Posts Tagged ‘prejudice’

A conversation with Michael Emerson on race, humility and ways we can talk to one another

There are few people better able to offer perspective on the polarized state of the nation today than Michael Emerson. In an interview, Emerson, one of the foremost sociologists on race, religion and civility in the United States, offers incisive observations on how we got to where we are today, and what we can do to promote a more intellectually humble, respectful national dialogue.

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Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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Left behind? Evangelical Christians and campus diversity

As inclusivity becomes a priority on campuses, the door is opening for greater sensitivity for all religious groups, including evangelical Christians, new research indicates. One major study found that getting to know evangelicals in settings from general spiritual activities on campus to classroom discussions on diversity led to greater appreciation even among groups that included their harshest critics.

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Balancing sin and forgiveness on the path to a healthy life

How can believers buffer the negative effects of an unhealthy preoccupation with transgressions while benefiting from sin’s appeal to humility in being able to accurately assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses? Forgiveness may be one good place to start, according to a new study. Americans who reported experiencing being frequently forgiven by God were far less likely to show symptoms of depression and other mental health ills associated with strong beliefs in the fallen nature of humankind.

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Religion, tolerance and the unmaking of prejudice in the Trump era

Politicians from Donald Trump to leaders of populist radical right political parties in Europe attempt to appeal to Christian audiences while blaming immigrants, Muslims and other minorities for social ills. Yet it is far from clear whether they are winning the hearts of individuals for whom faith matters. Two new studies call into question the idea faithful women and men in relatively peaceful democracies are swayed by appeals to close their borders to immigrants and Muslims.

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The war at home: Four ways good faith can help defeat ISIS

Protect religious freedom. Maintain an independent judiciary. Respect your neighbor. Get to know your neighbors. These are the ways the nation can help reduce the threat of terrorism and preserve civil liberties, research suggests.

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Bigotry in numbers: Why so many academics look down on evangelicals

Why does the U.S. exhibit so many signs of becoming an increasingly polarized nation, where we are willing to apply negative stereotypes to entire groups of people, whether they are atheists or evangelicals, Muslims or blacks? New research suggests some uncomfortable answers: It is easier to judge people we do not know, and inhibitions about expressing prejudice tend to fall away if enough of your peers have the same beliefs.

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As black-white gap widens, Americans do not want to talk about race

New findings from the second wave of a major study on religion and race lay bare the dramatic and growing gap in racial attitudes and experiences in America. We do not live in a post-racial nation, the 2012 Portraits of American Life Study suggests, but in a land of two Americas divided by race, and less willing than ever to find a common ground of understanding.

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Romney’s dilemma: Anti-Mormon prejudice comes from all sides

GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney is asking voters to judge him on his individual qualifications, and not as a representative of an entire faith – just as the Catholic John F. Kennedy did in his groundbreaking run five decades ago. But each step of the way, the former Massachusetts governor will have a lot to overcome to become the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be elected to the nation’s highest office, say scholars studying religion and presidential politics.

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Muslim-majority nations more likely to deny religious freedom

Amid widespread international disregard for religious freedom, one group of countries stands out: Muslim-majority nations. “Religious persecution is not only more prevalent among Muslim-majority countries, but it also generally occurs at more severe levels,” Brian Grim of the Pew Research Center and Roger Finke of Pennsylvania State University report in a new book, “The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century.”

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