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Author Ray Waddle

Why does “Christian politics” in America usually mean “conservative politics?” Why do polls show that the most frequent churchgoers vote Republican? The questions go to the heart of American voting behavior, with fateful impact on war, peace and democracy. Conservatives say moral truth is simply on their side. Until recently, Democrats had difficulty making reply. […] Read More

The American Christian scene is an exciting place these days–also a noisy, bullying place. We are charmed or alarmed by high-flying debate about The Da Vinci Code, the politics of the Religious Right, “lost” gnostic gospels, prosperity gospels, culture war, homosexuality, the Left Behind novels, the ethics of poverty and global warming, the prospect of […] Read More

Michael Lerner, a liberal public intellectual and rabbi, fears the Religious Right–its power, militarism and moral contradictions. But he admits he appreciates it, too–its confidence about its beliefs, its sensitivity to the yearnings of Americans for religious meaning and its awareness of a gathering spiritual crisis. But he admits he appreciates it, too–its confidence about […] Read More

Growing up in the 60s in north Louisiana, I was always noticing the angry billboards: GET US OUT OF THE U.N.! JESUS IS COMING SOON–ARE YOU READY? WATER FLUORIDATION … A COMMUNIST PLOT. These insistent messages were just a normal part of the scenery, like azaleas in bloom, icebox pies and LSU football. But the […] Read More

The most irreverent book I own is a satirical little softcover called The Two Kings: Jesus-Elvis. It catalogues the messianic “parallels” between these two world historic figures. Examples: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />  “Jesus was a Capricorn. Elvis was a Capricorn.”  “Jesus’ entourage, the Apostles, had twelve members. Elvis’ entourage, the Memphis […] Read More

It took maybe 1,600 years to compose and compile the Bible. The Rev. Ken Sharp figured out it takes 90 hours to read it straight through, out loud. He knows because, several days ago, he organized a round-the-clock Bible-reading marathon in a city park in Murfreesboro, Tenn., part of a national campaign to raise Bible […] Read More

Wendell Berry—Kentucky farmer, poet, essayist and contrarian who’s skeptical of just about everything in corporate America—is nevertheless a man full of hope. Just don’t call him an optimist. “Optimism is a kind of program, a belief in some theory of progress,” he said recently. “Hope is based on the possibility of knowing something better in […] Read More