Why I’ve Dropped ‘Ugly’ From My Vocabulary

The more I’ve learned about social norms, human psychology, and related subjects over the years — not to mention what I’ve learned through personal experience — the more I’ve settled on exorcising the word “ugly” from my vocabulary when physical appearances enter the picture. I think this is worth doing for more than just the popular wisdom of how …

White Evangelicals, Trump, and the End Times

The following is from a paper written for my 2018 course in American Religious Controversies. Enjoy! Shortly after the 2016 U.S. presidential election concluded, studies began popping up everywhere about who had voted for Donald Trump and why. Before the results came in, speculation seemed rampant over whether or not Republicans or evangelicals believed Trump …

5 Books You Should Read to Understand Where America is Right Now

A familiar response to hear from many Americans when asked about the state of their country is a feeling that they are strangers in their own land. The 2018 American Values Survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 47% of the 2,509 U.S. adult respondents it polled said that they feel this …

The Eclipse of the Modern American Public: Why Our Politics Has Lost Its Way

There may be no better word to describe the current climate in the United States than ‘divided.’ Poll after poll and study after study reflects these perceptions among both analysts and the general public. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey conducted in October 2018, 80% of respondents said they believe the country is “mainly” …

Why Arming Teachers Won’t Stop School Shootings

There is a myth in American culture of the heroic gunslinger, a character who saves the day by being quick on the draw. Popular imagination typically associates this with the Old West, thanks in no small part to influential novels and films that have commonly depicted shootings at high noon, grizzled sheriffs and deputies forced …