In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
The possibly-spiritual-but-definitely-not-religious are growing in ranks, says the Pew Forum, and the resulting Nones On the Bus blogo-tour is as usual drawing good crowds. Paul Waldman highlights one interesting subpoint: the Nones are growing not just more plentiful but also more Democratic. He credits Republican hostility to nonbelievers.
Michigan pastor Kent Clark loves him some Paul Ryan but doesn't think Mitt Romney is a Christian. Not a problem for anyone involved. As we learned last month from Pew (pdf), being a Mormon doesn't really hurt a person's chances among evangelical voters, even though many of them agree with Clark.
Here are some things I read recently but didn't get around to blogging about.
I didn't post anything during the presidential debate last night, because I watched it without the benefit of an internet connection. Also because bona fide live-blogging can be seriously annoying to read. But if you want it in digest form, here's how I reacted in front of the TV.
Kudos to Mitt Romney for suggesting a concrete and sensible income-tax reform: capping deductions at $17,000. Now, it's not clear whether he means tax liability or taxable income. As Dylan Matthews explains, that's the difference between a highly progressive (in the technical sense, not the euphemism-for-liberal sense) proposal and one that would affect a lot of middle-class households.
In Jordan, reports are mixed as to just how good relations are between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority. What's clearer is that the stronger divide is between native Jordanians and the many Palestinian refugees. The two locals we spent the most time with, our tour guide and our bus driver, represent both differences.