The Day the Mainline Disappeared

According to a new Pew Research Survey: People think more positively about their own religious groups, or about groups that their friends belong to, and On a scale of warmest/most positive feelings to coolest/least positive feelings, Americans have warm feelings toward Jews, Catholics and Evangelical Christians, neutral feelings about Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons, and cooler feelings toward Muslims and atheists. While this data is interesting, it is also troubling.  As a lifelong Read More …

The End of Mary

Philip N. Cohen, professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently wrote two posts (A and B) on his blog about the declining popularity of the name Mary.  To put the trend in perspective he offers these remarks: For the first time in the history of the United States of America, the name Mary is not in the top 100 given to newborn girls. Mary was the #1 name every year in the Social Security name database from 1880 — it’s first year — to 1961 (except for Read More …

Review of America’s Four Gods

Paul Froese and Christopher Bader.  America's Four Gods: What We Say About God  - & What That Says About Us.  Oxford University Press, 2010.  ISBN: 9780195341478. Meet the Authors Paul Froese and Christopher Bader both serve as assistant professors of sociology at Baylor University.  America's Four Gods: What We Say About God  - & What That Says About Us (2010) is the first book they have written together. Froese (pictured at left) specializes in comparative historical Read More …