January 10, 2019

It’s a common refrain: How can your party be so heartless? You Republicans separating babies from refugee families? You Democrats sanctioning abortion? In my research, some people show more compassion than others, but Democratic and Republican Party voters are similar, on average. And then there are Trump voters. Read more

January 8, 2019

The new Congress includes its first two Muslim women members. One of them, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, considered getting sworn in privately using a copy of the Qur’an from the library of one of America’s Founding Fathers. Muslims arrived in North America as early as the 17th century, eventually composing 15 to 30 percent of the enslaved West African population of British America. Read more

January 1, 2019

As the old year comes to a close, The Complete Pilgrim commemorates some of the historic religious sites lost around the world in 2018.  Overall, 2018 was a worse year than its predecessor for destruction of religious shrines, though losses caused by war, terrorism, sectarian violence and vandalism appear to have decreased.  Unfortunately, destruction due to fires and deliberate demolitions was up significantly. Read more

December 27, 2018

In 40 years since the collective murder-suicide at Jonestown, most stories and scholarship have focused on Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones and the dangers of cults, missing the larger story of the Temple—a significant social movement that mobilized thousands of activists to change the world in ways small and large, from offering legal services to people the poor to campaigning against apartheid. Read more

December 22, 2018

Who was “Dr.” Seuss, how did he come to be writing and illustrating children’s books, and what was he trying to get across in his strange little tale about the people of Whoville and their delightfully diabolical nemesis, the Grinch? Read more

December 21, 2018

One of the world’s most famous Christmas carols, “Silent Night,” celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. Over the centuries, hundreds of Christmas carols have been composed. Many fall quickly into obscurity. Not “Silent Night.” Read more

December 19, 2018

With social media and networking sites, media has evolved into something that everyone can be a part of; concerning the age-old issue of combating bigotry and prejudice, we must appreciate the responsibility that comes with. Everything we write anywhere on the internet should be done in a way that brings people together, not drives them apart. Read more

December 18, 2018

On the day of winter solstice, many Native American communities will hold religious ceremonies or community events. The winter solstice is the day of the year when the Northern Hemisphere has the fewest hours of sunlight and the Southern Hemisphere has the most. For indigenous peoples, it has been a time to honor their ancient sun deity. They passed their knowledge down to successive generations through complex stories and ritual practices. As a scholar of the environmental and Native American religion, I believe, there is much to learn from ancient religious practices. Read more

December 18, 2018

As the Christmas season gets underway, companion animals are on the gift list. Many of the go-to items for cats contain catnip. In my view, it’s worth considering whether giving a mood-altering substance to a pet is ethical. Read more

December 14, 2018

St. Nicholas and Santa Claus are historically the same man. But unlike the jolly figure who purportedly flies on a sleigh from the North Pole, the saint came originally from the balmy Mediterranean coast. When you tell your children about Santa Claus, why not include the tale of Santa’s well-traveled bones? Read more

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