelical Free Church no longer ordains women, two of its founders celebrated the key roles played by evangelical women who preached and evangelized. Read more

November 5, 2018

“A little Puritanism would help us all.” This striking recommendation comes from Commonweal magazine’s Paul Baumann, in a review of a new book by Daniel Rodgers, emeritus Professor at Princeton. The Puritans, those stiff characters oft reviled or parodied, are ever being pulled out of mothballs for some civic purpose or uplift. In a few weeks we’ll have the obligatory annual attention paid to Mayflower and pilgrim hat. Persons-on-the-street and students in U.S. classrooms may be forgiven for wondering why… Read more

November 2, 2018

Normally, I’d be overjoyed to receive a bunch of writing commissions from prestigious outlets like the Spectator and the Tablet. On this occasion, I was anything but delighted, because what they wanted me for was my expertise in terrorism and far Right extremism, following the unspeakable massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Besides discussing the Pennsylvania context of the atrocity, I also pointed out the likely source that inspired the form of action taken by the terrorist, if not actually driving… Read more

November 1, 2018

This past weekend, a man entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and massacred 11 people gathered for worship. The assailant was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, three Glock .357 handguns, and a heavy dose of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Minutes before entering the synagogue, he posted on social media that HIAS, a Jewish nonprofit helping to resettle refugees, “likes to bring invaders that kill our people.” He was likely triggered by theories bandied about by Republicans in recent days that the migrant… Read more

October 31, 2018

We carved pumpkins again this year. I still had to clean out the insides, but this time my daughter carved the triangle eyes. I had to help with the teeth. My son opted out of carving entirely, aside from helping keep our Whippet from eating the pumpkins. He claims he doesn’t like the icky feeling of touching pumpkin insides, but I think he was offended when his then 6-year-old sister secretly graded his carving skills. My husband and I laughed… Read more

October 30, 2018

On the complicated religious history of the space race: while NASA was “no bastion of secularism,” historian Kendrick Oliver finds that it did exemplify “secularity.” Read more

October 29, 2018

Somewhere over the past twenty years or so, a once-key concept in American history, and American religious history, simply vanished. Vanished to the extent that anyone referring to the concept today needs to provide some serious explanation, possibly backed up by flash cards. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has yet mapped the disappearance, or even cited the mystery. I am referring to the social and political categories that were once known as white ethnics. Before anyone raises the… Read more

October 28, 2018

In the wake of yesterday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Chris spent Reformation Sunday thinking about one of Martin Luther’s ugliest legacies. Read more

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