The politics of Jesus

Heinrich Hoffman, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, 1890

Jesus believed himself to be the Son of Man, the Messiah for the Jews, and the rest of humanity. His mission crystallized out in the wilderness – fasting for forty days and going head-to-head with …

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White Evangelicals’ strong desire for Christian influence in public life

Cross instead of stars on an American flag

A new study finds white evangelicals are most eager to see their faith reflected more in the government, but very few say they support Christian nationalism.
In a country where 80 percent of adults believe religion’s influence is in decline, white evangelicals stand out as the group most likely to want to see their faith reflected in the US government.
According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, most white evangelicals want a president who reflects their religious beliefs, believe the Bible should have some influence on US laws, and see the retreat of religion as a bad thing.
Yet they oppose adopting Christianity as an official religion and very few (8%) have a “favorable” view of Christian nationalism.
Overall, nearly half of adults see the decline of religious influence in the country as a bad thing. White evangelicals are the most likely to see the trend negatively, at 76 percent. The majority of other Christians across traditions agree.
Most Americans want to see someone in the White House who stands up for their religious beliefs. Though few see either candidate in the 2024 race as particularly religious, more than two-thirds of white evangelicals believe Donald Trump comes to their defense.
Despite the increasing buzz around Christian nationalism from candidates on the stump or on social media, Pew found that most Americans (54%)—and most Christians—have not heard of the term at all.
“Even those who think the United States should be a Christian nation and the Bible should have a great deal of influence on the law, most of them are reluctant to say that they have a favorable view of Christian nationalism. So there seems to be some negative stigma with the term,” Michael Rotolo, lead author of the report, said.

While a plurality of Americans (44%) believe the government should promote Christian moral values, …Continue reading…

Examining faith and politics in the 2024 presidential race

President Joe Biden portrait

President Biden and Donald Trump clinched their parties’ presidential
nominations on Tuesday night, setting up a 2016 general election rematch.
The outcome in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state was never in doubt
as both Biden and Trump cruised to victory.

Belief and Prime Time: The theological undertones of ‘Sunday Dinner’

Norman Lear sits and speaks with his palms raised to his sides.

(OPINION) For decades, TV producer Norman Lear described himself as a
cultural Jew who didn’t practice any traditional form of faith. Over the
years, however, the television icon became more and more intrigued with
religious faith, both as a force in American life and as a topic ignored by

Faith beyond partisanship: the political journey of Gen Z Christians

The dome of a building is shown between waving American flags.

But on Christian campuses, first-time voters are still trying to find their own ways to engage the issues.
Gen Z Christians are creating their own playbook when it comes to the intersection of faith and politics.
Whether they’re growing more cynical of partisan politics or finding hope in the power of political change, this generation sees itself branching out beyond the issues that have long driven the Christian Right.
Younger believers are quicker to name creation care, prison reform, and immigration as the political causes most influenced by their faith, rather than abortion or sexuality. But even those who seek to get involved in politics don’t align as closely with the two major parties in the US and aren’t excited at the prospects for 2024.
At Calvin University, Micah J. Watson has noticed a shift amongst college students.
“I do think there has been a weariness among Gen Z in some of the ways their parents and grandparents did politics in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s,” said Watson, associate professor and director of the politics, philosophy, and economics program. “Some of the culture war practices have been seen as problematic.”
For young Christians who have the chance to vote in their first presidential election next year, the milestone comes with trepidation, knowing the political polarization that surrounded the races in 2016 and 2020.
“Having gone through COVID and Trump and Biden elections, students have seen parents’ relationships going down the tube,” Watson said, “and there’s a fear of expressing one’s views and being canceled.”

Growing up, Rachel Smith remembers her mother adorning the family car with political bumper stickers to reflect both their party affiliation and their Christian values. But Smith, …Continue reading…