: "Young called his creed 'the religion of nature' and 'the religion of nature’s God.' And he made abundantly clear that, in his own mind, this radical philosophical religion was the axis on which the Revolution turned. For him, the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Sep 2, 2014 -
In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 6, 2013 -
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica
, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment
. There are location challenges
, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 8, 2013 -
'Homeland,' Obama’s Show.
The award winning TV show does little to alleviate the myths and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims, writes Joseph Massad
, a scholar
at Columbia University. "The racist representation of Arabs is so exponential, even for American television [..] that one does not know where to begin." [more inside]
posted by kiskar
on Dec 12, 2012 -
"A pious, peaceful man, York
had fought his country's enemy only after great deliberation and had to be convinced that war was sometimes necessary."1
On this day let us remember Sergeant York
Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism By Michael E. Birdwell.
posted by unliteral
on Nov 11, 2010 -
A major survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A strong majority of those who are affiliated with a religion, including majorities of nearly every religious tradition, do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation. And almost the same number believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. The survey
finds that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. (.pdf of full report (268 pages)
or watch the video of Pew Forum Director Luis Lugo
giving an overview of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey and talking about some of its key findings.) [more inside]
posted by ServSci
on Dec 11, 2009 -
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
~ George Washington /
"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
~ Thomas Jefferson /
"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
~ Abraham Lincoln /
"A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison /
"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy /
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers
." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious
on Jan 20, 2009 -
16% of US science teachers believe human beings have been created by God within the last 10,000 years
. 25% of science teachers spend some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. 12.5% teach it as a "valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species". 2% say they do not cover evolution at all. Teachers who have taken more science courses themselves devote more time to evolution - "This may be because better-prepared teachers are more confident in dealing with students' questions about a sensitive subject."
posted by Artw
on May 19, 2008 -
Through a Glass, Darkly
How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history--from Harpers. ...producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history. ...
posted by amberglow
on Jan 12, 2007 -
Democrats of Faith.
Jesse Lava, co-founder, says
the site is attempting "to help reframe the values debate to be beyond wedge-issue politics, beyond fear and division and more focused on justice and the common good."
posted by footballrabi
on Sep 6, 2006 -
One in five
Americans consider themselves "holy", according to a recent poll by the Barna Research Group.
posted by bcveen
on Feb 24, 2006 -
What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America?
Susan Juster discusses the "oversized colonial martyr complex" with its attendant paradox: "colonial martyrs were everywhere, religious violence... in short supply." She begins:
One of the most chilling images in early American history is the deliberate firing of Fort Mystic during the Pequot War of 1637. Five hundred Indian men, women, and children died that day, burned alive along with their homes and possessions by a vengeful Puritan militia intent on doing God’s will. "We must burn them!" the militia captain famously insisted to his troops on the eve of the massacre, in words that echo the classic early modern response to heretics. Just five months before, the Puritan minister at Salem had exhorted his congregation in strikingly similar terms to destroy a more familiar enemy, Satan; "We must burne him," John Wheelwright told his parishioners. Indians and devils may have been scarcely distinguishable to many a Puritan, but their rhetorical conflation in these two calls to arms raises a question: Was the burning of Fort Mystic a racial or a religious killing?
She avoids easy answers and makes some interesting connections. If you want to find out more about the Pequot War, there's good material in the History section of this site
. (Main link via wood s lot
posted by languagehat
on Jan 9, 2006 -
Faith based prisons...
Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
"Night has fallen. He has died now.
A fly crawls over the still flesh.
Of what use is it to me that this man suffered,
If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
posted by 0bvious
on Nov 25, 2005 -
Thanksgiving sucks. The English went on setting fire to wigwams of the village. They burned village after village to the ground. As one of the leading theologians of his day, Dr. Cotton Mather put it: "It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day." And Cotton Mather, clutching his bible, spurred the English to slaughter more Indians in the name of Christianity.
posted by j-urb
on Nov 24, 2005 -
Americanism—and Its Enemies Puritanism did not drop out of history. It transformed itself into Americanism.
is a contributing editor of The Weekly Standard and professor of computer science at Yale. This essay helps to explain American religiosity..to the rest of us.
posted by dash_slot-
on Jan 18, 2005 -
If America were Iraq, what would it be like?
Private armies totaling 275,000 men; platoons of Christian Soldiers Militia holed up in Arlington National Cemetery; the grounds of the White House constantly under mortar fire; the Secretary of State, President, and Attorney General all assassinated in the past year; and the Air Force routinely bombing Billings, Flint, Philadelphia, and parts of LA and DC to destroy "safe houses" of "criminal gangs."
posted by johnnydark
on Sep 27, 2004 -
American Taliban plans theocracy - soon
Theocracy Watch reports on the religious right's takeover of the Republican Party. The Bush Administration's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment is but one ploy of the new American Taliban : "with one amendment the religious right could wipe out access to birth control, abortion, and even non-procreative sex"
["...behind this amendment: Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer, Robert Bork, Rick Santorum" - via Andrew Sullivan]. Maureen Farrell chronicles the power centers
of the newly powerful religious right. Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind
series, has the President's ear and this concerns more than jamming Creationism
into your school's curriculum. On the agenda
- "The civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions, and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments."
Writes Farrell - "How did this happen? - Voter apathy is the key to the phenomenal ascent of the Religious Right in the U.S. government." Pat Robertson, 1990 : "With the apathy that exists today, a small, well-organized minority can influence the selection of candidates to an astonishing degree."
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 10, 2004 -
Five Pillars of Islam
Bradley County, one of several Tennessee counties to vote recently to post the Ten Commandments
, has been asked to extend its endorsement of religious documents in public places to include the Five Pillars of Islam
Smith (the commission chairman) said he respects Cate's beliefs but believes that, particularly since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that have been blamed on extreme factions of Islam, it would be inappropriate to post the Five Pillars.
Would it be appropriate to post if there had been no 9-11 or is it just inappropriate.
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 3, 2002 -
From 1972 to 1998,
the number of American voters claiming to attend church regularly has stayed stable at 37%. The number who say they never attend church at all has risen from 14% to 33%. What affect will this have on American politics?
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Jul 8, 2001 -