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I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network’s new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a look. Yes, it’s delicious. But what’s the precise point? In his email announcement,…

I’m fully prepared to believe that Mitch Daniels’ family proved to be the unleapable hurdle in his abortive run-up to the GOP presidential race. Imagine yourself as wife Cheri, having split for the coast to marry on old flame, your husband and young daughters left behind in Boone County, Indiana, and then returned to the…

With the presidential election cycle getting up to speed, it’s time for reporters and yakkers like me to stop writing about “social conservatives” as if they were an identifiable segment of the voting population. I say this as someone who has happily been using the term since late 2008, when it looked like the religious…

Those on the Catholic left are not very happy that the Jay Report declines in no uncertain terms to blame clerical celibacy for the sexual abuse crisis. As the report puts it: Factors that remained consistent over this time period, such as celibacy, do not explain the sexual abuse “crisis.” Celibacy has been constant in…

That’s the big news out of the John Jay College Final Report on the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, due out at 2 p.m. today, according to David Gibson’s scoop for RNS last night (followed swiftly by NYT’s Laurie Goodstein, who also scored a copy). To wit: [T]he researchers found no statistical evidence…

No doubt about it, the Vatican’s latest missive has laid an egg. Styled as an encyclical to assist national bishops conferences in developing guidelines for dealing with clergy accused of sexual abuse, the letter utterly ignores what everybody outside the Church hierarchy itself acknowledges to be the central problem: the bishops themselves. Take Philadelphia, please.…

Now that we have entered the final week of the Harold Camping-certified End Times, it behooves us to consider the signs. Here goes. * Osama  (the false Antichrist) Bin Laden killed by Barack H.  (not the false Antichrist) Obama. * Forces of Repression (viz. Gog and Magog) at work all over Middle East. * House…

It turns out that, in deciding whether he’s going to tell Fox viewers tonight that he’s actually running for president in 1012, Mike Huckabee is not only praying on it, but also asking us to do the same. Which is pretty cool, when you think of it–and not just because the Huck-a-Pray form will give…

Let’s suppose that a gay submariner based in New London falls in love with, oh, a local cop, and the two decide to get married. They go down to the city Marriage License Office on State Street and for $35 obtain a State of Connecticut marriage license. Meanwhile, they have asked one of the Protestant…

Mark Silk
about

Mark Silk

Mark Silk graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and earned his Ph.D. in medieval history from Harvard University in 1982. After teaching at Harvard in the Department of History and Literature for three years, he became editor of the Boston Review. In 1987 he joined the staff of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he worked variously as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist. In 1996 he became the founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and in 1998 founding editor of Religion in the News, a magazine published by the Center that examines how the news media handle religious subject matter. In 2005, he was named director of the Trinity College Program on Public Values, comprising both the Greenberg Center and a new Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture directed by Barry Kosmin. In 2007, he became Professor of Religion in Public Life at the College. Professor Silk is the author of Spiritual Politics: Religion and America Since World War II and Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America. He is co-editor of Religion by Region, an eight-volume series on religion and public life in the United States, and co-author of The American Establishment, Making Capitalism Work, and One Nation Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics. In 2007 he inaugurated Spiritual Politics, a blog on religion and American political culture.

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