The American addiction to oil is like an addiction to amphetamines, says Alfred W. Crosby: the substance is enormously stimulating and its users think they function much better with it than without it.
At first glance, it might seem that The Da Vinci Code and the Left Behind series occupy opposite poles of the cultural spectrum. The former’s effort to reaffirm the “sacred feminine” with the claim that Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife is the sort of reworking of tradition that presumably appeals to far-out liberals.
The meaning of intercessory prayer is often unclear to Christians, so it is not surprising that many outside the church also get confused about it. The confusion is evident whenever scientists seek to determine whether intercessory prayer has measurable benefits.
He "inspired a generation of young people to challenge injustice"
May 02, 2006
When William Sloane Coffin Jr. was honored last year at Yale as a civil rights leader, an antiwar activist, an endearing university chaplain and an unfearing liberal preacher, at one point he summed up his faith—and by extension, himself: “I believe Christianity is a worldview that undergirds all progressive thought and action,” Coffin said.
If, as Tertullian taught, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, in a liberal society church growth has to find its inspiration elsewhere. Western society was built partly on the premise that people shouldn’t have to suffer for their faith. That’s why talk of martyrdom often seems exotic or irrelevant in churches in the U.S.
The United States is deeply divided regionally when it comes to violence, gun possession and the death penalty. Dividing the country into 11 different “nations” based on the predominant origins of its inhabitants and the resulting culture, Colin Woodard says Yankeedom (his label for the Northeast) and the Left Coast are most open to gun control and abolition of the death penalty. The Deep South, Appalachia, Tidewater and Far West regions contain the most adamant supporters of the Second Amendment and capital punishment, and they also have the highest rate of murders. If the deadlock between these two extremes is ever to be broken, it will come about through swing voters in the middle states (Tufts magazine, Fall).