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Taking the Economy Back From the Elites: Blessed Are the Organized

…movement. For better and for worse, American politics rides the tides of revivals. Religious communities often seem to be hindering social mobilization against the economic order today. What has to change for this to change? Are new kinds of theologies or religious organizations necessary? A lot of people—some religious, some not—are quite confused these days about how a market economy works and largely ignorant about the nature and causes of the…

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Almost-Blockbuster Netflix Series ‘The Family’ Exposes a Christian Network Whose God Is Power

…mp is of course its primary subject. Claiming that Christ champions the wolves over the sheep represents a complete inversion of the gospel. I will say one last time that achieving this inversion reflects an impressive satanic genius. But I must also say that The Family’s skillful architects—Vereide, Coe, and a handful of others—were hardly the first to realize that treating Jesus as a kind of of “mascot” (to use the term suggested by Eric William…

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Fear, Nostalgia and Power Drove Evangelicals to Trump: Interview with Evangelical Scholar John Fea

…lieve Donald Trump? Donald Trump drew upon a political playbook that conservative evangelicals have been employing since the 1970s. Jerry Falwell Sr. drafted it when he founded the Moral Majority in 1979, and it responds to a variety of familiar social and cultural issues—the “wall of separation” between church and state, the removal of prayer and Bible reading from public schools, the desegregation of evangelical academies in the south, Roe v. Wa…

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I Am Better than Him

…romised he would corrupt them all. And he was politely told, “You (will) have no power over my righteous servants”. When Adam and Eve (Hawa’ although her name does not occur any where in the Qur’anic text) were caught in their act of disobedience, they also asked for something and it was also granted. They asked for forgiveness. In Qur’anic cosmology, being on the earth was not a punishment, not a fall from grace, it was destiny. That is because w…

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Why Real Political Power Will Not Come From a Revived Religious Left

…re on RD. In a recent piece, Daniel Schultz makes the case any model of “revival” that depends on changing the “soul of the nation” with moral argument is bound to fail. Schultz argues that American tribalism is so thoroughgoing that we have no shared or universal values to which we can appeal. As he writes, Our nation doesn’t have a soul. It has a moral narrative if anything, and that a contested one. Even to the extent that America can be said t…

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RDBook: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World: An Interview with Michelle Goldberg

…dra Kabir in Kenya and Bangladesh, respectively). How can Westerners get involved without coercing or compromising the integrity of an indigenous organization’s work? There are a number of organizations that are really good at channeling aid to women working at the grassroots. The Global Fund for Women, for example, does amazing work. On a more macro scale, people in developed countries often have access to levers of power that people on the groun…

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The Night of Power: Laylatul Qadri

…mmunity went for hajj with her husband and brought him back in a coffin. I’ve never heard a more peaceful story of losing one’s life partner, but there you go. Things do happen out of the ordinary, I suppose. It is this idea, this out of the ordinary that propels our understanding of what is known as “the night of power.” The whole surah with that title, Laylatul Qadari, is worth quoting: Indeed, “We” have brought it down on the night of power And…

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‘Imagine Better’: Can Harry Potter Change the World?

…ice be heard! The HPA organizes their efforts into campaigns designed to revolve around important cultural and political events. Their initial efforts were focused on raising awareness of genocide in Darfur. Since then, other campaigns have been dictated by the US political calendar. These include Wrock 4 Equality in October 2009, where the HPA campaigned for LGBT rights in Maine. Still other campaigns are driven by current events. The biggest of…

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Dilemmas of American Empire: Can Obama Pull Off a Game-Changer in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan?

…tory corruption of government officials and connected tribal leaders is pervasive, direct, and unrelenting, which helps to explain why $200 billion of reconstruction aid has produced almost no reconstruction. Iraq could explode again at any time, because Sunni leaders are demanding real power, the Shiite parties are determined not to yield it, and intra-sectarian resentments are boiling. Shiite and Kurdish leaders are stonewalling against integrat…

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How to Talk to a Trump Evangelical at Christmas

…ave birth to the Moral Majority. I had a front row seat as Christian conservatives, initially agitating from outside mainstream politics, eventually reshaped and emboldened the Republican Party. I have some advice. And even some good news. Those of us interacting with evangelicals at Christmas no longer have to play defense. The script has flipped. The candidate who hung the “loser” label on seemingly every group not white or Christian, turned out…

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