Author: Kate Harveston

December 12, 2017 / Definitions

Religious texts are powerful rhetorical devices because they are subject to interpretation. America has no state religion, but the right wing has strongly endorsed what it preaches are a set of Christian values, making the movement more approachable to the seventy percent of Americans who identify as Christians.

You might think that for people who hold this set of values, Alabama’s Republican candidate for Senate, Roy Moore, would be stoned after five women came forward and made claims that Moore came on to them or worse when they were teenagers. The Christian right, however, seems to have taken a position of denial.

Moore’s not the only one setting a bad example for Christians in politics, either. There’s also our president.

Where Organized Religion and Politics Meet

November 7, 2017 / History

With Halloween now in the rear-view mirror, we all know the world is about to jump on the Christmas bandwagon for the next two months. Never mind the fact that there’s a whole other national holiday in between the two (not that Thanksgiving doesn’t have its fundamental flaws as well, but that’s for another rant…).

Remember when Starbucks released its Christmas cup design back in 2015, and the entire world went nuts about it? Half the world seemed to be decrying the innocent cups as the end of civilization as we know it, while the other half of the world protested, “It’s just a cup! Get over it!”

October 5, 2017 / Anti-science

The world is an opportunistic place. As Steve Jobs famously implied, in order to sell something, in order to manipulate a desired response from someone else, you need to be speaking the language of emotions. Whether fear, desire or shame, empires have been built on exploiting the base emotional reactions of other humans, and in some cases, monetizing them.

You could argue that religion, the oldest form of politics, is one place where appealing to people’s insecurities is customary — whether promising satisfaction of carnal desires or immortality through reincarnation of your true essence. In a time where secularism is on the rise, it is natural that more and more individuals who subscribe to a religion will want to prove its relevance and importance, and objectify just about anything to do so. It’s only natural to see and hear the scaremongers.

September 8, 2017 / Media

Natural disasters and acts of God tend to appear alongside each other on legal papers and insurance policies. It seems they’re touched on in Joel Osteen’s megachurch operations manual, too. You might think a former NBA basketball arena with capacity for 17,000 would make a good shelter in such a situation. Joel disagrees.

Despite being situated fairly ideally to assist the community during the worst hurricane to hit Texas in over fifty years, Osteen’s only first move was to encourage church members to donate to the church while insisting that flood waters made the facility inaccessible.

Don’t Hate the Pastor, Hate the Megachurch

August 3, 2017 / Definitions
July 11, 2017 / Politics

A look at most of the major news headlines about Christianity often paints its followers as ultraconservative people who are against certain minority groups, such as refugees and the LGBT community. However, that’s not always the case, and a potentially powerful movement known as the Christian Left, or progressive Christianity, is also present and making impacts in faith communities and beyond.