The Daily Beast: Right-Wing Authoritarianism, Evangelicals, and President Donald Trump

This weekend at The Daily Beast, I have a new piece that looks at President Donald Trump, right-wing authoritarianism, and its lure for evangelicals. Check it out:

“Mr. President, in the Bible rain is a sign of God’s blessing. And it started to rain…when you came to the platform,” said Reverend Franklin Graham in his inaugural benediction before President Donald J. Trump.

Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was one of six, predominantly Christian spiritual leaders praying on January 20. It’s his firm conviction that the election was the work of divine providence.

“I believe,” Graham told Fox News, that “in this election, no question, God’s hand was in it.”

Read the full article at The Daily Beast.


Photo: Nico Beard (CC0)


The Daily Beast: Where Christianity Is A Minority Religion

It’s been a while since I posted on my author blog. I’ve still been writing, but with concentrated attention on a book and my regular blog, thecuriousape.com. I’ve also been working on some articles and this week I had one go up at The Daily Beast.

In it, I look at the difficulties Christians face in being a minority religion internationally, as compared to the Western world where it is the majority religion. Blasphemy laws and social intolerance often leads to violence against Christians. It leads to violence with other faiths and for nonbelievers as well, but only so much can be covered in one piece.

The free expression of belief and nonbelief is an important part of establishing human rights. It is something I’ve written about before (see, for example, my piece on blasphemy laws from the Religion News Service last September or my book Consider No Evil) and I’m looking to do it more often. For my recent piece, see my “Christians Are Still Persecuted Around the World. Here’s Where” at The Daily Beast. Continue reading…

Toledo FAV: Religion Class Does Not a Religious Person Make


This last week, my newest post “Students of Religion Are Not Necessarily Religious,” went up at Toledo Faith and Values (our local hub of the Religion News Service). In this piece I look at a new study of the religion/non-religion of college students, which show a significant shift in affiliation and non-affiliation, especially in those identifying themselves as “secular.”

In other words, a religion class does not a religious person make. Continue reading…

Why the world could use a few brave outcasts

groupthink and outcasts

Image: From the “1984” Apple Mac Commercial

My newest article is up at ToledoFavs.com, a local hub for the Religion News Service. This new piece (“Why the world could use a few brave outcasts”) is on the perils of “groupthink.” It’s a subject that has been on my mind lately, largely because of incidents like the alleged abuse in the Boy Scouts and Sovereign Grace Ministries, but also because of the political hive-mind that we deal with in an election season, and especially here in Ohio.

In it, I look at two studies on groups and individuality and what I think they might say for avoiding groupthink and cultures of abuse.

“Groupthink — the idea that members of groups can overestimate the correctness of their ideals, and assume impeccability and moral superiority — does more than kill creativity; it supplies the conditions necessary for covering up abuse…

Whether it is SGM, the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, or the Boy Scouts’ “perversion files,” these incidents are clear examples of groupthink and its perils. Groups look to protect their leaders and the reputation of their communities to the extent that victims are left in the wake.

But why does it take a critical mass of victims or a determined whistleblower before individuals can see why what they permitted was terrible…”

Read the full article here.