American Civil Religion and the Enlightenment

In his theory of American Civil Religion, Robert Bellah attempted to attribute America’s sense of community to a common religious factor independent of the church. He said that a specifically American ideology has worked to form a homogenous and unified culture from unrelated immigrants. Because of the United States’ unique beginning, Civil Religion is uniquely crucial…

American Cosmology and Arlington National Cemetery

Religious conservatives in America have argued that America was founded as a Christian nation, implying that Christianity ought to be honored in political discourse and policy. Others call this ‘Christian revisionism’ and argue that the founding fathers had no such intention. It is difficult to find the ‘truth’ of the matter in American history. Regarding…

Enduring Principles in Religious Sacrifice

Back to Frederick Turner’s essay, “The Mall as a Place of Pilgrimage.((The National Mall: rethinking Washington’s monumental core.” Ed. Nathan Glazer and Cynthia R. Field. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2008.))  In this post, I want to focus on Turner’s mention of abortion and sacrifice. Both are important to people of faith, and, of…

The Current Political Discourse: America’s future

One sign of our times is the large number of books dealing with America’s political rhetoric. Perhaps the most surprising convergence of opinion concerns the nation’s spiritual life. Sociologist Wayne Baker presents evidence from the World Values Surveys to examine the culture war thesis, currently part of this rhetoric. But in his concluding chapter, he…

Economic Collapse, Poverty, Revolution: Where does America go from here?

America’s response to the situation in Egypt demonstrates some of the contradictions in American society. America was born in revolution, but since that time its leaders have discouraged revolution of any kind. Since the Revolutionary War Americans have mistrusted anyone claiming superior social standing; on the other hand many people used the Revolution to redefine…