Religion and Public Life With Mark Silk

Volume 13, No. 1 of Religion in the News is now online, and before describing its contents, I need to announce that as of this volume we are cutting back from three to two issues annually. Partly this is the consequence of shrunken resources, but it’s also the case that given the amount of real-time…

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who happens to be running for governor of the Volunteer State, has caught a bunch of flak for his recent comments on the stump suggesting that Muslims might not merit First Amendment protection. Asked to comment on the proposed construction of an Islamic community center in Murfreesboro, he said, “You…

Warren Jeffs may be a very bad man, but Utah prosecutors had no business charging him with accessory to rape in the case of a 14-year-old girl whose marriage to a 19-year-old cousin he ordained as leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS). In coming to the unanimous decision that…

Tom Tancredo, the former  congressman from Colorado who briefly ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination on an anti-immigrant platform, has now thrown his hat into the Colorado senatorial gubernatorial ring, running under the auspices of the Constitution Party. That party, among other things, indulges in what has become all-to-familiar historical revisionism regarding the religious…

Making his own effort to explain Latino Catholic support for same-sex marriage in California, Joseph M. Palacios offers the following: It is important to note that modern Latin Catholicism has a dual nature: it is “conservative” in the sense of family communalism and tradition that the church offers, yet it is classically “liberal” in the…

The most notable result of the new Public Religion Research Institute survey of attitudes toward Proposition 8 is the divide between Latino Catholics and Latino Protestants. The former are more in favor of same-sex marriage than any other ethno-religious group in the survey; the former are more opposed. (That’s Catholics 57-38 in favor versus Protestants…

It turns out that I spoke with Shirley Sherrod back in 1993, when I was doing that story on Welchel Long, the black farmer in Dewy Rose, Ga., who had been poorly treated by the Farmer’s Home Administration (FmHA), the USDA’s lender of last resort for small farmers. What she told me then was that…

Shirley Sherrod’s speech to the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet is a moving testimony to the importance of rising above the interests of tribe and kind in order to help all people in need. That she should have been fired because it was clipped and trumpeted on the conservative noise machine is a sad testimony to…

How to explain the willingness of some conservative evangelicals to join forces with President Obama to support comprehensive immigration, as the NYT reported yesterday? Well it could be that it’s the Judeo-Christian thing to do. (Or maybe not, if you’re Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.) But for sure there’s a political calculus, as…

The widespread astonishment, contempt, and anger that has greeted the Vatican’s decision to include the “attempted ordination of women” among the “graver crimes” falling under the juridical purview of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has forced apologists for the new norms to issue explanations for how it’s really not the case…

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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