Posts Tagged ‘same-sex marriage’


Does America Need a Christian Democratic Party?

With all the tumult in the American political landscape recently, is the United States pump primed for a Christian Democratic party similar to those in Europe? Three scholars debate this topic based upon a scholarly symposium published in the journal “Perspectives on Political Science.” Prof. Hunter Baker (Union University), the organizer of the symposium, argues that the time is right for Christian Democracy in America. Prof. Bryan McGraw (Wheaton College) notes that while Christian Democracy (CD) was helpful in Europe for consolidating democracy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the conditions in the U.S. are not ripe for CD. Finally, Prof. Micah Watson (Calvin College) takes a decidedly negative position towards the concept of CD. Your host, Tony, chimes in with his own thoughts at the end.

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Laura Olson on Attitudes towards Religious Free Exercise

What do public school teachers think about the ability to exercise religious expression in the classroom? Prof. Laura Olson of Clemson University discusses her study on the attitudes teachers have towards the free exercise clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Dr. Olson contextualizes this issue in recent Supreme Court cases and the a decision by a public employee in Kentucky to refuse issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We also discuss religious voting trends in light of the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

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David Campbell & Quin Monson on Mormons & Politics in America

What is it like to be Mormon and political in the United States? We invite Prof. David Campbell (Notre Dame) and Prof. Quin Monson (BYU) to discuss why members of the Latter Day Saints are considered a “peculiar people” (a term adopted from the Old Testament) and how this has affected their political affiliation and attitudes on a variety of issues. Both scholars also share their own perspectives growing up Mormon and how being a religious minority can affect one’s identity.

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Hunter Baker on the Past and Future of the Religious Right

In light of the recent victories in favor of same-sex marriage across the US, is there any future for the Religious Right? Prof. Hunter Baker of Union University reviews the history of this (mostly) Christian conservative movement, focusing on some of the lesser-known intellectuals underlying the movement’s early years including Carl F.H. Henry, Frances Schaeffer, and Chuck Colson. He then identifies the peak of the movement at about 2005 and discusses the generational shift happening within the Religious Right and what shape it will take in the near future. Hunter reveals his take on whether right-wing evangelicals need to take a “season of silence” or not as he discusses the work of Jonathan Malesic and James Davison Hunter.

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Jeremy Lott on Episcopalians, Ex-Atheists, Health Care, and German Circumcision

Research on Religion checks in with journalist/blogger extraordinaire Jeremy Lott to discuss a couple big stories in the world of religion. We examine what happened at the recent Episcopal Church General Convention and speculate as to why Episcopalians and other mainline churches are losing members. Then we turn our attention to other recent news events including the conversion of former atheists, and religious liberty issues concerning the US health care mandate and circumcision in Germany.

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Gerald De Maio on the Electoral Religion Gap

With the election season heating up, we revisit the issue of whether religion plays a role in voting behavior in the United States. Prof. Gerald De Maio (Baruch College, CUNY) discusses his collaborative research with Louis Bolce on the “religion gap” in American politics. This research indicates that those who attend church more regularly, or who hold more orthodox religious views, tend to vote much differently than seculars. De Maio and Bolce’s research also shows how the media has failed to pick up on this electoral divide while touting other “gaps” — e.g., gender, age, soccer moms — that are much less salient when it comes to predicting election outcomes. We speculate how the “religion gap” will play out in the November 2012 elections.

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Jon Shields on Democratic Virtues & the Christian Right

Prof. Jon A. Shields (Claremont McKenna College) examines whether the Christian Right conforms to norms of democratic deliberation and civil discourse. Our discussion covers the history of the pro-life movement, the rise of the Religious Right, and how those movements have changed over time. Prof. Shields offers evidence that Christian conservatives do, for the most part, enhance the democratic process contrary to popular opinion.

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